What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
I guess the members of The Siren Tower had been on a collision course for years before the band actually came about. We all did our apprenticeship in heavier stuff, and were drawn to each other as musicians and people, so as those earlier acts fell away we kind of gravitated toward each other, and luckily we all had a shared vision for doing something completely different and new. I think we just all arrived at the same place at the same time.
What had you first interested in music?
The lick from Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry; mum reared me on the classic rock artists like Berry, Leslie Gore, The Everly Brothers etc. Those artists informed my understanding of song-writing, and everything I’ve done since has some connection to that music and that period of my life.
Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
It’s two things really, a competitive urge to one up my peers, and then my own inability to live with something that doesn’t meet my own standards of what’s good. Coming up through the ranks with friends in some amazing West Aussie acts, the level of craft you get used to is pretty fierce, so you learn quickly that you need to aim for the same standards or you’re just wasting your time.
Do you have any planned tours coming up?
Yes we’ll be doing our biggest tour to date which kicks off next week. It’s the King River tour and we’ll be hitting Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth. Should be a cracker!
What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
I don’t have any goals based around success as an artist to be honest; the music business is based heavily on tastemakers within the infrastructure so day dreaming about shit that depends on people with too much power seems pointless to me. I guess if I have any goals it’s just to make amazing albums with my friends and be afforded the opportunity to play for the people that find a connection with our songs.
What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
The King River Tour is our A1 priority right now so they can expect a live experience to rival the spirit of the record. Having cut our teeth in heavy music, we learnt how to make shows very intense, and we’ve applied that to the dynamic range of The Siren Tower, hopefully with great effect.
Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
Having no expectations… if you keep your head down and go about your business, your work output is your success. Want to write an amazing album? Go do it. Our biggest highlight is a result of that ethos… opening the shipping containers and holding our debut album, A History Of Houses was easily one of the best moments I’ve had making music.
Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Having hauled arse around the country for years on my own dime, I’m inspired by others that have stayed in the game for the music, which means they’ve had to sacrifice a lot of time and money to do so. It also means that over time they get very good at what they do, and I can think of a few artists that I dig for these reasons. One of my biggest inspirations in that regard is Dallas Frasca, she’s also one of the country’s greatest live performers. I’ve always admired the musical and political passion of Melbourne artist Ezekiel Oz. Although she’s getting her props now, Abbe May flew under the radar for years while creating some of the sexiest rock ‘n’ roll on the block. And some Perth Friends, Forstora, who have been working away in studios here creating some of the heaviest sounds I’ve ever heard.
I’d say they might hear earthy stories about people around them; about people they know or about themselves. We love to present narratives, stories about ordinary people in extraordinary situations, and we very intentionally present them with an unabashed sense of Australiana. We want every song to reference the subconscious backdrop you grow up with in Australia; sometimes that means specific details in the stories, and sometimes it’s just a spirit that you can touch and feel. Musically, we’re doing something that can trace its influences back to the classic Aus rock years… infused with folk, roots and soul.
What can you tell us about your latest album?
It’s called A History Of Houses and it came out late last year. We recorded it in Perth and Melbourne with our co-producer, Forrest Savell. The name encompasses what we wanted the album to be about. We wanted to look at miracles in the mundane, engaging stories from the everyman. When you drive down a suburban street, or look at a city apartment complex, and pass the farm houses in the back blocks… every one of these houses generates the Australian tales, so we wanted to collate a history of houses.
Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
We’re focused on this tour right now, and we’ve just finished working on the music video that came out with it and its been an intense six months. Once we finish the year out with The King River tour we’ll probably take stock and start looking toward 2014. I know we’ll want to get back on the road at some point in the new year but we really want to shift our focus back to writing again next year.
The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
My only goal is to be releasing another record a few years from now. In all honesty I’ll probably still be working to support my music, going on tour when we can save up enough cash from our day jobs to do it, and watching and supporting our friends’ bands. If that’s the case, I’ll be a pretty happy camper… anything more would be a bonus.
Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Karnivool, Hungry Kids Of Hungary, Dallas Frasca, Hunting Grounds, Dirt River Radio, Timothy Nelson and the Infidels, Paul Dempsey, Seth Sentry, 12 Foot Ninja, Forstora, Ball Park Music, The Cat Empire.
The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
It’s a tough one, the need to engage across so many mediums is liberating, but extremely distracting. It’s so easy to sit around optimising your FB campaigns and updating artwork on Bandcamp and syncing tour dates on Spotify and Tourbox etc… when what you should be doing is sitting down and pulling Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys apart, learning your craft. I’m guilty as the next guy of trying to broadcast the highlights reel across these new cyber plains, hoping that it’s helping our the awareness of our music, but I don’t know if the current reach and pay off is worth the time it takes away from the shit we used to do to move forward in music… like get really fucking good at music.
Thank you for the interview! What can you leave fans of theaussieword.com with here today?
Check out A History Of Houses and if you dig it, please come out and catch a show, we’d love to see you there.