INTERVIEW: Deep Sea Arcade

DEEP SEA ARCADE will be capping off a stellar year, that has seen some extensive touring and the release of their debut LP Outlands, when they hit the stage of PEATS RIGE FESTIVAL on New Years day. In the tail end of their current Australian tour, I was able to snatch up bassist  Nick Weaver for a chat about their European tour, Radiohead and the possibility of playing in Neil Finn’s studio.

You will be spending new years day with Peats Ridge Festival, can you give us a hint as to what kind of show audiences will be experiencing?
Expect a sunburnt band. We have been playing a lot, and what we have been doing lately seems to be working really really well. So we’re excited

Do you have any sideshows planned?
Nah, I mean, we are on our own tour at the moment. But this will be the last tour that we do for this album (Outlands). However, we are going to New Zealand in early December, where we will get to do one of those live sessions in Neil Finn’s Roundhead Studios .

How would you describe the sound of the band, beyond just the retro Brit rock pop sound?
I think with any band there are influences coming from a billion places and you can always hear that. But we’re really still into that 90s music. I have even started citing Radiohead as an influence, which a lot of people are really scared to do, but I love Radiohead, and I always have. They are just one of those bands that you are always scared of comparing yourself to.

When was the time you thought you could quit your day job and dedicate yourself to music full time?
Who says we don’t have day jobs? [laughs] But it’s a gradual thing, it’s not really a decision you make, it’s more you no longer have time to do anything but the band full time, which is great. I won’t say that sometimes you aren’t living on a shoestring but it’s really rewarding. Job-wise, it has been quite a few years since we worked, a few of us still do odd jobs, like Simon [Relf, guitarist] does life modelling, gets his close off and stands around.

Having such international influences, has that made it easier of harder going overseas and playing?
Well, I think there is an obvious British influence to our sound but it doesn’t really seem to faze them that much. That sort of thing has been happening forever, like with British invasion bands and others basically playing blues to Americans.

Do you think that is because music is so much more accessible now? For instance, you can just go on Spotify now and get music from Australia, from England from anywhere straight away.
Yeah absolutely, it’s now a worldwide market rather than being all spit up. Australian bands and New Zealand bands are in a really good position at the moment. There are a lot of people that are appreciating us.

When you were touring Europe, what was the reaction from the media and the audiences like?
It was great, I mean obviously some shows are better than others but hey, we sold out a show in London, which was great, and thrilling. Also, Germany was amazing, we played a festival in Hamburg and Berlin and they were both really well attended. It’s cool, we were really well received, which was good because we didn’t know what to expect.

Do you go to more venues there? One would think you would get around Europe on a tour bus yet in Australia everything is so spread out so you would just jump on a plane.
Yes exactly, it’s a big difference. What’s wonderful is in Europe we played in like 6 different countries in a week, and not even 6 different cities. We drove through another 10 more we didn’t play in. Only problem is you can never spend enough time anywhere. We saw some great stuff though it’s all so beautiful. So many post card kind of places.

Did you have a favourite venue to play over in Europe?
Yeah we played at a really great place called Lido in Berlin, which is a really ancient looking club. We did this festival called the Berlin Independent Night and it took place across like six venues, which is when we played Lido. The place is just massive. There are a lot of really great venues in Australia, but just the volume of great venues there is amazing. And they all look beautiful and somehow sound amazing.

So how do Sydney venues compare?
Well there definitely isn’t as many. There are heaps of great Sydney venues, like The Standard is great, and Oxford Art Factory, and there are some great places in Marrickville. But look, it is just harder for them because there aren’t as many people going to gigs and there are some great bands that aren’t playing to the volume they should be.

How has your set developed the more you play together?
We are trying to stretch out a bit more with the musician’s works. Like the musicians in the band, I’m their biggest fan; they are complete motherfuckers at what they do. We have lots of instrumental sections in our songs, so we want to just stretch them out. Take you on a journey.

Its coming to the end of the year where people are starting to release their ‘Best of’’ for 2012, I just wanted to ask who are some of the songs or artists you want to see included on these lists?
Ok one person that doesn’t seem to be getting publicised enough around here is Jonathan Wilson, who has the most amazing song called ‘Desert Raven’ which goes for about 8 minutes but never feels it. Also there is Richard Hawley’s Standing At The Sky’s Edge, Tame Impala’s Lonerism, The Belligerent She Call’s The Shots, and there is probably half a zillion more, its just been such a good year.

Words by Luke Letourneau