Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Sunday Reeds - INTERVIEWS

Screaming Feedback Dark Fuzz Goes Pop

Paul Andrew gets a peek into pop fuzz with front girl, musician songwriter, Romana Ashton from The Sunday Reeds about their name and their new EP, Dark Rainbows.

Who are the The Sunday Reeds?

The Sunday Reeds were formed by myself (vocals, bass) and Drew Jones (the guitarist for the band) in 2008. We spent a lot of time songwriting and once we had an LP's worth of material that we liked we started looking around for a way to release it. We eventually hooked up with a UK indie label called Squirrel Records who released our first album Drowning in History in 2009. We got Andy Dawson on board to play drums at live gigs after we released the first album. Essentially though, we are a duo.

Your band name is a nod to those art patrons of 1930’s modernist painters known as the Heide Circle?

True. I first heard about Sunday Reed when I was studying for my PhD. I came across the book Australian Gothic by Janine Burke as I was studying the Gothic in Australian culture. The book talked about Albert Tucker's art but also explored the Heide circle too. I thought the name Sunday Reed was very poetic and it reminded me of going to church and also oddly of Ophelia being dragged down by the reeds in Hamlet. I decided it would make a great band name.

What inspires you about these visionaries John and Sunday Reed?

I admire John and Sunday Reed's passion for Australian art, their fostering and support of Australian artists. I love going to Heide too, walking around and thinking about the lives that they led. Sunday Reed intrigues me, the love triangle that Sunday had with Sidney Nolan and John Reed interests me no end. There are just so many great bohemian stories surrounding Heide and the circle of people that frequented it.

Dark Rainbows is an evocative EP title?

The title of the EP actually came from a song called 'Scent and Shadow' that we wrote a while ago but isn't on the EP. I like the phrase Dark Rainbows and I had had it in mind for an album title or EP title for a while. I think that it sums up The Sunday Reeds sound. It sounds quite poppy but the lyrics and feeling conveyed come from a much darker place.

Is this a concept EP?

Not exactly....but there is always some kind of structure to our work. Once we decide on what tracks we think work together the best everything starts to take shape. The songs on the EP tell separate stories but convey similar feelings of melancholy and self-loathing. Some of it is personal experience and some of it is fiction. Although, it is hard to tell sometimes where one stops and the other begins.

Dark fuzz pop- tell me about your band’s key influences?

Key influences...Hmmmm, I would say a fair amount of alternative '80s bands and '90s bands, although a bit of everything gets in there. Joy Division, the Jesus and Mary Chain, The Ramones, The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Iggy Pop, The B52's, Hole, Nirvana, Garbage, Sonic Youth, the Pixies. Recently I've been listening to Iggy Pop and The Beach Boys. I'm not too interested in a lot of what I hear on radio stations like Triple J lately. It's a little too twee and it lacks substance. Too many rich kids still living with their parents.

You toured the UK in 2010- what was the performance highlight of the tour?

We played a great gig at a place called The Hope in Brighton. We played with two other bands, Still Corners and Candy Panic Attack. The show was listed as NME's gig of the week. It was really great to played to a packed room and have people paying so much attention to us. We got a lot of really positive feedback from people and it was the first time I felt really confident about performing.

What songs seemed to resonate most with audiences- why so?

People seem to like Shiver up my Vein and 'Kiss Me, Kill Me' from the EP and tracks like In Our Room , Handgun to my Heart, and Walk Away -from the first album-are popular too. I'm not sure why people like certain songs more than others. I think sometimes it's just that they can't help but bop along to it, or maybe they just can't get the melody out of their head.

Tell me about the last song lyric you wrote, what’s it about, where did it come from?

The last song I wrote lyrics to was a song that is yet to be released and is for a future album. It's about being somewhere that you really don't want to be. I experience that feeling quite a lot. You know, when you're dragged somewhere to be social and you really don't feel like talking to anyone.

Maybe to close a lyric from a song you really from Dark Rainbows?

I like the lyrics for Get Nothing Done.

I get nothing done when I think of you
I get nothing done waiting around for you
I shouldn't care
I shouldn't care

I get nothing done when I'm with you.

Release date for Dark Rainbows- February 21 through Squirrel Records (UK) with Cargo distribution in Europe.

Available directly from The Sunday Reeds through the website for Australians and New Zealanders.

EP launch for 'Dark Rainbows' is at 2am on the 3rd of April at Pony @ 68 Little Collins Street. Copies of the EP and merchandise available too.

See their clip Walk Away 

Read another interview here: 

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