Crooked Saint – Songs With Drones

Crooked Saint is the new project from Tim Wheatley, (ex Rushcutter, The Sparrows) and he’s just released his debut EP Every Angry Inch. Recorded with long-time collaborator Michael Badger of The Demon Parade, the Crooked Saint project finds multi-instrumentalist Wheatley without the influence of a band for the first time in his career. From the evocative country fuelled epic of The Big Easy to the ruminations on fleeting relationships in Kick The Habit, though a debut release, the EP signals the arrival of an artist already steady on his feet. Lyrics replete with raw honesty and grounded reflection, Every Angry Inch resonates with the widescreen tales of life’s rollercoaster ride. Wheatley chats to Music Feeds about how the new EP came about.

MF:Every Angry Inch was recorded with Michael Badger who you played with in the band Sparrows a few years ago. Can you tell us about the history there and about the band split?

TW: Badge and I have been playing in bands together since we were fifteen, and we went on to form ‘The Sparrows’ together just after we left school. So, it’s safe to say we know each other pretty well having spent nearly a decade together, playing the traps around Australia and the UK. It can be very hard going and quite a humbling feeling when your music is so often falling on deaf ears, and those hardships we went through as youngsters really formed a solid friendship. The split came about because as we matured the music each of us wanted to create clashed… Then when Sony dropped us, the decision was obvious. It was time for a fresh start…

MF; The songs for the EP were recorded as demos in your bedroom before you hooked up with Badger once again; what did he bring to the table to change the songs on this EP?

TW; I had recorded a heap of songs acoustically over the coming years, but it wasn’t until a very close friend of ours tragically passed that we were asked to get our high school band back together for our friend’s tribute show. It was at rehearsals for that show that I played Badge the demo’s and straight away he had suggestions that got me thinking. So we later sat down and went through each song one by one in his studio… He would re-arrange them and bring these Psychedelic elements into the songs with drones and effects that I wouldn’t have ever considered, adding an edge and point of difference to my more traditional folk/rock songs.

MF; What was the EP inspired by?

TW; The songs on the EP were all written around the same time… I quit another band I had formed straight after The Sparrows and was anxious about the time and opportunity I felt I had yet again wasted. I found it hard to write light-hearted when all I wanted to do was put my fist through the wall thinking that I’m going to miss my chance to do what I really want.

MF; How would you describe the sound and vibe of the new EP?

TW; I think the Every Angry Inch EP is a recording of someone finding their feet. We weren’t sure of anything we were recording; it was all trial and error. But I think we achieved our goal of combining my country/folk/rock with Badger’s psychedelic vibe echoing throughout. But the most important element to me was that it be unmistakably Australian.

MF; Who are some of the best bands out of Melbourne right now? Would you include Demon Parade in there somewhere?

TW; I think Melbourne is oozing talent at the moment, and I think that if one major label grew some balls and put money behind anyone of a number of bands they would be an international success. My favorite bands to see at the moment would be The Demon Parade, Jimmy Hawke and the Endless Party, Red Berry Plum, Tessa & The Typecast and Kingswood.

MF; What’s on the cards for the Crooked Saint next? Any plans for an album/ touring etc?

TW; Already chipping away on another EP … Once that is ready, I’ll be taking the band on the road!

MF; If you could create your ultimate festival line-up of performers (dead or alive) who would you include?

TW; Hands down the hardest question I have ever been asked … Well let’s assume it’s early afternoon, I would love to warm up with a little Crosby, Stills and Nash; Jackson Browne with David Lindley; and then The Band. As dusk approaches, I think Little Feat, Paul Kelly and Oasis would be an interesting mix. Then to finish up, if I had any already burned out senses left, Midnight Oil; Free; then BRUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!

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