It must be exciting stepping away from The Living End juggernaut for a while and doing something new?
Yeah, I guess it’s certainly different. It is not a traditional band as such but as the name suggest it’s more of a collective. It’s me with a bunch of blokes I like playing with and essentially it is a recording project that got out of hand.
Were you always intending on doing something while The Living End breaks between albums?
We had a bit of quiet time and I had a bunch of songs lying around and it seemed like a good idea at the time. There wasn’t a whole lot of thought put in to it bunch once the ball started rolling and got in the studio with Woody it was a whole heap of fun so it was like let’s keep going.
Did the songs just come as a result of jamming in the studio?
There are definitely two songs on the EP where that scenario was the case. The first song on the EP I wrote eight or nine years ago so it has been sitting around waiting for someone to do something with it for that long. It’s just me on guitar and drums doing the whole bit on that one but there rest are born out of a rehearsal room jam with some mates. A lot also came out of my man room by me noodling away.
Did anything in particular influence these songs?
It was pretty much that first song for me taking the next few steps. I wrote it that long ago and the producer Woody, a good mate of mine, who does front of house for The Living End, who I played it to eight or nine years ago said we should record that one day. It took us that long to get around to it because the schedules in our lives are generally quite busy. Once I got in there, I had another couple of tunes as well, I thought I might as well record these songs and it took off from there.
Was playing guitar on this EP a strange feeling?
It’s completely weird! It’s crazy! I can’t play guitar to save my life so I had to adapt some tunings that suited me and just take it in a completely different direction pretty much from traditional guitar playing. It was awesome fun and I had a ball.
Is it a hard skill combining drumming and singing and making it sound good?
It’s not, it’s just music at the end of the day and the drums during this recording project were the furthest thing from my mind. I put a drum track down and that was good enough. I wasn’t searching for those magical fills or layer up big drum patterns or anything. That for me is my day job which is easy comparative to the rest of it. I was far more focused on getting vocals right and guitars or bass lines.
The cover art is interesting, was that something you developed?
Well you know, pants, there’s a few shots where I’ve got my pants off. I live really close to that beach and that town is just a magical place to live. I wanted to keep it as close to home as I can as I don’t want to be away from home if I’m not travelling. The girl who did the photography lives two doors up and the people who put it together with the artwork and design live six doors down the other side of the street.
Has the creative process continued since recording the EP?
Yeah, there’s three tracks left off the EP because I ran out of money because this is a completely self-funded project. There’s no money coming from anywhere else apart from my back pocket. There are still three songs that are semi complete. The idea of the collective is that the door is always open and hopefully I can team up with a bunch of other people down the track. There’s talented people all over the place and all you need is a night in the man room as well as a couple of beers so who knows what could happen. The idea of the collective is that it can continue to grow and it doesn’t matter how many people are involved at the end of the day as long as it’s creative and the music is enjoyable for everyone involved then bring it on.
Is a crowd funded project an option?
I did consider for about ten minutes but it makes me feel a bit queasy. I don’t like the feeling of owing anyone anything or money. On principal that’s how I feel about it. What I’m hoping is that this EP can make its money back and a little bit on top so we can go back in to the studio and do another one. I think I need to do what I do and leave it up to others if they like it as to whether they’ll buy it.
Are you looking to tour this collective?
Yeah I kind of am now! When the project first began it was certainly not on the radar. Going through the process I’m really happy with it, sounds really cool and we had a little jam with four other blokes, which surprised the shit out of me. With a few rehearsals I’m sure we could get it up to battle speed. I think it would be fun to do some small shows around the place, maybe jump on a couple of supports or something. It’s definitely in the forefront of my mind at the moment. I’m sure even back in Adelaide there would be plenty of couches to crash on.
What’s your immediate future now the EP is out?
For me it is such a massive learning curve because up until recently I’ve never seen a Facebook page and I’ve purposely avoided social media for at least ten years I suppose. I’ve been scared of it but I have Instagram, a Facebook page, a website and the whole bit. I’m trying to get my head around all of that. If it does grab traction as Triple M is playing it at night and if Triple J grab it then I’ll definitely jump in a van and get out and about for sure.
Is there any news on The Living End front?
There really has never been a plan as the intention was that Chris is writing a solo record then he’ll put that out and do a tour. Scott and I did an album and were touring with Ash Grunwald so we were still out and about doing things. The reality is that when we’re not doing it we bloody miss it. It is like we’re a team of brothers and when we do see each other again it’s like this thing is bloody good. Every time we get on stage we just know that we’re good at our job and people actually want to see us play. What I’m trying to say is that we want to do a new record and it is just a matter of time when we can find the time. We don’t want to let that go as we’re pretty excited about writing an album people want to hear.