Keep an eye out Sydney band Grinding Eyes who have just released their sensational album Taste The Monochrome. Combining psychedelic shoegaze drone-rock and ambient garage punk in a uniquely dark soundscape. Grinding Eyes came together after a late night impromptu jam and they share members of past and present bands The Mess Hall, Treatment, The Laurels, The Holy Soul and kimono Drag Queens. Having toured with the likes of Jesus & Mary Chain, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Swervedriver, Mudhoney and Dinosaur Jr the spotlight will now be on the Grinding Eyes who will impress with their new album. Matt Wicks talks about their album Taste The Monochrome.
On reflection can you believe how much work goes into a new album?
Recording and mixing a new album is always quite daunting, as you’re bearing your soul and running up an overwhelming debt, damn it’s hard at the best of times, but bringing a global pandemic into the mix is just totally crazy, definitely takes it to a new level..
When you finished it, was it a feeling of relief and excitement for what’s next?
Absolutely, total ecstasy- excitement / relief / some sort of buzz high enlightenment feeling.
The new single is brilliant, what is the background behind the single?
Until It Falls Apart, was originally written on tour in the US.. Totally exhausted and jetlagged – I may have been in a bit of a dark place, I wanted to capture the feeling of self despair or self-destruction – when everything around you is falling apart, you can see it but can’t control it, maybe it was the jetlag / maybe it was the bad US food and coffee.
Have you been able to gauge what fans think?
The feedback on the new album has been amazing, it’s only early days, but it’s been very encouraging and quite overwhelming what people are getting from the album and the overall journey of the sequence.
Do you think the Grinding Eyes sound has changed much?
I hope so, I feel we’ve grown up a little and mature as the band. We’re always trying to push the boundaries with sounds and song writing, with slightly new sonic directions just to keep it fresh – seeing where the sound may take us!!
What was your reaction when you played it back for the first time?
Oh my god, the guitar tone is amazing , so does it need to be louder – Bigger – more of everything!!! Made us feel warm and fuzzy…
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for Grinding Eyes?
Our music tastes within the band are very broad and wide, We are influenced by a lot of music over the spectrum.. everything from Krautrock to classic Darkwave and Shoegaze bands, we take a lot from garage punk all the way to crazy psychrock and into Afro beat – sort of hard to pinpoint it down, it’s like a moving sound collage of influences..
Did the pandemic impact the band a lot?
Absolutely, I think the same as a lot of bands, we had loads of tours cancelled a lot of overseas tours postponed.. Fighting with travel agents and airlines trying to get reimbursed almost turned into a full time job…
Are you looking forward to being able to tour more broadly around the country this year?
Absolutely, I can see some normality returning finally. We’ve just started a national tour and can’t even put into words how amazing it is to see some familiar faces and new faces at shows, and to be back playing shows again damn, after so much downtime it felt like a massive weight has gone off our shoulders…
What’s next for Grinding Eyes?
We have a good few weeks left on this album tour and then once recovered from the awesomeness of being out on the road again, we are going to start work on a follow-up album OR maybe an EP!! Loads of new songs to start preparing and finishing, even more excitement on the horizon
Any plans to play a show in Adelaide?
Absolutely – just so happens we have just confirmed three shows for Adelaide just last week. We’ve been hanging to hit Adelaide for some time, so very excited to have it on the itinerary mid July.
Interview By Rob Lyon