Their new album Timeless Groove Too captures this to a tee. Trent Morgan chatted with The Echo about their new release.
Where did you guys record? Tell me a little about your process and the feel you were going for.
We recorded it all at the home studio except for some piano dubs at a local church hall. It was all recorded on an iPad using the multitrack DAW program (nice and simple) – using one microphone. Some dubs were also done on a laptop, and were then put back to the iPad. We always go for a good feel initially – recording drums first (during a live take with guitar or bass) then build the tracks from there. We want to keep it sounding like us live but with the colouring of added instrumentation.
Your music seems to reflect a lot of the feel of the north coast. How does living here feed into your feel?
Well the north coast is very beautiful and we are into the natural beauty of our surrounds very much. We were all surfers and still love the ocean and that sort of lifestyle is reflected in a few songs. We very much like to live a relaxed lifestyle if possible too and although the north coast is becoming busier it is still way more relaxed than some other lifestyles. There is a ‘suite’ of four songs about the seasons on our album and north coast living is reflected in those lyrics to a large degree.
What was the track on your album that you were happiest with?
I like all the tracks – no favourites, for me just different strengths etc, but I get a personal kick out of listening to Struttin’ Out Straight because I put on a variety of different instruments and it gives me satisfaction to hear some of the results because I put a lot of work into it.
There is a lot of instrumentation on the album. Do you guys manage to replicate this in a live set?
Live we are a three-piece – guitar, bass, drums/percussion, harmonica and vocals. On the album we are free to add instrumentation, which gives a different flavour and helps bolster some aspects, like putting in parts that were written for particular songs and adding counter melodies etc.
Practically speaking it would be really nice to have some extra instrumentation live but the reality is that there is not much money in performing music live at the level we are and it is a lot easier to work regularly in a creative environment with three people rather than six or seven. We find that with our three-piece format we fill a lot of space – John is used to covering the lead and rhythm aspects of the guitar range, Russell fills a lot of space on bass and can play busily or more simply and with the harmonica we have another lead instrument for variety. We all sing as well – two- and three-part harmonies, which covers a lot of ground.
I’m interested in the inspiration for She Bites Me.
John won’t tell us what that one’s about. Apparently it’s a mixture of fantasy and imagination. The bite marks might be real, but not the cat; it’s actually just a string bend.
What is your classic north coast anthem, do you think? Angel in a Coffee Shop? Moon over Mullumbimby?
Well both are about different aspects. Moon over Mullum is another one of those songs that appreciate the natural beauty of the area and convey a sense of hope – which many people may relate to when coming to the area.
Angel in the Coffee Shop is another mixture of actual and imagined but the coffee is real and good and something tells me heaven might be missing a few angels.
Spring and Summer are quite focused lyrically on those seasons from the north coast perspective and Spanish Mackerel is also written influenced by the Brunswick River and the mountains in the hinterland.
What are your favourite gigs on the coast?
We love playing at the markets. Being outside, playing to a really broad range of people from all sorts of backgrounds and with a variety of ages. The sound is usually good outside – the drums aren’t bouncing off enclosed hard surfaces and the audiences are usually pretty relaxed and that’s really nice. However, there is not much reward financially doing this so in choosing this gigging ‘lifestyle’ we are sort of taking a pay cut. There are some other venues we really enjoy as well – The Rails in Byron can be really fun because it’s more of a let-your-hair-down sort of gig – the Hotel Brunswick is a beautiful place to play, too. Basically we enjoy playing in pleasant places.
The album is available for purchase from the website at broadfoot.com.au.
Broadfoot play the Byron Farmers Market on Thursday from 8am.