Melbourne

KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD AND K
June 8, 2016 1:18 pm

You can bet those cringe-worthy getups your parents wore in the early-80s are going to be next season’s hot commodity. Human innovation is less about spontaneous combustion and more about an endless mashup of patterns. ‘Dude! What does mine say?  Sweet! What does mine say?’ If only a rock band capitalized on this notion of the never-ending pop cultural Saṃsāra.

There’s no way to properly brace yourself for King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s latest high-octane concoction. Nonagon Infinity dishes out a blissed-out 42-minute jam served with a blitz of viciously fast guitar-play, fist-pumping lyrics, and a time-warping motorick beat. It’s also King Gizzard’s most righteously ambitious effort to date: an album that’s deliberately designed to seamlessly loop back to the beginning, again and again, for eternity. The disorienting bombastity crescendos into a seemingly abrupt end on “Road Train,” which fits back into the first track “Robot Stop.” The beginning is the end and the end is the beginning. I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. C-C-C-Combo Breaker!!

Frontman Stu Mackenzie howls out themes of a dystopian future run by robots (The universe is a machine/That has awoken from a dream), evil flying vultures (People-Vultures waiting to begin/Deadly ulcers feeding on my skin), and the nonsensical (Once I’m Mr. Beat/I only miss a beat).

It’s rare to see a band with seven members, but Australian psychedelic rock septet King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard just wouldn’t be complete without two drummers, four guitarists, and harmonica. Nonagon Infinity was released via According to Our Records (ATO), which features a heady roster including Gogol Bordello, My Morning Jacket, and Old Crow Medicine Show. While certainly conjuring up 70s prog-rock of Pink Floyd and Yes ilk, King Gizzard rev up the ferocity by incorporating the harder edge of metal, and the hallucinatory repetition of Krautrock. Sonically, the band resembles fellow-Melbourne garage-rockers The Oh Sees.

The accompanying music videos also match the novelty-rock theme. “Gamma Knife” features the band circled around a makeshift offering pit as the camera dizzyingly pans around King Gizzard and company shredding guitars and banging drums. Druids adorned in brightly colored robes descend from the surrounding foliage. The video comes to an end as the ritual pit spawns a egg-shaped crystal and knocks out the band and adjoining worshipers. Incidentally this seamlessly leads into the next video, “People Vultures” in which the egg hatches a horrendously lofty paper-mache prop, which King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard painstakingly lug around while performing their instruments (you know, like a People Vulture). They are sporadically attacked by jump-kicking villains reminiscent of Power-Ranger which are vaporized by the vulture’s lazer beams.

If you hadn’t guessed yet, the band has already confirmed they will release a music video for each of the tracks on Nonagon Infinity–which might seem like a page out of Beyonce’s playbook–but this case clearly hints that, yes, there will be a never-ending music video to accompany their never-ending album.

If you’re a connoisseur of Rock’N’Roll’s rich history of novelties Nonagon Infinity is a must have–it fits in right next to Flaming Lips Zaireeka, synchronizing Dark Side of the Moon with the Wizard of Oz, KISS action figurines, and the complete Guitar Hero collection. Unsurprisingly so, the prized vinyl pressing of Nonagon Infinity is already sold out on their bandcamp. You can start placing your bets on Ebay where I’m sure it’ll fetch a fair price.

I say tuh-may-tow. You say to-mah-to. I call it retro, you call it nostalgia. Certainly you’re familiar with the old adage that Pop Culture comes in cycles.  Some call it the 40-year-rule, but…

SERF-ING WITH JONS
June 6, 2016 11:57 am

When there’s a will, there’s a way. Jons is celebrating the May 29th release of their debut album Serfs of Today. It was recorded on iPhone, and led to the band’s signing with Solitaire Recordings. The album was so good, that Solitaire decided to release it as-is.

The Victoria (Canada, not Australia) band is also about to embark on 29-date tour, including a show supporting fellow Canadian Alex Calder. And, believe it or not, Jons is already working on a follow-up album.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS spoke with frontman Patrick Rendell on how all of this craziness came to be.

jons

Congratulations on your new album and your signing to Solitaire. What would you like people to know about your band?

We’ve all been living on Vancouver Island for 5 or 6 years. The band started out with Logan, David, and me making music casually and then the band was fully formed when Logan and Keenan met painting houses.

I’ve heard your album Serfs of Today was recorded on iPhone and cassette. Is that true?

Yeah, that is partly true. There was a period where we didn’t really have the means to record drums (and didn’t really know how to either) and so David would play drums on an app on his iPhone directly into the tape machine. For “Orcachief” I played floor tom and snare while David played ride symbol on his iPhone to get the effect of a full kit.

You’re getting ready for a 29-date tour around Canada. Is this your first tour of that size?

It’s been a lot of work setting up the tour and it makes it harder that we haven’t actually done this before. The longest tour we’ve done so far is to Calgary and back so this is a completely different ballgame.

What are your favorite items to pick up at Tim Horton’s to keep you going?

One good way to prepare is to abstain from Hortons’ until you leave so you have a fresh palette. Keenan’s favourite donut is the Old Fashioned.

You will also be performing a show with Alex Calder on your tour. How did you get involved with him?

Bands in Canada are very interconnected and chances are you always know someone who knows someone. In this case our friends Freak Heat Waves were already playing the show and we were going to be in Montreal at the same time. Logan’s brother also plays in Alex’s band so it just worked out.

You seem like a band that would know a lot about psychedelic music. Are there any albums you’d recommend to someone looking to expand their record collection?

Some albums we’d recommend checking out are A Lovely Sight by Pisces, God Bless Tiny Tim by Tiny Tim, Playback by The Appletree Theatre, July’s self titled album and Release of an Oath by Electric Prunes. Also [Pink Floyd album] The Piper at the Gates of Dawn and Friends by The Beach Boys are staples.

Are you working on a followup for Serfs of Today?

We’ve actually been working on our followup to Serfs of Today for coming up on two years now. Dave picked up a Tascam 388 and has become really good with it so it’s a noticeable step up in fidelity. Having Keenan play on the record has been a big deal too. He didn’t play on Serfs of Today and he’s an incredible musician. His playing on the tracks has had a huge effect on our recordings. We’ve been working on it for a very long time and we’ve each grown quite a bit individually as musicians in the process.

Will you be be doing any recording with iPhones, as in Serfs of Today?

No iPhones were used in the making of the record.

I think you’re the first band I’ve interviewed from Victoria. What’s the music scene like there?

It’s really great. It’s a small city but for the size there’s tons of really great bands. Sometimes people pass it by on tour because they don’t want to make the trip to the island but there’s some very cool stuff going on here. I’d highly recommend coming here and checking it out if you get the chance.

Which venues in Victoria are your favorite for seeing live music?

Some of the classic spots to see bands play are Logan’s and the Copper Owl. There’s also a bunch of nightclubs and a thriving scene of DIY spots that are really great to play at.

Are there any local bands you feel deserve more attention?

Some bands you should check out are Privacy, Pinner, Smoke Eaters, Psychosomatic Itch and Fountain. There’s also a small local tape label called Gary Cassettes and everything they’ve put out has been really sweet.

What will you be up to after your tour?

After tour we’re gonna focus on new music. After working on the same songs for so long we’re really stoked to get started on something new.

Will you be performing at any music festivals?

We’re playing at Sled Island in Calgary but thats our only festival this summer.

GET NEXT TO DANNIKA
May 10, 2016 11:03 am

Dannika Horvat is a multitalented musician and filmmaker from Melbourne who recently released her first single “Next to You” from her upcoming EP For Peaches. ATYPICAL SOUNDS jumped on the opportunity to speak with this Renaissance woman on her music and other projects.

Dannika_3Congratulations on your signing to Solitaire. What would you like people to know about you? Is there anything you’d like them to know about your music before listening to it?

I have always loved singing and writing music but have never played an instrument, which makes writing music pretty hard. I watched Whiplash, and although that doesn’t make being a musician seem super appealing, I bought a bass the next day and started plucking away. I’m very terrible at bass but it provided me with a platform to make music with very talented musicians who actually know what they’re doing, which has been very cool.

Your bandmates Liam and Stefan are also in the band Good Morning. How did you all come to be working together?

Liam and Stefan are my very dear friends who have been lovely enough to lend their time and talents to this little project. We all went to high school together so we’ve been mates since way back. One day I played Liam my first song on his front porch and he messaged Stefan saying, let’s make an album. I’m very grateful to those boys because they’ve had to coach me through this whole process and they’re so bloody talented, it is so much fun working with them. Also Paul Ceraso, our drummer, is one of the best people in the world. I’d be lost without my boys.

I’ve heard you describe your work as “four mates making soft, feminine rock.” What does femininity in rock music mean to you? Do you feel it’s part of a larger discussion on feminism in the music industry?

Femininity means something different to everyone, but to me, in my music it’s a sort of dreaminess with some pretty vulnerable lyrics. But femininity in music is so broad which is what is so beautiful about it. You’ve got bands like Terrible Truths, who are just kick ass women writing really incredible music that makes you feel super powerful and on top of your shit.

Most of my favourite musicians are women so as long as they get to keep doing what they love the way they want to, I’d be pretty happy.

You also wrote and directed a short film in 2014, The Summer of ABC Burns. The theme of girls being mean to each other is one that seems to come up in media frequently. Is your story based on an experience you had? Do you think it could help someone in the same age group who is questioning their sexuality?

The Summer of ABC Burns came from my own experience and addresses the sometimes toxic nature of young female friendships. I was very keen to write a film that dealt with the classic trope of best friend/worst enemy that so many girls encounter in high school.

The film definitely doesn’t set the best example of how to deal with sexuality in the dog eat dog world of high school. It’s kind of a what not to do. But I think there is a lot of power in seeing someone like you on screen, so in that way the film is hopefully helpful.

Your Tumblr feed that features your photography is pretty extensive. What do you look for when taking pictures? Are you looking to tell a story about your life, or are you looking to learn about the lives of other people? Is it some combination of the two?

It’s a combination but I am definitely more drawn to taking photos of people I know and love than documenting strangers, and that is purely because I am very shy with the lens. I like documenting intimate moments and nice days spent with great people.

What are your favorite Tumblr feeds to follow?

I’m not actually super active on Tumblr but my favourite Instagram feeds are @savage_woman, @gdayimajay, @james.pdf, @oatsthelabel, @emmacollard, @chessycarey, and @chadoner

All great people with nice photos of cool things.

Are there other artists (musicians or otherwise) in Melbourne you feel deserve more attention?

Frances Fox is a beautiful band from Melbourne whose latest EP, Electric You, is one of my favourite things to listen to at the moment. I received the tape as a gift from my housemate and I think their music is so lovely.

What are your favorite venues in Melbourne to listen to music?

I love the Tote because I had a really great Christmas Eve there last year where I saw Dick Diver and it was just the best gig. It was a million degrees and everyone was dripping just from standing there but it was very fun. It’s also really easy to ride to from my house and that’s cool too. I also like the Gasometer, it’s such a beautiful building.

What are your plans for 2016? Will you be releasing an LP? Are you working on any new films?

2016 will consist of me finishing my masters in screenwriting and hopefully making another short film. We have no solid plans at the moment to make another album but there are some songs that are very special to me that I’d love to record one day.

HELLO, SUMMER FLAKE
May 2, 2016 1:31 pm

It can be easy to forget about all of the great music coming out of Australia, what with it being on the other side of the world and all. But we all have the internet now, and it would really be worth your while to spend some time exploring what our Aussie friends have to offer.

Summer Flake is a three piece band, and also the pseudonym of Stephanie Crase, a musician from Melbourne by way of Adelaide. Songs from their new release Hello Friends have been described as “A hypnotic guitar riff and a steady drum beat [which] create a sound that could lull you to a trance.” (Stereogum).

ATYPICAL SOUNDS had a nice chat with Stephanie on the pleasures of recording at home and the story behind the cover of Summer Flake’s latest album.

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I’m sorry if you’ve been asked this before, but where did the name Summer Flake come from? It makes me think of that chocolate bar Cadbury makes.

Haha, that’s nice! Yeah, I originally liked all the beachy connotations, I thought it lightened me up, but now I kind of resent that the word “summer” is stamped on everything, that can really change the vibe of a song. Back in 2007 it was my pseudonym in the band Birth Glow; I was Summer Flake, Nick Walton was Dried Up Leaf, and Ellen Carey, Raven Blue Winter. No spring. The whole Summer Flake project was almost called Pinched Sphinx – I thought that was a cool gag; a bunch of awkward consonant sounds back to back, impossible to convey to someone first go…I’m really glad I didn’t stick with that.

Are you still recording your music at home? What is that process like, versus working in a more “professional” studio?

Home recording is a great way to work out what you like and don’t wanna sound like. You know recording is easy – phones, GarageBand, 4 track cassette recorders are everywhere, all you need is time and a little obsession and you’ll spend evenings on Gumtree and eBay for parts, trying to achieve some unnamed idea you have only in your head that can keep you occupied for days, years.

I think recording is a skill like playing an instrument – you practice, you try new toys, new equipment, new mics, new software, and you make the limitations your strengths. I used a Motu 4pre external sound card plugged into a desktop PC that my brother built, a really dated cracked copy of Adobe Audition, and just played with different mics, pedals, plugins, and made myself comfortable in private and just doing a little bit every day and in no time you’ve got hours of music to edit, and that’s easier than a blank canvas. That was the luxury of living in Adelaide though I guess, less work, more time, cheaper space.

When I moved to Melbourne I lost my spare room and my patience and I felt like shaking it up, giving up some control, enjoying the collaboration. I mean, I gave Geoff O’Connor a hard time I’m sure, but he did a great job. He’s also a self-taught recording type, but nerdier and fancier than me, dreamier microphones. Lately I’ve been writing differently – blank canvas style, acoustic demos, rough and direct to my phone.

Was there anything you learned while recording Hello Friends that you wish you had known going into the process?

Yeah, I shoulda learned not to stress. I always spend so long on the lyrics, but I don’t really change much. Maybe it needs that reflection time anyway. Maybe I’ve learned nothing!

Is there anything you’d like people to know before listening to Hello Friends?

It’s not meant to be easy.

The album cover for Hello Friends is a painting of you putting lipstick on your face. How did that come about? Is it a comment on feminism or consumerism?

You know, I was messing around with a friend for a photo shoot, and I have always been uncomfortable with what is the norm; expectations of aesthetics and behavior of femininity in the world. The never-ending demands, judgements and contradictions – to fit in, be made up, look natural, be innocent, be sexual, be fashion as expression, shun fashion as a facade. Lipstick is this dense signifier and I love it but I feel uncomfortable in it, but I desired it, and it felt like a thousand uncomfortable rejections and embraces at once, to use that blood red gloss as a mask to cover me, and to reveal me as a weirdo, a woman, scared and scary, solitary in the mirror reflected, looking at myself, but also facing the world. I thought that would look cool as an album cover.

You were in a number of other bands before forming Summer Flake. What kind of experience do you feel those other bands gave you?

Creative outlet, camaraderie, confidence, joy, friendship, focus. It was life-changing discovering that other people wanted to do this kind of thing as much as I secretly did. Band practice was the highlight of my week, it was my passion. I never thought I’d ever play solo back then though. It was about the group collaboration, and I enjoyed not being the main decision maker. I think I’m easier to be in a band when I’m supporting, not leading.

Are there any musicians in Melbourne or your hometown of Adelaide you feel deserve more attention?

Yeah lots! Lots of stuff that’s different or difficult or rough around the edges, things that are too loud or too quiet, that’s the good stuff. Sarah Mary Chadwick has just recorded a new album which is devastating and hits the right melodic melancholic notes, that’ll be out later this year. Wireheads from Adelaide are powering on, recording album after album in a short number of years, and they’re back in the US recording again in May. Esther Edquist from Superstar has a new solo thing called Sweet Whirl and is recording an album. She plays bass and croons like someone who likes Neil Young, country, and trip hop. That sounds terrifying, but it’s really cool.

What are your favorite venues in Melbourne or Adelaide for listening to music?

I like small venues. I’m not leaping across stage or putting on a lighting show. If there’s anyone watching, listening, I need to feel like we’re close, in the same space. I like Ancient World, Format and the Metro in Adelaide, and the Tote, LongPlay has a tiny seated cinema which can be cool for gigs, the Old Bar, Dane Certificate’s Magic Shop in Melbourne.

What are your plans for the rest of 2016?

We’re touring Australia in May and I am dying to go to the US – anyone need a tour buddy? Email me your tips please, I’m scrambling for cash, and aiming for later this year. I’ve been to the US twice doing band stuff and it was heaps of fun. Real friendly types.

Any takers?

THE GLORY OF GOOD MORNING
November 29, 2015 11:28 pm

Melbourne band Good Morning has returned to Australia after 11 performances at their first CMJ and positive reviews from publications including Spin and NME. ATYPICAL SOUNDS had the pleasure of welcoming them to New York during that time, and you can read our interview with them here.

Now, the band is settling back in at home, and getting ready to release their Glory EP in February 2016. We were given a sneak preview of the album, and will do our best to convey its sound to you. It’ll be like you’re right here with us.

The album opens with “Overslept”, a lo-fi track that makes you feel like a pack of crayons on a hot radiator. Singer Stefan Blair certainly sounds sleepy in his delivery of the lyrics, “I overslept today/ What in the world/ What in the world/ What in the world should I say?” It’s the type of song that makes you want to stay in bed a little while longer while listening.

The EP gives the impression of following Blair and bandmate Liam Parsons through a lazy day during a hot, Australian summer. The timing of the release will be great for the band’s fans at home, since February falls during summertime in the southern hemisphere. For the rest of their fans, who will inevitably be freezing their asses off during this time, the album sounds like a chilled-out vacation in a much warmer climate.

“Cab Deg” is the band’s first single to be released from the EP. It’s the most “indie” album on the track, featuring extended vocal harmonies and a poppier sound. However, Blair and Parsons quickly bring the listener back down to reality during “To Be Won”. Played predominantly on acoustic guitar, it can be a challenge to decipher Blair’s softly-sung vocals, leaving the track up to interpretation over whether the song is sad or tastefully subdued. Either way it’s beautiful, making “To Be Won” the second single due to be released from the EP.

Between the first 3 and last 3 songs, the sound changes, like the guys have had some coffee. Overall, there’s less distortion and these tracks sound cleaner and more produced than the previous ones; “Give Me Something To Do” features some fancy saxophone but maintains the vocal harmonies of “Cab Deg”. However, the track goes in a new direction with spoken lyrics towards the end of the song that sound like they could be the slightest bit influenced by Lou Reed’s Street Hassle.

“The Great Start”, the penultimate track, carries through the psychedelic feel of the EP, but adds an airier, more atmospheric sound that blends well with Blair’s sleepy vocal style. By the time “In The Way” begins to play, I can’t imagine the listener is anything but blissed out, and this track prolongs that feeling all the way to the end of the EP. “I’m so sorry/ I get caught up…” is repeated through the track, but it’s never quite clear what Blair and Parsons are apologizing for. It doesn’t matter; it’s another beautiful song on the EP. Finally, it dissolves into a swirling puddle of sound before picking up and giving us one more “I’m so sorry…” and gently letting us go.

CMJ RECAP WITH THE HARPOONS
October 28, 2015 12:14 pm

If you were lucky enough to be a part of CMJ this year, you may have caught a set by Melbourne quartet The Harpoons. Comprised of brothers Henry and Jack Madin, Martin King, and singer Bec Rigby, the band swiftly demands attention in live performances from Rigby’s powerful vocals and unique sound.

Ready For Your Love, the band’s newest single, features a melody that could only be inspired by a vacation in the Australian bush. Pair that with a music video recapping their recent Japanese tour, and you’ve got something special.

We spoke with Bec about her performing at CMJ 2015, discovering new music, and performing across the world.

 I saw your CMJ performance at Pianos and was blown away. Bec, how long have you been singing for? How did you and the band work out the unique sound you’ve all developed?

BR: Thanks a lot! We’ve all been singing pretty much our whole lives because we all come from musical families! We’ve been besties (and two of us are brothers!) for many years. We just kind of created this weird thing together from talking and playing and loving the same types of music.

There were a significant number of bands from Australia at this year’s CMJ. Were you able to catch any of their performances, or meet up with friends in bands who also traveled to New York from Australia for CMJ?

BR: Yes! Lots of our favourite bands played actually, so happy to see them all there. Friendships are one of our mega fave duo of legends – although Mish from Friendships fell off a roof really early in the week and broke her arm! She’s doing well now and her bandmate Nick did a KILLER job, he played his heart out, played for two. We also loved seeing Sui Zhen, who wears glorious shiny turtlenecks and sings about emotions and losing her internet connection. </3

Sadly we didn’t get to see many others – CMJ is a busy time!

Harpoons_2How did your CMJ go? Did anything stand out to you about your 4 performances?

BR: New York is amazing. They were all great. What stood out was how friendly pretty much everyone who came to see us was! We had super nice crowds.

How did you prepare for CMJ? Was it intimidating that you were booked for a series of dates at a music marathon on the other side of the world?

BR: For sure! We prepared by getting pretty stressed about it and practicing a lot, trying to make sure we were covered for the intense types of shows we’d be playing – 10 minute change over, 25 minute set – it can get pretty tight!

Who were your favorite bands from this year’s CMJ? Did you discover anyone new?

 BR: Yes! We saw this incredible trio of singers 90’s-style power pop singers with perfect synchronised dance moves at Pianos one night after we’d played, they were called Romance. If you ever get the chance, SEE THEM. Also blown away by GEORGIA at Rough Trade. She is so musical, watching her slam her songs on the drum kit and whip her hair around and say “WHOO” was mesmerising. Plus there was free packets of Pocky!

You performed in London immediately before coming to New York for CMJ. Do the crowds in the two cities differ at all?

 BR: We’ve played in Japan, UK and now USA and what was really cool for me is that we could see that people had the same connection to the music everywhere we went! It’s pretty inspiring playing a room full of people who haven’t seen you before and they seem to get where the music’s coming from, and get the emotions it’s trying to convey!

Were you able to try the pizza while in New York? How did it compare to the pizza in Australia?

 BR: I basically lived off $1 slices for a while there, and may I say the $1 slice is HIGHLY variable in quality. I had some best and some blurst ones. But the sheer joy of getting a slice bigger than your head for one measly dollar pretty much beats the disappointment of a bad one every time for me. NY pizza has stolen my heart.

I know you have a few more live performances scheduled for when you get back to Australia. Is there anything else fans can expect to be seeing from you in the future?

 BR: We have a lot of new music in the works actually, so fans can look forward to that coming out over the next year or so!

GOOD MORNING, CAKE SHOP
October 15, 2015 9:49 am

How far do people travel to perform at Cake Shop? From the other side of the world apparently, though the CMJ music marathon certainly qualifies as a special occasion. Tuesday night saw Aussie band Good Morning, who came all the way from Melbourne to perform in the best basement in Manhattan. ATYPICAL SOUNDS sat down with band members Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons for a chat after their brilliant set.

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This is my first show of CMJ, thank you for kicking it off with an awesome set! Is this your first time in New York?

SB: I’ve been here before.

LP: I’ve never been here before.

What do you think so far?

LP: It’s awesome. New York is the coolest place in the world.

Do you have more shows planned for CMJ?

LP: We have 7 more.

In the next 4 days? Is that exciting or terrifying?

LP: It’s exciting. We wish we had booked more.

SB: We tried to book as many as we could, so that we didn’t just come over here and do nothing.

LP: It’s like 36 hours on a plane.

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You guys are pretty far away. But now you’re here, and that’s all that matters.

SB: Exactly.

LP: We’re all jetlagged, but we’re feeling OK.

Have you gotten to do anything fun while you’re here?

SB: We’ve done heaps of fun stuff. We’ve only been here since Saturday…

LP: Just walking around is fun. Seeing shit.

It’s a great city to people-watch.

SB: It’s the best city, cause everything sounds like a sound bite from Grand Theft Auto. We went down the FDR the other day, and I was like “I know this street from Grand Theft Auto.”

LP: I’ve done terrible, terrible things on that street in that game.

Is that your favorite video game, or do you have another?

SB: I reckon that’s probably my favorite video game.

LP: It’s pretty great. It’s definitely top 3.

SB: I used to be really into Ratchet and Clank. That was a really good game. That was a big favorite of mine for many years.

LP: Goldeneye 007 was the greatest videogame of all time.

SB: Donkey Kong, Super Nintendo was genius also.

Have you tried the pizza in New York?

LP: We did. We went to this place on Broadway and 112th or something, and it was twice the fucking size of my head. And it was really, really good.

Is there anything you’d like to share with your audience?

LP: Sunbeam Sound Machine!

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What is that Facebook page, Boycott Good Morning?

LP: It’s run by us, but it’s like…I think people actually like it.

SB: It’s all about condensing a community of haters, and making sure we have this community of people that really don’t like us.

LP: You know how on Facebook, you can see how many people like you?

SB: You also want the “anti-likes”.

All publicity is good publicity.

LP: There’s also a group called Boycott Boycott Good Morning. That’s not us.

Do you know them?

LP: Yeah, we do. They’re friends of ours.

SB: What would you like to share [with the audience]?

I guess that I hope the rest of CMJ goes as well for me as it has tonight.

Upcoming performances:

Friday, 10/16 at Black Bear Bar (6pm) and Our Wicked Lady (7:30pm)

Saturday, 10/17 at The Delancey (5:35pm)

Watch: Good Morning, “You/On the Street”

Hangin’ Loose With Surf Rock Is Dead @ Mercury Lounge
August 24, 2015 10:47 am

Brooklyn’s own Surf Rock Is Dead brought their set to a sold out Mercury Lounge last Wednesday as the opening act for Day Wave. This show was super laid back as the Brooklyn duo set the tone with their atmospheric, 80’s reminiscent indie-rock, in league with such bands as Beach Fossils and PORCHES. With thunderous bass lines and masterfully executed guitar effects, SRID laid down their riffs to a chilled out crowd that seemed to be ridin’ the wave. Perfect for the tail end of Summer, their sound is a mix between the puffy clouds and the roaring ocean, but with a ton more reverb!

After moving to New York City from both Chicago and Melbourne respectively, Kevin Pariso and Joel Wittenberg met at a studio in Brooklyn, where their musical worlds would collide. In a few short weeks (end of September) they will be releasing their debut EP. I was lucky enough to hear all about it before the show.

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So you guys are from Chicago and Melbourne, what brought you to New York City?

Kevin: When I was in college I was in a band with people that were all older than me. When they all left, they moved to New York. I was still in school at the time so I figured I should finish that, but I knew I would be coming to New York to join them so it was a music based choice.

Joel: I used to play in bands in Australia, but I felt it was time to do something different, so I came to New York. I needed a change of scenery. I was even considering this to be the end of music for me. That’s what I did; I would play drums in bands, and tour a little bit, and it sort of got old. It became just like a normal career. So I wanted to just focus on different musical things.

Cool, so then how’d you meet once you were here?

Kevin: So my old band had a practice space and I would just go and jam there. Joel was working there at the time, and he looked like a friendly guy so I was like, who is this? So we just started talking about music, and then worked on something very briefly. I just remember the dynamic was very good. It was very professional but friendly. If I asked him to try this he would do it, and If he asked me to try something it would make sense and I would do it. There was a foundation of respect in just trying each other’s ideas, which is a huge part of what is happening in this.

Joel: Yeah, I had to go away for a little while. So I was over in England for a bit and then I came back and I was working at a studio over in the city. I think drunkenly after one of his shows one night we just jammed and started switching instruments, and we realized we should do this.

Kevin: I think we were both at a point where music felt like work, and this wasn’t in this category.

Joel: And it was super collaborative as well. We were both putting ideas out that you don’t often find work in other environments.

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Nice. Well you answered my next question, but how do you guys write? What feelings or experiences do you draw for the material?

Kevin: Well a lot of it comes from personal experiences and such. We’re not like Bob Dylan, telling a tale..

Joel: Often it’s the little fleeting experiences like, people you meet in the city, or things that happened in the past, sometimes girls, sometimes friendship, sometimes work. It’s the little fleeting ideas that we sort of work our songs around.

Kevin: It’s a lot more atmospheric. But the lyrics we have we like to make them count, because there aren’t too many.

Joel: Yeah I try to make them concise, so in a very short period you know what’s going on. Either obvious, or elusive.

Cool, good answer. So what’s the ideal setting to listen to your music in?

Kevin: Let’s see, not the subway. I’m imaging like a bunch of people longboarding, But on a safe road! *laughs. That or just laying in bed with your eyes closed, imagining.

Joel: The serious response I’ d say to that is road tripping, but the non serious answer would be maybe snorkeling, like underwater but you can hear the tunes.

Kevin: Does that exist?

Joel: No! but it should. That would be awesome! *laughs

I think you’re on to something. As for the EP coming out in September, Did you do everything you wanted to creatively? Did you record and mix yourselves?

Kevin: This dude definitely did.

Joel: Yeah that’s what I did. I used to work in Red Bull Studios in the city, so I cut my teeth over there, did a lot of the mixing. It was all us.

Cool! What’s next? Tour in the works?

Kevin: Yeah we definitely have shows in the works, a little bit of regional stuff. But we’ll just be keeping the momentum going and tracking the other songs we have.

Joel: Ultimately, we’d like to tour nationally but I think over the winter we’ll probably just be doing the Northeast. We have a bunch of tracks we’re working on too so we’ll continue writing.

Cool, that’s the fun part. So sounds like there’s a sold out show tonight.

Joel: Yeah!

Kevin: It’s going to be fun.

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They certainly had a good night on stage, and more to come. Make sure to come check these guys out as they join the beach vibe revival that is slowly seeping back into consciousness here on the east coast. Catch them August 21st at Cameo Gallery in Brooklyn, September 6th at Palisades, or October 10th at The Boot and Saddle in Philadelphia.