Tell me how The Wellingtons came together.
ZAC: I was being interviewed on a community radio station in Melbourne talking about my band called “Sarah Sarah” We were looking for a keyboard player and Kate was tuning in waiting to hear an interview with her favorite Australian band The Lucksmiths that was coming up after my interview. She liked the songs we played live to air then she sent us an email asking to audition. The rest of the band members we’ve found via various web sites.
Do you have a favorite track on the new album “In Transit”?
ZAC: My favorites are Adamant, Baby’s Got A Secret and Keep Me holding On. If I had to say one it would be Adamant I think.
What’s the music scene in Brisbane like? Is power pop more respected over there than in the US?
ZAC: Well we live in Melbourne not Brisbane, 🙂 We have played in Brisbane a few times but generally to small, mostly unappreciative crowds and we lose money most times we’ve been there. Melbourne and Australian in general isn’t a good country for our style of music. Power Pop is only respected and appreciated by a few select discerning folks so it’s a tough country to live in if you’re a power pop band and it’s one of the main reasons we tour internationally a lot. We have way bigger crowds outside of Australia.
What was the musical environment like when you were growing up?
AM: It was great in the 90’s actually. There were loads of bands writing good pop songs and getting played on the radio and on tv. Bands Like You am I, The Living End, Even, Custard and many others. It was very inspirational for me as I was learning how to play and write songs. But that all changed around 2000. Radio turned really bad and was trying to hard to be “new” and cutting edge I guess. And all that was being played was non-melodic, garage and rock music as well as hip hop and techno, none of which I have any appreciation of.
I know a few bands from your neck of the woods that are making a splash here (Grand Atlantic, Michael Carpenter) do you all compare notes on tour?
ZAC: I’m pretty close with Michael and I’m a big fan of his production and song writing skills. We have had a few chats reminiscing about great shows in Spain and U.S for sure. We have a lot of mutual friends around the world. We’ve also done a shows or two with Grand Atlantic but it was early in their career and I don’t think they’d toured internationally at that stage. Maybe we encouraged them to take their music over seas, but I’m really not sure so i shouldn’t take any credit. ha 🙂
What do you find works best for your creative process when bringing a song together? Does it evolve from jams, riffs, lyrics?
ZAC: All the ideas come from me sitting down with my guitar and singing or humming out some kind of melody to accompany the chords I’m putting together. Sometimes i’ll just be taking a walk and a melody will pop into my brain from nowhere. I guess those ones are just gifts from the power pop gods.
Kate Goldby does a great job on her lead tunes – will she sing more on the next album?
ZAC: I’m really glad you like them. People have been responding really well to her singing so yeah I hope so. I try not to take it too personally 🙂 Basically she picked the songs that she liked the most and wanted to sing from the bunch of demos that I had written for the album. ( 44 tunes it was) So we just adjusted the key of those songs to suit her voice. I’m pretty happy letting that trend continue.
How has the touring been so far? Any interesting or embarrassing episodes you’d like to tell us?
ZAC: The tour has been going great. 35 nights of consecutive drinking and partying with some of the worlds coolest and biggest power pop fans. We had some intense car troubles in Italy and very nearly didn’t make a show and we’ve had some good times with Japanese friends joining us on stage to sing Weezer and Kiss covers!
Okay, top 5 musical influences OTHER than The Beatles.
ZAC: Hard question… Fountains Of Wayne, Weezer, Elvis Costello, Jellyfish, Ben Folds.
Cool, thanks Zac. – I can’t wait to hear the next Wellingtons album.