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Deep Sea Arcade

Deep Sea Arcade

Interviewed by
Courtney Sanders
Wednesday 8th August, 2012 10:45AM

Sydney band Deep Sea Arcade have just released their debut album Outlands, that spans a career that began in high school. UTR caught up with Nick Weaver to discuss how the band married the old with the new on their release.

Hey Nick, where are you guys at the moment?

I’m just at home, I’ve just made myself a really disgusting coffee, and I’m going to drink it, and I’m just about to go over Nic’s (Mckenzie) place: we’re just demo-ing some new music. That’s how we’re spending our days at the moment.

And you’ve just supported Kaiser Chiefs: are you going to do much headline touring around the release?

We did a release tour in June which was heaps of fun – we did mostly major cities of Australia stuff, which was great fun. It's the first tour we've played which was all sold out and everyone was yelling the words back at us and stuff, which was a nice feeling. We’re just about to head off on tour with a band called Blue Juice – I’m not sure if you guys know them over there – which is a month of lots of university shows and stuff. After that we go overseas and we’re just trying to put that together: we’re going to do some UK and Europe stuff, and hopefully some New York stuff. After that hopefully we’ll be able to come to New Zealand.

How does it feel to have the album out finally?

It’s a really good feeling, it was such a long time coming. We spent a lot of time getting it right and wanted to make sure it was exactly what we wanted to put out so we’re really stoked to have it out: I’ve stopped listening to it every day now too which is good.

Tell us a little about the writing and recording process: you’ve had some of these songs for a while right? How did you put it all together?

Yeah there’s quite a big time span to it: there’s one or two songs that were partly written when we were really small. A lot of these old songs have been re-vamped and then re-vamped again and end up in a new form. Songs like ‘Ambulance’ – the last track – are pretty much really old, and then there are other songs that came together at the last minute. Something like 'Granite City’ is a song that we had for a while but didn’t know how to record or what to do with it, and then it came together really easily in the recording studio at the end. ‘Together’ is another one that’s old, but the intro and the verse that are really old whereas the chorus is new. It was a massive to and fro process getting it all finished. Every song has a different story I think.

Tell us about trying to make the old songs and the new songs fit together as an album.

It wasn’t really that hard in the end: what managed to give it a fairly streamlined kind of thing was that we did a lot of it at home throughout, so the old songs were done as bedroom demos but we kind of kept doing that. The gear we were using changed a bit but even if we recorded a bunch of stuff in the studio we’d still come home and do the overdubs. A lot of people are doing that now and I think that lets you give something a unique sound; something that feels like your bedroom and not anyone elses. You just have the ability to do that now. Like that new Horrors album is a good example of that: from my understanding they had their pick of the producers and it is something that you can be really proud of if you do it that way.

Reflecting on the album as a full piece of work now: what do you think comes across sonically, or is there a theme that defines it?

The idea of everything sounding a little bit underwatery is something that we’ve always wanted to explore. We’ve always been into things having heaps and heaps of reverb and sounding really ethereal and I think no matter how old or new the song was we didn’t have any trouble applying those kind of ideas to it. I also think Nick’s vocals – maybe it’s not answering your question because it’s not quite a theme – tie it together: he’s got a very similar approach to vocals every time.

Obviously you’ve been gigging away in Australia for a while now, but from an outsiders perspective it seems like things have started to happen in the last few months for you: is that a fair statement? Is it an exciting time for the band?

Yeah it really is. I mean we’ve always had a lot of faith in it and we’ve always really really loved it. There have been tours that have been amazing and there have been tours that have been hard, but I don’t think anyone’s ever had any problems sticking it out. But it’s been really gratifying in the last couple of months since releasing our album: things have just started to feel really really good.

You guys are based in Sydney: what's the music scene like over there?

It's really strong at the moment actually: it’s just emerging from a really hard period. A lot of venues were closing down and stuff like that – I mean venues are still closing down but a lot are also opening up. Yeah, it seems like there’s a really good collaborative scene. Our management team have got some really good Sydney bands: there’s another band called The Preachers who are amazing so I donno, it seems good. I’ve been reminiscing about this place called the Hopetoun a lot which is where we started playing. It’s this dingy old pub and eventually it went under and that was a really sad thing for Sydney bands because it was the place where everyone started and there still are no real venues that are small and similar to that but it does feel like things are starting to pick up again and get really good.


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