Interview: Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever
With bands including The Twerps, Dick Diver and The Ocean Party, Melbourne has exported an impressive swarm of Velvets revisionists making The Go-Betweens-esque jangle pop in recent years. Continuing this lineage are new Sub Pop signings Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.
'The French Press EP', was recently released to acclaim from tastemakers far and wide. Fresh from his recent exploration of Alt-Australia James Dodd chats to the band about Swedish Balearica, their favourite Australian music and films and future plans.
Q: Your latest E.P - French Press - has received favourable reviews and a fair amount of airplay here in the UK. How has the reaction been at home?
It's been great. We just wrapped up our Australian tour in support of the EP. The shows were great fun. We had crowd surfers at a few of the shows which was new. At a few shows people were pointing to Tom and singing the lyrics back at him. It was funny seeing him having to concentrate on the lyrics, not getting thrown off.
Q: Is there a temptation or pressure to relocate to Europe or the USA?
No I don't think so. I mean I know we'd love to see as much of Europe and USA as we can, but I think we're all happy living in Melbourne.
Q: Has the mainstream success of Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett, had a major impact on the indie music scene in Australia?
I think it has in that there seem to be more opportunities for Australian bands to have their music heard overseas, and to tour overseas. I think bands like Tame Impala and Courtney Barnett have certainly paved the way for the current, quite large, generation of Aussie bands to have a go internationally. In terms of the indie music scene at home, Melbourne in particular (bias) has had a really strong independent music scene over the years regardless. It seems to me to be especially strong right now.
Q: In addition to the strong musical export, there have been some great Australian films released in recent years - Animal Kingdom and Snowtown for example. What are your favourite Australian films?
My favourite is Spotswood, which has Ben Mendelsohn in it (Pope in Animal Kingdom). It's nothing Animal Kingdom though, it's a comedy made in the 1990s, set in the 1960s. Sort of like Happy Days in that there's a double nostalgia thing.
Q: There's a punk-esque confidence and assertion to your sound. Are the comparisons to The Go-Betweens - renowned for a gentler, more considered sound - fair?
Yes we love The Go-Betweens, but we also love other bands - The Jam for one is one I listen to a lot. In the Jam Paul Weller was poetic and blistering and I really like that.
Q: We’ve now enjoyed two extended plays. When can we expect to be treated to a full length release and what will it sound like?
We're just writing the album at the moment, it's almost done. We'll probably record in the coming months. I think it will sound like us. There are guitars. It's pretty pop, but a bit of leg room too.
Q: I was surprised to hear you are fans of Swedish balearica, we too like bands like Air France, Studio and The Tough Alliance, do you think this influence might emerge in your sound at any point? What other dance acts do you like?
I like alot of the bands from that time because they draw on alot of mid-late 80s English bands like Stone Roses and Field Mice. The Embassy in particular is a band I listen to a bit. They have great chords and great hooks. I love the song State 08.
Q: A strange one to end - the Middle 8 in Sick Bug is one of the sweetest sections of music we've heard in a long time. Was it deliberate to use that section so teasingly?
Thanks! Joe wrote that on his own so I'm not sure, but I think ... no I can't say.
Listen below to 'The Sound of Young Australia' a playlist for Coney's Loft by Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.
Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever return to the UK in September for selected live dates.
Tour Dates -
1 Sept. 2017 - Dumfries and Galloway, Electric Fields Festival
2 Sept. 2017 - Manchester, O2 Ritz
3 Sept. 2017 - Dorset, Larmer Tree Gardens
4 Sept. 2017 - London, The Lexington
5 Sept. 2017 - London, The Old Blue Last
6 Sept. 2017 - Leeds, Brunedell Social Club
12 Sept. 2017 - London, MOTH Club