Goodbye, Drum Perth!

music_newsletter2

As of tomorrow, Drum Perth will no longer exist… kind of. Street Press Australia is converting Time Off (QLD), InPress (VIC), and both Drum Sydney and Drum Perth to a fancy weekly magazine called The Music which focuses on a lot more efforts. It’s exciting change, which you can read all about it here: http://themusic.com.au/news/all/2013/07/31/iconic-music-titles-receive-major-overhaul/

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Interview: Sons Of Rico

Published in:

 Drum Media (WA) | 04.04.13 | Issue # 332

Time Off (QLD) | 10.04.13 | Issue # 1622

Inpress (VIC) | 24.04.13 | Issue # 1271

Drum Media (NSW) | 30.04.13 | Issue # 1158

VIDEO FROM INTERVIEW

GOING THE DISTANCE 

With the release of their sophomore record, In Rico Glaciers, Sons Of Rico are tighter than ever. But as vocalist Alex MacRae reveals to Daniel Cribb, the album, which contains tales of cannibalism, transvestites and infidelity, is somewhat of a one-man band effort.

“Brisbane was always kind of a, I guess, at first a temporary thing, and I guess I could be moving back [to Perth] in six months, I could be moving to Melbourne, whatever, but being over in Brisbane has proven that Sons Of Rico can do that distance thing – the long distance relationship,” begins Sons Of Rico vocalist Alex MacRae on the band’s interstate dynamics.

With MacRae and drummer Adam Weston (of Birds Of Tokyo fame) residing in Brisbane, and the other three members of Sons Of Rico back in Perth, there’s a fair amount of travel involved when it comes time to prepare for tour. Having flown to Perth from Queensland the previous night, MacRae is still getting his bearings. “I got up at 6am this morning and was twiddling my thumbs,” he laughs, stirring sugar into his cappuccino. He’s quick to point out that the somewhat long interstate flights are aren’t bad, though. “It’s awesome that they’ve got those little screens on basically every plane now. So I watched that Hitchcock movie, with Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren, and then I was like, ‘Aw, I want to learn more about Hitchcock’,” he enthuses. “I was sitting on Wikipedia and decided to ‘acquire’ Psycho.”

MacRae’s curious nature often leads to unlikely song matter, which is a reoccurring theme on the band’s sophomore record, In Rico Glaciers. Track seven on the record, Just My Type, deals with cannibal Armin Meiwes, who, in 2001, found a victim willing to be killed and eaten. “It was huge news for a while. It was amazing because the law system didn’t know how to deal with it, they were like, ‘Well, this guy was willing to be killed and eaten. Is this assisted suicide, or what?’. But anyway, I kind of turned it into a love story, and sort of peppering connotations of cannibalism and violence,” he laughs.

A large portion of the absurd content on the record comes from isolation and late-night internet voyages investigating somewhat irrelevant subject matter as a way to stay sane. Without a car, and living at Weston’s house, 45 minutes out of town, MacRae had plenty of time to kill whilst writing the record in Brisbane.

“I was living with his wife and kid while he was in LA with [Birds Of Tokyo] recording…basically for like six months I just stayed in the house, which was good, because I really had to focus on what I was doing, and find ways to keep it interesting, so I feel like it’s crept into this album that we’ve done,” the affable frontman explains. With a singing voice that reaches glass-shattering intensity, he maintains a fairly calm and collected composer off stage.

It wasn’t a matter of sending mp3s back and forth across the country during the writing process as he handled most of it himself, with the expectation of keyboardist Brett Murray weighing in time from time. If you dismantle the band and analyze each member, you’ll find a huge chunk of the WA music scene. Busy on key duties with Birds Of Tokyo, guitarist Glenn Sarangapany “jumped ship” just before the recording and was replaced with The Witches frontman Chris Callan, bassist Rob Stephens plays with Russian Winters and Simon & Girlfunkle, keyboarist Brett Murray is a seasoned Perth player, and, as mentioned earlier, Weston drums for Birds Of Tokyo.

“I think everyone has to do their own thing, to some degree, to keep everyone occupied. You don’t want anyone to feel like they’re being left behind and there’s stagnation or anything; you don’t want to have a stagnant atmosphere around the band, so I encourage everyone to be doing there own thing and be creative all the time.”

With the others so firmly embedded with other projects at the time of the album’s recording, when it came time to get down to business at Applewood Lane Studios with producer Magoo (Regurgitator, Art vs Science, Midnight Oil), it was up to MacRae to pull most of it together. “Everything is blur now,” he laughs. “Adam laid down his drums in just over a week, Brett did a couple of bits on a couple of songs and then basically I did the rest…it was a bit of a one-man band thing for a lot of it, but we kind of felt like that was the smartest thing to do with the funds and the time that we had.”

The album’s first single, You Don’t Know What Your Missing, was early proof that the one-man band approach and MacRae’s vision yielded success with listeners. “A lot of crew are connecting it with the glam rock vibe, which is not really intentional, but listening back it’s like, ‘I guess it’s kind of glam. Cool! I’ll embrace that’. It’s kind of gratuitously big and there’s guitar solos. It’s fun.”

Like most other songs on the record, the single has an interesting conception. After a Sydney show in 2011 on the band’s Misadventure Tour, Weston and MacRae ventured into Kings Cross to find kebabs. “On the way this ‘lady’ stopped us and started asking all sorts of things…basically we were like, ‘Aw, no thanks. Unless you’ve got a kebab, we’re not interested’, and so we kept going on and as we were walking away she was like, ‘You don’t know what you’re missing!’, and I was like, ‘Ha, you know, I don’t know what I’m missing. I don’t know if I want to know what I’m missing, but there is something that I’m missing’.

“And just that line, it immediately reminded me of, as a kid,” he laughs, “this is a weird connection – for instance, going to the beach, my dad’s English and he thinks minus 3 degrees in the water is warm, so he’d jump in, and be like, ‘C’mon, come in kids!’, and we’re, ‘No, we’re gonna make sandcastle’, and he’s like, ‘You don’t know what you’re missing, it’s beautiful’, and it’s situations like that I have to kind of ask myself, you don’t know what you’re missing. So it’s kind of like a bit of a sort of mantra to myself and to people to entertain new experiences that come up at you.”

Despite the record being mainly run by MacRae, the band is tighter than ever. “We’ve become tighter, and we know each other better…in terms of writing, I still take on the lead there, so not much has changed in that regard, and plus being in Brisbane it’s hard to write together – although, it’s possible, it’s possible to do it, like putting things in Dropbox and going, ‘New idea up here – see what you think’. Like anything, there’s going to be changes, I think for us it’s a bit more subtle.”

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2013/04/04/sons-of-rico-alex-macrae-daniel-cribb//

Interview: Blink-182

Published in:

Drum Media (WA) | 21.02.13 | Issue # 326

Drum Media (NSW) | 12.02.13 | Issue # 1147

Inpress (VIC) | 13.02.13 | Issue # 1261

Time Off (QLD) | 20.02.13 | Issue # 1615

blink-182

THIS IS GROWING UP

From hosting a talk show to a plane crash – a lot has changed for Blink-182 since they made their last trip to Australia nearly a decade ago. While vocalist/guitarist Tom DeLonge is married with two children, runs numerous companies and is putting together the soundtrack for his second film, Daniel Cribb discovers he’s still making time to pen dick jokes for their appearance at Soundwave.

“I just got a picture of a vagina with eyeballs and a moustache on it yesterday from my friend,” Blink-182’s Tom DeLonge, 37, laughs down the line from his studio, Jupiter Sound, in California, assuring that he is still the same fart joke-fuelled pop punker he’s always been. It’s lunchtime and he’s taking a timeout from recording demos for a new album with his other band, Angels & Airwaves, that will coincide with the band’s second feature film due out in a couple of years. “This will be a very large project with hopefully many, many things that come along with it. I can’t really talk much about it, but this will probably be one of the more exciting things that I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of,” he explains.

If it’s anything like the band’s film debut, Love, sci-fi fans will be lining up out the door. It’s no secret that DeLonge has always had a fascination with the unexplained and extraterrestrial (see Blink-182’s Aliens Exist). After receiving some Gone Squatchin’ attire for Christmas from his managers, his interest is currently consumed by Big Foot. “I wanna find Big Foot like everyone else and if I can contribute, then I shall. He’s out there – he might even be here in the studio with me at this moment… my fascination with strange topics is what keeps me sanely insane,” he laughs. “It’s the one thing that pulls me out of worrying about music all day long, is when I start thinking about weird stuff like that. It’s a lot of fun.”

Such subject matter has drifted away from Blink-182’s music, but they’ve still kept their signature sound, as evident on their debut independent release, Dogs Eating Dogs, which sees them split with Universal Music after 15 years, cutting their ties with major labels for good.

“It’s amazing, we’re finally free. We’re able to do whatever we want to do. I mean, with a label, if you ever want to record something, you can’t, because they own it, so then you have to go to them and say, ‘Hey, we want to record something’, and they say, ‘Okay, we’ll get back to you and see if the funds are available to pay for it’. Then they get back to you and they say, ‘We don’t have the funds to do it’. It’s just a big joke, you know. You have to ask them to make music… I thinkDogs Eating Dogs is a much better example of what our band can do in these times, rather than when we were on a major label.”

With DeLonge first announcing their split with Interscope on Twitter with a picture of Mel Gibson in Braveheart in the midst of yelling “freedom”, one might assume the title Dogs Eating Dogs could, in some way, be a reference to the cut-throat world of major labels.

“It’s not. Mark [Hoppus, bass] came up with that – it was a lyric out of one of the songs. He sometimes gets in these interesting moments when he’s flying to and from Europe, back over here, where I think he kind of investigates and swims in the waters of the back of his mind. Sometimes he digs into some dark places – and I think most artists do that – and that’s really where that term came from. It showed its face in the song and it just seemed like a really great line, because everyone can interpret it in different ways.

“To me, it’s just very representative of humanity – the constant fight to get ahead and the constant fight to win summed up in three words. To everybody, that’s what’s great about art – it’s different and what I liked about it was it was ambiguous at best, so people can kind of think it means a few different things.”

Before the band went on an indefinite hiatus in ’05, the vocal split between DeLonge and Hoppus was almost 50/50, but both Dogs Eating Dogs and 2011’s Neighborhoods seem to be more DeLonge-heavy. “It’s not intentional,” Delonge says. “I mean, I’m more prolific now in my career than I’ve ever been. I’ve had a lot of experience over the past ten years, with all the Angels & Airwaves stuff and scoring movies, it comes naturally, or comes more naturally and quicker to me now than it ever has in my life, and you know, I’m a hard worker and I’ve got my studio and I like to be productive.”

It was a plane crash drummer Travis Barker was involved in 2008 that was the catalyst for the Blink-182 reunion, but the problem for Australian fans was it was also the thing stopping them coming Down Under. “I don’t blame him one bit; if I was him, I’d be doing the exact same thing. It’s a big hurdle to get over. I think like anybody else your logical steps are making decisions and challenging yourself and preparing emotionally for that kind of stuff, but I can’t even pretend to know how somebody does that, because it’s monumental… we haven’t been down there in a very long time, so I think we’re all looking forward to some really good stuff. It’s gonna be good – I’ve got like three or four dick jokes that I’ve been saving.”

The last time Blink-182 toured Australia was in 2004 to promote their self-titled album. Blink-182 saw Hoppus, Barker and DeLonge rent a house just outside of San Diego and spend months there writing. But with Hoppus spending half of his time at his second home in London and, until June 2012, hosting his own talk show, plus with Barker working on his solo material, amongst a slew of other commitments, it’s hard to get the band in one room for long enough to catch up, let alone write and record an album.

“My aim was specifically to write music together and not apart, because for Neighborhoods we weren’t together at all – we just weren’t even really talking. This one was, ‘Let’s write music together, and let’s try and show a more progressive form of the band’. What I wanted to do was make [us] challenge Blink’s legacy to be more modernised with larger landscapes and more delicate compositions.”

Admitting that Neighborhoods suffered due to the lack of communication, DeLonge believes it was an imperative step in getting the band back on track. “I wouldn’t change anything about that, very specifically because we were able to do it and it was an important conduit to get the band working again, and that’s really what its goal was. Its goal wasn’t to be the greatest Blink album, its goal wasn’t to be the greatest album – the goal was: can we make an album? And we did and now we can move on to make better stuff.”

***BREAKOUT***

BACK FROM THE BLINK

It was Tom Delonge that initiated Blink-182’s indefinite hiatus in 2005 – a decision that left fans worldwide, and even Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker, in shock. With two releases out since reforming in 2009, Delonge looks back on the band’s time apart.

“I feel good about it, you know. It was something that gave me an entirely different career experience. It made me into who I am, rather than just being the guy from Blink, and that’s important to me because I have a lot going on in my life – I have a technology company, I have a shoe company, I am making feature films, I have multiple albums out and I’m doing a lot of big stuff. I’m running fan clubs for Jack White and The White Stripes and Pearl Jam and Blink and a bunch of others that are launching. All that stuff came out of that hiatus and my challenging myself to be just me. That way when I come to Blink I can offer so much more because I’m not just one specific thing, I’m a complex dude,” Delonge laughs.

“So it was a really great thing for me and a really great thing for the band, for everyone to kind of rebuild themselves independently and come back and offer so much more. A lot of the time bands don’t have that ability, and then what happens is, they stay within the confine of their four walls for their whole career and they never branch out and become themselves personally, and when they do, they come back with much more of a solid foundation of what they know their limits are and what they are unlimited with and what they can bring to the table, and that’s when it gets really exciting, I think.”

But when he called the hiatus, it wasn’t specifically for those reasons; they were simply a byproduct of the hiatus. His initially motives were far more simplistic. “At the time, it was I needed to be with my family, and [Blink] weren’t communicating and I kind of lost control of our ship a little bit. When everyone needs time and support in different ways but no one’s communicating, things get defensive and offensive very quickly and that’s really what happened. Same old story – petty things built up and then everyone starts filtering the situation differently. Very normal, very human.”

Blink 182 will be playing the following dates:

Wednesday 20 February – Allphones Arena, Sydney NSW
Friday 22 February – RNA Showgrounds, Brisbane QLD
Saturday 23 February – Soundwave, Brisbane QLD
Sunday 24 February – Soundwave, Sydney NSW
Tuesday 26 February – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday 27 February – Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne VIC
Friday 1 March – Soundwave, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 2 March – Soundwave, Adelaide SA
Monday 4 March – Soundwave, Perth WA

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/blink-182-tom-delonge/

Interview: Bad Religion

Published in:

 TheMusic.com.au 21.01.13

Inpress (VIC) | 20.02.13 | Issue # 1262

Drum Media (WA) | 07.03.13 | Issue # 328

A NEW TESTAMENT

As Bad Religion settle into their fourth decade as one of the world’s most prevalent punk rock bands and release their 16th record, guitarist, songwriter and businessman extraordinaire Brett Gurewitz tells Daniel Cribb that if the band had formed over the past few years, it would have “failed miserably”.

A short phrase written in memory of someone, usually as an inscription on a tombstone, is known as an epitaph. But what the term commonly evokes in the minds’ of alternative music lovers is the vast catalogue of the label of the same name. When Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz founded the small indie label back in 1980, maybe he was paying tribute to a close friend or family member who had passed away. Today, however, the label’s name more appropriately relates to the dying genre it once exclusively played host to.

“In the beginning, I thought it would just be a punk label, and I didn’t plan more than three years ahead, and I never have. But the time came when I had to sign something else…punk rock, in terms of the punk rock that Epitaph had been doing in the mid ‘90s, had sort of become mainstream rock, and I was not in the mainstream rock business. We’re an indie label, and so that was sort of out of my league to do that stuff. Underground punk bands were just selling nothing, so if I put those out I just wouldn’t have a business, and all the people that work for me would go hungry and their children would die.”

Punk rock isn’t what it used to be, but luckily Bad Religion dug their claws in deep when the genre was at its prime, and to this day, as they enter their 33rd year as a band, are still reaping the benefits.

“Nobody likes this kind of music anymore,” Gurewitz speaks of punk rock. “The people we’re selling records to are not 16-year-old kids – maybe a few, I mean, don’t get me wrong – there’s a few kids that like their dad’s music or something,” he laughs.

“The thing that makes a punk band different than the kind of music that’s happening nowadays is you have to be able to play – you have to be able to pull it off live and be motherfuckers onstage. If you’re some screamo band, or dubstep band, or something like that, then it’s all programming, it doesn’t matter, you can go up there and do karaoke. But in a punk band, you have to play your instruments like a motherfucker. And to do that you can’t keep breaking up and changing members and all that.”

Although Bad Religion has had their fair share of line-up changes over the years, the creative core of the band has remained the same for the most part. On two occasions Gurewitz stepped back from the band to focus on Epitaph, firstly from ‘83 to ‘86, and again from ‘94 to ‘01, but always found his way back – even if he isn’t a touring member of the band anymore. While he shares songwriting duties with frontman Greg Graffin, he hasn’t actually toured with the band since a European tour promoting the band’s 12th studio album, The Process Of Belief, in 2002. So if you’ve seen Bad Religion at any point since 2002, you wouldn’t have seen Gurewitz. “I don’t look at it as one side of things. I’m lucky that I get to still be in the band and have a label and get to do lots of interesting things,” he tells.

Although it may seem like a somewhat unorthodox way of running things, their formula is working. The latest release through Epitaph is the band’s 16th studio album, True North. The album sees them doing a complete circle and returning to their roots with 16 songs crammed into 35 minutes. And although they’ve recreated an album with a similar feel to their earlier material, they’re in no way recycling and regurgitating old riffs or melodies. “It was the record Greg and I wanted to make, and I think maybe it felt a little bit like we had lost the plot on the last album, if not lyrically, maybe musically,” he admits.

“We really remembered the things that were driving us in our heyday, you know. Things like making sure there’s no bullshit in the song, making sure that the chorus is hard-hitting, making sure that the message is honest, making sure that there’s no fat on the bones, making sure that the intros aren’t indulgent – that they pull you in, but then you’re hit with a chorus before you’ve got time to think. All the sorts of things that we thought made punk rock better and more exciting than the bullshit rock that was happening when we started the band. Sometimes when you’ve been doing it a long time, you lose sight of why you did it in the first place, and I think this time we remembered, so I think that’s what made the record good.”

Returning to the songwriting style of 1988’s Suffer and 1989’s No Control is only part of the reason True North feels like the early days of BR. When they rocked up to the studio to begin fleshing out True North, their co-producer, Joe Barresi, had just picked up a two-inch tape machine and some tape for his ever-growing collection, and mentioned it could be an option.

“We weren’t really connecting that with the idea of, ‘Well, we’re making an old school record, let’s record in an old school way.’ But it sounded like fun and we had made most of our records that way, in the old days…I think there’s something [really cool] about tape. I’m not one of these purists that say you have to do it that way, but it gives you some freedom because it takes away a lot of choices. That might sound like a contradiction, but you’re just going to play it as good as you can when you know you’re on tape. You’re not worried about recording it, and moving it around, and adding all kinds of bullshit to it, so you put everything else out of your head and you just play as hard as you can.”

With most of the band around their 50s, it’s not uncommon to hear them joke onstage about putting their backs out or rattling off dad jokes about younger bands or more interesting genres at festivals. All it takes is a sarcastic comment from Graffin hinting that whatever record they’re currently working on might be their last, and fans worldwide go into panic mode and the internet is overruled with news posts about the band calling it quits.

“We’re so fucking old now that we keep making records and everyone keeps thinking it’s our last. Especially if you make a good one, then they really think that. Although, this one seems like it was a particular good one. I feel it’s very successful artistically, I don’t know if it will be successful commercially, but that doesn’t really matter to me at this stage of my career.

“The band is really happy with the record, and so, when you make a really good one, of course it’s tempting to say you want it be your last, but I don’t think we can do that. Honestly, I don’t know what could cause us to stop making records. We enjoy it too much, you know. When we go a little while without doing it – without writing or recording songs – Greg and I start to yearn to do it again. It’s not like we’re dependent on it for our livelihoods – he’s a professor and I’m a business owner, so we’re doing it for love, we’re not doing it for money. So I don’t see why we’d ever have to stop.”

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/interviews/all/2013/01/21/bad-religion-brett-gurewitz/12198/

CD Review: Gallows

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 13.09.12 | Issue # 305

Published in Inpress (VIC) | 12.09.12 | Issue # 1241

GALLOWS

GALLOWS

7 September, 2012

The first 45 seconds of Gallows’ new and self-titled album sets the scene with a sample that features a monotone, computer-like female voice asking a series of questions to the sound of a steady, building drum beat. Following that, Gallows wastes no time in answering the question on every fan’s mind – are Gallows better or worse off with a new frontman? As soon as you’re smacked in the face with Wade MacNeil’s voice it’s clear that the band has left little room for anyone to opt for the latter option.

There may be a new voice up the front, but the music on this release still screams Gallows. Catchy guitar riffs laid over pacey drums sees a slight drift from the brutal sounds featured onGrey Britain and more into the realm of punk rock-infused hardcore. Although this is the first full-length with MacNeil – an ex-Alexisonfire member – the band did release a four-track EP with him at the end of last year. Gallows have taken the band in a completely different direction than the one the Death Is Birth EP suggested they would.

Last June, the first single lifted off the release, manages to capture and sum up the new sound of Gallows perfectly. While it’s arguably not the best track on there – Outsider Art and Everybody Loves You (When You’re Dead) gives it a run for its money – it’s structured in such a way as to allow each member’s defining characteristics to shine through. When one door closes, another opens; Gallows have found new life with MacNeil fronting the band, and he, in turn, has been given a new creative outlet now that Alexisonfire are, or are soon to be, no more.

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/reviews/album/2012/09/07/gallows-gallows-daniel-cribb/

CD Review: Peter Black

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 20.09.12 | Issue # 306

Published in Inpress (VIC) | 12.09.12 | Issue # 1241

PETER BLACK

NO DANGEROUS GODS IN TUNNEL

Considering the year The Hard-Ons’ Peter ‘Blackie’ Black has had (for those living under a rock, he was assaulted whilst driving his cab in Sydney and suffered serious injuries), it’s almost hard to approach this release and judge it on the songs alone. After all he’s been through, and the support everyone has shown him, who really wants to be the person to say this album doesn’t shape up? Luckily, through honing his many years of musical experience into twelve tunes, Blackie has ensured no such situation arises.

Admittedly, it takes a little time for the softly sung, stripped-back acoustic numbers to stick, but once they do, you’ll have numerous chorus melodies in your head for days. And with nothing for the lyrics to hide behind or be buried under, these 12 songs provide an intimate look into the inner workings of the musical mastermind. While it’s a solo record the collaborations featured really take certain songs to the next level. Strings on Algebra & CalculusBus Catcher andDumb Dumb, performed by Samantha Fonti, help drive vocal melodies to a level he wouldn’t be able to take them on his own. Blackie has taken a lesson from a certain Gotye hit and Cloud Nine sees him swapping vocals with Michele Madden – a match made in heaven. The only notable downfall is Blackie’s harmonies are sometimes too confronting in the mix and every now and then it distorts the intimacy the record is trying to achieve.

Overall, No Dangerous Gods In Tunnel is not only symbolic of how strong Blackie is, but testament to how powerful the Australian music community can be.

Daniel Cribb

http://themusic.com.au/reviews/album/2012/09/05/peter-black-no-dangerous-gods-in-tunnel-daniel-cribb/

Interview: Evermore

Published in Drum Media (WA) | 06.09.12 | Issue # 304

Published in Time Off (QLD) | 19.09.12 | Issue # 1595

Published in Drum Media (NSW) | 18.09.12 | Issue # 1128

Published in Inpress (VIC) | 19.09.12 | Issue # 1243

A LITTLE MORE

It’s been a long wait between albums for Evermore fans, but the band’s fourth full-length is almost within reach. Vocalist/guitarist Jon Hume chats to Daniel Cribb about his underwear and the joys of finally being an independent band.

Since the release of Evermore’s third full-length in ’09, Truth Of The World: Welcome To The Show, the three Hume brothers that construct Evermore – Jon, Dann and Peter – have collectively celebrated 11 birthdays. A lot has changed during that time and while the brothers have been quite busy with other commitments unrelated to Evermore, the time apart has allowed each member to refine their individual sound and bring something new to the table. When Evermore frontman Jon Hume answers his phone, he’s headed out to celebrate Dann’s 25th birthday. While pre-party anticipation creeps into his voice, a bigger celebration is just around the corner. Follow The Sun, the fourth offering from the Hume brothers, is finally ready for release and the boys are gearing up to hit the road.

Since the Truth Of The World… touring cycle died down, they’ve somewhat disappeared into the background. With the brothers engulfed in other projects, Evermore could have quite easily stayed dormant for years, or even disbanded, but other forces were at work, ensuring no such thing eventuated. “We could have easily gone, ‘Oh, we’ve done this thing, we’ve had this band ten years and let’s just go do something else now’, but it really didn’t feel like we’ve said all that we needed to say. And musically there’s such good chemistry between the three of us that it’s not something that we could walk away from. There’s just so much good music, we can’t just walk off and do something else,” Hume explains.

“If we all made [separate] music it would just be different and it’s hard to put your finger on exactly why, but I guess just being brothers and making music together since we were kids, there’s a certain chemistry in the whole writing process that I don’t fully understand, but it works and we really enjoy it and it just felt really good, after a little bit of time working on other stuff, to get back to Evermore and make a record.”

Part of the reason they went underground for so long was because they were building their own studio in the countryside of Victoria. With their own studio in place they were able to break free from the constraints of a major labels and be completely independent – something Hume emphasises was a goal from the beginning. “We could sit down and make whatever record we wanted to make, whereas our previous three were all on Warner Music. I guess there was always a bit of pressure to work with other producers, which was a good experience, but because Dann and I are producers, there was already plenty of ideas in the mix. We didn’t really need someone else to find our direction,” he says. “I think now, more than ever, you’re kind of in control of your own destiny as a musician and I think it felt right to us to actually put our own album out there.”

Although they’ve been out of the mainstream spotlight, fans still had opportunities to connect with the band and keep up to date with the progress of the album and individual songs as the band released demos and live recordings as they went along. “[Warner] actually did stop us from doing that previously, which seems silly to me. I don’t know what their policy on that is now, but back when we were making our previous albums, they had some sort of policy where they didn’t want anything to go out until it went through them.”

And now they return with their a new single, which didn’t need to go through any big label ears first. “Our new single, Follow The Sun, we recorded a live demo of it for YouTube probably nine months ago; the chorus has got completely different lyrics and the song is called All The Way. Our songs always go on journeys, so I think it’s interesting for our friends who hear a song from the start and hear it go through three different phases of different ideas making their way into the song, and so this time around we gave our fans a listen earlier on to the album. I think people dig it, being a part of the process and understanding how much time we put into the different aspects of the songs.

“Songs like It’s Too Late, once they’ve been out for years and we’ve played them so many different times, we sometimes forget exactly how the recording goes because of the slow evolution of the way we play it live. Sometimes I find myself going ‘Oh, whoops, I’ve actually changed a lyric’,” he laughs. “That’s just part of the creative process, really.”

With the freedom to release their music whenever, wherever and however they wish, they’ve put together an EP of album b-sides that will be sold exclusively on tour. While it sounds like a unique idea for tour/album merch, that’s just the tip of the Evermore merch iceberg. “The album’s called Follow The Sun, so we were like, ‘What’s something that would be cool to haveFollow The Sun written on?’ and sunglasses was the first thing we thought of. I kind of think we just felt like there’s only so many times that people want a band t-shirt, so we’re not doing any t-shirts, we’re just doing any creative thing we can think of,” he explains.

Their 2004 debut album Dreams saw Evermore pillowcases sold at shows and around the time of 2006’s Real Life Evermore underwear surfaced – not exactly sure what the connection is there, but they were popular all the same. “We’ve actually still got a massive box of Evermore underwear in my garage,” he laughs. “They were really popular, but somehow a box got left behind at some point and it’s still sitting there. They were very popular, but it always felt slightly weird, to be honest, when people are asking you to sign their Evermore underwear and I’m just like, ‘This is just strange’, so I think we’ll probably give the Evermore underwear a miss from now on… Occasionally someone still brings [a pillowcase] to a show to get it signed and I’m like, ‘Argh, I wish I had one of these myself’.” A box full of unsold underwear will have to suffice as a consolation prize. “I kind of wish we made boxer shorts, but we didn’t,” he shares. The conversation then directs itself to the topic of disposable underwear, and it’s clear that things need to wrap up quickly. “That’d be handy on tour, actually!”

Daniel Cribb