Former frontman of Sydney trio Picture Perfect, Gavin Bowles has been doing the solo thing for a while now and he just released his new single The Daily Grind. Living in Melbourne for a while he’s moved back to the Blue Mountains escaping that daily grind!
With a new album on the way Bowles chatted to the Hi-Fi Way when it would be released, the new single and all things music.
You have a new single out The Daily Grind, what is that song about?
The Daily Grind is just about trying to keep a steady head while working casual jobs and on a constant diet of beer and coffee. So, yeah, trying to keep your head on straight through all the madness of I suppose a modern/urban sort of situation.
It has a very nostalgic vibe what was your thought process when writing this song?
I think there was definitely an element that I would describe as power pop so that kind of not quite punk rock and not quite pop sort of thing. Like something in the middle, like Elvis Costello or The Stray Cats and those kinds of artists that fit in there. So, I wanted it to be upbeat and sort of boppy while kind of dealing with the sarcastic undertones of the lyrics as to take itself too seriously just by the music being so happy and vibrant.
The video has a humorous side to it with you being pelting with things and even a slap in the face. How did you come up with the concept of the video and was it fun to make?
Oh it was lots of fun to make. It was a really fun day! I’d seen some other kinds of one-shot film clips like that. There’s an old film clip by an Australian band called Children Collide where he was singing at the camera and they painted him with clown make-up and shaved his hair off. Just that kind of look and the fact it was obviously done all in one go and with something like that you only have one take to get it right. So, I really wanted it to be like that so we semi-rehearse it and then just went for it.
If we really wanted to do it in a second take, we probably could have but I would’ve had to get a clean white shirt as it was all stained and re-set up. So, we really wanted it to be a one take. It was difficult to keep a straight face, but it was a lot of fun and we were really happy at the way it turned out.
It looked like a lot of fun. They were throwing lots of stuff at you!
It was beer and coffee! (Laughs)
You got The Distractions on the new single. What was it like to have them play on your song?
The Distractions play on this single. There’s a whole album that will be out later in the year, hopefully, and they are on most of the album. They helped behind the scenes on the film clip. They were the ones who were throwing things at me and slapped me! Obviously live it’s me with the three of them in the band.
Do you collaborate with them or do you write the music yourself?
The primary song writing is done by me and then my brother is the drummer and we’ve done loads of gigs and been in lots of different bands together over the years so we have a really good working musical relationship. He has a knack for knowing what drum parts go with the vibe of the song that I had written.
Sometimes I have parts in mind for the other instruments but other times I just bring it to them, and they make it up. But all the primary song writing is done by me. Its certainly collaborative to a certain degree.
You mentioned earlier about an album. Has most of it been written or are you getting creative with all this isolating and social distancing?
It’s all been written, and the recording process is a little more than halfway done. I actually have a home studio which is helpful but getting a few parts done with the guys maybe a bit stalled depending on how we can approach seeing each other at a time like this because we don’t all live close.
I’ve done a little bit of recording from the album of late, but I do need to finish off some parts that require the other guys. It is good that its in a home studio but there’s still some roadblocks from the current situation.
Living in the Blue Mountains does that help you creatively being so far away from the city? Do you not like living in the city?
It’s a little bit of both. Funnily enough The Daily Grind and most of this album were written while I was living in an apartment in Melbourne because I lived there for a while and moved back here a year ago. I was born and raised in the Blue Mountains but then I lived in Western Sydney then Melbourne for a bit and back to the Blue Mountains. I did miss the mountains and the atmosphere and community aspect and obviously friends and family. It is a very creative place and where I am living is pretty much on a farm so having the space and no distraction is really nice.
You just make the most of what you got. When I was living in an apartment in the middle of North Melbourne, I got a lot of writing done and had a lot of inspiration there because its such a vibrant city. But I feel for myself not so much creatively I prefer a slower pace.
What’s install for yourself in the next 6 months especially with the current situation of the world?
Look I definitely endeavour to release the album by the end of this year because its been in the works for a while now and I’d really love to get it out there and share it. Holding on to something for too long can become kind of a burden after a while. So, it would be really great to have it out there and finally share it all.
If unfortunately, that means not playing some shows at the same time its released that might have to be the way it goes but you know all things considered its probably looking like we could do some shows at the tail end of the year. We will be playing some shows as soon as we can. There will definitely be another single released in the next couple of months to give another taste of the album.
I’m really raring to do the whole show as well. We were rehearsing right up until the tour start which was supposed to be in Melbourne early March. We’d rehearsed this whole show and added a whole bunch of new songs so now were sitting impatiently waiting to actually go play.
Interview by Anastasia Lambis