You are a 7 piece band. How do you guys manage to coordinate schedules in order to rehearse/record/perform etc. Is it a matter of having understand relationships with the people you are each surrounded by?
I actually don’t know how we’ve managed. We didn’t think it was possible to do a 7/8 piece band with a bunch of musicians who all play in other bands. When we started writing songs for the album I would record all my ideas on GarageBand and then email it to the band. Then we’d chat about them online and by time we could coordinate a rehearsal the band would know the song pretty well. I think we’ve survived through being organised and planning months in ahead. In 6 months I think we’ve only managed 2 rehearsals where everyone was there!
Your sound is best described as Garage Afro Soul. We are certainly hearing more genres than that. Is it hard having to pigeon hole yourself into a certain genre?
Totally! I hate it. So many genres have come about just so retailers could have a new section to sell music in or so DJs could have something new to talk about. I guess those are the three main influences in our music. I’ve played in a stack of garage rock bands and that experience certainly informs my song writing in this band. Afro beat and soul music is probably the reason we went from a 3 piece band to a 7 piece. You can also hear some filthy mariachi and even some surf on some of the new material.
On your Facebook page you mention liking “sting pong”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but that involves wacking the ball as hard as you can onto exposed flesh right? For a bunch of well established looking gents, that does sound brutal. Explain the worst scenario that has happened with this.
Firstly – thanks for delving deep into our bio. Secondly – sting pong is dangerous. It’s the poor persons skirmish. It’s generally played with some tequila and loud music. We haven’t had any notable injuries as such but we’d seriously like to add this to our rider. “We understand that you may not be able to make this happen but if at all possible can we have a ping pong table, some bats, a few balls and bottle of tequila? If not, 2 local beers per band member will have to do”
You’ve just put together a pledge campaign for your 7″ release. How do you feel about using a campaign like, and do you see it being the future for bands?
I think it’s great. It allows bands to tap into their network of fans and create a club feel. It can get everyone talking and involved. It shows you that with a little bit of help any band can support themselves without the need of a record label or credit card.
Now interestingly, you started at a house band at a bar. Tell us a little bit about that period of time, and what made you take the leap forward.
For 2 years Dave Jason and Myself played funk and soul every Saturday night. We became like a mini family. We had always talked about writing and recording some of the songs we’d written but we were all tied up with other bands and projects. I stumbled across The Budos Band in my search for cool Afro influenced bands and that was it for me. I pretty much wrote Valley Heat with Jason in my lounge room in one night. A month later we had 4 more friends come join us and we were recording with Donovan Miller at Tym Guitars.
Tell us a little bit about how your band name came about?
We didn’t have a name leading up to the recording session. We were playing as The Soul Mechanics but we wanted a new name for this project as it was a slight departure to the really funky sounds of that band. All of us are big jazz fans and Francis Wolff, photographer and producer for Blue Note records, features heavily in our record collections. We had a few ideas for a name but The Francis Wolves turned up on the last day of recording and it seemed to stick.
What do you think the greatest song ever written is? I know it’s a tough one.
A friend told me once about the questions he asks potential house mates when he’s looking for a new one to move in. One of the most important questions is simply “Rolling Stones or The Beatles?” The cool thing about this question is there are 3 correct answers. I like the Beatles, I like the Rolling Stones and I like both. If you were to say I don’t like either then that is the wrong answer. Let’s just say there’s more than one correct answer to this question and that the answers probably lie in the repertoire of the bands mentioned above 🙂
(See what I did there)
How hard is the songwriting process when there are so many members of the band, each with their own creative vision for the song? Do you guys need to find a dynamic that works? Or does it come down to a couple of members taking ownership of the direction?
The bulk of the songs are written by just a few of us and this makes things easier for everyone. That said though the songs are written with each band member in mind. We know each other’s musical strengths so we try and focus on those when writing parts.
If you were going to leave a mixtape of music for your children to listen, to educate them on the fundamentals of music. What would be on the tape?
I’m a big fan of having a broad taste in music. It’s not uncommon for me to be listening to Debussy or Stravinksy one day and Hendrix or The Stooges the next. Music is just as unique and diverse as the people who make it. But what I’d really like to see on that tape is local bands playing new music.
Finally, once you have finished with the pledge campaign what is next on the agenda for you?
We move onto releasing our debut album. We are in the studio soon to finish tracking so hopefully we’ll see some more wax before the end of the year.
And possibly – a Brisbane inter-band sting pong championship.