Wed 28 Jan 2009
Minimalism Is Cute
Australian indie rockers My Disco are heading to New Zealand in early February to play at Camp A Low Hum. Before that, they are playing a show on February 5 at Cassette #9. Guitarist Ben Andrews had a chat to me about his expectations for CALH, touring the world and the difference between the Australian and New Zealand music scenes.
Indie kids and young adults from throughout the country have one thing on their mind right now; Camp A Low Hum 2009! This year the event’s promoter Ian ‘Blink’ Jorgensen has declared an Australian invasion, with in excess of twenty bands crossing the Tasman to join in the festivities. My Disco is quite possibly the best of the Australian talent; their minimalist, technically minded rock music has been praised internationally and their album Paradise was placed at 42 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s ‘Top 50 Albums of 2008′, as well as placing at number 20 in our own EMJ end of year list. Ben has an interesting expectation of Camp, he says, “I have an illustrated poster from the original Friday The 13th film, where it shows all the happy campers frolicking around and swimming and making out. I kinda hope camp will be like that, but with bands and without the horrible murders.”
Even if Camp A Low Hum doesn’t live up to Ben’s expectations, the show will be added to the band’s long list of exotic gig locations. In the band’s six year history they have toured some very interesting countries, including Mexico and Indonesia. Ben says, “We find places that get few or no touring bands are much more appreciative when it happens. People in Indonesia especially are very respectful and helpful considering their third world status.” Touring to the far reaches of the globe also gives the band time to be tourists, Ben says another one of the benefits is the amazing food. “We love food and they have amazing national dishes over there that will blow your mind.” In 2009 Ben will be able to tick another couple of countries off his list, in May My Disco is touring Denmark, Finland and Russia, which Ben is very excited about.
Touring New Zealand is a different experience all together, and it seems that despite being trans-Tasman neighbours few Australian bands bother with it. It’s likewise for New Zealand bands going to Australia, with many bands choosing to go to the UK before entering into Australia. Ben thinks that it’s simply a matter of economics. “It really depends on what your goals are. It can be hard to tour overseas and it seems most New Zealand bands that do well choose to play in North America or the UK first. Especially the UK actually, it seems they are quite open in the music press to NZ bands, historically speaking.” As for Australian bands touring New Zealand, Ben has a different view. He says “I think it’s about awareness. Not much is known about the New Zealand music scene over here to be honest, hopefully after this year’s Camp we can help spread the word.” Hopefully My Disco won’t be spreading the word alone, in the days before Camp A Low Hum venues throughout Auckland and Wellington are booked by Australian bands hoping to make the most of their short time in New Zealand. Perhaps after that the New Zealand public will have a better view of the Australian music scene.
Looking ahead to the future for My Disco, Ben says, “We will record later this year for an early 2010 release.” He describes their new material as “maximal simple jams with less layered instrumentation and perhaps a pop mentality” but he also adds “our new jams are still very primal and in their infancy still, very exciting to play though.” My Disco do like to keep their live performance simple, but a huge element is always improvised, Ben says, “We just play our songs and try to in an intense manner. We never write set lists, we just play whatever comes out; pretty relaxed approach to it really. We do extend and play around with parts in our songs that have an improvised nature to them, which is always fun.”
Savvy Promotions and Einstein Music Journal Presents
My Disco w/ Brand New Math and God Bows To Math
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Cassette #9, Auckland