Gavin Bowles & The Distractions Interview

by the partae
Where are you currently based? Sydney.
How did the band form? I recorded a solo album in 2020 and got my brother Simon (drums) and my mate Cameron (bass) to play on it and we did a few shows as a 4 piece with our friend Wesley on keys. Wesley is a very talented and busy musician and wanted to focus on his own projects (his band is called Sun Affair – check it out!), so we needed a new person to join the group. Michael (guitar) and I have been good friends for a few years and he had gotten to know Simon and Cameron too – we all agreed he was the perfect fit for the band – and he definitely brought some swagger to the band for sure – and here we are!
What’s been happening recently? We’ve just released our debut album “Phoning It In”! It’s been a pretty busy year in the lead up recording, playing shows, releasing singles and some film clips too!
What or who influenced the sound and songwriting for your latest album? I had been listening to alot of 70’s/80’s Power Pop (Blondie, Buzzcocks, The Jam) at the time of writing these songs and those influences definitely made their way into the album.
How did you go about writing the album? I wrote alot of it during the 2021 lockdown in Sydney. I wanted to make some upbeat music to shrug off the frustrating situation we were all in. I sent solo demo’s to the band and then as soon as we could be together, we started to work out all of their parts. Then we played a few of the songs live before we recorded them, which I find is always a good test and helps to tighten the arrangements.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with? It was self produced at a few different locations (mainly our homes) from December 2022 to mid 2023 and was mastered by Steve Smart at Studios 301 Sydney.
What does this album mean to you? I wrote most of these songs at a challenging time in my life both professionally and personally. These songs really got me through a tough time – so I guess I see it as a testament to resilience. But despite all the hardships, we made a really fun record and enjoyed the process.
Please tell us about your upcoming tour and what we can expect? The “Phoning It In” Tour kicks off with our hometown Album Launch in Sydney at The Vanguard on October 27. From there we’re heading up and down the coast to Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Melbourne, Bonny Hills, Brisbane, Bathurst and Katoomba (Blue Mountains). Our show is energentic and fun – we put everything into our shows and we love to share the good vibes with everyone – get your dancing shoes ready!
What’s planned for the remainder of 2023 going into 2024? The Tour will finish up at the end of November and then we’ll take a well-earned break for a bit. We have some things in the pipeline for 2024 – so watch this space!
Who are you listening to at the moment? I’ve been enjoying the latest Queens of the Stone Age and Blur albums. Bethany Cosentino’s debut album is great too! And I’m a big fan of The Replacements, who just did a reissue of their album “Tim” – one of my favourite albums!
Favourite food and place to hangout? At the moment it’s probably a good slice of Pepperoni Pizza. I just like to hang out with friends wherever and whenever I can – probably at a pub!

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