What better way to have the band’s get acquainted than to have them interview each other. Chris Sutter of Meat Wave interviews Michael Richards of Violent Soho below. See the tables turned in the accompanying interview here.
Chris Sutter of Meat Wave interviews Mikey Richards of Violent Soho
Hey guys, my name is Chris, I play in Meat Wave. Really excited to go out and tour the beautiful and ugly parts of our country with y’all! It’s looking like it’s gonna be really fun. Having toured here in the past, what are the highlights for you guys when you come here? The low points? Where are you looking to visit and play the most?
G’day Chris! We’ve been all over North America, although it’s been ages since we last were there. We lived in New York and toured the US and Canada for 12 months during ’09 and ’10. We’ve got so many rad memories, honestly I wouldn’t know where to begin. There are plenty of places we love that we aren’t even managing to get to this time round as well. Honestly though, we are just looking forward to experiencing the whole massive country in all its glory. Every city has its own culture, and it can be such a trip to really take that all in. From Detroit to San Fran, there is so much Americana goodness to experience. Low points are freezing our asses off, so none of that please.
Your guys’ music has this way of seeming very rooted in nostalgia and perhaps music that you guys had grown up listening to, and then suddenly switching to something really future-sounding which takes the song completely somewhere else. One thing I particularly like is all the different vocal stylings and the different voices he puts on for particular parts. I think it makes your music sound really multifaceted and dimensional. What were you guys listening to when working on this new record or what do you think has informed your sound? I’m terrible at describing what I’m listening to so just tell me to fuck off if I’m wrong.
No need to fuck off there mate. I think your description is super apt and pretty flattering as well, so cheers! I don’t really write the songs, just the drum parts, but having played with Luke (songwriter) for well over a decade I can tell you that developing the correct mood is definitely a huge part of his songwriting process. Often when creating a song we’ll be aiming for something that gives both the intent of a certain nostalgia, but also a fresh sense of immediacy and urgency. So using both old and new elements of different indie or punk styles I think gives that nice contrasted sense of pop sensibility. For me, on this record I was listening mostly to Drive Like Jehu and Box Car Racer. There’s also a lot of Built To Spill in there. We toured with those guys in late ’09 and their whole approach to being a band and just playing music in general rubbed off on us in a major way. So their influence is probably something that will always show up in our band for the rest of time.
I saw a photo from a recent hometown show(?) you guys had played and it was an aerial shot of the crowd and it looked like there were like, a million fucking people there. Are you guys like U2 over there? How have things been going since you released WACO?
Australia’s U2 are AC/DC, which is fucking awesome of course, we just want to be able to open for them one day. Honestly though it’s been a total surreal experience for us to watch WACO go from the local studio we record in with our mates Darek and Bryce (we have been recording with Bryce since ’05) on to debut at #1 on the national album charts in Australia and for us to have begun to play to multiple thousands of people at shows in our home country is just like a crazy dream. We just always wanted to be a band that could play to our mates, have a beer and write songs that mean something important to us. We are stoked that anyone at all would want to turn up to one of our gigs.
Forgive me if people tend to ask you about this, but what’s AC/DC like in Australia? Do people care, are they highly respected or not, etc.? Growing up, AC/DC was kind of my gateway into rock and roll and more or less made me want to play guitar. That being said, what Australian bands are you listening to these days? I really like Royal Headache and Total Control, what are some cool up and coming bands?
AC/DC are probably just fucking massive everywhere in the world. They are definitely huge here. I mean, Back In Black is probably just a permanent fixture on the album charts. There is definitely a national pride for AC/DC, but at the same time it’s probably of more historical significance. I think the national perspective is that the real Aussie genuine legend of the band exists with Bon Scott. Since he passed away, the band became an international sensation, but I know so many older people who have stories about when they saw Bon Scott and AC/DC play at their local veterans club or something similar back in the ’70s. I think that those stories are the real Australian legend of the band. Back before they were playing stadiums and when they were destroying pubs. By the way, LOVE Royal Headache and Total Control. Both are awesome bands. Australia has so many good bands. I don’t want to get carried away so I’ll just mention White Walls, Straight Arrows, Ceres, Luca Brasi, Dreamtime and High Tension. All fucking sick!
Our booking agent told us a funny story about booking the band Pissed Jeans in Australia. He said he had planned a tour for them and once he brought up that they’d have to fly to every city, they refused and basically said “fuck that,” ha. What’s it like touring there, do you guys enjoy it?
Jesus, that sucks because Pissed Jeans are one of my absolute favourite bands. I was really lucky in getting to see them once when I first moved to New York. I still think it was one of the best shows I’ve seen in my life. It would have ruled to have seen them play in Australia, but yeah fair enough it is expensive having to fly a lot here, but it makes sense when you consider it basically takes a whole day to drive anywhere so you might as well just fly and play a show rather than drive and play no show. Touring Australia is excellent for us though. We love playing to our own home crowds.
What’s the weed sitch in Brisbane and Australia in general?
We’ll sort you out mate.
I just had an appendectomy unexpectedly and it was one of the most intense physical experiences I’ve ever had in my life. What would you say is the most intense physical experience you’ve ever had?
Woah that is intense man. I have never had to be sliced open and I’ve never really broken a major bone or anything like that, though I did watch my wife go through child birth. It was an intense physical experience just being in the room for that. I sprained my wrist skating about a week and a half out from a three month tour a couple of years back. It didn’t really get a chance to heal in time and so I basically had to play through the pain every night. It progressively became more difficult every night of the tour to get through each show. My shoulder still hurts from that tour. God that sucked.
When you guys come to Chicago we will have to get pizza. This is more of a statement than a question. Thanks dudes!
Fucking oath man and thanks so much for all the sick questions dude and for your awesome band for agreeing to play so many shows with us. We are seriously so pumped to meet you guys and smash some pizza and everything else!
Stay tuned to the New Noise Magazine Instagram for the Violent Soho takeover.