Archive for the ‘The Bank Holidays’ Category

Interview: The Bank Holidays

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

If you’re a fan of intelligent pop, harmony and damn fine songwriting, you might be rather excited to hear that you’re about to get your first chance to see The Bank Holidays in quite a while. Naomi Faye caught up with Nat Carson ahead of their performance at This Is Nowhere

The Bank HolidaysHi Nat! How are you?
I’m well, thanks for asking. Life has been busy, mainly of my own doing though!

What have you and the band been up to in the last year?
The band has been dormant for the last two years or so. After releasing Sail Becomes A Kite in mid-2010 I moved to Toronto, and Stuart had already moved to Melbourne earlier that year. We planned to do some touring but due to geography, logistics and life, it never happened. I’ve since moved to Melbourne, so with James and Bekk in Perth, at least we’re all in Australia now.

When in Canada, I bought a little acoustic guitar so I could keep writing songs. Doing this writing and recording simple demos was the extent of my musical activity. Earlier this year I played with Joe McKee (Snowman) at a couple of his Melbourne shows, which was fun. I was surprisingly nervous, but it was my first time back on stage since leaving Perth.

It’s been two years since your last gig, many people are looking forward to it — How are you feeling? Do you miss it?
Yeah, I miss it. That said, it was great to have a break from being in a band and all that goes along with it. We were all pretty quick to say yes when offered the chance to play again, and we’re excited. This might sound dumb, but I really hope we have a great show. We often felt at various times that we had something to prove, even it was only to ourselves, and I’m sure this will be one of those times.

You have strong local following in Perth, have any excited fans contacted you?
The announcement of our return was greeted by many likes on Facebook, if that’s a decent measure of anticipation!

Have you played at Somerville before?
We’ve played at numerous In The Pines events for RTRFM. Our first In The Pines appearance was steeped in controversy. We wore coordinated stripey shirts, then Trash Band 1987 directly followed on from us wearing almost identical stripey attire. People seemed to get a laugh out of that. Our last Pines appearance saw us gather massive bags full of fallen autumnal leaves and spread them all over the stage right before our set. It took longer to clean up the stage than to play our show.

What makes a good gig? Do you have a favorite Bank Holidays show?
Given the importance of melody and harmony in our songs, great shows happen when we sing really well. Playing at the Perth Concert Hall when we supported Belle & Sebastian was a massive thrill, and our first EP launch at Rechabites Hall was special. On our European tour we played a number of packed 150-person venues, and those cosy shows were a lot of fun.

Will there be much planning when it comes to your This is Nowhere performance or are you more of a “get out there see what happens” kind of band?
We’re not massive on improvisation, so you can expect to see something that has been very well thought through. If we appear onstage in coordinated clothing, it’s a good sign that we’ve been planning meticulously.

What about performing are you most looking forward to?
The funny looks that we give each other across stage when something is going well. And the chance to pull out a couple of songs we haven’t played since the early days. I’ve been looking at the old EPs thinking “hey, what about this one?!”

Do you think it will relight the fire for playing more gigs in the future?
That has crossed our collective mind, but we’ll to see how this show goes.

What’s your favorite song to play live?
Some of the songs from Sail Becomes A Kite weren’t often played live, so they require a lot of thinking, but I always enjoying playing “Thereabouts”. I love the arrangement, and I think we all put in our best on that.

Who are you looking forward to seeing at This is Nowhere Festival?
Many years ago I was obsessed with the song “Seneca” by Tortoise, and any band with two drummers is bound to be a spectacle. So I’d say Tortoise for those reasons. Beach Fossils have piqued my interest too. I’m really looking forward to seeing the whole line-up.

Have you been working on any other projects or any talk of new album with The Bank Holidays?
I’m about to start recording the songs I’ve written in the last couple of years, and Stuart is involved with that venture too. The songs are still very melodic, and to some degree will be an extension of the path we started on with the last Banks album. We’ll see how it develops as the recording goes on. I’ve also joined a band with Ben Mason, who played in a Melbourne group called The Smallgoods. The Bank Holidays were on a label called Lost & Lonesome along with The Smallgoods, so it’s cool that Ben and I get to team up.