A band that has a reasonably long history & something of a cult following has a new album called blue & they're about to hit the country fro a couple of weeks touring. I caught up with David Sims from the band recently & we chatted about the new album & the upcoming tour as well as the recording procedure which departed from the band's usual technique.
After a small problems with phones,
we were connected by the operator, David coming through loud &
clear from Chicago, where it was around 5pm in the evening, just
after 10am my end. I congratulated him on the band's latest album
which I had just heard as an advanced copy & was extremely
impressed by something of a change in style.
I congratulated him on the band's latest album which I had just heard as an advanced copy & was extremely impressed by something of a change in style.
"Well thanks man, we're pretty happy with the sound of the thing too & it's cool to hear that other people like it. It's funny, because the album is actually getting release in Australia before here in the U.S. but there were some problems & it was put back a little."
I mentioned the fact that there were some different sounds on the album to the band's previous albums, including much more of a blues influence that's shown up on Blue.
"We've always had something of a blues element to our music & I think because of the way we recorded this one it's become a bit more obvious than maybe it was before."
Unsure of just how many album's the band had released before, I asked about that & of course, the recording procedure that changed the band's sound.
"I've never been very good at keeping track of that sort of thing, but I think this is our seventh. I guess we've really spent the last six albums trying to create albums that bring out the sound that we make live & I suppose we all thought we'd acheived that with the last album. So the thing was that we'd gotten the... formula right I guess you might say, so we decided to change the way we make our records."
So what was the old procedure really like?
"Almost every band would know that perhaps the most economical way to make an album is to all get together in the studio & set up, do your thing & then play with the sound a little. With this album, we actually decided to put the songs down & then work on them a lot, so I think this album is maybe the most 'studio' sounding thing we've done yet. Both methods have their advantages. The paths are a lot different to getting the end result, but this l;ast album was harder getting there, but I guess it's been the most satisfying."
How does the band you may wonder, compare recording with touring?
"We all love touring & I think that while recording is satisfying, I reckon touring is the better of the two & I prefer to tour. This I think, will be our third tripto Australia & we played one of the Big Day Out tours & I think we also did the Livid festival too."
Does Australia's touring compare with touring the U.S.
"Sure, I've always said that the Big Day Out is what Lollapalooza should have been. It was so cool & the people seemed to be much more into it. We have a great time touring & after we leave Australia after this tour I think we come back to the U.S. & then go to Europe, so we're pretty busy."
Having covered the music end, I asked how the band faired with radio airplay.
"Well, as far as commercial radio goes, we're not even on the map. Really, I think the only real coverage we get is on college radio & maybe some public access radio (ed. public access seems to be the equivalent of Australian community radio)."
The effect of MTV in the U.S. has been staggering & I asked David what he thought about it.
"I think the net effect in this country has been mostly a negative one for the music industry here. I think Australia is maybe a bit lucky that cable isn't that widely available yet, though I guess it'll happen in the end."
While the subject of technology came up, I took the opportunity to see what David's views were on how the Internet had affected bands.
"Everyone I know has been a bit disappointed really. It's a bit of a double edged sword I guess. On the one hand, the technology has let just about everyone be able to make records really easily, but on the other hand, it means that there's heaps of s$@# records now & the good stuff is just that much harder to find. Of course, there is a lot of good stuff, you just have to look for it a lot longer."
Lastly, I asked how the band felt about doing media things such as this interview.
"Well, to be honest, I've said before that doing an interview is a bit like having the same conversation over a number of years with different people. It's not that bad, but I acknowledge that there's a need for bands to do this kind of thing."