RISK Assessment is a local band inspired to create tracks that move between cotton tail soft and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson hard. Curtis Smeaton from the band took 10 with Newcastle Live to chat about their sound, the song writing process and the local scene.
1) Who are RISK Assessment?
RISK Assessment is a two piece alternative rock band from Newcastle, Australia. We have a prolific range of influences which may account for our wide range of different sounds that we display within a live show.
2 What role do you play in the band?
I am the guitarist/lead vocalist, and Patrick plays drums, samples, and does back-ups
3) What’s your stage set up?
We try to get a big sound live even though we are only a two piece. I play through two different guitar amps, with a range of delays and loops available to help layer sounds. Our live sound is predominately drums, guitars and vocals, however Patrick also has a Rolland Sampler which he uses to produce bass lines and other sounds to enhance the songs.
4) What should people expect when they come to see your live show?
People should expect a loud and energetic live show which displays a range of dynamics. Being self-proclaimed genre whores our songs can vary quite drastically although all containing that distinct RISK Assessment flavour. From smashing cymbals, loud distorted guitars and screamed vocals, through to ambient jazz-styled sections with soft melody lines. There is something for the whole family.
5) Where can people catch you playing over the next few months?
Our next show is at the Lair in Sydney on Friday 18 July, as part of the Emergenza Festival, and you can also check our Facebook page for regular info on upcoming shows: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RISK-Assessment/621908937839277
6) Where did you record your EP
The ‘Axiom’ EP was recorded over four days in April at my home studio in my old house in Charlestown. It was produced entirely by Patrick and myself, with Mark Smeaton (a musician & guitar player with over 40 year experience) helping engineer the sounds.
7) What’s the song writing process like for the band? Who writes the songs?
Our song writing process (although always slightly different) usually consists of an idea that Patrick or I suggest and we both work on the idea further to develop an actual song. I write Guitar parts and drums parts are written by Patrick, we then usually write vocals after the music. The lyrics are written by either Patrick, myself or both of us. Samples are usually written last to help enhance the song.
8) What do you think of the local music scene?
There are some great local bands in the Newcastle area at the moment, and a lot of venues are starting to go back to having bands playing regularly which is a great thing for the local scene.
9) What could be improved in the local scene to benefit artists such as yourselves?
A lot of touring bands get great crowds and its always good to see a band with a packed crowd. However a lot of local bands shows seem to have a lot lower numbers, and I don’t think its necessarily a reflection of the quality of the local bands, more a reflection of the lack of promotion local band shows get.
10) Why did you decide to give your EP away for free rather than charging for a CD or digital download?
We decided to release the ‘Axiom’ EP for free online in order to get our name out to a larger audience. We have also got a limited release of CD’s with full artwork and lyrics available at shows for $10.
To find out more about the band, you can visit their Facebook page.