After a three-year hiatus and a handful of side projects, Australian rockers Something With Numbers are back with a new lease on life and an album to boot. We sat down with drummer Lachy West to talk comebacks, new records and collaborations.
By Emma Dean
It’s great to have you guys back, what have you all been up to since ‘Engineering the Soul’?
Thank you very much – it’s good to be back. Well right off the back of that record we toured pretty extensively for about a year then took some time to breathe. It’s been great because now when we’re together, we’re happy to see each other which can be rare for bands that have been together for the better part of a decade.
What’s the first thing people who don’t know your music should know about you?
We rarely take anything seriously as people, I guess some of that would seep into our music.
‘Eleven Eleven’ came out last week – how are you finding the fans reactions to it?
It’s been received pretty well I think. I try not to dwell on it too much from an internet point of view, I usually like hearing what fans think of the songs at shows, but maybe that’s just my vanity poking through?
How do you think your experiences during your hiatus shaped the new album? Did it allow you to incorporate some different things into your writing you wouldn’t have considered before?
It definitely has, although it wasn’t an intentional “hiatus” we all had musical ventures that took us in different directions so it would have had to effect on the overall taste of the record.
Talk us through writing/recording ‘Eleven Eleven’ – did you have a firm vision on what you wanted when you went into the studio or did things progress more naturally?
We went into the studio with a definite sound in mind but not all finished songs. So we knew which direction to take the vibe of most of the songs but were, a lot of the time, writing as we tracked which was something new for us. We did the record at Jungle Studios in Sydney with Lachlan Mitchell behind the desk. He’s a great guy and a great producer. He’ll spend time on the things that matter, the song form and arrangement, rather than tune a snare drum for an hour or two.
What’s a typical writing session like?
Most of the time Jake will come in with a song idea and in the jam room we’ll flesh it out and make it sound like the band. It’s a democracy but Jake usually has a good direction in his head of where the song needs to go.
You’re about to head out on the album tour – what are you looking forward to the most?
I’m just really excited to get to play some of the new songs to old fans and some fresh ears too. Also we do enjoy a party and there are a lot of people interstate we haven’t seen in quite a while.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made as a band and how did you fix them?
I don’t think I can legally discuss that in a public forum.
What’s one band that you’d love to collaborate with? Can we expect any new cover songs this year?
I’m sure we’d all have different answers to this question, but seeing as though I’m doing the interview, I’d love to collaborate with Iva Davies from Icehouse. We hadn’t thought about any cover ideas in a while, but I’d love to have Electric Blue in our set now that you’ve asked.
What CD is on repeat in the tour van at the moment?
We’ve gone back a few years and have been listening to Baby 81 by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club quite a bit. That was also one of the main references we used for the mixing of Eleven Eleven, whether you can tell or not.
Finally are there any up and coming bands we should check out?
I really love a Sydney band called Food Court at the moment. Just a filthy, surfy, garage band that are great live too, one to watch.
Thanks to Lachy for taking the time to chat to us. Check out the SWN Facebook page for upcoming tour dates: http://www.facebook.com/somethingwithnumbers