Launching onto the scene in 2010 with their unique twist of indie rock, The Medics eagerly anticipated debut album is almost upon us. Emma sat down with guitarist Andrew Thomson to talk their recording the new album, playing at BIGSOUND and making a name for themselves in far North Queensland.
By Emma Dean
Your debut album is due out on Friday (May 18) and your singles have been getting some serious airplay on Triple J – has it sunk in just how highly anticipated the album is?
Not really hey, it still feels a bit airy. We are pumped for it to be released so people can own something that we are proud of. We can then start on the next chapter of the story.
What can you tell us about the album?
The recordings on Foundations [and the tracks] are all produced in collaboration with Yanto Browning – a great producer whom we had a lot of confidence and trust in.
Recently we have been working with video-makers ‘pixel frame’ on the production for our latest single ‘Griffin’, the setting is at the Boggo Road jail and the story has a semi controversial ending.
You can check out the video for ‘Griffin’ here:
You’ve just been added to the line up for this year’s Splendour in the Grass – how does that feel?
Feels like a dream come true, not just to play the festival, but the bands that we have the chance to share the bill with and see live. It’s amazing!
How was playing at BIGSOUND? What doors did this open for you?
Basically our band’s steps have been taken through our BIGSOUND showcases. With Brisbane at the forefront of the industry, a lot of bands get heaps out of it and more than just the experience of a ‘great show’.
We met our manager at BIGSOUND a few years ago . . . and then our label, booking agent and last year our publisher.
It’s such a great thing – all the other bands that you meet too, like the ones you wouldn’t usually run into, it all makes the Brisbane music scene pretty tight!
You signed to Brisbane’s Footstomp Records late last year – what made you decide to go with them?
Footstomp just put the right things on the table, nothing unnecessary. Clean and simple. We get to maintain total creative control too, which we think is important.
For someone who hasn’t seen you perform live, what can audiences expect? And what track would you play them?
Personally, I always play ‘Ocean Eyes’ as my first track; it just has a catchy hook melody that makes me sing along every time.
The live show is a whole separate feeling to the album though. You need to have the two different dynamics of the visual and the audio to capture the true emotions of the songs for the entire set.
You were featured in the documentary ‘Who We Are’ for NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) week in 2010 – how did that come about?
We first started our travels south to the Dreaming Festival held at the Woodford grounds. The NAIDOC week video came from that opportunity and gave us a massive boost at the time.
You made the move from Cairns to Brisbane fairly early on in your career – what’s the music scene like in Cairns? Is it a good environment for up and coming bands?
The Cairns music scene can be a bit of a dry landscape, where there’s no water in sight, but you dig a little and there’s plenty underneath, where you can’t see it.
It’s all about DIY in North Queensland – we started by doing shows in halls, then pubs and clubs when we all came of age, and then I guess we just were looking for that next step, and we found that in moving to the capital city, Brisbane.
How have you grown musically and as a band since your debut EP ‘This Boat We Call Love’?
I don’t really feel like we have changed all that much musically, the production is up a notch, we’ve learnt to play our instruments a bit better and the beards are a lot longer.
How is your tour schedule looking over the next twelve months? Where will you be heading on your album tour?
This next part of the year will see us head to all the same cities we have already visited plus a lot more, with more rural shows being added to bulk up the road time. Also a few new festivals in the mix we hope around the end of year season.
Out of the musicians and industry people you’ve worked with, who has given you the best advice?
Yanto Browning seems to have good advice when we need it. He never lies, that something is good when it sucks, and is good at making coffee.
Is there an awesome up and coming band you’d like to give a shout out to?
Really digging this band from Melbourne called ‘Drunk Mums‘ – they’ve got a sound like no other, and make you feel like you already know their songs.
Finally, what’s next for The Medics?
Album out May 18th and then we can’t wait for Splendour in the Grass!
Thanks to Andrew for taking the time to chat to us. To find out more about The Medics, check out their website: http://www.themedics.com.au