mercredi 28 avril 2010

Crayon Fields - Interview - Pop dreamers

English version here.

When we speak about the Australian rock music area, the well known groups are the first to come in mind. But when we try to find a name in the Australian independent music sphere, the name dropping is much more difficult to do, as we’re always focusing on American or English bands…

If we rummage a little further through, we can discover a young, underground, very interesting but nonetheless not very famous in France, music scene. We immediately think of the spearheads of the Australian garage band Eddy Current Suppression Ring, but also of bands coming from the Melbourne label Chapter Music, such as Crayon Fields.

We’ve discovered them a few months ago, by coming across their last album All The Pleasures Of The World (cf. WOL 3).
The type of musical encounters we like, which radiant and irresistible pop songs bewitched us immediately.

They (and more particularly their singer Geoff O’Connor) have accepted to answer few questions, looking forward to come in France to play their beautiful songs… (What are the tour organizers waiting for….?)

x How would you define your music? Can you link it to a specific genre?
Dreamy melodramatic pop.
Not really. Not that I’d have any issue with doing so, it’s just that as the years pass I find it harder to tell which genre is which.

x What type of atmosphere did you want to create in your album?
Lush and eerie.

x Is your music the result of a collective work?
Definitely. While I write the melodies, lyrics and chord progressions, the songs always become something very different once the four of us have worked through them.

x Your music reminds us of The Zombies. Like them, you think to be looking for the perfect pop song…
That’s very true. All my favourite songs are pop songs, and many of those are by the Zombies. We were lucky enough to see them play in Glasgow last year. I’m a huge fan of Colin Blunstone’s solo album ‘One Year’ too.

x What kind of music do you listen to? And what does inspire you?
I almost exclusively listen to vocal based pop music. Anything with a bit of a ‘kick’ to it.
[What inspires me] To make music in the first place? Probably the fact that I found it so terrifying to sing when I was growing up, I was too chicken to even sing ‘Happy Birthday’. I guess its largely because of this that singing always seemed like such an exciting, dangerous thing to do. Recently? Probably all the incredible pop music video clips that keep appearing. I’ve started making my own, which I’m enjoying immensely.

x So you’re also interested in cinema? Do you have film directors, or films standing for models?
Very much so. Film was one of my majors at university and I’ve recently started working on my own music clips and short films. In terms of film makers, the first that come to mind would be John Cassavettes, R W Fassbinder, Catherine Breillat, Wong Ka Wai, Woody Allen and Pedro Almodovar. They’ve all made a big impact on me personally, and so I guess many of their films have some sort of an influence on my music. I read a book about Almodovar a while ago, and his intense work ethic and approach to film making really interests me. I guess he became a role model of sorts, one of (perhaps too) many.

x Do you like reading?
Most of the books I read tend to have been written between the 1950s and 1980s. I’m a very slow reader. Recently I’ve been enjoying Raymond Carver, Eileen Myles and Harvey Swados. Francoise Sagan, Graham Green, Carson McCullers and JD Salinger are the authors that have probably had the most impact on me. I’ve been trying to read more contemporary books, though it’s just so much cheaper to buy and trade the classics from second hand stores. Literature was my other major at university.

x What about fashion? Do you care about the way you dress?
I do, though I’m too cheap to dress as well as I’d like.

x Do you have jobs apart from your band?
I do a fair bit of live mixing. I’ve done many odd jobs to pay my rent over the years. I’m not overly fussy over work, as long as gets me closer to my next synthesizer.

x And what do you like apart from playing music?
I rent DVDs and read a fair bit. I enjoy playing chess and googling myself on the internet too.

x Do you like attending gigs? And doing concerts yourself?
I like both very much. In Melbourne it is quite easy to see a band every night of the week if you have the time. Lately I’ve been a bit more selective in terms of what I’ll go out and see, simply because I don’t want to get tired of seeing the same performers too often. I love performing, especially for our own show as we get to decorate the stage and have more control over how we present ourselves.

x You’ve just come back from a tour in Australia, do you have a favorite city?
Hard to say. I adored Hamburg when I went there, though I’m sure if I was offered a free ticket to a city of my choice I’d just end up choosing New York.

x Can you say something about your label Chapter Music and the independent Australian music, which is not well known in France? We personally like The Twerps a lot!
We love the Twerps! Chapter has been incredibly supportive of us for a while now, and we really love what they release. Every time I return from overseas I’m reminded of how diverse and vibrant Australian independent music is. Perhaps it’s partly because we are a little isolated here and we have to make our own fun.

x So you have a lot of friends among the Australian bands?
Many, the Melbourne music community is both very friendly and very inbred. Everyone is either in, or being kicked out of, everyone else’s band.

x Have you Australian bands to recommend us?
Dick Diver, The Twerps, Guy Blackman, Jessica Says, Pikelet, Kes Band, Minimum Chips.

x Do you all live together?
Haha. I think we’d drive each other nuts if we lived together, or at least I’d drive the others nuts. I live in North Melbourne, which is a leafy inner suburb of Melbourne. It's relatively cheap too.

x Do you often think about your future as a band?
Sometimes, though I mostly just focus on each new song as it comes. As long as we feel we are improving as a band we’ll keep writing songs and performing. I’d certainly love for the band to travel overseas more. Roll K -

- RollK & B -

“We are a pop band from Melbourne, Australia. We have released two albums (new album 'All The Pleasures Of The World', 2009 and 'Animal Bells', 2006) and three 7 inches ('Mirror Ball', 2008, 'Voice Of Paradise', 2009 and 'All The Pleasures Of The World, 2009). In early 2009 we toured the UK, Europe and New Zealand. Our new album 'All The Pleasures Of The World' (2009) has just been released on Australian label Chapter Music and Japanese label Rallye Records.”

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