First published on 17 Aug 2012. Updated on 17 Aug 2012.
Liam, how democratic was the writing process considering there is nine of you in the band?
Sometimes it is pretty hard to get everyone together in the same room for rehearsal. Recording is pretty chaotic in terms of organisation, but everyone made a concerted effort to get together for this recording session. In terms of writing, everyone is going to have their own thing to add to the song, so it’s great!
At Golden Plains earlier this year you performed to the biggest crowd you've ever played to, and received an overwhelmingly positive response. What was it like going from playing to a crowd of 300 to a crowd of 8,000?
It was pretty incredible! We’ve only really played up to 300 people in small club venues. It’s hard not to get distracted by how many people there are, surprisingly we coped quite well with it, the atmosphere is just so electric and really overwhelming. It just spurs you on to play better.
What do you prefer, performing in the sweaty, tight atmosphere of Cherry Bar, where you recently held a two-month residency, or the open fields of a music festival?
Well they both have really great aspects to them. At Cherry Bar it’s great to have so many friends and regulars come down week after week, the bar is always really packed and sweaty! And the history of the place, it’s great to be involved with such a great venue. But then the festival show has thousands of people, it’s another thing entirely!
A lot of the band members are also in other bands (Tom and Ed are in Tessa and the Typecast, Liam is in Eagle and the Worm, and Nkechi, Tom and Rob are in Do-Yo-Thangs) does that make it harder to organise rehearsal time?
Yeah of course. You’re always going to get clashes in everything, what has been great in the last year or so is that everyone has really made an effort to keep the rehearsal time sacred. I think everyone [in the band] loves what we’re doing so I think that’s the main thing. Everyone enjoys it, and all of their other bands as well obviously! As long as you’re having fun, you can do it.
It’s been said that you guys are bringing soul and funk to a new generation, What do you think it is about soul music that is getting everyone so excited?
Well it’s the best music in the world for me! It’s just so universal, the subjects like love and you know, all that sort of stuff. And the rhythmic aspects of the music really gets you in. In the last 10 years there’s been a bit of a revival with the Dap Kings and the Bamboos, it really is universal music, it will keep going forever.
For those who haven’t had the chance to see you live yet, could you give us a run-down of musicians that have influenced your sound?
The classic soul stuff, like James Brown and Aretha Franklin, but also the more modern stuff like Dr Dog, Javelin, and Alabama Shakes. There’s so much good music out there, it’s hard not be influenced by all of it.
You are the first band to sign with Northside Records, a record store that has launched their own label. Can you explain the relationship between Saskwatch and Northside Records?
Luckily Northside was already my favourite record store, Nic from the band showed me it four or five years ago and I haven’t stopped going since. But Chris Gill who runs it, he is such a big supporter of soul music in Melbourne, he’s always going to gigs and spreading the word. Over the years we forged a relationship with Chris, and luckily we are now the first band to come out of Northside.
Do you think there is a particular song that is a crowd favourite when you perform your high-energy sets?
That’s a tough one! I think it changes from week to week, I think a few of the covers we play, like ‘Kids’ by Robbie Williams, and also ‘Coca-Cola’ by Little Red. But really, the response that Nkechi gets for any song that she does is pretty amazing!