I first came across this band doing interviews at My Filthy Riot last year, and aside from their kickass name and obsession with Mantaurs (half man half centaur – you do the math), I was genuinely struck stiff (thanks Dave) by how awesome these guys were, onstage and off.
With a biting wit matched only by their ability to bring the house down like a smart bomb, I jumped at the chance to pummel axe-man Dave with questions about their upcoming single ‘Little Cowboys, Bad Hombres’ (I thought it was called Sea Priest, which is actually the album name) as well as getting the low down on what other epic and whimsical sonic nuggets these Adelaidians might be throwing our way over the next few months.
Music Feeds: So Sea Priest, a continuation of your fixation on mystical and epic characters, or is this maybe a sea change for the band? (haha)
Dave: As much as we’re keen on getting a bit of nautical, sea-shanty theme going I think Decemberists got in before us. Sea Priest is very much us thinking ‘epic’ things are awesome. Just as with our band name, I wish I could tell you an awesome story that ties back into its origin but alas no, we’re just geeks who like cool words.
MF: How would you say the new single compares to the last three? Maybe; a War Coward, having lost his taste for battle was guided by his Animal Spirit Guide to the Witch House where he met The Sea Priest?
D: Well, Mikey, Sea Priest is the album title but the single we’re pushing is called ‘Little Cowboys, Bad Hombres’. So yeah, the guy was a War Coward and maybe a little bummed out by that, so with some guidance from his Animal Spirit Guide (who got him lost) he comes across a Witch House, all ginger-bready and delicious. Just as he’s about to be devoured entirely by some big-ass Witch Mama, Little Cowboy comes in, shooting shit up and swearing and being bad-ass. Just ’cause this Cowboy is little don’t mean he ain’t ‘packin’ heat’, he is after all a bad hombre. So this cowboy saves the day and the two become buds and go off to chase skirt and the like.
MF: Who’d win in fight between the War Coward, The Animal Spirit Guide, a Witch House (assuming it’s possessed ala The Shining) or The Sea Priest?
D: Well, way I see it is, the War Coward is sore because he’s got this shitty title and the Animal Spirit Guide is all mysterious and crap. So they fight (in the Witch House), overseen by The Sea Priest (kind of like your Dad, but from the sea). Probably the Animal Spirit Guide because he’s not corporeal so War Coward can’t land any punches. Unfair but thems the breaks.
MF: Tell me the truth: how many of the lyrics are taken from your own paranoid hallucinations?
D: Haha, all the ones I write are. Caitlin mostly writes about love.
MF: How much has Tim & Eric, Awesome Show Great Job influenced you? I heard you might be doing a collab. with Steve Brule. Is this true?
D: Man, our people should talk to his people. We’re working on our first film clip for Little Cowboys right now, which is gonna be all epic and with horses and stuff but we’ve decided if we do another film clip in the near future we’re going to take a leaf out of the Tim and Eric DIY absurdist book.
MF: You’ve got the album chafing at the bit for release, like a rabid hound, are there any more whimsical characters about leap out from the audiophiles?
D: Well, we got a song called An Rabbit, which is grammatically incorrect, if not maybe a little whimsical. Oh oh, and a Ghostress, she’s a BAD-ASS, which is cool. And a song called Onionknight, do with that as you will. How much more whimsy could you possibly want?!?
MF: When can we expect the album? Any other little tidbits about you can drop?
D: Well, it’s got twelve tracks. A pretty epic cover with a Sea Priest on it, holding a HUMAN HEART! At this stage we’re looking at a mid-march release!
MF: I saw you got a second guitarist, what’s the deal? Did the band decide you weren’t cutting it?
D: I’m just not tall enough, if you want the truth. Also, as a band we’ve always been fond of the two guitar dynamic. The whole lead/rhythm thing is so ripe for mucking around with; it’s just generally more fun with two. He’s a Melbourne boy called Nathaniel; first ever shows he played with us were on our tour with I Heart Hiroshima. He’s a nice kid, and just the right height!
MF: Has the live show changed much? Still plying the same brand of self described post-indie-tech-folk?
D: Haha, a genre unto ourselves! Yeah, pretty much, throw in a bunch of pedal noise and good times and you got yourself a deal mister!
MF: What else do you have planned for the newish year?
D: Well, a shitload of playing our album to the hungry masses. We’ve been reclusive ourselves, getting our live shit together and planning for shows interstate. We’d love to get on some festival bills later in the year; it’s been too long!
MF: You guys are from Adelaide, a city not exactly know for its music scene. Are there any little hidden treasures we should be looking out for? If not any other bands you reckon deserve a plug?
D: Definitely. I can understand why Adelaide is overlooked, the general enthusiasm for the music scene isn’t always in as much abundance as Sydney and Melbourne but that’s not to say that aren’t some gems, nuggets if you will, of good stuff around. To name a few I’d say No Through Road, Steering By Stars and Like Leaves. All very different, all getting their shit down pat pretty enviably.
MF: I heard you might be working on an R’n’B side project, a la Beyonce meets Kanye, how’s that going? Got a name yet?
D: Well, we’ve decided if we get to a third or fourth album release under F!SR,F! we’re going for a huge about-face and doing a really over-produced souly-r’n’b vibe. We’ve been throwing the genre Tech-Soul around for a while; do with that what you will. If we get to that stage we’ll ask John Legend to come in and be our producer. He’ll say no, but we would have still asked and that’s something. At this stage if we do happen to change our name it’ll be Papa Dave and the Five Swingin’ Petes (feat. Caitlin). It’s got a sort of a ring to it.
Read into swinging Petes as much as you will, but whatever you do don’t this bands radness, or they’ll sick the Mantaur on you, and nobody wants that.