The group has solidified into a tidy three-piece – myself on vocals and guitar, Chris Gleeson on drums, and Kevin Lauro (Space Party) on bass. Davey Fuzzsucker, who was to play guitar and vocals, moved to Melbourne just before our first rehearsal. I threatened, for the benefit of band lore, to tell people we kicked him out for listening to Matt Corby (he was so happy with the idea, I am now refusing to do it in a futile attempt to spite him).
I’m disappointed about not getting to play with Davey, and devastated about The Sinbirds-sized whole he’s left in Canberra. He’s irreplaceable and so we decided not to replace him. A brilliant and charismatic performer, he was to be my security blanket. While I have fronted bands before, my natural inclination as a bandleader is to give myself the easiest on-stage role (The Bluffhearts, where I got some of my favourite musicians to play my songs while all I did was strum open chords on an acoustic guitar, ranks as my crowning achievement). Without Davey, I am well out of my comfort zone. But this seems to be my year for getting uncomfortable. Not only am I singing, I’m playing more lead guitar than in any band before, building from the elementary licks I performed with Shine Tarts.
For all my worry, Chris and Kev are so relaxed and capable that I know we’ll be fine. We’re a month into rehearsals and the sound gets bigger and stronger each week.
The band will be a multimedia experience, principally so I can try out things I’ve never done before. Value-adding to music typically means a “pro-active web presence”. Our sound, influenced by CBGBs punk and The Velvet Underground, lends itself to a different approach. I’m creating a symbology and visual aesthetic separate to the music; I always liked the goofy Radiohead symbol circa 2000, and how it seemed at odds with their “serious” music, adding another layer to perceptions of the band. I’m interested in finding those wrinkles. The early result of this exploration will be a zine given away at our debut.
Dead Medium – Un Manifeste Par Faux Faux Amis, is a combination of lyrics, chords, personal hieroglyphics/sigils, Borges references, tarot doodles, quotes and haji-influenced collage. Nick and I had a conversation months ago where he called zines a dead medium – I filed the phrase away as the perfect title if I ever made one.