the AU interview: Russell Fitzgibbon of Fishing (Sydney) on tailoring Shy Glow for live audiences, touring with broken bones and more!

Sydney production duo Fishing recently kicked off their debut headline tour over the weekend and for fans scattered around the country, it's a long-awaited run of dates. Their debut album Shy Glow has been out since June, but for Russell Fitzgibbon and Doug Wright, the last few months haven't been for lazing around and basking in the glow of the album's release. Fishing have built themselves a popular reputation on the live front over the past few years, so it's unsurprising that the preparation behind the new show for this tour hasn't been taken lightly.

The duo will be stopping through Adelaide this Friday night before hitting Melbourne and Sydney and coincidentally, the AU will be there to kick on with them at Rocket Bar, as we celebrate our 6th Birthday in Adelaide this weekend! Fitzgibbon tells us a bit about how preparation for the shows had been coming, even though two notable obstacles had made themselves known.

"We've had to change a bunch of things we were planning on doing for the last couple of dates because I've just broken my wrist on the weekend! I broke my hand and Al [Wright], who's coming on tour with us, broke his wrist last week as well. We've got four hands between three people, so it's been pretty hilarious trying to process stuff to play, but I think it'll vibe."

So factoring in some casts to the Fishing live set up, how much of a challenge has this tour turned out to be to process and fit together? Doing things effectively with one hand tied behind your back forces you to concentrate and use other parts of your brain, so I'd imagine this applies pretty well to live music and performance. Fitzgibbon is pretty chill about the upcoming dates, noting that there's been a good dynamic formed now between himself and both the other guys alongside him, physically impaired or not!

"The idea of getting Al along was to sing, because he's a vocalist and he's featured on a couple of the songs on the album." he explains. "He was going to sing those songs and maybe play a little guitar and some percussion and different samples. Then he broke his arm and we were like, 'Okay, that's okay you can still sing and play some pads' and then I broke my wrist! So basically now, Al's just doing everything that I was doing with my left hand, and I'm just doing everything I'd do with my right hand, so we're playing in that kind of way. I think it's fun, it does mean you have to concentrate on doing one thing with one hand, even when the other one's like, up in the air. I think it'll be fun, it frees us up to pump up the crowd with our cast-hands!"

The release of Shy Glow has obviously opened up the amount of musical elements Fishing now have at their disposal on the live front - whereas before, they had a strong set of tunes to build a set upon, with a whole album's worth, the duo can now push things up a notch just that extra level. It's something Fitzgibbon agrees with and while the record's been circulating for a few months now, he's already looking to the next.

"It's really nice to have a collection of songs we can focus on in the live show and play some stuff around that, but really make it about presenting those songs in a live capacity, in a way that it'll really work in a club or with a crowd. It's a cool challenge, a really fun thing to do. It's a lot of fun to play live, as well, because we've been listening to the songs forever. It's good to be able to get out there and play them for people."

"We'd been thinking about doing this for a while," he says of the national tour. "We hadn't done our own headline album tour before, so we were pretty keen to do it. It's been in the back of our minds for a long time. Ever since the album's come out, we've been really excited about doing some new stuff and doing some remixes and just making some completely different music. I think it'll be like, we're away on the weekends and then we'll come back and just be in the studio making completely new stuff. I just want to be able to play the new stuff that we're making immediately, so we'll see how it goes. Maybe by the end of the tour, we'll be able to play some completely new things."

Working in a music climate which is now swept up in a focus on the quick delivery of sound to new ears, and the constant craving of feedback and recognition from both ends of the industry, whether it be from the artist, their fans or critics (legit and would be), it makes total sense for the duo to be already working on new material and thinking about how to make the right decisions, as opposed to just jumping on a familiar beat because it's popular.

"These days, everything happens so fast and the music that we're listening to changes week to week and month to month." Fitzgibbon admits. "I think, on one hand, it makes you want to get through all these ideas that you want to do really quickly...You might see an awesome show or hear an awesome track and go, 'I want to make something like that'. But then, because it all happens so quickly, it really gives you some perspective and lets you pick out the things that really mean something to you and effect you more than others."

"One of our aims was that we didn't want to make music that was just for the club and we also didn't want to make music that was just electronic, pop music. We didn't want to make something that was really targeting a certain demographic, you know? We just wanted to make music which would appeal to a broad audience and that people could listen to and not just think about. Music that they wouldn't have to listen to a couples of times just to understand what it is. Whether that's good or bad...maybe just having something that isn't all certain, maybe it sticks with you longer."

Thinking ahead to the rest of the Fishing shows, is there a chance that the duo will be taking some of this live essence back with them to their studio in Sydney? It's always interesting to think about how much a live performance atmosphere can influence how things roll out in the studio and for Fishing, it's definitely something which plays into their creative process.

"How you play things out live really makes a difference to what kind of music you want to create and what you do with the songs that you're making. You're thinking about how it'll sound on a system or how you're going to play it or what different things you could do to make it work. It has a really good effect on the overall feel of the music, I think. The hard part is making decisions on what kind of show you want to have, whether you want to have a mad party show or if you want something more emotionally effecting. Hopefully we can strike a good balance."


Shy Glow is out now through Create/Control.


August 29 - Cats @ Rocket Bar, Adelaide - AU's 6th BIRTHDAY EVENT!
Doors 9pm | Tickets from the venue

August 30 - Shebeen Bandroom, Melbourne
$12 + bf |

September 5 - Newtown Social Club, Sydney
$12 + bf |