Rabbit Radio's Tayla Sudall had a chat to Fergus from Kingswood about the upcoming tour, touring with AC/DC and how they got to be the band they are today. The After Hours/Close to Dawn tour kicks off October 6th in WA and will see the band play a massive 16 dates nationally.
RR: So Kingswood have some really exciting things coming up, um, one of those obviously being the Maximus Tour for the 2017 album After Hours/Close to Dawn, and your tours kicking off on the 6th October, so what are you guys most excited about for this tour?
Fergus Linacre: I think, I mean the weather’s gonna be great, it’s a great time of the year to tour so you can go to the beach and ahh, I think for the Goldy [Gold Coast] shows especially, but um, the rest of the tour we’re gonna be… We’ve got nine people on stage, so we’ve got two horn players, two backup singers ahh, an extra utility musician doing a whole bunch of stuff so, the touring party is gonna be massive and then of course with the vans and Dear Seattle as well, it’s gonna be ahh, a big gang of people so we’ll be like playing shows and partying and doing go-karting and all sorts of fun stuff so it’s gonna be like, the best month or, two months ever!
Yeah it sounds awesome! So, Dear Seattle, are they friends of yours? ‘Cause I noticed you’ve been touring with them most of the year?
F.L: Yeah, they’re great fun so we couldn’t say no um, they’re very funny, handsome gentleman and we’ve done a bunch of shows with those guys so very excited to ah, hang out with them again.
And so you guys are also playing the Caloundra Music Festival tomorrow night [29th Sept], are you guys gonna spend much time on the Sunshine Coast before you get over to Western Australia to start the tour?
F.L: Well, I think, ahh, I’m coming back early in the morning ‘cause I’m gonna go to the footy, umm, but ah I think a few of the guys are gonna stay down for the weekend, there is some pretty cool bands that they wanna check out and yeah, so I think they’ll get a bit of sunshine but I think I’ll be back early um, but yeah we’re excited to get up there. I think it’s gonna be like 40 degrees or something though…
Yeah! It’s gonna be hot this weekend –laughs-
F.L: Yeahh, aw, I dunno if I’m ready for it
-laughs- You got this!
F.L: Living in Melbourne, you complain about the cold all the time and then you get a little bit of heat and you die
Soo, my next question for you was um, just about the way you decided to record the vocals for Alabama White, did you wanna tell me a bit about that? With the sleeping bags and the cinder blocks?
F.L: -laughs- If you wanna bring back those terrible, traumatic memories, that’s fine. Um, well, the sentiment of the song is someone that’s kind of crushed or enabled by their emotions um, in being separated from you know, their lost love, so, we were singing it and I was standing up and you know, like I normally do, and trying to get into the right mood and um, I think they were saying like ‘you’re sort of singing it too well, like you sound like you’re singing and it shouldn’t be like that’, and so they were like ‘lie down on the ground’ and I laid down on the ground and then they were like ‘yeah, nah, look we can do this better, like, don’t move your arms’, and I kept moving my arms, umm, and then they pinned my arms down and they put me in a sleeping bag and then long story short, they had these like bricks on my chest and they kept like, flicking the lights on and off and just making me like, really uncomfortable and telling me that everything I was doing was shit and umm, and I was just getting so angry, ‘cause I was like ‘this is good! This is like, we’re getting somewhere’ and they were like, ‘nah, it’s not working’, and in the end they were just like, ‘aw, I think we should just call it a day and come back tomorrow’ and I was so angry, and then I walked out back into the main room, they were all laughing…
F.L: Ahh, and we got it so yeah, -laughs- they were like, really sorry because they put me through hell but um, we got the takes we wanted so, that’s what counts
Yeah, that’s awesome! So I’ve been seeing tonnes of buzz about After Hours/Close to Dawn, and heaps of people are saying that this album has taken you guys to a new level as a band, so, what do you think is different about this album compared to your older music?
F.L: Umm, I think it’s a far more musically and technically diverse album, I think we’ve all grown as musicians and music appreciators, although the first record was kind of, quite dynamic, I mean, we’ve always been a little bit experimental, there’s one song on the first record that’s got like a banjo and a synth, and that’s it so we’ve always been like a little bit out there but I guess, this one we took it to a whole new level where you know, you just don’t know what to expect when one song finishes and what’s gonna come on next, you know whether it be like a country style song or a soul kind of vibe, or like this sort of spacialed you know, like, psych-y kind of thing, so I mean, we just, every song we recorded we wanted to make the best and most interesting version of that song, we didn’t worry about the instrumentation or how we’re gonna do it live or how it’s gonna tie in with the other songs on the record, we just wanted to… we knew that, that would happen naturally, so we just kind of went crazy with it, so yeah, I mean, and now we feel like we’re in a position where we can do anything. The next album could be, you know, an electro-dance album, who knows
That’s awesome, I love that! And so, you guys started out all the way back in 2005, right?
F.L: Ahh, look, it’s hard to say when we really started, like, Alex [Laska] and I were in a band when we were in Year 5 at school when we were 11 years old, J and I were in a band all through like, our teenage, early teens, when we were like in this punk rock kind of band and I think this form of the band, you know, sort of started, yeah, I suppose, maybe 2005 or 2006, but we weren’t like, a proper band for a while, we were kind of just mucking around. It wasn’t until later that we actually sort of thought okay this is a thing now rather than just a hobby.
Yeah, so what does it feel like now to have such recognition within the music industry?
F.L: Well, I mean it’s good to accept that, like I would say no, you know, we don’t feel like, you know, we’ve made it yet or we don’t feel like we’re a success or, you know, and you can feel like that, and then you wonder like, I’m sure Coldplay have moments where they’re still worried about the record or the tour or anything like that, you know, and you can’t always be like that because you’ll never be happy so, you have to appreciate when people tell you how much the band means to them and when people come see you at shows like, we do try and ah, take that in and appreciate that we, you know, not many people can do what we do, or have been lucky enough to be in the position that we’re in where this is our job and we love it, so yeah, it’s really, it’s really great and I think it’s important for all artists to stop and like, appreciate it and be like… ‘cause if you play football for example and you win the premiership you know you’ve like, had a success and so you all hi-5 and you celebrate but in music sometimes there is no, you know, there is no grand final, or thee is no moment where someone tells you that you’ve won so you have to kind of realise that on your own and stop and go nah this is a great moment like you play a big festival and you’re like we should all just celebrate where we’re at, at the moment.
Yeah absolutely, well like, even this year you guys were on the official line-up for Splendour in the Grass when, back in 2012 you were winning the Splendour in the Grass Competition so,
F.L: I know!
How did that feel, was that awesome?
F.L: It was amazing, it was the third time we’ve played and um, yeah, it was crazy, and I suppose the good thing about that one for us that was really special about it was that we played, um, we did the tour just as the album had come out, so like a lot of people didn’t know all the songs, and then we had a bit of a gap and then we played Splendour and we heard the crowd just like, it was way bigger than we thought ‘cause we were playing early on a Friday so we thought people would be still slowly coming in and um, the crowd was way bigger than we thought and they kept singing like, all the songs, even like the ones that aren’t singles off the new record, the verses, and we kind of just got flipped out about how much the record had connected with people ‘cause you don’t really know until… until you play in front of people, you know, you can look at the numbers on Spotify or whatever, but, that kind of you know, if your song gets put on a playlist it’s gonna have more listens so it doesn’t really tell you what people think of your music until you literally get out there and see peoples faces when you play the songs.
Yep, so um, 2012 was a massive year for you guys um, ‘cause you did Splendour as we were just talking about and then you played Pyramid Rock Festival and Queenscliff [Music] Festival, um, so what do you think it was that helped kind of, push your band over the edge and get out there?
F.L: Ahh, God, I have no idea. Um, I think ahh, I’m not sure, I think, I could be wrong here but I do remember like, at the time, there was a lot of talk and people kept telling us, and I don’t agree with this but people kept telling us like aw, you know, you guys are saving rock ‘n’ roll, is a thing people would say you know what I mean? Like, we were the only rock band that were playing, you know, rock and roll music which wasn’t true, but I think perhaps at that time music was sort of at the peak of a turn away from rock and roll or rock driven music, and maybe ahh, we were one of many bands that um, that sort of reinvigorated it and I think maybe that’s why we won that spot to play Splendour and people dug the band and um, yeah, but that’s silly because there were so many like, [Violent] Soho were killing it, and there were so many great bands still around so we don’t believe that that’s the case but yeah, I think that maybe just the fact that rock and roll was reviving and we were there at the right time might’ve had something to do with it.
F.L: But now, we’re kind of not a rock and roll… I mean, we are a rock and roll band but we’re much more than that now, you know, so…
Yeah, no, that’s great. And so, the earlier album Microscopic Wars that did incredibly well as well, um, it hit number 6 on the ARIA Charts and sold heaps of copies, and then you came back from America to support AC/DC on tour, what was it like being on tour with AC/DC?
F.L: It was pretty wild to see, like, that’s as big as you get, that’s like, one of the biggest bands in the world – that’s the pinnacle, like they own their whole stage and they power it themselves they don’t take any power off the grid when they own a city so like, you can put their show in the desert and ahh, it’ll work, so I mean, just to see that whole set-up and the crew and how many moving parts go into a big show like that was um, was pretty special and we were very well looked after and the crowds were great and ahh, yeah and the catering was insane so –laughs- that was probably the highlight
Yeah no, that’s a good thing, you need good food –laughs-
F.L: Oooh yeah, I mean, when you’ve got that many people working really hard and travelling around away from their families, I think food’s a big morale booster you know, it’s like in the military they feed you well, so, it was a similar kind of thing
Um, and so you guys also got a tonne of attention this year after your soulful cover of Desiny’s Child’s ‘Say my Name’, why did you guys decide to cover that song, how did that all come about?
F.L: I think, like, whenever we’re like, doing a DJ spot or even at like a party or a house party or whatever, that’s just like, always a song that we put on, we just love it and ahh, yeah, so when we got asked to do Like a Version I think it was one of the first things that we threw out there, let’s do Say my Name, and um yeah, I don’t think there were any other contenders really, I think we just decided that was the one we were gonna do, we just love that song so much, we play it all the time umm, so it was great fun to learn it and we had the girls there, we couldn’t of done it without the girls so yeah, it was a lot of fun and we’re playing it on tour as well so it’s good
So I also just wanted to quickly ask you about the Kingswood Answering Machine, can you tell me where that idea came from and what you guys are looking to get out of that?
F.L: Ahh, I don’t know where the idea came from I think… We Might Be Giants, a band from America did it, and I heard a podcast where they played all these messages people had written ahh, called up sorry, and told them, and so, yeah, so we’ve just put out this doco about the making of the record and we felt like it needed another element, we’re not ones to sort of sit in front of a camera and talk about ourselves or you know, we don’t like to sort of… brag, or like, you know, look how cool we are or you know, this kind of thing, so, I feel like um, yeah we came up with this idea to let the fans call us up and tell us what a song or the album means to them and then let them do the talking for us and it was a good way to connect with those people ‘cause you know, when you see them at a show you connect with them but other than that, it’s quite hard you know, you chat to them online kind of thing but this was a nice way to put their feelings you know, into a piece of work that we’ve done, so yeah, as you watch the doco you can hear messages that people have left over the top of just watching us do what we do in the studio.
Cool, that’s a really good idea! Well that’s about all I had for you so thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me
F.L: Hey, no worries at all!
-laughs- thank you! And also from everyone at Rabbit Radio we wish you the best of luck with the tour and I’m looking forward to catching you at the Gold Coast
Interviewer - Tayla Sudall