Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?
Currently in Narrabeen in Sydney, the scene on the beaches isn’t too bad and Sydney overall is really pretty good, The last few years have seen a heap of really good rooms of all different sizes really flourish.
How did you first start playing music?
I started learning guitar when I was about 12, I’d had piano lessons a few years before that, but I was never really that interested in the piano, wish I’d stuck with that now though.
Started playing in bands around 13 or 14 at school, mainly cover bands, which I found a bit boring so started writing some of my own stuff.
What’s been happening recently?
We’ve just been flat out rehearsing for the upcoming Album tour in April / May, as well as starting to sort songs for the next album, can’t wait to start playing this tour though, Hoping the dreaded Covid19 doesn’t stop people heading out to local shows.
Your new album ‘World Keeps Turning’ is out on the 27th of March, what influenced the sound and songwriting for this album?
We really wanted to make an album that would be listened to as an album, not just a bunch of songs or a few singles and fillers, we worked pretty hard to pick the 10 tracks that we thought fit together best and also kept interest throughout the whole LP, Influences for this one have come from all over the place, we’re 90’s kids at heart, bands like Dinosaur Jr, Sugar, melodic pop punk had a big influence on a lot of the guitar sounds, I would like to think that we have found our own sound by now too and the album also sounds pretty unique to the Tshitaki sound.
How did you go about writing the music?
I’ll usually get a riff or melody stuck in my head and we are pretty luck these days with things like iPhones that we can just put the idea straight down into a voice memo and then work it out later, I find lots of songs come along while travelling or walking, I guess it’s a repetitive rhythm sort of thing, once I have the riff and melody down it’s a matter of demoing at home then bringing the idea in to jam it after that, lyrics usually come after for me, I find it’s easier once the song has a feel to write about a particular subject or theme.
Where and when did you record and who with?
Early last year we built a studio in my factory where we rehearse, I have the control room there as well, the 2 rooms are separated by about 30 meters of multicore that runs across a driveway through a pvc pipe, we did all the tracking there between August and September, We had heaps of fun trying out different mics, different amps, different direction set ups, took us a couple of months to finish tracking, then we sent to Lachlan Mitchell to mix, I’ve worked with Lachlan before and really like the mixes he’s done, from there it went to Joe Carra’ at Crystal Mastering down in Melbourne for a fine polish in mastering.
How did you approach the songwriting process?
We took our time with this bunch, I’d bring a riff or an idea in and we’d jam it for a bit and see if it worked, if it did I’d start trying different melodies over the top of it and then we’d feel it out and structure it from there, there were a bunch of songs that didn’t make it on, not because they weren’t good songs, more because they didn’t feel right with the rest.
How did the concept come about for the ‘Inside Out’ film clip?
We wanted it to be create a raw, pretty live feeling clip, the original idea was to have ½ the clip inside and then the other half outside, unfortunately our Aussie summer served us up about 2 weeks of straight rain in the window we had to shoot the clip, so change of plans and location, we ended up at an amazing property in North Western Sydney that Mullo’s (bass) had been working on throughout the summer installing a bushfire sprinkler system, It kind of turned out really well because if it wasn’t for the rain, we probably wouldn’t have gotten to use this awesome space. The song is about the internal battle we go through of what we want and what we really need, We’re pretty stoked to get this one out there!
Where and when did you film and who with?
North West Sydney in an amazing recycled timber barn, this place was really quite amazing in the middle of the bush with no houses for miles,
We pulled our old mate ‘Fox’ Damien Foxton up to direct and edit the clip and Ash Brennan was behind the camera, these guys are awesome, Shelly, who’s Ash’s partner was assisting for the shoot as well, Heaps of fun!
How was the filming/editing experience?
It was heaps of fun; we left most of that to Fox.
You have an Australian tour kicking off In April, how do you prepare for live shows and what do you have planned for this tour?
It’ll be loud, full of melodic fuzz and the drums will literally beat whatever is left of this Corona Virus within 100km to a pulp, we’ve had a pretty hectic rehearsal schedule leading up to these shows, I think we’ve been in the rehearsal room for about 15hours a week for the last month, Going hard.
Any show that you are really looking forward to playing?
All of them really, It’s our first time in Melbourne and QLD so we’re really looking forward to those legs, And we always love playing in our hometown Sydney, We’re just really keen to play these songs into of a whole bunch of new ears and hope to make a bunch of new friends along the way.
What do you like to do away from music?
Surfing, love just being in the water, Camping and going on adventures with my dogs, I have a cattle x and a dingo, we love tracking into the bush and getting in touch with nature, besides that, work, but we all gotta eat ;-), works not so bad, I run a screen printing company, so it’s a lot of fun too.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Tropical Fuck Storm, Amyl and the Sniffers, Plants from Wollongong, Don’t Praise the Machine, Major Arcana have all been getting a regular spin lately, but during the recording, especially while I was writing the lyrics, I was going back to old favorites like Paul Kelly, Gareth Liddiard, the Drones and Steve Poltz gave me a lot of a good kick in the pants to write better songs lyrically.
What’s planned for 2020?
Cure for COVID-19 hopefully!!, then we can get back on the road, we’ll start working on the new album around August, until then we are on the road around Australia, (virus permitting), we had plans to head to Japan and Indonesia in June/July but it looks like the world may be in a total shutdown now ;-((
Favorite food and place to hangout?
The Beach and the Mountains, I did a 2 week road trip in February and found some awesome spots on the mid north coast of NSW, such a magical part of the world, favorite food, how can I pick, Chocolate, Humus and Mexican, Love a Taco salad with a nice Pale Ale! Yes!