Discover up and coming bands in 10 questions…
(photo by Jason Cahill)
Sometimes I wonder if the greater part of people in Australia is in a band. There’s really a tsunami of exciting, sonic Aussies the past few years. So, I guess it must be hard to stand out as a musical artist/group if you’re living down under, yet one of them drew my hungry ears’ attention on first hearing. Brisbane‘s TERRA PINES hit my speakers some weeks ago with mighty force and tons of energy, Subtle melodies drenched in a fervid commotion of scorching guitars and a head-on pumping bass/drums tandem. This mettlesome combo is a staggering powerhouse trio with a refined nose for sticky tunefulness. Vocalist/guitarist Kelly will tell you why, how and more. But let’s start the acquaintance first with a stirring track from the band’s debut longplayer…
1. What’s the story behind the band’s name and
how would you describe your sonic identity?
KELLY: “We were originally called Tall Pines but we received a cease and desist letter
from another band of the same name a few months before we were planning on putting out our debut record. We probably didn’t have any legal imperative to change our name but we thought it better to distance ourselves from the other band and carve our own path far away from them in our own little pocket of bliss. Terra Pines was the only name
suggested that we all agreed on. I think it worked out well in the wash though. I much prefer Terra Pines. I would describe our sonic identity as loud, genre-bending
big mood music.”
2. Which song do you consider as the band’s signature track so far?
KELLY: “For me it’s Extreme Handshakes. We didn’t really know what we were doing
when we started this project and had no clear idea of what we wanted to do sonically (other than loudness). Extreme Handshakes was the first song we wrote together
and it really solidified our conceptual plans. After that the songwriting just became
real effortless. Sonically, Handshakes is the perfect confluence of influences for us
i.e. shoegaze, grunge, post-punk and sludge pop and it was all a bit of an accident.
It was almost like we tripped over the song or something hahaha.”
3. The front cover’s artwork of your self-titled debut album is quite fascinating. What is the image about and what’s the connection with the music?
KELLY: “The amazing album artwork was painted by our friend Benjamin Hale. I think the second we saw it we all could easily imagine it as our cover. I love the duality of the image, the skull often represents death and mortality in pop culture symbolism, so couple that with the hot pink background (which is the least goth colour in the history of the spectrum) and you get a nice symbiosis of light and dark, which is what we try to do with our music as well.”
4. Are all songs on the album connected in some way or
are they all different stories/experiences?
KELLY: “The songs were written individually as separate entities and in no way written
to be consumed as a whole, luckily it works as one though. The songwriting process was instinctual and I wouldn’t say that a whole lot of thought went into the processes. We just did the thing, recorded the thing and put out the thing. I would definitely like to be more intentional for the next record and spend a bit more time on fully realising the concept and experimenting more with song structure.”
5. ‘Lately’ is my favorite track. The wall-of-multi-layered-guitar-sound is quite stunning. How did the song came together production-wise?
KELLY: “Aww thanks 😊 in my opinion Lately is the roughest and rawest on the record sonically speaking. but probably the sweetest lyrically so there’s a nice dynamic there. At the time it was written I was listening to lots of Metz and wanted to do something brash, atonal and noisy. The song came together real quick and was recorded in an afternoon after a few takes. We recorded the song live so there aren’t any over-dubs or layers, it’s just the 2 guitars, drums and some bass organ for extra low-end.”
6. Which movie would you pick to visualize the LP’s music
on a big screen while playing a gig?
KELLY: “The 1996 Bill Paxton/Helen Hunt Classic Twister or Dante’s Peak haha. All jokes aside I think ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane’ could be cool or some kind of psychological horror of that ilk. I can just imagine Bette Davis overacting in her garish pancaked makeup and looking creepy/funny to Dream Big. Man, I love that film!”
7. In my daily search for new exciting music I notice tremendous action in
Australia. A new scene or just a fertile generation of young musicians?
KELLY: “Maybe I’m biased but I feel like there’s always been exciting stuff happening across the arts here in Australia, particularly in Brisbane where we are from. At least
in my time there have always been local bands that I am frothing about and it’s an
exciting, inspiring and supportive scene to be a part of.”
8. If you could go back in time on which artist’s front door would
you knock and ask to have a selfie together?
KELLY: “If I had the power to travel back in time I would probably go back and try and save everyone in the 27 club who died too soon. Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Mama Cass etc… Maybe I could be some kind of time traveling, life counseling Marty McFly type.
9. Your number one band/artist to go on a world tour with?
KELLY: “Right now, it’s Beach House. I’m still listening to their new record 7 every day so
I would love to see/hear how they pull it all off live. I go into a weird altered state when I listen to them so I would love to talk to them. I suspect they are modern day mesmerists and I really want to harness their power.”
10. Next step for the band in the near future?
KELLY: “We’ve had a nice little break so we’ll be getting back into the studio soon to start working on record number 2. I think we are going to do things a little differently this time. We aren’t going to record live, instead we’ll be tracking individually and I think we are going to do a lot more pre-production work this time around. I’m very keen, onwards and upwards!”
Thank you Kelly for this fun interview.
May the road rise with TERRA PINES!
Let’s have some big mood turmoil now!
Here’s TERRA PINES’ debut album in full…
(photo: Facebook Terra Pines)