Photo: Sam Wong
What is your name and role within City Calm Down?
Lee Armstrong and I play drums
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Currently based in Melbourne, Australia. The music scene here in Melbourne is incredible. You can go out any night of the week and see an incredible band. Bolstered by the numerous amounts of incredible venues I haven’t really been to many places like it.
How did you first start playing music?
When I was about 14 years old a friend of mine told me I had to join his band. I advised him that I didnt play an instrument but that didnt really matter to him…He said “nah, you’re playing in my band..ask your parents for lessons”.. Not willing to let the team down, I asked and the rest is history, I guess.
City Calm Down has been in the game for over 10 years now, how has the scene changed since the band started?
I think one of the main things I’ve seen change over the last few years is that festivals and radio are starting to focus on having a more diverse and inclusive program. While it still has a ways to go it’s positive that the conversation is happening.
How has the band changed since the band started?
Well, one of the most obvious changes to the band to me is when I joined. I took over from the last drummer just before we recorded the Movements EP. Musically, I’m finding its evolving with each record. You can still hear some elements of CCD that were present in our early releases but I guess over time, listening to different music and finding different inspiration changes how your ideas come out.
Your new album Television is out August 23, your sound has gone down a new, fresh path, what influenced the sound and songwriting for the new album?
I think bands like Trex, The Velvet Underground and The Rolling Stones are bands that I can hear coming through on this latest record. We went into this record wanting to write something that was more to the point, with it being more pop focused.
How did you go about writing the music for Television?
For this record a majority of the initial ideas would come from our singer, Jack. These would then be brought to the band to work through.
Rhythmically, I think the record went through a lot of changes even when we were in the studio. A couple of the tracks had to be completely changed, which was pretty stressful at the time haha.
Where and when did record & who did you work with?
We recorded at The Grove Studios outside of Sydney, NSW with Burke Reid.
What did you find most rewarding and challenging during the recording and production process?
Because the sound we were creating is quite a departure from our last record, i think you sometimes second guess what you are doing. Because you’re so far out of comfort zone. For me, that was probably the most difficult and rewarding part at the same time.
Where did you mix and master, and who with?
Burke Reid mixed the record at The Grove and it was mastered by
What programs/instruments did you use and how did you come to choose the equipment?
Was recorded in pro tools. We used a bunch of acoustic guitar and piano on this record. We haven’t used these instruments much previously but thought they were necessary to achieve the sound we were after.
In New Years Eve we used two cymbals stacked on top of each other to get a trashy sound. That was something that came through experimentation in the studio.
Did Television turn out as you expected?
Not really. A lot of the rhythm and the overall feel of the record changed quite a bit in pre production and then again in the studio.
You have a massive UK/Europe tour coming up in Sept/Oct, and then a headline Aussie tour… what do you have install for these shows?
Some old stuff and some new stuff. We have a more guitar focused sound so should be fun to take that on the road!
Any secrets that you care to share?
I ain’t no snitch.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Currently meat pies and the pub.