Pinched… off a most prestigious network!
This is how much of a dumb American I am (the name was taken, I checked), when I think of Melbourne I face East and I visualize myself flying there when I should be facing West cause it’s way shorter. I’ve said it before, Melbourne is getting cooler and cooler to me. I mean, now that I know what’s going on there; I’ve been listening to as many sounds from there as possible just to get a feel for what they’re thinking, over there. That’s when I
came across heard this!
Their Bloodhounds On My Trail EP starts off easy enough with Old Fools, a track that’s as formula as the beginning of any gaze out there, but rather than just dwell in the small end of the pool; they quickly go to the deep end with the chorus: “Oh, we could have been fools getting old,” where they keep it for a bit… and then drop that heavy bassline right in it.
If Escape is a sample of what they’re capable of then the next track Dreamless is their pop song, which sounds like a variation of The Cure’s Pictures Of You, if it was flooded with delays. It’s also a little more than basic with where it puts the hook.
Jolly is anything but. Maybe it’s talking about someone with ups and downs? Because the person in the song is present for once? And the track also has ups and downs which makes it reflectively-hypnotic. The trance is broken by the last track Silence, It’s Golden which seems like it was two different songs when they first approached it, which is how a crafty song writer is tested by putting those together.
But these aren’t songs so much as they are experiences, which needs a full-length album for a solid study of what BHOMT (that’s right, I just did that) is all about. Of course a interview would do just as well.
Zoe Dune: We’ll start with the simple stuff, like… are you guys in trouble or something? I don’t know that they whip out the bloodhounds for just anyone. How long have you been throwing them off your trail?
Chris: I wish one of us did get the name from personal experience and we had some awesome ‘Shawshank Redemption’ type story to peddle but the truth is its just a play on words from an old Robert Johnson tune called “Hellhound On My Trail”. We played our 1st gig in Feb 2014 so I suppose we’ve been ‘running’ (ha.. ha.. ha..) since then.
Zoe Dune: Your EP ‘Escape‘ is a combination of two things that I initially had a problem, trying to figure out how you pulled it off, being:
a. Your ability to construct music that has everything it takes to make a good song and,
b. The simple and not over-saturated effects that could distract from your song writing.
So how do you approach song writing? Is it just natural for you to put those two things together? I imagine the soundscapes you create would be tricky if you over-think it.
Chris: We definitely have a ‘gang’ mentality when it comes to song writing. Someone will bring in the bones of a tune (being some chords, melody and lyrics) & the structure and mood of the song come from a collaborative effort often based of the drums. What I like is when I write a song, I can concentrate on songwriting aspect alone knowing that the way it sounds & the Bloodhounds touch will come together as a group. Sometimes I may think a song will be a certain way but find it changes once in the group environment and becomes even better. Its liberating to be in a band where not everything is dictated before hand and you have the trust in each member to create something on their own to add to the song in their own way. Its very much an organic process this way. As for your 2nd point, our combined mind is about accentuating the song itself. We don’t have a mentality to add this or that because it needs an effect here or there. We don’t have a manic selection of crazy types of effects because if we concentrate too much on basing a song on effects, then you are sacrificing whats good for the song and how its been written.
Zoe Dune: What are your influences?
Chris: Across the board there it is a vast question. Probably to many to quantify! As touched on we all bring our own thing & trust each other 100% to add a unique touch & do whats right for the song. Mood is a pretty big factor. I don’t sit down and say “right, I like this tune so I’m going to write one like that”. I think being influenced by music itself is more subconscious that a conscious effort. You listen to bands, enjoy the music and the experiences that are attached. But for conscious influence, its definitely mood. You write what you are feeling at the time. Evidence of this are all through history in lyrics and in the vibes of songs. The way music is written from my perspective is natural because its subconscious.
Zoe Dune: What’s a band fight like for you guys?
Chris: Well with brothers in the band its probably less civil. Mostly because its easy to just speak the mind with family. Its good though cause it means there are never any harboring negatives so we can progress a lot quicker. A fight in Bloodhounds would mostly consist of the brothers (Nik & myself) disagreeing on a point & arguing it out until one of us caves in. Usually hard to change the mind of someone when you think you are right haha. Its better now than when we were younger and in another band. Drummers pack a killer punch fyi so don’t mess. Drum sticks also tend to accurately hit their targets! In saying that loud mouth little brothers do need to be put in line once in a while! Truth is though we get on 99% of the time.
Zoe Dune: What’s up with Hideous Towns? Are they scary or what!?
Chris: I find Alana fascinating to watch on stage. She stands there staring for prolonged periods like shes cutting people in half. In a good way! Its pretty damn mesmerizing. They are a beautiful sounding band live & each time I see them they seem to have this great knack for matching the tone of the room/audience. I’m not sure if they do it on purpose but I certainly feel that way watching them. Maybe I could continue the persona & say they are the most terrifying band in Melbourne haha. Seriously though, they are an awesome band & awesome people. Nothing to be scared of.
Zoe Dune: Btw, that last question about Hideous Towns… I figured you guys might know each other. Which makes me wonder, what’s it like to be in the middle of the Melbourne gaze scene?
Chris: Really good. The quality of shoe gaze bands locally is great and it means there are always cool shows to go to or be apart of. Having other gaze bands around doing good things also keeps you wanting to push your sound and write and record new tunes. Music becomes better and stronger when you have an involved scene. Just look at Seattle grunge or the bands to come out of the CBGB’s punk era.
Zoe Dune: Most of everything I’ve seen of Australia is in stuff like the Indian runner or Midnight Oil videos. Is it anything like that over there? Or is it more like the Snowtown Murders?
Chris: Not for us. We live in the city. So it’s pretty much like a regular city. Its got its hot spots, its got its dodgy spots. There is coffee, there is art & there is a good music culture. Melbourne is consistently one of if not the most livable cities in the world so it’s pretty awesome really. I would like to hope more info than just things from 20 years ago is advertising Australia to Americans though HaHa.
Zoe Dune: That was kind of ridiculous. What you must think of us Americans!?
Chris: Haha, I hear America is just like a Bruce Springsteen video right?
Zoe Dune:. Btw, your track ‘Jolly’ is anything but! It’s a pretty moving piece!
Chris: Irony is always a fun way to write a piece of music. I think it comes down to whether or not you believe the lyrics. If you do then the irony is in the music. If not, then the irony is in the lyrics. Guess its there for the listener to interrupt it they way they want.
Chris: At practice as I’m typing this in as the lads ponder serious issues like, “should we eat before we start?”
Zoe Dune: Of course, we all want to know what’s in the works for BHOMT’s future?
Chris: Working toward releasing a couple of singles a few months in to next year. Looking to tour at least the East Coast of Australia too while keeping a presence in Melbourne as well but solid gigging. We like to be busy. We like to create music. We like to play music. So maximizing those things will keep bloodhounds doing plenty!