the AU interview at Select Music's 7th Birthday: The Walking Who (Wollongong)

Fresh off the stage, Larry caught up with Wollongong's The Walking Who to talk about their recent residency in Sydney and much more...

Let’s talk about what you guys are up to... You’ve released two EPs, I understand there’s another record that’s going to be released soon?

So we’ve done an EP and an album and now were working on another album. We’re just in the process of finishing that off, it should be done in a month.

So you’re from Wollongong, the Illawarra area. Are you still living down there or have you relocated up here?

Paul lives in Redfern, he just moved. But yeah we’ve all been down there for the last couple of years, since we’ve been hanging together. Us three – Rohin and Jay - are still here but not for much longer.

Looking towards the next full length... where have you recorded it and when are we going to hear it?

We did the last record at my house, which is this really cool old, dilapidated mansion in Wollongong. It’s been a young person’s student house for the last ten years or so. I moved in there a year ago and we make a lot of music there, that’s where we jam and play.

This record's been really interesting because we’ve been experimenting with different rooms and sounds. We did the drums in the bathroom and did the tape as well, so we’ve been using an old four track recorder. And we’ve really achieved this variety, that Flaming Lips meets sort of analogue sort of old Floyd recordings. And it’s been really good.

If anything we’ve gained from the house, it’s a really dark record. There’s a lot of problems with people in our house, everyone’s got a problem. It’s a pretty crazy environment and I think that’s good for making a record in. We work hard on it as well, so it’s going to be good, it’s definitely the first thing the three of us have been really proud of. Each one gets better, so we just want to keep making more.

How does that process compare to how you put together the last two records?

For the last record, the Candy Flu, we did that downstairs in the mansion in the living room, so it was all done in the same room. We had the drums, the guitars, the basses and all that kind of stuff in the one room. At the time we were like, ‘lets just record it and we’ll try and sell some CDs and make money from our friends’. Turns out that’s not such a good way to do it, so this time we decided to do like a half professional job.

So we moved upstairs, and put the drums in the bathroom, closed the door and did all the tracks separately this time. So the process this time around is a little bit more strategic. We want to play certain things in different spots rather than just jamming it out. This time we were able to play with a lot more different sounds.

The process of recording has been a lot different because it’s separately tracked, where as last time it was altogether. But at the time we didn’t think it was going to go anywhere, we didn’t think anyone would listen to it. So we just did it to get it out.

I think another good point is that we really grew and learnt a lot especially when we came to re-releasing the album. We got in touch with masters and they were like, ‘what are you guys doing? You haven’t got the tracks mixed properly!’. The first one was a mess! It was very messy. Everything’s nice and neat now, I look at a file and think, ‘ that’s all cool, everything’s working well’. But before I was like, ‘let’s whack some mics up, record it, and it’ll be done’.

It must feel good to be comfortable in that respect.

Yeah definitely. It’s a different way though. It’s way different from just playing in a room, you’ve got to play and imagine what it’s going to sound like because it’s just the drums, or just drums and bass. So the whole time you’re playing the song and thinking, ‘in the background there’s got to be this part and that part that we haven’t written yet’. Kind of building blocks.

I think we’ve also grown with our song writing. Our songs have become more substantial and that’s a natural process of being a musician, and there’s always room to improve. The last five years we’ve all been in tedious study and now we’ve got nothing better to do than play music and that puts you in a better head space and the record shows that for sure.

When are we going to hear it?

Ah in September.

I look forward to hearing what comes out of that! Is there any gigs you guys have coming up?

Beach Road on the 30th and tomorrow night we’re down at the Annandale with Immigrant Union and the Lovetones, that should be a good show. And then we’re going to Newcastle which should be exciting!

Well thanks guys for your time!