Tetsuians debut is stated to bridge lo-fi experimentation and retro-grazing rock ‘n’ roll and from a way comfortable looking couch the trio joined radionotes for a chat.
One of the rare times the Tetsuians are in the same room, as two band members based in Melbourne and one in sunny Noosa Australia. Find out here, what keeps them and the music together…
To listen, click the green ‘play’ triangle… [note: may take few seconds to load]
(Transcript of Tetsuians chat below, check to delivery in audio)
Band members Andrew, Trent and Amber are about to (July 27th, 2019) launch their debut album at Bakehouse Studios, that will be also available as a LIVE stream – for link, head to their Facebook page.
IMAGE CREDIT: Supplied
SHOW NOTES: Tetsuians episode
Where to find the show to subscribe/follow:
- PlayPodcast – this link directs you, to the Podcast app on your device (subscribe to not miss an episode)
….or you may prefer to Search “radionotes Podcast” in your favourite podcatcher.
The socials… Instagram – Facebook – Twitter
In The Box:
- Humming Chain – Camille Trail (Official Music Video)
- Satellite – Ben Abraham (Single – LinkTo)
- Jaime – Brittany Howard (Debut Solo Alum – Out September) Stay High (Official Music Video)
- Hot Hot Kiss – Christie Lamb (Official Music Video) a non-remix club banger version
- Borrow My Body – Lisa Caruso (Official Music Clip)
FEATURE GUEST: Tetsuians
- Official Site
- Facebook – Twitter – Instagram
- Chump Change (Official Music Video)
- Signal Chain (Official Site)
- Bakehouse Studios (Official Site)
- Beneath the Eyrie – Pixies (Album – Pre-order)
- Venetian Blinds (Bandcamp)
- Angie McMahon (Official Site)
- Dirty Creature (LIVE 1982) – Split Enz
- Tetsuians (Self-titled Album) [Bandcamp]
- Looking For My Mind – Penny Harlow (EP) Official Site
- Phantoms – Marianas Trench (LP) Vinyl Pre-order now, out 23rd August Glimmer (Official Music Clip)
- Blind Faith – Hygge (Single – Linkto)
- Kicking Around – Amarina Waters (Official Music Clip) Single Launch 1st August 2019 (Ticket Site)
From The Archives: snippet of Ben Abraham (2014) talked up by Rob Mills (2014)
- To Sara, from Ben [YouTube]
- I’m On Fire – Sara Bareilles with Ben Abraham (LIVE 5 May 2011)
- This Is On Me – Ben Abraham ft. Sara Bareilles
- Sirens – Ben Abraham (2014 Album)
Next Episode: Eaglemont
More details on playpodcast here, thanks to Matt from them.
[Radio Production – notes: Tetsuians chat is under 40 minutes, plenty of space to play many cuts from]
Theme/Music: Martin Kennedy and All India Radio
Web-design/tech: Steve Davis
Voice: Tammy Weller
You can make direct contact with the podcast – on the Contact Page
For direct quotes check to audio, first version of transcript by Neil S at REV
John Murch: Amber, Andrew and Trent, welcome to radionotes.
Andrew Jackson: Thanks for having us.
John Murch: Let’s start with talking about the music. How’s that experience been releasing a self titled album of this quality?
Trent Price: Challenging. Andrew and I in Melbourne, and Amber’s in Sunshine Coast, so it’s been interesting trying to record over the… digitally. But we have been traveling to start to finish off bits and pieces, but it has been an eye opener. I don’t know whether we’d do it the same way again.
John Murch: How do you think that might be done differently next time?
Amber Craske: Oh, there might be a few airfares involved and just a bit of travel I think.
John Murch: But when you’ve performed these songs live, it all comes back together, 10 years that you guys have been together as a band?
Trent Price: That’s right. That’s where the airfares and the money comes into play. Either Trent and I will go to Queensland and hopefully do some gigs, and Amber comes to Melbourne and hopefully do some gigs in that period that we’re either there or she’s down here.
Trent Price: Well that kind of makes it extra special when we do it because we won’t be doing it like every week. So I guess it just puts an extra impetus onto it and so we don’t take it for granted.
John Murch: Can I take you guys back to when it first started? Just so we have a bit of a history of the band.
Andrew Jackson: It actually started out through Melbourne Music Forum where you could like post ads and musicians wanted stuff for sale. And so Trent posted an ad looking for a drummer, he was in a band called the Wireless.
Andrew Jackson: So this was way before Tetsuians. So I responded to that, pretty much auditioned, liked what music they were doing. And we had very, very similar tastes in music and all of that, and that’s a pretty much how it all started with Trent and I.
John Murch: Where were you at the time needing to make this collaboration happen?
Trent Price: I was actually in a duo at the time. Oddly enough, we actually came out of comedy scene and then started. We weren’t enjoying that and we said, “Now, I wish… We want to make some real music.” But we were working with a 808 drum machine, which limits you and it’s got that gated 80s sound. So we thought, “Yeah, a bit of the human element wouldn’t be bad.” And so yeah, we put the ad out and luckily Andrew answered, and we’ve kept him chained up ever since.
Andrew Jackson: That’s right.
John Murch: Amber, from your point of view, does comedy play a part at all in your life? Would have been okay if they continue to be a comedy outfit?
Amber Craske: Suddenly adds some spice to some of the songs. If you listen to some of the lyrics, they’re not stock standard lyrics. But I think it’s good that we’ve moved away from the comedy a little bit.
John Murch: What’s the best element of touring as a trio?
Andrew Jackson: I just love that music and I love playing our music. As for me, touring, it’s not so much touring, it’s just being able to sit behind the drums and play the songs that we’ve made. Regardless if it’s to one person or to 50 people. As long as I know that one person is there enjoying it, then that’s purely satisfaction for me.
John Murch: Let’s just quickly plug.
Trent Price: Bakestudio is upstairs, a big room they have. A lot of bands have used to I guess do… I guess still clips and a few documentaries had been filmed up there as well, so we thought it would be a good, nice open area where people could lounge around rather than the strict, audience, performance stage format, so people can just be in the round. So with live streaming as well, so it’s a good way for anyone else who’s watching from inter-state or overseas who would come to the gig. We’re going to be supported by a band called Signal Chain, which are a great Melbourne band as well. So they’re coming on to support. It should be a great night.
John Murch: You mentioned about the live streaming. That obviously is to also keep the element of alive as well so that people can actually see, even though it’d be great if they were in the room. They can still see the live dynamic?
Andrew Jackson: It’s amazing in social media, Instagram. Every time I checked my phone there’s always a new like or someone’s started following us. So I think a lot of international people as well, it’ll be good for them to see that too because unless someone was willing to pay us to go overseas and do gigs, I don’t think it’s quite viable just yet. So it’d be good to get… For them and for us to get out there and for them to see us from here. The way I look at it, it’s very MTV unplugged, just playing. We’re playing it around circle and just have everyone…
Andrew Jackson: Whoever is coming or whoever wants to come, just sitting around. So they get to see the band at all angles as well. If people want to see the back of my head while I play drums, well then that’s completely fine. Yeah, just close, intimate, but at the same time not quiet. It’ll still be us playing as if we were like a full gig or a full venue.
Trent Price: Well, the great thing is you can schedule, so people can really mark it in their diaries. And also, there is that element to it, which is an advantage for bands, I guess, rather than just trying to book a venue which you can’t get to. And like, “Oh no, I’ve got this on.” Even if you’re at home, you can work around it and schedule time to watch something if you really want to say it.
John Murch: And lyrically, let’s talk about the lyrics now.
Andrew Jackson: They all come from Trent and we don’t… Screening-wise, as soon as we say them we go, “Yeah, go. Yeah, that’s…” We’ve never not said no to lyrics, I guess. We have to ask multiple times what the lyrics are about and then when we get the story it’s… we have to go away and process it for about a couple of hours and then come back and go, “Okay, we understand now.”
John Murch: Do you feel like you’re Trent’s therapists?
Andrew Jackson: Yeah, pretty much.
Amber Craske: That’s where my psychology degree comes in.
Andrew Jackson: Yeah.
Amber Craske: Constantly canceling.
Andrew Jackson: Yeah.
John Murch: Do you use that psychology degree for anything but the band?
Amber Craske: No. All my energy is here.
John Murch: Why did you do a psychology degree?
Amber Craske: It’s just it was a big interest of mine in high school, it was one subject that jumped out at me. And I guess the ideology back then was that I was going to go and counsel veterans who came from war and things like that. That was the big ideology back then, but things didn’t pan out quite that way, so going through… I mean, and music.
John Murch: What is the band’s view individually or together on war?
Andrew Jackson: I’m not a fan of war, personally. Mentally, I can’t… I know what has happened in the past and I acknowledge that, but I can’t face it. So I can’t look at images or video footage or anything like that. The anxiety kicks in 10 fold and I say… My old man’s very history buff and he loves watching war documentaries. So every time I go over I’m like, “Oh, yeah, okay, thanks. See you later.” So yeah, make peace, make love, not war.
John Murch: Trent, you have a song about the Cold War?
Trent Price: It’s a two-layered song. It’s at the backdrop of the Cold War, I guess if you will. Because it was sort of an impasse, there wasn’t a lot going on in terms of fighting, but it was that threat, it was that constant threat. But that’s the backdrop of the song, but I guess the idea is also with a family or siblings where there’s … in past there. And it’s more, it’s grabbing I guess continents or countries and then putting… Making them into humans and they have that human relationship where they’re not talking, but there’s that sort of constant threat. “I’ll do this to you, I’m spying on you.” And we can do that more now, we’re on social media. We can watch each other without actually peeping through the window and getting picked up by the police.
Trent Price: And so it’s weird. It’s not actually making contact with the person, going, “Hey, what were we fighting about? Let’s resolve it.” The more, I guess, technology that we have to actually communicate with each other, the more it puts up barriers between people. So I guess that was the idea behind it. So it was a bit of a double whammy there.
John Murch: Amber, you mentioned doing the psychology degree for return veterans?
Amber Craske: Yeah.
John Murch: Was that of the Iraq war or for the Vietnam vet? If you wish, talk a little bit more about that and what was going on for that to happen?
Amber Craske: So, my family’s got a very large involvement in the military, both past and present. I guess it was just a driving force for me back then to help those returned veterans. I heard a lot of stories about people coming back from the Vietnam War and just having no social supports. So it was a bit of a drive to change that and see that actively changing in society. But as I said, things didn’t quite pan out for me. But it is starting to happen now, there’s more of a focus on return servicemen and women, and so it’s good to see that happening in society now.
John Murch: Andrew, how do you process some of those issues that Amber was raising just then, of those that went and served, came back and weren’t acknowledged for the hard work they put in for the country they believed in?
Andrew Jackson: Oh, look, I have… As much as I don’t like war and violence, I have total respect for… I honestly couldn’t do what those people did. If I grew up in that era and I was forced, I don’t know what I would do. So I have absolute utmost respect for all those people, what they’ve done. It’s more of a heartbreak than anything, of the people that… What people suffered and went through during those times, and what the human race is capable of doing. And it’s more than having an anxiety of, “Well, is it still happening? Is it going to happen again?” It’s more of a heartbreak anxiety than anything else, for people.
John Murch: Through the music, you’re able to communicate. Trent, I’m sure you agree with that as well, about your views on various issues and the placement of them? How much do you see the band as a vehicle of communicating those ideas?
Trent Price: Like I spoke about the lyric side, I tend to throw them at them and then they don’t question them, maybe they should a little bit. I think that sometimes I come across as a little bit obtuse, but that’s the way I write, and sometimes that can disguise things a little bit. But whilst there is probably a message there or a commentary there, I tend to like to throw in a little bit of mystery into it. So it’s not really overt, and maybe that’s a weakness, but also I like the… I mean, bands that I like and lyrics that I like listening to, I don’t necessarily know exactly what it is straight away. It’s slowly revealed itself, and maybe you’ve got the wrong idea about what we’re trying to get across. But it’s a good platform for your own ideas.
Trent Price: So if I hear a song and I totally not get what they’re writing about, it might give me another idea for another song, and that’s cool too. So hopefully that other people can get that out of it as well. But if I get what it was about, then fantastic.
John Murch: Music is a weird conversation like that, that it appears to be one way, but it definitely is a two way conversation in delay?
Trent Price: Yeah, it can be. I mean like Aerosmith, Love in an Elevator, that’s pretty straightforward. But the other ones, yeah, I like the slow review.
John Murch: What are some of the band’s influences that you individually are bringing to the band?
Andrew Jackson: So my influences are very neat, 70s progressive rock, and I love 80s underground synth, new wave, I like that late 70s like Roxy music, going into like Ultravox, new wave synth. And then since coming on board with Trent, obviously, it’s surprising, even though I’m a lot younger, but I listen to a lot of old music. I didn’t really then grow up listening to stuff like the early 90s stuff, which is like Pixies and Wayne. And that’s obviously where Trent gets his… I like to think Trent gets his influences from, yeah.
John Murch: So were you listening more to an uncle, a parent, a brother’s even, records at the time? Why do you think it was a bit older?
Andrew Jackson: My old man’s record into the music. As long as I can remember, always never had the TV on, always had music playing. So always have records playing, always had 60s, 70s because he’s massive Yes, and Moody Blues, and Russian, all that British, prog rock and American prog rock. So I grew up listening to that and then falling in love with that. And then my drumming influence is from there, being dramas like Neil Peart and Carl Palmer who are just phenomenal drummers for their time. And that’s where I put a lot of my drumming into. I take my drumming influences from them, they’re probably my biggest, Pink Floyd, Beatles, all the classics as well, Mike Oldfield. So a lot of instrumental, long pieces, 20 and 30 minute pieces, so just total music madness.
Amber Craske: So, I’d say my influences were predominantly much more modern and very much into my Ozzie rock and a little bit of pop. Heavily 90s influence. Really love Something for Kate, and I used to love Powderfinger back in the day, and these days I’m really getting into my movie soundtracks and scores and Hans Zimmer would be one of my biggest influences, massively. And so I’m constantly trying to do the music into having builds and being a bit more epic, but we’ll get there down the track.
John Murch: Was Steph Ashworth then a bit of an idol when you were younger?
Amber Craske: Funnily enough I wasn’t really heavily into base as a younger girl. I Was a more of a guitarist back then. So these guys brought me on board and asked if I wanted to play bass, and that’s actually when I started playing. Yeah, definitely love Steph, she’s fantastic and she’s a huge idol now, I guess, more than back then.
John Murch: But as you mentioned, started with guitar then, so were there some guitar idols amongst those musicians?
Amber Craske: My massive guitar influence back in 90s and early 2000s was the late, departed Jeff Buckley. He was probably my biggest idol back then.
John Murch: We noted from Andrew that it was the records the parents were playing. Did they play a part?
Amber Craske: I would say dad had a very large influence. He used to play MTV, and Rage, and record all of them on VHS. And I can almost list those songs back to back and know exactly what was coming up next, I heard them that often. So that was predominantly 80s pop and rock, so big influence there. I grew up knowing Icehouse back to front, things like that.
John Murch: Trent, what influences do you have before it came to the band?
Andrew Jackson: Yeah, it was kind of weird, I’ve got… When I was young, most of the time was probably spent in a car waiting for mom at the supermarket or something. Just listening to her Lionel Richie tape just on repeat, so that it was just consistently in my brain. So I suppose there was hook elements to that, but then in terms of discovering other music, it was by accident. I guess as a young adolescent, I used to stay up late and sneak, and I watched Elvira, Mistress of the Dark Halloween MTV episodes. So she would just play weird stuff. I like that sort of… because it was the… A slightly creepy element. So she played Bauhaus, though I can’t remember, Bunnymen, and sometimes B52s. And you go, “What is this world?”
Andrew Jackson: So it was the first, I guess foray into, “Yeah, there’s something else out there other than the Lionel Richie types I’m hearing in the car.” So it probably had a lot of influence on what I started to listen to you. So I slightly just wanted to discover more. I had a best friend and he would just listen to nothing but Chicago. But his brother was listening to a lot of alternative stuff at the time. So I’d go and hang out with his brother and listen to like Echo and the Bunnymen. And yeah, I suppose it’s probably a weird hybrid and it’s probably coming out for other people to judge. But yeah, it’s just coming in and talk about weird fashion.
John Murch: Have you experienced Peter Murphy’s music from the last couple of years or so? Has Bauhaus still played a part in this stage of your musical career?
Andrew Jackson: Not a huge amount. Certainly, but sonically you take the old cue, you might hear something and go, “Oh, that might work for a guitar line or just for a bit of atmosphere but certainly not the song writing.” It was more just, I guess the sonic sound of it. But there’s actually quite a few bands seen recently, Venetian Blinds, they’re like Bauhaus. But if they had really cool songs I’d say, “Well, okay.” So yeah, definitely check them out.
John Murch: Laura Imbruglia, workshop with her recently?
Andrew Jackson: Just giving advice on how to release an album and I guess that process of when do you start, book all these in, these are all your queues. And it was just… I really love what she’s doing and she’s probably the absolute Queen DIY at the moment certainly in Australia. It was good to just hear that I guess some of the stuff you are doing is probably right. And there’s probably no right and wrong because it’s not always going to work, but yeah, she had a lot of good advice. And she’s got a lot of hard-earned experience there, so yeah, really, really great night and it was good that she did put her time out just so they would want to know how to do it.
John Murch: What are some of those challenges that you’d like to share about being a bit of a DIY musician in a DIY band?
Amber Craske: For me, being into state and being away from a lot of the collaboration that these guys can do together, it does make it a bit more challenging in that sense. But I guess, we’ve been really good in terms of communication, we call each other frequently and just stay in touch. So I haven’t found it hugely challenging from my point of view. I just record my base and send it south every time it’s required and these guys to do the all the hard work though. I’m quite like-
Andrew Jackson: As much as I’d love to do this full time, it is not cheap. And anyone who says I’m going to go make it big in a band, well, we’ve been doing it for more than 10 years and we’re… look where we still are. So recently becoming a dad myself, so the money aspect side is getting slightly harder and harder, but it doesn’t mean I won’t still keep doing that. I’ll make it work, we’ve been on this.
John Murch: With that particular perspective that you have Andrew, what do you think the future of the music will be for the new bub?
Andrew Jackson: He’s one month old and I’m already playing guitar to him, so I’m hoping he picks one of the three instruments that I play. I’ve already said he’s the fourth member, the fourth Beatle of the Tetsuians. So I’m hoping he takes up music. If he takes up sport, I’m screwed because I know nothing about sport and I don’t know how to kick, throw, or catch a ball to save my life, so yeah.
John Murch: Stylistically, when Andrew’s bub, one month, is turning 18, what kind of music do you think they’ll be listening to? What kind of music will be being produced at that point? Because you guys are very much on that age of creating something new. So let’s go forward 18 years, what will it be?
Andrew Jackson: I think it’ll still be the very similar to what it is now, but at the same time people still think it’s… I’d like to think people will still think it’s ahead of its time like bands like the Pixies who came out of the late 80s, underground, but nothing else. What they were doing was ever being produced and they’re still doing it. Now, they actually got new album coming out this year. So I like to think of it like that, that we’re still doing the music. I don’t want to say I want to be a sell out or anything like that. As long as I’m happy and playing what we have produced, then whatever genre… If we become a country band and we enjoy it, then I’m happy to still play that music regardless.
John Murch: Amber, what are you currently listening to?
Amber Craske: Pretty much have Middle Kids on repeat at the moment, just loving everything they’re putting out. I’m very much anticipating Angie McMahon’s this week release, so still very much loving my Oz rock.
John Murch: Talk to me about the anticipation of Angie McMahon’s release?
Amber Craske: Oh, I stumbled across Angie McMahon on tour, Angus & Julia Stone gig. I hadn’t heard of it and all of a sudden I was in love with the support act, which has happened to me quite a few times. And she’s just phenomenal on stage, she’s a breath of fresh air, I feel, in the music industry or Australian music industry at the moment. Loving her lyrics and just her voice isn’t something you’d expect to come out of her tiny little frame. She’s just phenomenal. She’s a really good performer, really loving her stuff. So I just can’t wait for a full release to come out.
John Murch: Trent, what are you listening to at the moment?
Trent Price: I’m listening to the newest Katie release and obviously there’s that huge Saint Vincent influence on it, but it’s not in a jarring way. It’s actually really taken into another… I won’t say another level, but just a slightly different direction. But it works so well because I guess they’re both very angular performers. Prompted me to go back to their back catalog again and just remember how good they were. And when you talk about bands that don’t really sound like anything else, because we got through waves that there’s a… I guess a bit of a revival of a certain 60s sound, like King Wizard and the Wizard Lizard and all?
Trent Price: We know what that sounds like because we’ve heard that before, but when you listen to Sleater Kinney. I mean, they’re all in their 40s now, but they’re still doing stuff that doesn’t sound like anything else. And it’s just an absolute joy to listen to and you forget how influential they were, but they probably didn’t get the Kudos they deserved.
John Murch: Who would you like to cover? Who would you like the band to cover?
Amber Craske: I actually joked about these a while ago when we were joking about doing Madonna’s Borderline. Not Convinced about that one, but honestly, I haven’t really thought about a song that the three of us would probably… Because we all got such different influences and very different tastes in music, almost, that it’d be hard to find something that would suit the three of us to attack it, and try to cover it, and make it different. So I’m not quite sure.
Trent Price: Well, Andy and I, both, I guess we agree on Split Enz and that’s probably it, isn’t it?
Andrew Jackson: I would like to do Split Enz but not yet typical, like a really… Like deep tracks or deep cut Split Enz.
Trent Price: sure.
Andrew Jackson: Yeah, like from their first album or something like that, or something 80s. Like I’d love to do something-
Trent Price: Theat was the whole catalog.
Andrew Jackson: Well pretty much. Yeah, late 70s. I’d love to do… Dirty Creature is probably one of my Split Enz favorite. Something from that album time and type, that’s such a good album.
John Murch: Let’s talk about some of the lyrical topics. If Trent, you’re willing to give up some of them. What are some of the social issues that are on this new record that’s just been released and will be launched?
Trent Price: Yeah. Look, as I said, I don’t think I’m a huge social advocate about one thing or another, but stuff just creeps in and you just observe things. I guess the first one is probably the most social commentary that’s Perspex Abattoir. There’s a lot of stuff in there and there’s a lot of jokiness in there, but it’s more… I guess the society we are at the moment, we’re all into science and I think the way we process information is becoming very samey or linear. So we might look at some atrocity in Africa and then flip over to a dancing cat video, but we process it the same way through fun. We don’t react probably like we should, totally. It’s just one thing after another. And probably that’s where that’s coming from, that song.
John Murch: The live performance is just a few weeks away, where you guys get to show off the brand new album. But since you’re all together in the same room, does that mean there’s another album in the works and how far?
Andrew Jackson: We produce songs, like we’ve got that many back catalog as well as future songs. There’s by far definitely going to be a next album coming out, it’s just with the which song, which… All songs we’ve rehashed that probably people haven’t heard of for a really long time and maybe modernizing them a little bit. And then there’s some new sneaky ones that we’re slowly introducing, which is watch this pace type of type of scenario.
Trent Price: We write pretty quickly, but it’s just getting the time to record it, that’s the killer I guess, because we’re all doing… We work full time, we’re doing different things. So it’s getting us all into the same room or online, that’s the trick. But I think having done it once, now, I think we know where the problem –
Andrew Jackson: What to do.
Trent Price: And what to do now. So we’ve gotten the hard bit out of the way.
John Murch: If we’re a full time worker who want to be a musician, how do we balance that out? What are some of the tips?
Andrew Jackson: Weekends always good. Especially, I think the guitars and vocals are quite easy because you can do that at home and you can plug straight into an interface. So it’s got technology and then straight into your laptop and you can be quiet… You don’t have to have amps plugged in, you can do it all from a laptop, so you can do it quite quietly. Where drums is… Yes, you have electronic drums but they don’t sound as natural as real drums. The way we record the drums is actually really simple, we just hire a studio, oh, like a rehearsal room. So we actually been going to Bakehouse Studios just because it’s all central for Trent and I because we both live on other ends of the CBD of Melbourne.
Andrew Jackson: So we meet up in the middle, set up the drums, we just… One condenser mic, we place in front of the drum kit and we just used the natural ambiance of the room and record that straight into the laptop as an audio file. So, as the drummer, because I have an electronic drum kit, so I can practice at home my parts. So then when going into recording, we’re only spending like two or three hours to… I think we spent three hours to do that whole album on the drums and maybe one or two takes of each song. So really, really quick because I do all my pre-homework before going into the studio.
Amber Craske: I’m very fortunate in the fact that I’m a shift worker, so I do tend to have… It feels like I’ve got slightly more spare time because I’m not restricted to after work and on weekends only, I’ve got fluctuating free time. But it’s a matter of prioritizing it, it has to be… You have to be doing that instead of going out and having a beer [inaudible 00:26:03] and it’s just a matter of making it the priority. And like Andrew is saying, we do practice a lot before we start doing the recordings. And so when we actually get to that stage, it’s actually quite quick. And I was recording my part’s fairly fast as well.
John Murch: Let’s talk about the visual aspects of the videos that you’ve produced.
Amber Craske: I just want to create something but like different. I mean, you see a lot of film clips out there, especially Australian bands, and it’s just always a band playing the song and it gets a bit monotonous. So for me, it’s just about creating something slightly different.
Andrew Jackson: A lot of stuff is very overproduced and I like the one that okay, yeah, we’re filming off a mobile phone but at the same time it’s us doing our own thing and we enjoy it. And it’s bit homely, I guess, and say our film puts that in a very homely…
John Murch: And this now extends to the album artwork as well. There’s a particular color palette as well that you don’t mind playing in?
Trent Price: Yeah. That sort of came out of the name because we had a variety of different name changes before we settle on Tetsuians. But the idea of Tetsuians, where it’s slightly Japanese but slightly alien as well, I know. And If you’ve ever gone to Japan, it is a slightly alien environment. They seem like a higher species because they’ve got everything sorted out. But I think I like the idea of just a different race that no one ever heard of, we’re just making music which is slightly different as well, so it has an aesthetic.
Trent Price: The image of that was taken in Japan, the front cover of the album, the digital, an ad exhibition, but there was a red light, and there was a lot of people just walking around a little bit. Young young kids, but they’re just crowded silhouettes. So I thought, “Well, that’s probably a good way to capture something.” They look like they’re human at the moment, there’s something else going on there because they had a different aura around them.
John Murch: Andrew, do you believe in aliens?
Andrew Jackson: I don’t know if I believe in aliens, but I definitely believe that we’re not alone. I recognized-
Trent Price: It’s the same thing, isn’t it?
Andrew Jackson: Yeah, but I don’t think… I think there’s another human race somewhere on another planet thinking the exact same thing as what we’re thinking, being asked the exact same question, but they’re not aliens.
John Murch: Amber, you’re the one with the psychologist degree here. How do we break down that idea that we here exist but we here as other exists in exactly the same way?
Andrew Jackson: Yeah.
Trent Price: Yeah.
Andrew Jackson: I think there’s another timeline.
Trent Price: Ultimate dimensions.
Andrew Jackson: Ultimate dimensions, yeah, for sure.
Amber Craske: I think the universe is vast, but for us, we’re the only species out there. Oh, it’s not just humans, but on another planet somewhere there has to be something else existing.
John Murch: We’ve been known to send our music out in the space for these other to listen to. Do you sincerely think they’ll be able to interpret the music we’ve sent them?
Andrew Jackson: I think so. I think music is probably the only language that everyone can agree on regardless of what’s going on. Music is… It’s the only form of language that everyone understands. Regardless of where you are in the world, you can connect with… If someone is playing music and you connect with them, but no matter what’s going on in the background, if you don’t agree with who that person is or anything like that, but you have that connection through music, then absolutely. I think that everyone understands and everyone has that emotional connection with music regardless.
John Murch: Does that come into mind when you’re performing the music as well?
Andrew Jackson: Yeah. When I perform I go back to now… If it’s one person or if it’s 50 people, even if I play to no one, I’m still enjoying it because I put a lot of myself, a lot of emotion, and I know these guys too. A lot of feeling and emotion in my music. I’m not stagnated, I’m very… Facial expressions, and movements, and all that type of thing. So especially with a lot of music that I listen to lyrically-wise, I take on board… Where Trent says, well, I don’t think too much into the lyrics. Where myself is like, I interpret it and I go, “Oh, I can really relate to that in that sense.” It’s weird, I use my drumming as lyrics so then people can understand that, “Hey, I’m not just playing a four-four beat, I’m actually playing alongside the bass as a rhythm or as a melody almost, not so much as a rhythm just to keep the four on the floor in that sense.”
Trent Price: It’s interesting, when we were recording the drums and that’s pretty… Most of the songs started with Andrew. You could tell instantly what the songs were just by listening to the drums. Like it had that verse, chorus… Not just the verse, chorus, bridge thing, but you can instantly go, “That is that song that the drumming was so musical.” And I guess Andrew’s background with I guess listening to Rush and all those other great, progressive rock bands.
Trent Price: And when you break that down and try to make it more simple for a basic, a pop format, there’s a lot of color there which I guess… Yeah, I don’t know, as a three piece the drums are really, really important, probably more than just listening to other bands and it’s pretty straight forward drum pattern. And I think we’re really lucky to have Andrew to be able to do that because it really has a good signature to it.
John Murch: There’s a sense of tapestry to it?
Andrew Jackson: Yeah.
Trent Price: Yeah.
Andrew Jackson: Absolutely. And that’s what I loved about this band so much, is that all three of us, we’re not just playing the guitar, we’re not just playing the drums, or we’re not just playing the bass. It’s all three of us are playing our own form of melody, but at the same time it all works as a whole and together. And that’s me, and that’s, I guess, why I’ve stuck around for so long. Is because each song that we play, it’s like that and there’s something about it that just really works.
Trent Price: I think you need to do stuff that you enjoy yourself and then hopefully other people will too. If you try to write for someone else, I think you start falling into a bit of a rabbit hole, but that’s the thing. I’ll write a song or a chord structure as well, then Amber will throw something in. I go, “This completely changed my chord but as better now.” So just go with that. So we’re lucky. We’re really lucky to have that.
Amber Craske: Yeah. We bounce off each other really well and communicate what we’re trying to achieve. And sometimes we do change each other’s vibe in what we’re doing and what we’re playing, but it always seems to compliment each other by the end of it. And yeah, just bounce off each other very well.
Trent Price: Yeah.
John Murch: Being over a decade, many bands don’t even survive the year or the week even.
Trent Price: That’s right.
John Murch: What’s been the glue for the band over that decade?
Amber Craske: Sounds really cheesy, but the music, it is… For me, it’s very unique music. I don’t think it’s a lot like anything else out there, and so it brings me back. And every time I feel like I’m over it, I’ll just listen to it and go, “Oh no. No, no, no. Definitely this is good and this needs to continue and we need to push this.” And yes, it has taken a long time because of the full time jobs and all the other life commitments that get in the way, but we just keep coming back to it. And it’s such a… It’s not just a hobby to have in the background, it is a driving passion that we all love. Definitely what keeps me coming back for sure.
Andrew Jackson: Pretty much the same as Amber. From day one, from when Trent sent me… And he had that comical aspect at the start and that’s what fell… That’s what for me… Fell in love with the music. But we’re also a family. There’s bands that literally, they go on stage, play their song, and the minute they’re off the stage, they don’t talk to each other, they don’t… There’s never a connection. I think you got to, A, love the music that you’re playing, but as well as you got to love the people that you’re playing the music with. I’ll admit, I’ve been a bit of a band hoe, I’ve played in other bands as well as in Tetsuians, but it’s an open relationship. It is quite open.
Andrew Jackson: But I always come back to Tetsuians because all the other bands that I’ve played in or filled in for, have never been the music that we play with the… that I play with these guys. I’ve never played with other musicians that have played the type of music that we play, and I don’t know what it is. It’s just, yeah, lyrically, musically, it’s just something different that no one’s able… I’ve never been gone to a band going, “Hey, I’m going to stay with you guys for 10 years because I like what we’re doing.” It’s like, “I’ll hang around for a little bit because I need the cash and I play the drums.”
John Murch: So would it be true to say that you save your best material for this group?
Andrew Jackson: Yeah, absolutely, most definitely. That’s because all three of us have given the option to not be structured into, “Okay, you have to play this beat, or you have to play it like this.” As much as we’ve recorded it and… But we’ll never play the same song exactly like the record every time. We always put our own little spit on it every time, which I really enjoy because it gives people a bit of difference. I might play a different feel where on the record I should have played that specific feel that I put on the record or… So that’s what I really enjoy.
Andrew Jackson: Having that bit of freedom where I’ve been in bands where it’s like, “Oh, you didn’t play that part, that wasn’t on the record. What are you doing? This is ridiculous.” And it’s like, well, that’s not fun to me. You got to, yes, play the songs that you’ve recorded or that you’ve made, but at the same time you’ve got to have a bit of freedom with it.
John Murch: Trent, I’ll ask you that question as a songwriter and I guess the instigator of this very group. What’s been your glue over the last decade with these two?
Trent Price: I think everything they’ve mentioned is absolutely correct. But I think, I guess with other collaborators and nothing to take away from them, or even bands, it’s that it felt like a little bit of a hot work and there was always a compromise there. Whereas this never feels like a compromise even when people are presenting different things. You just immediately, “Yeah, I agree with that.” If we feel something’s not working, we all just know and go, “Yeah, we just wasted 20 minutes on that.” And often too, we find a lot of stuff in the album where the song has come out of mistakes, playing live. You just, “Oh, I accidentally hit that chord. Yeah, that said, okay, I’ll just try that again.” In front of an audience remember that and just do that. Like some of the best stuff comes out of mistakes.
John Murch: If only life would give you that much liberty to do that every day.
Andrew Jackson: Yeah.
Trent Price: Yeah.
Andrew Jackson: It would be good.
Trent Price: I know. It’s almost a subconscious thing sometimes because you try to tap into that creative element. And I figured, if the end of the day and you’ve got to try and force something out, it won’t always come because you’re thinking about it too literally or just in a theoretical way. So if it’s something… It’s almost like that alpha-beta sleep zone. If you have an accident and something great comes out of it, you just try to create a snapshot of it, and bottle it, and try and reproduce it. I think we’ve done that a couple of times and it’s always good to lock that in.
John Murch: Congratulations on your release, an absolute corker and good luck for the upcoming gig.
Trent Price: Fantastic, thank you.
Amber Craske: Yeah, it’s been awesome.