Bassless Brissy three piece I Heart Hiroshima are a band with a work ethic that would put most Japanese prisoners of war to shame. Between hand making the set of a miniature city used in the video of their new single Shaky Town and playing a forty date UK and European tour in just eight weeks, it’s no wonder they don’t have a bass player, they just don’t have the time.
Daniel Clarke was pretty happy with himself then he managed to catch up with drummer/singer Susie Patten over the phone for a quick chat, however because of this two music videos and a b-side were never made.
Music Feeds: So tell me, is it true that you fractured your arm on the weekend?
Susie Patten: Yeah.
MF: Oh dear, what happened there?
SP: I just fell off my bike, it was really windy and I got blown off. That was Saturday night so I’ve had a bit of a shit few days. I’m heavily dosed up on painkillers at the moment.
MF: So how is that affecting your playing?
SP: I was supposed to play on Sunday, but we had to cancel that show. I guess I’m just trying to heal myself as well as possible for the album tour. Fingers crossed.
MF: Worst timing ever, huh?
SP: Pretty much.
MF: How’s the touring going anyway? You just got off the tour with Ouch! My Face and Shonen Knife, how did that go?
SP: Yeah it was really good, really good. Good fun.
MF: Before that you guys were in England weren’t you?
SP: We were in Europe and the UK.
MF: How was that? Was that the first time you guys played over there?
SP: Yeah it was. We played forty shows in eight weeks. Met lots of people, we were pretty much in a different place every day, lots of driving. It was really exhausting but the shows were phenomenal and Europe is heaven to tour in. You get treated so well.
MF: Do you guys get sick of touring then? You guys have done so many shows this year already and you’re just going out on the album tour now, or is it just part and parcel for you guys?
SP: I don’t know, I guess it’s a bit of both. It’s always really fun, the shows are always fun, but at the same time it can be a little bit taxing, when we’ve all got jobs and stuff. It’s not really like a holiday. But we’re all still doing it because we love it.
MF: So have you been playing much off the new album while you’ve been touring?
SP: Yeah, we’ve been working it in. We’ve got a lot of stuff planned for the album tour, we’re gonna try to do some pre-production, some really professional stuff. So on the tour we’ll try to play as many new songs as possible. Probably half the set will be dominated by the new songs. It’s been really good, they’re all going across really well. It’s good to be able to play them.
MF: Do you read reviews? Do you get affected by what you read?
SP: It’s hard not to read reviews, and it’s hard not to take things personally, but yeah I do. For the most part I don’t really get fazed by things that are negative, and 98% of the time it’s positive so yeah, we’ve gotten good reactions.
MF: I Heart is a bassless band, right?
SP: Yeah we don’t have a bass player.
MF: What prompted that decision?
SP: I don’t know, it was just never something that came up. We just started with the guitar and didn’t really feel like we needed a bass player. It was never a point of concern and it only occurred to us that it was a point of interest when we started doing interviews.
MF: I was watching the video clip for Shaky Town. That’s a cool little clip, was that fun to make?
SP: It was hard work. We had to cut out all the holes, we made that whole city. We were going in after work to paint and build at all hours of the night. But in the end it’s really rewarding. The final product is awesome, we couldn’t ask for anything better. It was really fun that we all sort of pitched in instead of giving someone a bunch of money to do it. We were all in there.
MF: Is it hard knowing that you’ve still got a day job to go to? Is it hard to keep motivated?
SP: It is hard but you know, it’s kind of expected. No-one really expects to make much money from music. I think you’re very lucky if you can live off music, that’s kind of a luxury. We never expected to be sort of an um… paid for band, you know? We went overseas and paid for all that so we’re doing pretty well.
MF: Street press Australia voted you guys the best current up and coming Australian band. Is that weird being that you guys have been together for four or five years now?
SP: Yeah that does feel a bit strange, but I’m not really complaining about it.
MF: You’ve got the headlining tour coming up, are you going all around Australia for that?
SP: Yeah everywhere except Tasmania.
MF: What’s on the horizon for you guys?
SP: We’ll be doing the touring, seeing how everything goes. We don’t really want to make too many plans.
MF: Hopefully the arm gets better before the tour takes off. Do you know how long it’s going to take to heal?
SP: Not sure yet, it’s all relative I think.
I Heart Hiroshima are touring nationally to launch their new album, The Rip, now, with support from Fire! Santa Rosa, Fire! Check out the tour dates here.