In just a few weeks, HÆLOS will be out in Australia for a run of highly anticipated festival appearances for the Falls Festival, as well as some cheeky headline dates on the east coast with BUOY, Yeo and Christopher Port. For the London-based trio, their music has continued to captivate audiences around the world through 2016, hooking us in back in March during their hectic SXSW schedule.
While we anticipate HÆLOS finally coming out to our turf, we catch up with keyboardist/vocalist Dom Goldsmith to find out how things have been going for the band since those shows in Austin, Texas.
I feel like this trip has been a fair little while in the making – how are you guys feeling about these Australian shows now we’re only weeks out?
Yeah, it’s been a little while in the making. We’re pretty stoked about these shows because we have been trying to fix them since SXSW – where we first met the AU Review – back in March, I think. I have family in Melbourne but I’ve never been down to visit. Lotti‘s fiancee, Andrew, is from Adelaide as well – so we feel a bit connected to Australia already. It feels good to journey with the music you’ve made whilst catching up with old friends and family.
We’ve followed the year you guys have had so far in terms of shows in the US and the UK – it’s so clear that things have gone up another level. Have you felt this development on the live front consciously or do you think it’s been a natural progression?
When you are inside something it’s hard to gain the perspective to see/feel progress sometimes. We’ve ticked some things off the bucket list this year for sure and also been humbled as the crowds got bigger. But it still feels like we’re just getting started in many ways as well. There is always room to grow and evolve. In terms of playing live, though, there is no better way to grow than to just tour solidly.
If there’s been any kind of lesson or hot tip you’ve taken away from this year on the road, what do you think it has been?
You can never have enough fresh fruit or water on a tour bus.
Obviously, Full Circle has continued to express itself as one fine, textured effort of a debut album – how is it sitting with you all now you’ve been able to flesh it out live?
We try and have fun with it. To pull songs in slightly different directions whilst trying to maintain the core of them. From a producer’s view point, this year’s touring has inspired the sonic palette that I’s like the next record to sound like. When I was programming the drums on Full Circle the live show was just in my imagination because we had never played live before. The next record will probably have slightly different flavour due to that alone. It has inspired our writing as well. When you can gauge how a room of people feels when a certain BPM or rhythm or melody is played, it has an impact when you are back in the studio and writing. Just like any experience would do, really.
We saw you guys play a few times at SXSW – how did you rate that experience and would you do it again? I remember you guys played a heap of shows in a short period of time!
We’d do SXSW again in a heartbeat. To be honest, I’d just love to go as punter because I hardly got to see any other bands while we were there because, as you said, our schedule was manic. 11 shows in 4 days. Austin is an absolute diamond of a city. I don’t usually enjoy touring as much as studio time, but SXSW probably wins the year for me.
For an Australian audience filled with people who might be coming to HÆLOS for the first time over the next few weeks; what’s one thing about the live shows you’ve noticed crowds have been vibing with particularly?
Our percussion section and their war with one another from opposing ends of the stage. Drums for me are the most primal part to music… in a big room, with a great system, in good company; there isn’t much better than when you can get lost inside a beat.
I know that a lot of musicians, by the time a new album is out and circulating, are generally already brainstorming or noodling around with new sounds and the beginnings of new songs – have you found this has been the case with HÆLOS?
I don’t think the process is ever really finished. So, yeah, I have found that to be the case with HÆLOS. While we can do this every day, we will. Just laying down the occasional chord progression, trying a new instrument, making a new modular synth patch – just playing in general will generate content. Then the editing process can begin, which is a huge part of creative flow for me.
What’s the early months of 2017 looking like for the band, post-Australian tour? What can we hope to be expecting from you guys?
Well we have been deep into our second record since we finished touring at the end of September. The focus is there for us and we are really enjoying it. So we expect the early part of 2017 to look similar for us. However, in the meantime – we can’t wait to join you in Australia.
HÆLOS will appear at the Falls Music and Arts Festival over New Year’s – for more information about the festival, visit www.fallsfestival.com.au.
The band also plays Howler in Melbourne (January 4th) with Yeo and Christopher Port and Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory (January 6th) with BUOY. Visit www.secretsoundstouring.com for more information!