This coming Saturday the 29th, Sydney will be treated to a line-up of amazing bands at the Manning Bar, at the first Flip Out Festival and Record Fair. Bands, both local, national and international, include Royal Headache, Deaf Wish, Slug Guts, Super Wild Horses, The Stabs, The UV Race, Naked on the Vague, Ooga Boogas and James Arthur’s Manhunt and it will all be headlined by the ever-rocking Eddy Current Suppression Ring. We spoke with Eddy Current to get the back-story on the event.
“Last year we were at Gonerfest in Memphis,” says Eddy. “I remember me and Rich, another dude I do art with, were there and we were saying that it was quite possible for something like this to exist in Melbourne. I thought there were enough good local bands to pull it off and we both had friend’s bands overseas who would love an excuse to come to Australia. If you think about Gonerfest, you love those bands together and because you have that meeting place every year, you do sense the community. It probably always existed but the event gives it a time and a place.”
Next Saturday’s event will surely rock hard with the listless ozpunk sounds of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, giving you a place to have a hell of a good time. Did I mention there’s a barbecue?
“The live show is the same thing as us in the studio. The live show was never exactly a show, it’s exactly what happens in the rehearsal studio. We all just look at each other, cue each other on the right bits… We never over-rehearse or overplay, so every time we rehearse or play we’re really excited. We’re just not doing it to death, keeping that nervous energy, always knowing that something could go wrong.”
The latest album, Primary Colours, is beefy, yet raw, a masterpiece of deliberately low production values. It is the live show that turns up the heat to cook your meat, though merely searing to seal in the juices.
“We haven’t really wanted to think about it too hard,” Eddy says of the album. “For what we do, the simplicity and the quicker we can do things give a more accurate representation of the music. It just doesn’t need anything. I don’t want to add any extra layers or anything, I want it to exist as simply as possible. Recording is the best way to do that, you just live with the mistakes. I don’t think we’ve hit exactly what we want to sound like but I think this next thing will be the closest that comes to it.”
The recording process, with its little glitches, mistakes and calamities, gives the album that appealing rawness, as Eddy explains. “Nothing was in our minds when we were doing it, we were just like ‘let’s do it’. It was trial and error; none of us had huge experience in bands or recording. We were just like, let’s do it anyway and let’s do it ourselves. There were certain things we were influenced by I’m sure, but it was more just being naïve and not knowing what we were doing.”
Earlier this year Eddy Current Suppression Ring won the Australian Music Prize for the album Primary Colours. For Eddy though, that surprise simply came too soon after the surprise of their nomination to be fully absorbed.
“Once you’re nominated for the prize you realise that you’ve got a chance, you may win. We were definitely surprised when they called it out but just getting to that final eight was enough of a surprise. Not that I thought for one minute that we’d win it, but I knew we had a chance. Looking at the winners from previous years, they’re obviously very fond of bands that are like, four white guys playing rock n roll. Also, someone sent me a list of the judges and I thought ‘hmm, that guy might like our record’.”
Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next thing from Eddy Current Suppression Ring. It seems unlikely considering their creative process is like a massacre at a gym – survival of the fittest. “Brendan has so many lyrics piled up in notebooks, basically we get together and hopefully I’ve got a riff or I make something up and we go through and find some lyrics that Brendan thinks suits. We basically decide after ten minutes whether it sucks or doesn’t suck. We really don’t like to spend too much time making a song work, it’s more if it works we’ll know about it straight away. It’s not something we have to think about too hard.”
Nor do you need to think hard about next Saturday’s line-up at the Manning Bar. Get down there, have a sausage, buy some records at the fair, check out some sick bands – hell, go completely nuts and have a shandy if you want to. Just don’t miss it.
For more interviews with bands playing Flip Out, click here.