Bass Drum of Death are heading back to Australia for the first time in over four years this October to bring their primordial garage quicksand to Yours & Owls Festival in Wollongong, along with exclusive intimate headline shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Since their now legendary Australian tour in 2015 on a heavyweight triple bill with DZ Deathrays and Hockey Dad, which saw them packing out venues over multiple night stands, the band have solidified their lineup, overcome personal issues and made themselves at home in New York City as one of the leading lights of the city’s feedback soaked lo-fi garage scene. It’s no surprise either, that as US tour mates of Royal Blood after a chance meeting at a Hollywood strip bar, the likeminded groups collaborated on the single, Lights Out which led off the Blood’s 2017 album, How Did We Get So Dark.
Latest album, last year’s Just Business, has seen the band take massive steps in the scope and scale of their sound, with the claustrophobic fits of their earlier releases now amplified into a reverb soaked widescreen panorama, with Barrett positioned as the evangelist preacher leading a schizophrenic sermon that takes musical cues from The Hives to The Buzzcocks, The White Stripes to The Only Ones with the odd genuflection to The Cramps thrown in for good measure. John Barrett answers some questions for Hi Fi Way.
Are you pumped to be getting back to Australia for another tour?
Absolutely. It’s been awhile, I’ve missed it!
Do you have some pretty good memories of your last tour here back in 2015?
Of course. Touring with DZ Deathrays and Hockey Dad was a big ass party pretty much every night. It was also sick to have been there for three or so weeks.
What do you like about touring Australia?
I feel like there is a reverence and general excitement around rock’n’roll music in Australia that you don’t get anywhere else in the world right now.
Do you notice much difference between fans right around the world?
Eh, not really to be honest. There’s small differences here and there for sure, but not anything crazy.
Do you prefer playing festivals these days or the more intimate up close with the fans type of show?
Either one is cool by me. I do love playing festivals though, it’s a nice break from being in clubs every night.
Were you happy with how Just Business was received?
I was! I’ve been really surprised at how its been so well-received live, we worked really hard to get those songs in good live shape so i’m stoked that people are digging them.
Has much thought been given to the next album and how that might sound?
I’m already working on it a bit and trying to just stack up a bunch of ideas to work on; honestly at this point the sound/direction could go a million different ways!
Do you think the Bass Drum Of Death sound has changed much between releases?
Well it’s gonna be a bit cleaner as far as sound quality and production bells and whistles, but I think generally the songwriting and formation has been pretty similar. I have tried to switch things up a few times just to try shit, and I think its been successful. I don’t ever wanna have 2 records that sound the same.
Beyond Australia what’s next for the band?
Just gonna go back to work on a new record and start the touring cycle all over again!
Interview By Rob Lyon
Catch Bass Drum Of Death on the following dates…