the AU interview: Nathan Morris & Devin De Araujo of Udays Tiger (Melbourne)

Mebourne based duo Udays Tiger are ready to explode onto the live scene with their intense grunge infused punk sounds. The AUreview sat down with Nathan Morris (drums/vox) and Devin De Araujo (guitar/vox) to find out what it’s all about.

First order of business – how do I pronounce your band name?

DDA: We get all sorts of things like ooo-days and uh-days or Uday Tigers. But it’s pronoucned you-days Tiger.

How did you meet and start playing together?

DDA: We went to uni together and studied film & TV, which is the industry we both work in. We started and then Nath went overseas for awhile, and when he got back we got stuck into it and got our shit together.

NM: Yeah we’ve been playing together for ages. We haven’t been doing much specific Udays Tiger stuff except for the last 8 months.

What inspired the move to Melbourne?

DDA: Just a change I guess. There’s a lot more happening here. Even film wise it’s bigger with a bigger creative community. We’ve been here about a month or two. Not very long at all.

NM: We didn’t hate Brisbane at all. We were both living out in the burbs and in order to see stuff and go do anything you always had to plan ahead so instead of moving closer to town we decided to move to a different city and I thought about it for a couple of years and finally just did it. I was lucky I only had to break one band up but didn’t have to break this one up.

Are you enjoying the city life?

NM: It’s been good so far. I’m looking forward to going out and seeing things. I’m flat broke at the moment with the moving house business. I’m just looking at that rain outside now. We rode our bikes here. Mistake.

DDA: We’ve been out a bit watching bands. We went to the Tote a few times and The Workers and Old Bar and Grace Darling too.

NM: Now we live close to town it’s great. We just ride our pushies and drink beers and then cruise on home. We’ve had some friend’s bands playing that we’ve gone to see. DZ Deathrays are solid live. We’ve emailed a lot of venues here for our own shows and are trying to get things organised. It’s hard work, like trying to break into the film industry again.

You’ve recently released the Sinners EP. What was the recording process like?

DDA: It was recorded back in March or April I think. It was written well before then. Most of the tracks have been kicking around for a while. The newest one was Sinners. Before we recorded it we sent all our favourite tracks to Neil (Coombe – DZ Deathrays, The John Steel Singers, The Go-Betweens) and he was like these are the one’s you need to record and then we rewrote and restructured them. Neil was awesome helping out with that stuff. It’s good to have it all done.

NM: Working with Neil was great. He’s like the same age as my Dad but led the opposite life that my Dad led. He’s a really nice guy, he used to play in a lot of bands – he still does. He supported the Violent Femmes and toured with Nirvana when they first came out and he told us all these awesome stories. I spent the whole time making cups of tea and just talking shit with Neil. He was so excited and he got into it. He was really good to us. He has this awesome house and it was like a retreat for us. We’ve recorded with lots of different people and it was nice to work with someone who you knew had fucking been around and wasn’t biased at all. He told us how it was. It was a solid 3 days of work.

DDA: We went in with a clear idea of how things would go. The DZ boys had told us that we would only get one track done a day. We were pretty ambitious and we thought we could do more and we’d get a bang for our buck, but in the end we used all the time. It was really fun.

NM: We did some layering and adding cool little tones. It’s great to hear it recorded really well. We were happy with our own recordings.

DDA: But you can really hear a difference. There’s more energy and the sound quality is better. We’ve never really cared about anything like that in the past, we’ve got some tape demo’s and some stuff that we recorded in garage band.

NM: Then we thought fuck it, if any one’s going to take us seriously than we need to get our product down and recorded properly with a good quality.

Have you got plans to release Sinners as a physical CD or do you prefer the digital option?

NM: We’ve done all the art and it’s ready to go. We were gonna just press a few. We’ve done some hand made cases. We’re just gonna keep working hard and keeping at it.

DDA: We’ve been looking at packaging and it’s just as expenisve to package it as it was to record it. It’s a free download on our soundcloud this month. I think for the time being we’re just going to give away our stuff for free. With me, when I like a band I like to be able to see what they’ve been up to with their demo’s and with things like soundcloud and bandcamp you can set a price or people can pay what they want which is something we’ll get around to eventually. At the end of the day I think it’s better that people listen to our stuff than not listen to it.

NM: I think Sinners will be given away reasonably one way or another. I have a general faith that if you say “have it but you can donate”, then people will pay for shit. I don’t think anyone can expect to make money from doing this straight away. I’d like to be able to buy physical copies of all of the stuff that is in my itunes, but I can’t. I have lots of stuff that mates have given me that they know I’ll like. Sharing is a big part of music.

Do you write collaboratively?

NM: We’ll both bring ideas in. We’ll have a bunch of little riffs that we’ve been working on and just jam for as long as it takes until something starts to form. We record a lot of our jams and take them home and rework them. It’s garage band central and we record on our phones just to have them stored somewhere. Dev must have many, many random bits of audio kicking around. It’s important to do that though or you’ll forget and often we’ll go back and recycle something. We like working so it comes out pretty organically.

DDA: We had one track kicking around for about a year and just could not fucking finish it. We tried to play it live a few times but we had to put it away.

NM: We have a lot of ideas and we try and make it seem likes it’s coming together from the same place. We’re not doing anything too arty. We just play stuff we like.

What are your personal influences?

DDA: We listen to a lot of different stuff. I listen to anything from Beastie Boys to Animal Collective.

NM: I’m not as diverse as Dev. I like punk stuff, but I also listen to a lot of Pixies and Nirvana. I really love bands like Les Savy Fav and Shellac and anything Steve Albini’s done. We don’t try and sound exactly like the bands we love, but it’s what I’m thinking about when writing, to try and be as awesome as they are.

What can we can expect from a Udays Tiger live show?

DDA: A lot of loud guitar and loud drums.

NM: We’ll try to muster up a bit of intensity. It can be difficult to sing and drum at the same time. Sometimes I’ll come up with an idea for a song and when I try to sing and play it doesn’t work and we’ll have to change it. It took a lot of practice, which is probably another reason why it took us so long to get out after our demo. It would be awesome if I could just sing, but we try our best. This next month is going to be good cos we’ve crammed in a lot of shows. The more we play live the better it will get as we haven’t played enough live yet. I just want to get a dick load of shows under our belts so we can be more confident. There’s a band we saw here called Six Ft Hick and they do amazing things live. I aspire to perform as well as they do. Not that we could, but it’s nice to have it in the back of your mind.

DDA: Our live experience is about to become very regular. I think we’ve got more shows lined up this month than we’ve ever had in 5-6 months back in Brisbane.

NM: yeah back then Dev was working on a couple of big TV shows and we were recording and trying to sort our stuff out and then come out. We kind of fluffed about. We didn’t want to start playing until we had our songs down. We had our demo recorded before we started doing shows. Now we’re settling down to really have a crack at it. We’re pretty realistic we know we’re not going to make a bunch of money out of it we just want to at least have tried and have fun.

How do you prepare for a gig?

DDA: I was doing some photography work at a gig and I saw the boys from Temper Trap backstage and they seemed to say a prayer before they went onstage. We don’t do that. Most of our prep involves how to coordinate getting our shit to the venue and then making sure there’s enough time between that to have a few pints before going onstage.

NM: I get a bit boozed up and then you hear the tones start to rumble out of the amps and once you’re in it, it never seems to go long enough. It’s such a fun way to go out. The buzz is incredible.

You’re friends DZ Deathrays were included on the I OH YOU Mix tape. If you had to compile your own tape of local artists who would you put on it?

UT: One of our favourite bands in Brisbane is Tiger Beams, an offshoot of Velociraptor. We saw a band at Grace Darling – Baptism of Uzi, fucking hell they were good. Tommy and The Tanks were great when we saw them at the Tote. We also saw this band whose singer was channeling Nick Cave – New War, I’d want to include them too. Another Brisbane band Idle Cranes we quite enjoy. Chet Faker – he did this awesome cover of “No Diggity”, and Saw Tooth are great. We also like Violent Soho, Skull Hazards, The Sulphur Lights – they’re a great garage band. We saw Harmony the other day we liked them too. That’ll do.

Catch Udays Tiger unleashing their wild side at the following shows:

JULY 14 – Shake Some Action – 161 High Street Prahran
JULY 19 – Revolver Upstairs – Chapel st Prahran
JULY 21 – The Prague – High St, Thornbury
JULY 23 – RATS – Brown Alley – cnr King & Lonsdale st
AUGUST 4 – Shake Some Action – 161 High Street Prahran