If you dig your 60’s Garage Nuggets as well as a good Brian Jones Town Massacre stoner jam, The Walking Who are a band who you should check out. The three-piece from the Illawarra have largely flown under the hipster radar … until now. With shows coming up at The Beresford Upstairs and MUM @ The World Bar, we have a chat with bass player Jay Drury to get the low down.
MF: How did you all meet and come to play in a band together?
JD: I met Rohin in 2009, we worked on some stuff Rohin was recording at the time, some songs he’d written for an album but we couldn’t really play live until we found a drummer. I remembered being pretty impressed with Pauly when he played with a mates’ band a few years before and Rohi and I accidentally bumped into him one night when we were out, hooked up a jam at Rohi’s then that was really it.
MF: Being from the Illawarra region in NSW, I was wondering what are your favourite gigs to play in the area? Do you guys get to play many gigs different the usual pub gig, like at house parties?
JD: We’ve been playing most of our local shows recently at a friends café / bar, Yours and Owls. The room has this really interesting sound, all wood with a really high ceiling, and because it’s a bit smaller than other places it has this really intimate vibe, your kind of face to face with the crowd. It’s definitely one of our favourite venues.
We basically started out only playing house parties. I actually met Rohi at a house party in North Wollongong, sometimes the people organizing will have some drums and a few amps and beat up guitars for people to jump on and play and so we just kind of ended up having a jam one night. Wollongong has such a massive student population so there are parties all the time. And they’re more fun and free or loose, whatever.
MF: Do you think that coming from an area like the Illawarra influences your sound in a different to way than say, if you were all from Sydney?
JD: I think Wollongong is an interesting place for music at the moment cause we’re basically seeing the death of what used to be some kind of music scene. There are still a few places in town holding up and supporting groups down here, like Yours and Owls, but aside from a handful of bands and venues there isn’t half the amount of people sharing ideas and sounds as there are in Sydney.
Because of this, writing and recording music down here has been a much more solitary or isolated experience. We don’t write stuff because it will work with what’s going on in the music scene at the moment, or because it will fit a venue or particular band we like, we just do it because we like it and think it sounds good. If anything playing in Wollongong its great because it allows us to do whatever we want and to experiment with the live set a lot more.
MF: So I hear you guys are working on your 3rd release, can you tell us about that?
JD: We’ve started the ball rolling on a new record, or EP (we’re not really sure yet). This time we’ve been getting together at Yours and Owls on weekends with a really good friend who’s helping with the engineering side of the recording thing, bringing our home studio in and experimenting with the room, what songs work in there and what sounds good. We’ve talked about producing something like an LP after the next string of shows but it really depends what songs work and sound good in the room at the café. We really want to capture the mood and energy of our live show in the next record having each track flow into the next which might take a lot more work, but hopefully we’ll have a finished product by October.
MF: Can you give us any sneaky info on the release – are you going to give it away for free online like your last EP, or are there plans to release on CDs or Vinyl and make big bucks?
JD: We’re kind of still working the free thing out. We haven’t made any big decisions about it yet. We’ve talked about a few different options, say if you want the music that’s yours to download free online on Bandcamp or Soundcloud but then we’ll make some nice CDs again and have that as another option, something more tangible and fun. I enjoy the CD making process, coming up with the art and different ideas to produce something nice for people to have. We did the last ones out of recycled cardboard and lunch bags which was fun coming up with and putting them together, but then again its hard to pump out hundreds of handmade CDs so we might have to try a different approach for the next one.
MF: What have you guys got planned in terms of playing shows and touring in the coming months?
JD: We’re going to try slowing down the shows after August so we can turn our attention to the next release and put our effort into that. Once that is done we’ll probably try and get as far afield as we possibly can with it and then most probably start work on the 4th thing.
MF: If you could share the stage with any 3 bands, dead or alive, who would they be?
JD: That’s a tricky question, definitely The Brian Jonestown Massacre, they’ve had such an influence on our approach to writing and recording music. Dead, The Velvet Underground and then maybe The Black Angels, Warpaint or even the guys from Tame Impala because they are doing very special things for the Australian music sound.
MF: Check out The Walking Who This Friday 19th August with Olsen Vs LC at Upstairs Beresford and at MUM on Friday 16th September