AU ABROAD

the AU interview: Edwin Mathis White of Tonstartssbandht (US) on playing CMJ, touring Australia and more!

Soon to make their Australian debut is Brooklyn based duo Tonstartssbandht! The sibling duo of Edwin Mathis White and Andy White are notable musicians in their own right, but the music they've been making together has a vibe all its own. Andy plays guitar with Mac DeMarco, while Edwin's solo project Eola has also been garnering some popular acclaim. Together, Tonstartssbandht are purveyors of 'psychedelic boogie rock' and are stoked to be bringing it through Australian venues next month. Edwin tells us about the upcoming tour, how CMJ treated them and what he's looking forward to next year.

You recently played CMJ, how was it? What’s New York like during this hectic period of time?

There's so many shows happening and bands in town, I wonder if it all really exists. It's for sure overwhelming if you try and take in all the promotions and information being thrown at you. I think we found a great balance this year. We played about three or four shows during the week, each was a unique experience and great to be a part of. It's strange playing a show on a weekday a few blocks from the job that you're normally at, or playing gigs where it seems like every band has to leave right after they've finished playing to make their next set in an hour.

You encounter so many different vibes and lineups and crowds with every CMJ set you play, so for us, the week felt like a month's worth of set styles. I feel like everyone who caught a set of ours that week saw something different. On the Sunday of that week, we performed each our solo projects with friends at the Babycastles gallery in Manhattan. That might've been my favorite part. We took it pretty easy though, all things considered. Didn't try and party Friday or Saturday night. CMJ's definitely what you make of it. It's more fun than I expect.

You guys are headed to Australia in December and January, which is great to see! It's more than two dates as well, which is sure to make a few Aussie music fans happy – do you know how you're going to be spending New Year's yet?

From what I understand, we are playing a secret party somewhere in Melbourne. Not sure of the details exactly, but sounds fun.

Outside of the band, have either of you been to Australia before? How do you expect your music will go down in this part of the world?

Neither of us have been to Australia yet. I'd like to hope there are some people looking forward to this tour. We've had a lot of people contact us in the past five years about doing this, but we've never been able to work it out until now. We're excited to meet Australians.

You've been able to take the band's tunes through Europe as well as the States and the following you've got now is impressive. What's been a big inspiration or driving force behind the live show environments you ultimately want to be creating?

We want to play to the best of our ability at every show. A new environment and set-up presents itself to us each night and we apply our sound and songs to that situation, while tweaking the subtle changes as we go. Some nights, there might be shitty amps or drums and we play with more aggression, other nights, the monitors are perfecto and you can't help but sing as much as possible, because it sounds so sweet and goodly. We're inspired by improvisation and true emotion. We play as we feel, we alter what must be altered. Some nights the crowd - appreciative or not - gives off no physical energy and that might keep us subdued. If it really feels like their not vibing, we fight back with our own vibes. When the crowd is loose and whooping and moving and laughing, we have the best time. The inspiration is the potential. Every night's vibe is up in the air. That is exciting. We love being a part of that blip in time.

Best part about travelling with one another?

Traveling with my brother is awesome, just in general. We support each other and put one another at ease. I'm never too worried or stressed with Andy next to me, and we've shared so many wonderful and insane experiences together. So far, there's no one else I'd rather be exploring a new place with.

Who are you guys listening to at the moment or while you're on the road that you would recommend checking out?

I cleaned my room today so I was listening to a lot of music ... I listened to about five Vibracathedral Orchestra albums. Before that, an album called Sound Time by Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe and his Nigerian Sound, Pandit Pran Nath's Earth Groove.

Past few months it's been:

Amen Dunes - Love
Tracey Trance - Noise Hippie Trimmer
PC Worship - Social Rust
France - Pau
France - Do Den Haag Church
Sugar Boys - Rys Øf The Feenickes
Vice Versa - Rehearsal Tapes
Diva - Meditation Fruits

Then, Velvets bootlegs, live Can recordings, free/spiritual jazz, classical, Blind Willie McTell and Henry Flynt. Music is great stuff!

Can you tell us a bit about what you've got coming up in the early part of 2015? You guys record in an unorthodox way, can you tell us about that?

Probably just writing and recording whenever we have time in early 2015. That's usually what's on your mind when you return home from a long tour. We just record wherever and as best as we can. Even a shitty recording can possibly be salvaged or used in a different way, but we generally just record record record. Just hit that button and don't worry about it. Do it or never do it.

For the Australian crowds you're set to play to, what would be one thing you'd like people to turn up to the shows with, if you could have anything – quintessentially Australian or otherwise – brought along?

Really good moods!

--

TONSTARTSSBANDHT AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES

December 20th - Trainspotters, Brisbane
December 26th - The Tote Hotel, Melbourne
December 27th - The Brisbane Hotel, Hobart
January 2nd - Rad Bar, Wollongong
January 3rd - Red Rattler, Sydney