Having just released their third album Bloom, taken out the Heavy Award at the 2016 Queensland Music Awards and released their music video for ‘Turntail’, there’s no end in sight for the Brisbane band. With the Turntail Tour just beginning, we sat down to have a chat with Jim Grey (lead vocalist), the night after their win at the QMA’s.
TEO: First of all, congratulations! You took out the Heavy Award for your track ‘Marigold’ last night at the Queensland Music Awards. How are you guys feeling now?
Jim: It’s been good, yeah! The rest of the band are all at rehearsal being grown-ups, while I get to do the fun stuff here. It was a rare experience to be recognised, it’s been great so far.
Any celebrating last night?
Yes, we celebrated with a nap. After touring, it was really nice to come home and just sleep. We’re all nerds, so it was nothing too exciting.
Your third album Bloom dropped in October last year, and since then you’ve toured some of the most incredible places. Which gig has been your favourite so far?
Interesting. Probably the highlight was playing in Paris, lots of people were brave coming out to see us, and it was good. But the best was Utrecht, in the Netherlands. That was a real treat. The venue was packed and acting Australian, it was funny. As we came out on stage we hear the familiar Australian accent yelling, ‘Fucking let’s do it!’ It was just really nice.
Is there one thing you always look forward to coming home to?
Well, my family for a start. My daughter was 6 months old when I left, and then I came home to a 7 and a half-month-old, which was a big difference. When you’re coming back to Australia you realise just how Australian you are; you’re attached to home, so it’s always good to come back. We have all these romantic attachments to these places overseas, but it is good to be home.
You’ve played with some big names, like Tesseract and Mastodon, but who has been your favourite?
Probably our time with Tesseract. With Opeth and Mastodon we had just one off shows, and it was an excellent experience, but being on the road with Tesseract was good. We had a good response from their crowd, and by the end we were a family. We looked up to them and Dan is one hell of a vocalist. It’s a real treat to see him perform night after night. You take things away; no matter how experienced you are, you take things away.
Is there anyone you’d love to share a stage with?
Well, Devin Townsend is really high on my list. He’s a long time hero for me, and now that we are on the same label, there is genuine possibility. That would be a pleasure.
Bloom is an incredible album, you guys have nailed the sound – is there anything you wanted people to take from it?
Yes, I definitely wanted people to take a sense of positivity away. The Rain was kind of sombre; I’ve been through some sad times recently, and I didn’t want to be a part of making people sad (even if it is cathartic at times). I wanted to make people feel bittersweet at most. I wanted people to be happy and not judgemental of others. I’m glad ‘Marigold’ translated though, it’s hardly a radio single, and yet people really took to it.
What inspired the title song, ‘Bloom’? I loved the way you’ve told a story before the band kicks in behind you and it’s completely different to the rest of the album.
The title was set long before anything was really started – Bloom. We had this image in our heads. And as we started working on the track, Sam and Zac were nutting out the acoustics and it sort of started to suit. But it was deliberate from the beginning.
Which track is the band’s favourite to perform?
[Laughs] Well you’ll get a different story from each of the band members. Mine, other than ‘Marigold’, is definitely ‘Rust’. Which we don’t play very often at shows. It’s explosive, physical and gets a great reaction from the crowd; it’s good to see the crowd moving. What’s your favourite on the album?
I really like ‘Bloom’, I love how different it is…but my favourite one is ‘Rust’ too. I can play it in the car and really get into it.
I can just imagine someone pulling up next to you as you yell, ‘So fuck you’re prayer for rain!’
I do like ‘Daughter of the Mountain’ though – it’s a good, sweet little thing. Cool concept and it was a lotta fun to write.
And finally, what is next for you guys this year?
Well, for the rest of the year we are obviously looking forward to playing to Aussie crowds. They are our favourite, and I see faces in Melbourne that I saw in our first show and it’s great. Looking forward to playing in Adelaide too, we are great mates with Chaos Divine and For Millennia and it is just good to see friends.
After the tour though, we are going to continue writing. Touring really took a hit to our creativity and we are looking forward to changing it up with something different this year.
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