Tremolo Please Interview
Q: After spending some time with Too Much I really appreciated the guitar tone. There is sometimes a grungy aesthetic and other times shoegaze to my ears. Can you talk a little bit about how you achieved these disparate guitar tones?
A: Well I'm a big Nirvana fan plus a big My Bloody Valentine fan, so I guess those sorts of sounds are going to come out in our music! While I use a few guitar pedals, my set up is pretty basic. I think it's more about the way you play a guitar that gets those sounds rather than the gear you use. The grungy stuff is just a straight up distortion pedal, while the shoegaze sound is achieved using gated reverb and a few others. I also make liberal use of the wammy bar, which bends the pitch of the stings and makes a unique effect.
Q: This album is eclectic. "Faster" & "Never Fall" are drum and bass tracks while a song like”It’s Okay” seems more shoegaze inspired. What was it like creating such a diverse album?
A: We didn't really set out to do that. It's just the way things have evolved. Before we were a band, I used to play solo and used a loop pedal, but I found it a bit limiting. When Chris joined, he took one of those songs and played a drum and bass beat over it. This completely changed the song, but in a good way! From then on, we've decided to play whatever type of music we want and not worry about genre. We both have eclectic tastes in music, so why limit what we want to play ourselves? It does make describing our music to people difficult, though!
Q: Since the songs are diverse are there any songs on the album that you think define your sound more than others? Something that maybe more indicative of future releases?
A: It's hard to say that any one song is more indicative of where we are heading. We actually have a lot of material recorded and it is also pretty diverse. I guess the one thing that ties it all together would be the vocal melodies. If we're doing a drum and bass song or a noisy punk rock tune, one thing I naturally try to do is have a melodic or catchy vocal line. We're probably making it harder for ourselves by being multi-genre, but I don't think we'd have it any other way.
Q: One of the highlights was “Never Fall.” The upright bass was a key component of this song but it switches quite quickly to a distorted guitar. How do you guys pull this off live?
A: Two words: backing tracks!! It took us a while to figure out how we could perform our songs live as we are only a two-piece. I record the bass, guitar and anything else, plus the electronic drums at home. When we play live or rehearse, Chris uses a wireless in-ear monitor to play along to the backing tracks. It's a testament to his skill that he can play in time for drum and bass songs which are around 180 bpm. That's not easy! Using backing tracks allows us to play music that would be pretty much impossible to do live. To do everything how it is recorded we'd need about six people to pull it off, but that sounds like way too much trouble!
Q: “Turn Off Mainstream Media” is a song that goes from sounding like “Endless Nameless” from Nirvana to Death From Above 1979. Can you talk a little bit about the creation of this song?
A: I was at home one day messing around on the bass and came up with the main riff. I quickly put a simple beat together on a drum machine and recorded the bass. About a half hour later, I had worked out the guitar and recorded it. After that, it was a case of listening to it over and over again to work out the vocal melody and the lyrics came last. I wrote it around the time Bernie Sanders was still in the presidential race. I kept hearing the phrase "Turn Off Mainstream Media" a lot, due to the perception the media was biased towards Clinton.
The song itself is more about how certain groups of people think the average person is unaware of media bias and propaganda, but really a lot of the things they proclaim are just as bad as what the mainstream puts out.
Q: Too Much is your first EP. What’s on the horizon for the group. Touring, LP, etc?
Next year we want to do some more touring around Australia, so we'll head to Melbourne and Brisbane. We're also planning a tour of Japan around May/June, which should be fun, and we'll probably also release another EP early in 2017. The songwriting is evolving too, so who knows where we'll end up.