Saskwatch return after 2012’s universally acclaimed debut Leave it All Behind with their richer and more diverse sophomore record Nose Dive. Liam from the band chatted with Newcastle Live about writing, Bluesfest and their upcoming show at The Small Ballroom.
Your sophomore album ‘Nose Dive’ has received rave reviews since its release earlier this year, what was the writing/recording process like?
Liam: We started writing new music even before Leave It All Behind was released, and continued writing in and around touring the album all of 2013. We had about 15 or so songs narrowed down and were lucky enough to be able to work with one of our production idols – Magoo. We went up to his studio in Fernvale, QLD for about 3 weeks and recorded there in his converted church. It was really an amazing process for us because previously we’d only spent a few days at a time hurridly trying to get down the tracks. It was also great to work with someone like Magoo who is so down to earth, and really encouraging to 9 deadbeats from Melbourne who just wanna make some good music.
With 9 members in the band, is it hard to wrangle everyone together to work on an album?
Liam: Not really to be honest. Everyone is really great and willing to drop everything for the band.
Your national tour is just about to kick off, are you excited to get back out on Aussie stages and deliver all your new material to fans?
Liam: Yeah definitely. We’ve been playing a few of the new songs for a while now, but not in their current form. We’re really excited to play the new album for people all around Australia.
Your live shows have been described as a ‘big sweaty dance party’, is this what Newcastle can expect from your upcoming gig at The Small Ballroom on June 19?
Liam: The last time we played at the Small Ballroom was actually one of the best shows of the tour. Newcastle has always been very supportive of us. I’m sure it will be a great night again!
One of your Melbourne shows sold out in such high demand that a 2nd Melbourne show has just been announced, it must feel great to have such solid support behind the band in your hometown. Have you always felt the Melbourne music scene has fostered this kind of loyalty and interest in their local acts?
Liam: Definitely. I think Melbournians are always looking for the next hometown heroes to champion. Which is awesome because I think they realise that Melbournians and Australians in general make great and unique music. We’re blown away by doing a second corner show. For us it’s something that we thought couldn’t / won’t ever happen. Thanks to everyone who’s coming down!
How do you find going from the shows in bigger cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, to the more regional places like Newcastle?
Liam: To be honest it’s great. We love playing in different cities – they’re just different experiences. I love playing in Newcastle because my Mum’s family are from there and live there. It’s such a beautiful place with great music loving people.
Not only have Saskwatch achieved massive popularity across Australia, but over the last few years you’ve graced the stages at some of the biggest international festivals in the world such as Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Glastonbury and BlackisBack. How does it feel to know your music connects with audiences worldwide?
Liam: We’ve been very lucky to do the travelling we’ve done and it’s great to play in new and interesting places. It’s also a great feeling when people actually do like your music. Especially the last overseas tour playing in Spain / UK last tour, it was incredible and unbelievable when people come up and tell your they liked the show.
You enchanted the crowd at Byron Bay’s Bluesfest in April, and your current tour will culminate at this year’s Splendour in The Grass – How do these Australian festivals compare to the massive international festivals like Glastonbury? Do you feel more relaxed playing on your home soil?
Liam: Yeah it’s great to play festivals at home, we’re looking forward to playing Splendour, i’m sure it will be heaps of fun!
The past couple of years have been quite a whirlwind time for you guys, what’s next on the cards for Saskwatch?
Liam: we’re looking forward to touring the album at home and then hopefully taking it overseas. We’ve also started writing for the next one as well.
Saskwatch play The Small Ballroom on Thursday 19th of June. For more information please contact the venue.
If it's on in Newcastle, it's on Newcastle Live