Wed 3 Mar 2010
Sydney band Megastick Fanfare has been playing away ‘not so quietly’ up and down the East Coast of Australia for a few years now and they’re ready to grab your attention with their first official release. The five guys started playing together in high school where they played Of Montreal and Belle & Sebastian covers; but things really got going in early 2008 when they entered a university band competition in Sydney. For that, original material was required, and they’ve been writing and gigging ever since.
Musically, all five members share a love for bands like Grizzly Bear and Animal Collective. It’s evident where the melody meets the freak-psychedelia; wiggly synth and analog lines fly all over the place and get carried along on drifty loop-scapes. Add in each members’ personal tastes, different elements of your favourite blog-scure bands, and combine it with a supportive and inspirational local music scene. Guitarist/vocalist/tape loopsman Danny Keig says, “The Sydney music scene is great at the moment. There are heaps of really special bands that we love and respect and want to collaborate with. Bands like Seekae, Ghoul, Bearhug, Danimals and Kyü. Everyone just wants to support each other.”
The band has been recording their debut album for the past six months, and as a taster has released the track ‘Brain Tooth’ on 7″ vinyl. The recording process has been drawn out by an abundance of ideas, with all five members tinkering and playing around. “When recording, I think that we tend to include older ideas and new ideas in a song and it definitely makes you consider what the essential sounds are. That is exactly where we are up to now with our recording, going through the sessions, picking and choosing. It’s a difficult but satisfying process”
“Sometimes they are semi-improvised but I think we feel that it’s better to start the show as strong as possible and sometimes improvisation doesn’t quite cut it.”
Practice is a similar brainstorm, with sounds flying and input from all directions. “It’s safe to say that all our songs come from jams. Sometimes we will start with absolutely nothing and other times someone will bring a small idea. The idea usually changes considerably when we all start to contribute. It morphs into something else. I don’t think we would ever just accept an idea as it comes. By the time we have all had input it’s often something very different.”
True to their name, the band starts each set with an original piece of fanfare. “The name was a joke suggestion by our friend, which we slightly altered. The megastick doesn’t refer to anything, but the fanfare has turned out to be a large part of the band. The name came
first, then the fanfare, then the realisation that there is a piece of music called ‘Majestic Fanfare’. Weird.” Not just a gimmick, it opens the set with a declaration. “We tend to work on fanfares a lot when we can. Sometimes they are semi-improvised but I think we feel that it’s better to start the show as strong as possible and sometimes improvisation doesn’t quite cut it.” On stage there’s a whole mash of equipment. “It’s always a challenge to fit,” drums, guitars, bass, keyboards and synthesizers, digital loops and tape loops, samplers and lots of additional percussion. “Two of us sing and do our own vocal effects.”