You’re playing quite a few dates on this tour, between your own shows and the festival.
Australia’s one of our favourite places to tour in the world and whenever we get an offer we just jump to it. We don’t even think about the logistics or anything, we just go balls-deep. The festival we’re on (Groovin The Moo), the routing is really cool. It’s something we’ve never done before. We’ve always come to Australia with a specific amount of time and had a week and a half maximum to get in and get out. This time the festival shows are only on the weekend, and then we have a few headline shows throughout the week. It’s a lot more time for us to see the country as well. A lot more time to go visit some places we’ve never been. We’ve always done the classics that every foreign band comes to play, so it’ll be good to see more.
So what’s your perspective on Cavalier Youth a year on? It’s a killer record.
We were super-happy with it. It did everything we wanted it to achieve. We had a lot of fun recording it and we’re having a lot of fun touring it. We’re not sick of playing the songs yet, which is also good! Sometimes that happens quite soon. But what we’re going to do is get these Australian shows out of the way and then maybe write. I’m not sure what we’re going to do this year yet, but obviously the band needs to write more, so we’ll see what happens.
It seems to me to be a relatively bass-driven album – you can always hear the bass rather than just feel it.
Well the thing about our writing process is it’s always been everyone together in the same room. So whether it starts with a bass riff or a guitar line or a vocal melody, everyone is in the same room driving at the same time. For some bands the song is already there and then the bass player and drummer are just playing along. We’ve always done everything from the ground up and kept it as a unit. I think that definitely helps because you know what you’re doing, you know your place and you know where you are within the songs. You’re not writing a part on top of everyone else; you’re writing a part that fits with everyone else.
So in terms of gear, what are you using? I see lots of pics of you with various types of Jazz Bass.
I’m a big Jazz Bass fan. I’ve got a couple of Fenders and I’ve got a couple from this German company called Sandberg. They’re really cool. They hand-build all of their basses in this warehouse in Germany and there are only seven or eight people that work for them. They’ve given me a couple of basses and they’re so good. They’re really heavy, alder-body ones and they have a lot of warmth. I just love them. They’re all hand-built by master builders and they sound fantastic. I run all my stuff through Ashdown gear now. It used to be Ampeg, but Ashdown hit me up and said “Do you want to try out any of our gear?”, so I went down and tried out some of their heads and stuff, and just absolutely loved it. Back in the day I had some Ashdown gear but it was the really low-level stuff. Going back to them now almost feels like I’ve gone back to where I started off with my cheap Ashdown setup. Now I’ve got the real badboy Ashdown setup. It feels good!
Are you much of an effects guy?
Our front-of-house guy has been with us for so many years, and what we do is we run three lines. We run a clean DI, a distorted SansAmp DI from this pedal called the VT where you can set up three different settings like super-distortion, half-distortion and a little bit of distortion, and just change between whichever you want. Then I’ve got another pedal, which is the old little black SansAmp that has been around for years, and that’s my every-day tone, if you like. So I can mix in anything from the VT pedal depending on whether it needs more of an oomph. I don’t have a super-big pedalboard, really. I don’t think you really need it, especially live. Maybe on the next album I’ll get into synth pedals, you never know!\