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Wednesday 23rd February, 2011 10:59AM

We catch up with Candice and Chris from Metals, a self-described "post jackin' neo-tech booty rock soul" duo from Melbourne on their way to New Zealand for the first time to play two shows this weekend....

How did your eclectic sound develop?

I did some guest vocals on Chris' album Siege Mentality, and at that time we had been writing a lot of stuff, (during sessions where we'd muse over ad busters magazines and eat a lot!) We were experimenting a lot and there was this whole bunch of stuff we'd written that didn't quite fit with the Digital Primate project, it was quite clear it was its own thing. We then starting working with our friend Whit (Spiderbait) with his super duper cool guitar and he added this crazy rock element to a lot of our initial material, an element that we've carried through the sound to this day. I never really imagined it would turn out quite like it has, it was like throwing a whole bunch of stuff in a blender and hoping for the best.....what came out tasted pretty damn good! So we just went with it. I think its 'eclectic' by default because we're both somewhat quirky people...... both control freaks, both over think absolutely everything, both have kinky senses of humor, both quite spiritual but both a bit decadent at the same time and came from total opposite sides of the track musically.

Tell me about how the creative process goes down between the two of you.

Chris and I love to debate and talk politics etc.... so we talk a lot about issues and things we're passionate about and whatever's on our minds in these download sessions we have, which often involves the eating of some kind of gourmet organic food and discussing something controversial, and this will usually evolve into a conclusion on a topic for lyrical content. Chris will then bring me beat, ill go away and write waaaaaaay too many lyrics and get some melodies happening. I’ll come into the studio to lay it down over the skeleton of the beat at which point Chris will do a massive culling of my lyrics most times hahah..... then he'll make up for it by letting me go fairly nuts on recording harmonies and lil’ backing vocal bits, then ill let him work his magic and build up some bulk on the beat n elaborate on production stuff. WE go back n forth like this a couple of times until we've crafted it into something we think is worthy of listener’s ears. We’ve tried other methods, like writing songs with just acoustic guitar n vocals with the hope of then transferring it to electronica..... didn't work lol made me write soppy love songs.......

What inspires you guys to write a track?

A lot of things: Desire for change, desire to make a statement, desire to express a point of view that we feel needs to be heard, but also a need for self expression...... the first few songs we wrote were kind of an opportunity to 'vent' for me..... let out all my crap and anger and venom so it didn't need to seep into the rest of my life haha, it was my alter ego, my 'angry-feisty-bitach' side. I think relationships of all kinds inspire a lot of what we do, politics, evolution, spirituality, indulgence in partying, nudist philosophy, tea, sparkly hats, cardboard, French grammar, tantra, silk underpants...... whatever is around that's inspiring..... or kinky.........or both :P

Your music is pretty hard to pin down in terms of influences and genres. How would you describe it AND what / who are you influenced by sonically?

Our official genre is post jackin' neo-tech booty rock soul. BAM! It defies description haha. Everyone who tries to categorise it or describe it comes up with something completely different. One description i particularly liked was "Kelis fighting over the last seat on the bus with Salt N’ Peppa" haha..... As for influences, I know Chris is a big Joy Division fan, loves LCD Sound System and loves old school dancehall and reggae. He was stoked about finding his incredibly rare copy of the Jamaican pressing of SCIENTIST's "Scientist rids the world of the evil curse of the vampires". Nuff said. I personally have come from a background of a lot of Neo-Soul and conscious hip-hop, my number one fav artist of all time is Me'shell Ndegeocello, closely followed by Erykah badu, and also I love India Arie, Maxwell, SaRa, the Foreign Exchange, Bilal, Fat Freddy's Drop, Dwele, Amp Fiddler, Floetry, Georgia Anne Muldrow......the list goes on. Taste wise Chris and I come together on stuff like Betty Davis, D'angelo, Die Antwoord, MIA's earlier stuff, Bjork.... anything slightly controversial......

You guys have done some recording, yes? Tell me about the sessions and the resulting tracks.

Ummmmm yes we've done a lot of recording over the last hmmm....... 6 years or so?!?! Initially a lot of stuff was done at Chris' old studio in the city, really experimental days, and then we moved onto recording at Sing Sing off Chapel with engineer Noam Dishon, which is where we did most of the initial recordings that have now evolved into the first two singles 'Drop your Guard' and 'Get yourself a gun' and the other tracks on the EP. More recently we've been recording at Chris' new studio in Brunswick, which is a lot of the stuff that will go on the album....... also we did a session a couple weeks ago at a studio owned by one of the members of Hunters and Collectors with our good friend Andy Baldwin who was over from New York engineering, that was fun worked on a track called Silence that has a Stooges sample in it, its dope :) we'll be performing that song for the first time on our NZ tour.... sneak peak......

You both have a solid involvement in the music industry outside of Metals. Tell us about this.

Chris: I deny everything..... It wasn't me I swear ... it was Digital Primate... he is to blame for everything...

Candice: I started out singing in Adelaide with local producers and somehow landed myself in Atlanta with Professor Griff recording my first Demo CD. The music scene in ATL is amazing, I soaked it all up like a sponge, got to travel with PE while they did shows over there and hung around observing a lot of '7th Octave' activity (Griff's Rap/Metal band), some of the members of which worked on my demo. I have vivid memories of waking up every day to Rage Against the Machine and Jimmi Hendricks DVD's in ATL. The whole time period had a huge impact on me. When I got back to Oz I moved to Melbourne, started a soul band that got signed to a UK label and got released around Europe. I met Chris not long after I moved here and soon ended up touring with him on the Digital Primate project. We travelled to NYC doing shows over there, I got to meet and record with Rich Medina, still one of my fav producers EVER. I've done backing vocals for numerous bands here in Melbs (Anthony David on his Aust. tour, SIB, Diafrix, Direct Influence, Saritah, Traffik, The Stride Auspicious, Carmen Hendricks) , lots of crazy support acts (Rahsaan Patterson, Speech Debelle, Jade Macrae etc), am an active member of the Oz Soul Collective and am always surprised when people know of my work and know who I am before I’ve met them, which happens more often these days haha..... humbled.........

Tell us a little bit about the creative communities you guys reside in. The state of them, how they inspire you creatively, etc.

Chris: Again, I deny everything on the grounds that I might incriminate myself. OK, I am not part of a community really.. too much politics and ego and for a an egotist like me that is just too hard to deal with, and all a bit too needy.... Solipsism is my thing…

Candice: There really is a beautiful conscious community here in Melbourne that I’m very blessed to be a part of which incorporates a lot of artists from the hip-hop/soul/neo-soul/reggae/world music scenes, as well as people in other creative arts like dance, comedy, visual art, film, photography, theatre and poetry. Over the years we've congregated around venues like The Horn, and now days The Toff for the monthly Oz Soul Collective showcase gigs or wherever one or more of us is performing. Through the Oz Soul Collective we've begun crossing borders and making those same connections with community around the country, not just in our city. We are often collaborating, jumping up during each others sets, inspired by one another's authenticity and spirit. I’m constantly inspired by my peers, seeing them grow and develop their craft and express in their unique ways. There's no way I could describe what this community means to me in a paragraph........ its my home base, its my workplace, its my social network, its my place of solace, its my stage, its where I party and let it all out....... and I think its that and more to each and every one of us. Its incredibly special. I’m so blessed to be a part of it. So so blessed.

Your live show sounds like it’s pretty intense. What can we expect from you guys when you come here?

Candice: Lots of spit, sweat, 7 inch suicide stilettos (or fluro kicks, whatever floats my boat on the day), possible stripping, guitar solos with a foot on the foldback wedge, a mish-mash drum kit of live drums and super electronic drum pads, a journey through the weird and wonderful world of techno culminating in a wave of sound that washes you up on a shore of profanity, pelvic thrusting, political commentary, aggressive rap, operatic harmony, soul belting, low slung bass played like Peter Hook, and so many electronic twiddling knobs and flashing lights we barely need stage lighting haha...... But really we are just looking forward to playing our music overseas and partying with some NZers - We have a lot of love for the amazing music coming out of NZ, folks are KILLIN it over there (personally I’m totally digging Electric Wire Husstle atm, some cool ass ish) and we hoping to link with folks over there and come home armed with a load of amazing tunes to play to our peeps back here.

Chris: yes, all that... and afterwards, I will deny everything...

What are the future plans for Metals and for you guys with your personal music endeavours?

Well other than world domination and eternal peace, we plan to put a Metals album out in the near future...... we're already writing it. And yes we plan to take it around the world. As for music outside of metals, I’m pretty sure my soul band and I will put out our second album this year in Europe, Just recently recorded a feature on the new Simplex album out on Obese, and am mentoring an 11 year old freak prodigy soul singer here who is gonna be doing amazing things...... Chris is still doing Digital Primate stuff off the back of the success of his last album 'Keep Calm and Carry On'. It all keeps chugging away in the background for us, the soundtrack to our lives......we couldn't stop if we tried.

Courtney Sanders

Get Yourself A Gun by metals


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