When their debut album Reactions dropped in 2010, Sons of Rico introduced the world to a new sound that had artistic depth and pop simplicity alike. A quirky, unique approach to song structure led by one of the most quirky and unique voices to arrive on the Australian music scene in a very long time. With their follow-up album due in early 2013, we sat down with Alex McRae to talk about ELO, Oxford Street and their 2013 plans.
By Meghan Player
What is the first thing people should know about Sons of Rico?
We’re a five piece from Perth here to massage your eardrums. Happy endings included.
Your music has hints of classic rock, but mixed with a pop sensibility – who are some of your biggest influences when it comes to the sound/style of the band?
Electric Light Orchestra demonstrated to me how to layer heaps of instruments without going over the top. At the same time, the cores of their songs are really solid – vocal melodies, rhythm and deliveries are always impeccable – things I bring to the table in the early stages of writing a new song.
Are there any particular albums that inspire the band?
It’s pretty hard to go past Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. That’s an album that really went against the grain at the time and said to everyone “we’re going to make what we want to make”! One of the best album experiences out there for me!
Your new album is due in 2013, what can you tell us about it?
It was all written over six months in Brisbane with most members still in Perth, so collaborations had to happen via email which was a pretty different way for us all to work. Adam, Brett and I then jumped into Applewood Lane studios with our (now) buddy and Australian music legend Magoo to lay down all the tracks over a couple of months. Applewood is an old converted church about an hour out of Brisbane, so we basically lived there for the entire time. I earlier imagined it could have got a bit gruelling after a while, but we loved every minute of it. Great, now I’m having withdrawals!
Our first taste of the album came with single, ‘You Don’t Know What You’re Missin’ – is the sound of the single indicative of what the rest of the album will sound like?
This song is definitely one of the more upbeat party rockin’ tunes. I’d say no two songs from the new batch are too much alike because I like every track on an album to have its own personality. It just makes for a more pleasurable album experience.
The single has an interesting story behind the title – taken from a ‘lady of the night’ on Oxford Street in Sydney – did you immediately think, ‘yep – that’s a good song title!’?
Not immediately – Adam and I laughed it off at the time, but it was almost a year later when I came to think about that line again. It actually just came out while strumming away on my guitar, so when I recounted the experience the song pretty much wrote itself from there.
How will the remainder of 2012 look for the band?
It will be a bit quiet on the live front over christmas, but there’ll be some writing here and there as well as preparations for activities in early 2013.
Do you have some tour dates lined up for next year?
They’re being penciled in as we speak so we’re looking to announce a run towards the end of summer – we can’t wait to hit the road again!
Finally, how would you sum up your year?
Many thanks to Alex for taking the time to chat to us. You can find out more info at: www.facebook.com/sonsofrico