With more than 30 million streams to their credit and having played the likes of Glastonbury and Splendour in the Grass, a national support slot with RUFUS, and a run of their own sold-shows, the band that grew out of Mullumbimby’s Shearwater School, Tora, came back to home ground to make their debut album Take A Rest.
And after a couple of years touring, the two months or so recording in Main Arm were something of a rest – a rest at least from the relentless travel and gigging that has seen the boys build an impressive European and UK following.
‘A lot of the album was produced and recorded up at a house in Main Arm,’ says Tora guitarist Jai Piccone. ‘We had this massive garden and we would go out in and record organic garden sounds, flies and insects and birds and cactus.’
If you are wondering, cactus makes a noise when you flick the prongs.
‘We got a bit crazy after a while,’ laughs Jai of the intense Main Arm lockdown. ‘We were in the place for two months and we didn’t really go into town that much. We were with nature; it was weird creative energy!’
With the relentless touring schedule seeing Toby Tunis stepping out of the band to reduce numbers from five to four, band members are working overtime picking up Tunis’s impressive synth.
‘We had a lot of the foundation for the album before we got to the studio,’ says Piccone. ‘We had our base ideas and we came to finish it in the studio. It’s pretty eclectic. There is a lot going on – we recorded 15 tracks and tried to tie them together with a common feeling. With an organic percussive production and synth that we used throughout from track to track.’
So what should Tora fans expect for their only regional gig on the national tour before they head over to Europe where many of their shows have already sold out?
‘It will be a bit of a mix,’ says Jai. ‘It will be half-half – a lot of the old stuff and a fair bit of the new album. We have a special lighting crew onboard and so the sound is tied in. We have worked hard on the live show – and anyone who comes will be really surprised at how much our live show has moved along!’
Tora play the Hotel Great Northern on Saturday.