Having set a steady relentless pace with their live shows, as well as working dutifully on their recordings and new material, Dark Bells are a band who revel in all aspects of playing and writing music. Their sound, a blistering ethereal take on psychedelia and shoegaze, is of the kind that fills a space like fluid, invading the cavities in your ear and head and flooding your brain with driving melodic basslines and ghostly reverb drenched guitar and vocals.
Playing this Friday June 11 at the Pets With Pets Saturday Aquatic Pixie Acid album launch at Dirty Shirlows in Marrickville (the event being BYO, so you know it’ll be loose), alongside such great acts as Melbourne maestro of all things electronic Qua, Sydney’s bogan Mogwai and Ween obsessed answer The Arcade Fire Reckless Vagina and just fucking awesome lo-fi punk three piece Mere Women, we caught up with the band for a quick chat about what they’ve been up to since we last spoke. Turns out they’ve been busy as little beavers, with a A/B side 7″ and digital release set for the coming months, not to mention keeping themselves occupied with their weekly Tuesday night band night at The Flinders Bar, Stranger Than Paradise.
Music Feeds: So, first off, I need to know: how are the recordings going? When can I buy something from you guys?
Dark Bells: The recordings have turned out better than we ever imagined. We put down two tracks at BJB studios with our good friends Wade Keighran and Jean Paul mixing and engineering. It should be available in the very near future digitally and as A/B side on 7inch vinyl through Low Records. We’re really excited to get music out there that we’re happy with sonically so people get the best out of the listening experience.
MF: You’re playing with Pets With Pets this Friday at Dirty Shirlows; are you excited about the gig? Such a great line up?
DB: We’re always excited to play; if we didn’t get excited there’d be no point in playing! The line up is amazing, which makes for a fun gig every time…
MF: It should be fun to be playing in a warehouse as well? Have you guys done much of that?
DB: Well, with me playing in the band, no we haven’t done any warehouse shows, so I’m really looking forward to it. At a warehouse show people seem to let loose a little more, we love playing at parties too as it’s way more intimate and we get a lot more free drinks! hehe
MF: Any good warehouse stories you could share, or is it a for-your-ears-only type deal?
DB: I remember playing at one years and years ago and all these bikies turned up with guns. Everyone got the fuck out of there, but we had to stay and play Doors covers! haha
MF: Also, is Simon at all worried about playing before Jonno from Pets With Pets? They’re both such beasts when they’re drumming; has there been any talk of a drum off?
DB: The show will basically just be a drum off….drum solos for around 2 hours; it’s going to be amazing!! I can’t pick who will out-beast who, it’s for the judges to decide.
MF: You’ve been running these nights at Flinders on Tuesdays; can you tell us about that?
DB: Yeah, it’s been really great to actually contribute something to the live scene instead of just being negative and lazy about it all. We’ve been having a great time every show and you’d be surprised how many people will get out of their houses and come see some music on a Tuesday night.
MF: Who are some of your favourite bands you’ve had play so far
DB: I think everyone who’s played has been amazing. I don’t wanna play favourites and plus I’m the one choosing the bands to play so you gotta hope that I like them! hehe. Just some of the awesome bands we’ve had have been No Art, Go Roll Your Bones, Myth & Tropics, Kirin J Callinan and the list goes on!
MF: You’ve all been pretty involved with ‘the scene’, in lack of a better term, for a long time now; how do you think Sydney’s coming along over the past few years?
DB: Sydney has come along at its own pace. I think there’s still a long way to go but there’s always going to be people who are passionate enough about music that it will survive anything thing that’s thrown at it.
MF: I haven’t seen you guys play (and remembered it) for a while now, but you’ve been playing so many shows; has the live show changed much recently?
DB: I feel like we’re always changing; you have to or else it just becomes a chore. We’re writing new stuff constantly and we stay creative and push ourselves musically as much as possible.
MF: Are you playing any new songs in the show now?
DB: I guess they’re fairly new, yeah. We’ve been working on a couple of news ones just recently… hopefully we’ll be playing to a lot of people who haven’t heard us before, we’re trying to build up the ranks for our Dark Bells army!!!
MF: What should we be looking out for in the next couple of months?
DB: ……as I said, the Vinyl and digital release of our two songs we recorded plus we’ll be putting it to radio too, so you’ll be hearing a lot more of us in the next coming months!!
Dark Bells will be playing at Dirty Shirlows this Friday June 10th supporting Pets With Pets along with Qua, Reckless Vagina and Mere Women.