midnight oil, low
Sam Leyshon - vocals, Mike Caruana - guitar, Josh Leyshon - drums, Luke Robert - bass/vocals 2009-2014, Morgan McDonnell - bass 2014-present
Earth, history , country
The band’s guitar-saturated heavy rock has been described as ‘The ’Oils on Valium’. They released their debut six-track EP, Horses and Human Hands, in August 2009 and follow up full length album, Young Man Old Man, in early 2012.
Dark, brooding and eloquent, Hoodlum Shouts from Canberra capture a dynamic sound that challenges categorisation.
Tell us about your music – how did you develop your sound?
Basically our music is brooding guitar-driven pub rock. Our sound is the result of growing up playing in bands and listening to heaps and heaps of music. When we started we got together and jammed a lot, bounced ideas off each other for a while and found songs that we loved playing and that we thought sounded cool. Nothing new really, most bands like us probably approach it the same way but there was no musical ideology or fashion that any one of us were pushing – we all had a very similar sentiment in how we wanted to approach our music. We wanted something fairly honest, simple, powerful and loud. The basics were already there, we knew what each member sounded like on their instruments, and the result is what you hear.
Tell us about your live gigs.
We’ve only played a handful but they’ve been fun. We’re currently organising our EP launch gigs in Canberra and around those we’re going to play in Sydney, Melbourne and various regional towns if we can. We’ve got a run of shows coming up through August and September, you can get the details from our myspace. We’ve really enjoyed playing the small venues in Canberra, lots of atmosphere, close up, but also it’s completely unrealistic at the moment to expect to pack out a mid size venue like the ANU Bar unless you're jumping on a bigger bill.
What is the music scene like in Canberra?
It’s pretty much what you would expect from a mid size city – a scaled down version of a bigger city really. The sub cultures are here, just a lot smaller. There are some great bands and musicians, and fortunately a high percentage of people with their heads screwed on. Unfortunately, for various reasons, it's really difficult for ‘band-type’ venues to survive, which always makes it hard for the local scene to maintain any kind of momentum. An analogy of the scene here could be The Economy, but over a smaller time scale – Bubbles form, escalate, everything is blue skies and butterflies for a while, then bang! The bubble bursts and the process starts all over again. Thankfully the metal, hardcore and doom scenes keep finding ways to stay strong, so there’s always something to go and check out, but for the rock and punk scenes it’s up and down – popularity comes in waves.
What were you all up to before this?
Working full time jobs and playing in bands on the weekends; actually that’s exactly what we’re doing now and will be for a long time. We had all been playing with other bands in Canberra but they had either finished up or were fairly stagnant I suppose. We were going to lots of gigs and kept bumping into each other; and that bloody little voice kept niggling away, ‘join another band’. And with that career limiting idea, we all did.
What’s coming up in the future?
With about the predictive accuracy of a meteorologist beyond 48 hours, our plans are: Play lots of gigs around the region with other bands and musicians. Write more songs and record an album within a year.
Australian music is?
Mostly cool. A lot of it is awesome. The old stuff is bloody awesome.View Profile Hide Interview