In anticipation of their performance at Sugar Mountain Festival, we catch up with Melbourne's Absolute Boys.
How would you say 2011 has treated Absolute Boys in terms of performing/recording?
Really well, live high-light for us was covering Gordon’s ‘Future Shock’ 7” at a Flying Nun birthday show.
What brought you guys together? I know that the three of you all come from previous musical backgrounds.
We were all moving to Melbourne from Sydney at around the same time, the other guys were jamming for 6 months trying to find a suitable bass player and couldn’t so luckily for me they waited till I got my shit together and got down here too.
The sound Absolute Boys produce is hailed as ‘ridiculously good pop music’. For a trio, is there a certain approach you take to creating this sort of music – any musicians who’ve been definite influences on your direction?
Of course there are major influences and reference points for us, but if we let them out of the bag it kind of ruins the magic... that’s the mystery of tunes, listening and wondering where people get weird ideas from... some of them are probably pretty obvious anyhow, but more important right now I think is that we play to a sort of concept: we want to make very catchy tunes with a lot of bottom end. Like dub is a major influence, but not so much specific recording artists or songs, its more of a general dynamic that we have taken from a genre and applied to our own interests.
How has the response been towards your live performances? Has the band been able to do many gigs interstate lately?
This year we didn’t get out of town as much as we normally like to, we were concentrating on working towards an album... 2012 is going to be much more about getting away for the weekend and doing shows in other cities and countries, because that’s one of the main drivers for playing in bands for us, the chance to travel.
I’m from Adelaide, so the variety of music venues down this way isn’t as diverse as it is in Melbourne or Sydney, say. What sort of venues would you say fit the sound of Absolute Boys the best, and are they easy to pull decent crowds in Melbourne?
We love playing Adelaide, we get to play smaller rooms to a lot of enthusiastic people. We have played the usuals, the Exeter, Metro, Format. In Melbourne there are a lot of great rooms but there is also a lot more stuff on. We don’t play at home more than once a month because you have to make it an event to get peoples’ attention. We normally focus on playing shows out of town and then fill in spots at home. In terms of the type of room... it doesn’t really hurt us to be honest, you can make something out of any room, sometimes ones that don’t sound the best make up for it with a killer vibe which really outweighs it all on the night.
What can people expect to hear on an Absolute Boys debut album? Can you give us any indicator of when we can expect to see another release?
The album is shaping up now, it will be quite textural and cleaner than a show... hopefully very immersive but in a different way to a live set. Hopefully it’ll wash over you and make you feel some strange things. It will be out probably around Autumn.
How would you describe the music scene in Melbourne at the moment? Is there still that sense of a supportive network existing amongst musicians, I guess most generally categorised in the ‘indie’ genre?
There’s a butt load going on as I said, of course people form their own little cliques, but we try to float between them and play with a lot of different people doing different things... that keeps it fresh for everyone. But I can’t keep up to be honest, there are so many new bands out every weekend.
A festival like Sugar Mountain serves as a great platform to showcase some of the
city’s local talent, across the arts board in a new and refreshing way. Had you been
involved in any event similar to this previously?
No we haven’t really but we are finally going to Camp A Low Hum in NZ in Feb, and I think that will have a similar vibe. That’s exciting. It’s good to make sure music gets involved with art and fashion and other creative areas so that they all come easily together like this and lift up the game across the board.
There are some pretty impressive international names featured on the line up including Deerhoof, John Maus and DJ Yamantaka Eye. Have you seen any acts that you’re particularly keen on checking out?
Maus for sure, we’ve been listening to his stuff for a long time, a friend of mine saw him in the States and said it was quite intense, dude sounds like a bit of a nut in the best possible way.
Have you got any shows on before the year winds up or are you guys just kicking back over the holiday season?
We’re done, played the last show, had the ABZ chrissie party, swapped pressies, done a last-minute sesh in the studio for the record. Time to kick it in a big way. Big year in two twelve though... big year.
Thanks so much again, I look forward to keeping track of where the band heads in the New Year!
Don't miss Absolute Boys at Sugar Mountain Festival - http://www.sugarmountainfestival.com/