Hobart psych-rockers Violet Swells are one of the winners of our Falls Festival competition and will be taking the stage at Falls in Marion Bay this NYE.
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
The sound comes from hours of tinkering with delays, reverbs and distortions in my spare room. I like the Phil Spector idea of squishing together different instruments playing the same things to create new sounds. This is done really easily in the digital world, and allows for a lot of fun experimentation with melody and arrangement.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Whether it is, reading, watching, listening, or hearing, anything creative can inspire me. Just seeing someone else flex his or her muscles of ingenuity gets me in the mood to flex my own. When I was in Grade Three this amateur artist came to talk to my class. I don’t really remember the specifics of his narrative (and at this point it’s not really all that important), but I remember that everyone was secretly drawing and writing stories behind their books during the silent reading time afterwards. Even the teacher, who got wise to our ploy, brought out crayons and abolished the dreaded reading. For a brief moment in time we were all transfixed by the speakers words and driven to then create ourselves. I have marvelled at how contagious creativeness can be ever since. Its great to be inspired by something directly (writing a song about a certain book or film for instance), but sometimes the best ideas come from just having that want to create.
You’re the winners of our Falls Festival competition. What can punters at Falls in Marion Bay expect from the Violet Swells live show?
I have just started playing electric guitar (instead of acoustic) live, so lots of fuzz, delay, and extended noise sections. We’ve been playing pretty steadily since March, so at this point, we can belt out our current batch of songs with our eyes closed. Because of this we play around with the songs a lot, which has been a good way to keep an exciting energy for us and the audience.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
I started listening to podcasts from Kevin Smith last year, who is prone to emitting pearls of wisdom every now and then. One moving antidote in particular would be the account of his Fathers death. To put it simply, he was called to the hospital late one night, as his dad had been admitted. Sadly he had passed by the time Kevin arrived. His brother went on to explain the circumstances of their father’s death stating, “Dad died screaming”. Kevin goes on to explain that this caused something of an epiphany, realising that even though his father lived a wholesome, good natured life, he still suffered a hellish agony in his last moments. Given this, it doesn’t matter how you live your life, you’re going to die (most likely in a painful manner), so you should take the chance to do what you want while you can. Dreary I know, but hearing the story straight from Kevins mouth is really quite powerful.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
I guess it would depend on why they were crying. To Love Somebody
by The Bee Gees is a blissful little pop song that always puts a smile on my face.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
Err, I have never really thought about attempting that. Maybe something by Rowland S Howard. She Cried
, or Shivers
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
There a song by The Black Diamonds on Youtube
that remains nameless, but has a great energy. I guess you’d call it a banger.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
We had our single launch at The Brisbane Hotel last night. It was great to play on a familiar stage to familiar faces after spending the last few weekends darting around the country.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Tassie music community that inspire you.
Not a band, but the people at MONA are giving us all the chance to experience some really cool stuff that we otherwise wouldn’t in Tasmania. For instance, a few weeks ago they had a free afternoon of Motown and African American Gospel. I am pretty thankful for being able to experience such a diverse range of music and art, essentially in my backyard.
What are your plans for 2015?
I am recording something special for a release early next year at the moment. It’s a little left field of our current sound, and is basically me experimenting with seeing how far I can exaggerate a few ideas. But after that potential disaster, we will return to the Violet Swells cannon with another EP and then album to close out the year.