We sat down with Tom…
Where are you currently based?
In Rye, on the Mornington Peninsula. Along with half of Victoria right now!!!
What’s been happening recently?
Busy working my day job as a locksmith! Our new album “New Rituals” is due out early Feb with a new single too, so, planning a new video for that, as well as some sort of live filmy kinda thing. Rehearsing for some shows which we are really hoping will go ahead and not get canceled or postponed again!!!
Your 7th album ‘New Rituals’ will be released on Feb 4, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
I was listening to Against Me ‘White crosses’ a lot, The Bronx IV, Bad religion ‘Age of Unreason’ and Off With Their Heads ‘Home’ when I was writing tunes for this record.
Sound wise I tried to clean up the guitar tones a little bit, to get some more clarity and punch in the songs, But mixing wise I was happy to leave it to Steve Evetts to just work his magic. I guess choosing him to mix was the biggest influence on the sound of the record!
How did you go about writing the album?
Most of the songs i wrote at home and then showed them to the band, we worked on the arrangements together in a jam room. We did a little bit of co-writing, but not as much as in the past. Families, jobs and covid got in the way of that a bit, but i don’t think the record has suffered from that, we just kept writing until we had enough good songs to get it done.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who with?
We recorded the album with Sam Johnson at his studio ‘Holes and corners’ in South Melbourne. That was great for me, coming to the city, getting uber eats and going to the South Melbourne market! Sammy is super cool to work with, we’ve known him from bands and touring and what not for decades so it was very easy to just plug into the sessions and get to work. Lockdowns were a real pain, but we got it done eventually.
Steve Evetts mixed the record in America, this worked really well for me too!!! Not being there for mixing, he would just interpret things the way he does, and then presented a mix to us. It was good because some of the songs were getting quite old for us, so his fresh ideas were appreciated a lot. Funnily enough, he had never heard ‘rain’ by Dragon before, so the mix of that was exciting to hear!!
How did you approach the recording process?
We recorded in 3 or 4 song blocks. We did 4 of those sessions over what felt like years!! Sometimes we played around with arrangements and stuff in the studio, which is rare for us, but mostly the songs were ready to track so it was a pretty quick process once we got in there. Drums first, layout the bed, then vocals after.
Jon Toogood sings the verses and pre chorus’ on Be The One which is awesome, i just went to his house and we tracked that upstairs in his spare room. That was so great, watching the greatest frontman in rock tracking one of your songs!!!
What programs/equipment did you use?
Guitar wise I used a lot of single coil telecasters, into an old Hiwatt turned up to 10 and a Marshall JMP. Cam had his SG into a Fender supersonic and a JCM 800 mostly.
Sammy has a custom Neve style thing he has running into protools. We used a Kemper for some overdubs, it’s so easy to dial up a sound with that thing, with a bunch of guitars like les pauls, telecasters with P90’s more SG’s, firebird, rickenbacker and Colesy’s (luthier Adam Cole) famous nashville tuned old guitary thing!!!
How will you be supporting the release of New Rituals?
PLEASE LET US PLAY……..we just wanna play. I fixed a lock at the local church last week, so i’m hoping they put in a word with hillsong or something.
The only way we know how, to release an album, is to play it live. So hopefully we will be doing that.
What motivates you to keep writing and playing music?
Writing wise, I just want to get better at it, it’s a really fun journey. I can lose hours at night in my little room caught up in a song. It’s like every song you write is the best one you’ve ever made, until your manager hears it and says ‘ it didn’t really grab me’ or ‘i’ve heard better’ which really is motivation in itself!!!
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Face To Face’s latest album ‘No way out but through’
Weezer ‘Van Weezer’
The Daniel Johns podcast
Turnstyle ‘Glow On’
Gyroscopes entire back catalogue!
What do you like to do away from music?
Hanging with the kids, as much surfing as my old bones can take, avoiding work, a couple of beers with mates whilst our kids run wild!
How’s the punk scene changed since the band first started?
Wow, it’s hard to remember the smell of the old Arthouse or the Punters club, the Annandale in Sydney, it’s mainly the venues for me, i still see a lot of the old faces, but the places have changed so much.
And bloody facedagram, all the things we did in those days, I’m pretty happy there were no mobile phone cameras documenting that!!
What’s planned for 2022?
I’ve got some new tunes, a plan for a different kind of release that I think we could get off the ground quite quickly.
A holiday up North????
Favourite food and place to hangout?
I love Pho. breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’ll take it.
Hanging in my yard listening to the waves, in between screaming boys and the terrible music they listen to. Oh wow. I’ve turned into my mother……. I’m going to have a valium and a glass of brandy….