In a time where most bands sound like some unholy marriage of The Smiths, Gary Numan and insert-generic-electro-douche-collective here, Zeahorse are a bit of a rare find. With an upcoming show at Fuzzbox, Music Feeds’ favourite new band night, as well as about a thousand others over the next few weeks, we saddled up with guitarist and vocalist Morgan Anthony to talk long hair feedback and freak-outs.
Running a brush across the weighty flank of his stunning horse, Morgan Anthony is a picture of serenity. His band Zeahorse however are anything but.
Taking cues from 90s grunge and hardcore as well as blues and rock artists such as Black Sabbath and The Rolling Stones not to mention Steve Albini and Shellac, Zeahorse have quickly built a reputation on standing out from the crowd of over-produced and polished pop rubbish.
They have a touring schedule that would make even the most stalwart of Kenyans ask for a Gatorade and a live show that Morgan describes as sounding like “the feeling of nails on a blackboard followed by a kiwi fruit. Oh and then stepping on a slug, barefoot.”
This colourful picture of amphibian torture aside, if you’re going to go to a Zeahorse show expect to come out of it a little harder of hearing. They construct towering spires of feedback which come crashing down upon the audience in a maelstrom of skull-shattering decibels and mind-felching distortion.
I ask him whether he prefers feedback or freak-outs when it comes to getting a crowd excited. “It depends on the venue and the crowd,” he tells me as he puts a foot in a stirrup and lifts himself into the saddle. “If the crowd’s being boring then a bit of feedback to send em’ walkin.”
As I scramble up onto my horse with all the style and grace of a Rugby League star, Morgan is already well ahead of me. Kicking the sides of my horse to try and catch up, it’s not long before I’ve lost control and start screaming for help like a little bitch. Coming up alongside me and gripping my horse by the mane Morgan calms the great beast and we continue at a less genital-crushing pace.
Laughing at how rattled I was, Morgan starts telling me stories of performances gone wrong due to freak-outs ending in injury. “I smacked my head on Xam’s head stock once, but my hair protected my skull,” he laughs, running a hand gratefully through his luscious blonde locks.
The story comes as no surprise to me having seen Morgan on stage a few times and wondering more than once how he manages to escape unscathed. However, I doubt that even the most square of blows would do little to rattle this musical cavalier, as the band have gone through the live music equivalent of a Spartan military academy.
With all the touring you’d be right to wonder how Zeahorse find any time to write or record. Putting the question to Morgan he seems ambivalent in regard to the bodily harm and mental stress he faces with the band’s upcoming run of shows which will include 18 performances in just over two months.
“Well yeah I guess we’re just going to tackle these shows coming up and keep writing,” he explains confidently. “We’re also going to Melbourne in July, which should be rad and we’ve just started to plan our debut E.P. We’ll probably hit the studio toward the end of the year.”
In and amongst all the touring, the boys have made the time to play Fuzzbox, a new night held every second Friday at the UTS Loft Bar designed to showcase some of the best independent bands our lovely city has to offer. As I ask him what to expect from the night a wide Grinch-like smirk spreads across his angelic face and for a second I’m worried he’s going to jump me.
“I might have my Shin ei Wah pedal by then, that’s pretty fuzzy,” he exclaims excitedly. “Uni crowds are always fun, except for when they ask you to play Sneaky Sound System. Just don’t expect us to be quiet.”
Like anyone was.
Be sure to catch Zeahorse when they play Fuzzbox at UTS Loft Bar on the 29th of May with Megastick Fanfare and check out http://www.myspace.com/zeahorse band to have a look through their mammoth amount of upcoming shows.