The Quick and The Dead’s Rhys Duursma talks new self-titled album, western themed tracks, and what it’s like to be a southern rock band in a small town.
Victorian band, The Quick and The Dead released their new self-titled album, mixing southern and folk rock with cowboy themed tracks.
The new album is the second full length release for the band, and is a great achievement production wise. Recording each instrument separately, it was a change from the live recordings of their 2014 releases: debut album Hunger and collaboration EP Folk ‘n’ Flight.
Recording the album over two years in a farmhouse that the band affectionately call The Hilton, drummer Rhys says recording from home gave room for creative expression.
“It’s great! We love the freedom to create and experiment on our time, and just find our own way to the art we want to make”.
With five classic western songs woven in-between other tracks, Rhys says that the album, lyrically speaking, goes even deeper than that. “I think overall it could be summed up as my exploration of how belief and the pursuit of truth interact with us and our daily lives… it is an expression of my inner question’s, ideas and theories”.
Talking to Rhys, he discusses all you need to know about the new album, reveals the band’s music inspirations; the meaning behind The Quick and The Dead, and what it’s like to be a band in a small town.
Q: The Quick and The Dead, you guys recently released your new self-titled album. How excited are you for your fans to hear your new music?
Rhys Duursma: We’re so stoked! I don’t know if people realise how long the process is between writing a song and releasing an album. We started writing this album two and half years ago, and recorded it almost twelve months ago…it has taken a lot of work and patience from us. We’re really proud of these fourteen tracks and can’t wait for people to hear them!
Q: The Quick and The Dead is a very unique name. How did you come up with it, and how does it reflect who you are as a band?
It was the name that was left after we crossed all the others off the list. It’s a mix of western ideas and a reference to Old English. Quick used to mean alive, particularly bible verses about God coming back for the quick (alive) and the dead.
Q: You revealed that at least five of your songs on the album are about Cowboys, whisky and pistols. What inspired the classic western theme?
Initially it wasn’t going to be a western, and it wasn’t going to be five song’s long. I just set out to write a story that expanded on some of the ideas referenced in the name The Quick & the Dead, and it grew and developed into what it is on the album. It tells the story of man trying to sort his life out, but ultimately failing and losing control.
Q: You also released two singles in August; Blacksmith and Gone. What made you choose these songs to promote the album; what are they essentially about?
We chose those tracks because we thought that together they gave a rough overview of our sound. The Blacksmith is essentially a straight rock track with a repetitive chorus and Gone is a fun slide guitar track that has more of a southern vibe. The Blacksmith is about the power of the tongue to spread an idea and Gone is about making the most of every little moment that comes our way.
Q: How would you describe the writing process for the album, and what are some of your tracks about?
I write songs about ideas. I get inspired by something that sparks a thought or question, which spins around in the top of my head for a while. Once I’ve kind of come to terms with how that idea might interact with me or interact with the world I try put it on paper. Musically these tracks either came from the three of us jamming whatever felt good…or from me with an acoustic, messing with chords and melodies. Fighter and Letting Go are about giving up the illusion that we can be in control of life. Riddle is about love; Way Out West is about fighting with yourself, and Thin Places is my thoughts on the fault’s and purpose of the church. Saint is about helping those who are worse off than yourself and Look Alive is about admitting you need help and trying to imagine life in another’s shoes.
Q: What is it like to be a band from Glenrowan, a small town in Victoria? How would you describe your local music scene, and how do you think it influenced the music you create?
There’s no music scene in Glenrowan, so we travel quite a lot. I think making music in a small town has forced us to work out our own way of doing things, but has also made it necessary to be versatile and suit a huge range of different performance settings. It means we’ve written the music that we like and then adapted it to connect with whatever crowd we’re playing to on a particular day.
Q: Who are your music inspirations as a band and why?
We really get inspired by artists who are about capturing a feeling; not creating a flawless piece of art…it feels more genuine to us and gets us excited. Some of our favourites are: Jack White, Josh Garrels, Tom Petty, Robert Cray Band, Cry of love, Aaron Gillespie, U2, Led Zeppelin, Maylene & the sons of disaster and Foo Fighters.
“It tells the story of man trying to sort his life out, but ultimately failing and losing control”.
Q: How do you feel the album is different to your 2014 debut release Hunger?
We recorded all the instruments of Hunger live over two days and all the vocals over another couple of days. This was the first recording that we actually individually tracked all of the instruments and took our time deciding how to create the feel we wanted for each song…We wrote, recorded and produced it entirely ourselves, so we spent time getting things how we wanted them instead of only capturing the energy of a live performance.
Q: On your Facebook page guys say that you “are just trying to make a raw expression of inner tension between a world of pain and a message of peace and hope. How do you feel your music does this?
Well the reason I would say is that these songs are an expression of my insides and that’s how I would define myself. I find the home for all my questions in a Christian faith; that’s not saying that I have any answers though, hence the tension. I believe in hope, but sometimes I don’t feel a lot of hope when I walk down the street. I try to write lyrics that are attempting to reconcile what I believe with what I see. I feel like I live in that tension, so I write about that tension. Musically it’s about creating the emotion to carry those thoughts.
Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2016
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