The AU review chases answers from Sydonia before they lose themselves in their current national tour. Dana Roskvist takes up the keyboard on behalf of the band and kindly takes time out from his vocal and guitar duties to give us an idea of the band's future plans and their thinking in general.
Matt: How has the first half of 2012 treated Sydonia?
Dana: Very well. We've been busy tracking our forthcoming second album and getting it mixed piece by piece- the first two tracks finished feature on the DP (EP/DVD) that we are touring in support of now.
You guys have been around for a fair while by any band’s standards and been all over Australia’s venues. What would you say is your top three favourite places to play in?
I guess we have! We've just kept doing it. I think because we wouldn't know what to do with our spare time otherwise and also we've had some incredible stuff happen because of the music.
The Espy, cause we always seem to have great shows there. The Annandale, for the same reason and cause it sounds huge and I'll say that Riverstage in Brisbane. It was freakin’ amazing to play at- when you're the little opening band for Slipknot and Machine Head, it's the first night of the tour and you're nervous as hell. It's incredible and relieving to have a sea of people jumping up and down to your music.
Since you are touring to most capital cities again in the coming month (sorry Perth…) and it’s been a while since you went around the USA with the Stone Sours, can your overseas fans hope to see you in the flesh soon?
It's hard to get over there without backing. We know this from going there off our own bat with Stone Sour. If we get lucky and get someone/something behind us then we'd be there in a shot- there's people who want to help us do that, so we'll just have to see how that pans out.
Each of Australia’s cities seems to have a slightly different slant on music. From Perth, you’re going to get some unique and genre-bending stuff and Sydney has produced some of the best heavy alternative Australian bands out there. How do you think the city a band starts out in influences them?
I don't know if I agree with that, sorry. Maybe it happens when a bunch of bands are really influenced by their contemporaries or something.
But I think it's hard to hear a band and go- 'oh they sound Perthian' (is that a word??) Maybe it's more of an afterthought or a hindsight thing 'Oh they're from Perth, that makes sense.' Little Birdy aren't exactly genre bending haha.
I can see how colder cities might have slightly stronger scenes? More time spent inside writing, rehearsing etc. But that doesn't always mean all the music will be better or of a certain ilk.
I mean Sydonia is two Kiwis, a Queenslander and a Tasmanian- go figure.
As a slight follow on, which gig that you’ve been at has had the most influence on you in your musical career?
Every time I see the Smashing Pumpkins I walk away happy, inspired and also, as an aside, confused by Billy Corgan. 'I'm Billy Corgan bitch'. But I want to go home and play guitar, so that's always a good thing.
Sydonia’s sound smoothly treads the line between alternative and metal, with occasional sidetrips into either genre. Can you see yourselves ever slipping into heavier territory permanently?
No, we like space jams way too much. Maybe for an album, we've actually talked about that but not for the rest of our days.
Do you think coming from Australia is a disadvantage in trying to make it onto the worldwide stage? Even despite the Internet…
Yes, unfortunately. We have one nationwide ‘alternative’ radio station so it's hard to get exposure and therefore dosh. And everywhere else is expensive to get to.
Which part of musicianship do you enjoy the most, the time spent in the studio and writing or the thrill of standing with your instrument in front of a sea of faces?
All of it, there's something really special about writing and jamming and having songs appear out of the ether and the same goes when producing the songs and having sounds fall into place or hearing something new and having it work or layering guitars until it's like a big sparkly ocean. Then there's something really soul filling about seeing people sing their hearts out to your music.
Thanks for the time, all the best on tour!
Ditto and thanks.
Sydonia are currently touring nationally, bar Western Australia.
SYDONIA - THE WORDS THAT DON'T EXIST TOUR - AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2012
18th August: Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
23rd August: Great Northern Hotel, Newcastle, NSW
24th August: Hotel Gearin, Katoomba, NSW
25th August: Annandale Hotel, Sydney, NSW
26th August: Yours & Owls, Wollongong, NSW
30th August: Macquarie Hotel, Port Macquarie, NSW
31 August: Plantation Hotel, Coffs Harbour, NSW
1st September: Crow Bar, Brisbane, QLD
2nd September: Peregian Originals, Sunny Coast, QLD
7th September: Newmarket Hotel, Bendigo, VIC
8th September: Enigma Bar, Adelaide, SA