Tumbleweed – Across The Ocean


Long hail Tumbleweed! Twenty years ago Galactaphonic was an idea and now in 2015 SuperGalactaphonic has materialised. Tumbleweed are legendary and one of the most important iconic bands going round even supporting Nirvana back in 1992. Turn the clock forward and Tumbleweed are hitting the road again touring all corners of Australia to support this reissue. Front man Ritchie fires up with a quick Q&A with Across The Ocean.


Another Tumbleweed album, very exciting, is that how the band feels?

Galactaphonic was recorded at the peak of our career, in 95, we were living and breathing the band 24/7, we were playing shows five nights a week, all sell outs, we didn’t have days off, they were dedicated to travel or writing or recording, it was crazy, it was a buzz, we had signed a deal direct with Atlantic records and had just come back from an overseas tour, the success of our first few singles built through the EPs and then our first album and by the time we got to Galactaphonic we didn’t know where to go, Atlantic were pulling us in one direction and at home we were wanting to react against everything, being told what to do, we wanted to break free from the shackles, we wanted to cut the puppet masters strings, we wanted to make an album that was a more honest portrayal of what the live Tumbleweed experience was. It was an important record, we are very excited to re-release 20 years later as a testament to crazy times, and it still sounds as original and fresh as ever.

Did you think there would ever be another album? What’s different about the band this time around? 

We are older, wiser and don’t care anymore, this is us, if you like it cool, we can be friends! If you don’t, not our problem.

Is this an important thing for the band to be able to honor the memory of Jay?

Jay is in the songs, he played on the album and his spirit is weaved within it.

Is there a sense of relief or pressure to deliver an album to Tumbleweed standards?

Not anymore.

Does it amaze you with the continued support of your fans?

We are very grateful.

Is there a story behind the name Galactaphonic?

Space being the boundless field of dreams and those dreams mutating into sound.

Was the process of writing and recording challenging as you thought?

We had a false start, started demoing with another guy, an American that Atlantic sent out, they were expecting big things, we weren’t ready, we weighed up our options and decided to record locally, as soon as we decided to be true to ourselves and to run our own race, things began to flow naturally, it was all so long ago, but yeah it was a difficult record to make, but the actual process when finally recording it was quite simple and creatively charged and really enjoyable.

Did you have a clear direction of where you wanted to take this album when you went in to the studio? 

It had to be a rock record, loud, electric, wild but melodic, we wanted it to be like our live show as much as possible, we wanted to retain the bottom end, have fuzz, wah, and distortion.

Do you think there’s another album in Tumbleweed, or even more? 

Maybe dunno.

Was there any lessons from the past that came flooding back about what not to do?

Trust our instincts.

How would you describe this album compared to the rest of the back catalog?

It’s the shiz, short and sweet.

With the digital age do you think the concept of an album is lost?

Music is music, some people consume things quickly and lose interest, they want a song, it has to grab them straight away, they like the immediacy and then they move on and that’s cool with me, I do that too, but then sometimes I want to listen to something that takes me away, that I can follow through ups and downs, that goes on a musical journey, an album has a personality, the collection of songs listened to individually only show one expression of the personalities face and when listened to in the context of an album leaves you with an entirely different impression. Musicians make music because they want to, or need to, there is a passion that is rewarded at the time of creation, it is a gift to the world, people have more access to music in this digital age and I think that’s a great thing, Even if its being ripped off, I like the idea of it being free, So even though the big old music industry is gasping its last breath, I am very happy about the resurgence of vinyl and the increase in popularity of the album from music fans, in a collector sort of way, it has kind of given music fans a way of honoring what they love.

Are you looking to tour internationally at some point this year or next? 


What’s the plan for the later half of the year heading in to summer?

We have the Supergalactaphonic tour to do, around Australia, and it’s going to be a hoot! You should come!

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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