Monday, February 18, 2013

Interview with THE LIVING EYES

The Living Eyes are garage quartet from Geelong, Australia. They've released two brilliant 7"s and there's a self-titled debut full length coming very soon. Billy (guitar + vocals) answered my questions.

How would you describe Living Eyes in just three words?
Rock And Roll

Are you named after the Radio Birdman LP or the Bee Gees song (hopefully not)?
Neither, the Living Eye was a venue in Texas that 13th Floor Elevators played at.

You’re first 7” came out on a Spanish label. How did that work out?
it could have worked out better. there was a delay with the release of it because Saturno got ripped off by the plant which was a major bummer for them! There was also a problem with the track 'thinking of you' - it got sped up during the pressing so now the singer has a mega high pitched voice ha. But the Saturno dudes rule so it worked out alright in the end. 

You’re running Anti Fade records. Please give is a quick insight, which records you’ve released so far and what this label is about!
I've only released 7"s so far. they are (in chronological order) Living Eyes, Cobwebbs, Hierophants, Frowning Clouds, the Bonniwells, Gooch Palms, Straight Arrows and Useless Eaters. The label is not so much about making money, its just something i run from my bedroom and it seems to keep me busy.

You’ve also released the second Living Eyes 7” on Anti Fade. What is the advantage of releasing records by your own and keeping things DIY?
The biggest advantage to releasing my own band is that i don't have to give 20% of the copies to the artist like usual, ha! Besides that its not so great because I have to talk myself up in press releases etc

What do you prefer: music blogs or printed fanzines?   
I prefer blogs because that way you can send links to people (and receive links) with great ease.

Tell us about the current Aussie 60s garage/ psych scene. The Straight Arrows were the first band I’ve recognized a few years ago. Now there are so many more. Which ones are worth to check out?
Straight Arrows are my favourite! the Otchkies from brisbane keep it pretty 60s as well as my good buddies the Frowning Clouds. most bands have developed a more punk approach to it these days though which i like and i think a lot of others do too. bands like Ooga Boogas, UV Race, Total Control, Cobwebbs, Raw Prawn, Woollen Kits have all been doing really great stuff lately. 

Which compilation series do you prefer: “Before The Birdmen Flew” or “Where The Birdmen Flew”? (60s Aussie Psych or 70s Aussie Punk?)
Both are great but I prefer "Where Birdmen Flew". X, Victims, Psycho Surgeons = hits!
The whole Australian underground scene has produced so many new exciting bands in the last couple of years. Do you have any explanations for this development?
Nah not really - I guess one band did it and then that inspired other people to do it to. 

Many Australian bands are on American labels and it seems like the US scene is a lot more focused on Australian bands than people here in Europe. Do you agree and do you have any explanations?
Yeah I agree to a certain extent, it just depends what genre the band is. My friends the Frowning Clouds play pretty true 60s tunes and they have a big following in Europe. But bands with a slightly more punk sound seem to get more attention in the US, maybe it has something to do with easter bilby distro - its run in memphis and specialises in australian stuff.

I’m wondering, if people worldwide know any current German bands. So do you listen to any music made by krauts?
I can't say i do know much im sorry! I've heard things here and there though cause a bunch of my friends are into lots of it, Neu is a common one.

Another question about the Australian scene: I think, there are not many foreign bands touring Australia, at least when it comes to smaller bands. What do you think, might be the reason for that? Or am I wrong?
Yeah there could be more but i guess its just hard to get the money together to make a worthwhile trip out of it. They have to charge $25 - $50 at shows to break even and I wouldn't pay that unless its one of my favourite bands.

If you could bring one musician back from the dead, who would it be?
Tough call. someone who's music doesn't seem to age like Bo Diddley.

What is on your record player right now?
Boomgates "bright idea" 7" is still there from the other morning - its a good record to wake up to. 

What is coming down the line for Living Eyes? Tours? Releases?…
LP! out april 1st on Anti Fade, a 7" should be out just before then too on an Italian label "Kuma records". then a 7" on "Goodbye Boozy" should take place mid year. And hopefully before the year is out we can squeeze out another long player.