You’ve already performed some international dates with Tash Sultana and now you’ll be supporting her upcoming Aussie shows as well. Have y’all bonded over the former busking life?
We have bonded over many things! Through busking in Melbourne and having the same management we have been friends for years now, so touring together is a great experience. It’s obviously been a huge opportunity for us and we’re loving it! We can’t wait to get stuck into the Australian tour!
Do the two live tracks on the EP come from your recent Aussie headline tour? I can hear a throaty scream at the start of The Records Were Ours but I couldn’t decipher if you named a city!
That show was once of the most amazing shows we’ve ever played; it was at Colours Of Ostrava in the Czech Republic. Ostrava is a city on the east side of CZ, about 10 minutes away from the border of Poland. We weren’t expecting much from the set, as we’d never played a show that far east in Europe. Sure enough, we turned up to our 11pm set to about 25,000 people screaming at us. [Afterwards] we found that we’d gotten a fully tracked recording of the biggest show we’d ever done. We were pretty stoked after that one.
The studio-recorded tracks on the EP never stray too far, arrangement-wise, from what you two could conceivably perform yourselves on stage. Is it important to you to cleave as close to that live energy as possible, or do you foresee some giant production layers happening in the future?
It’s definitely something we’ve talked about and experimented with – having other musicians onstage with us. Generally our strength is in us getting such a big sound on stage with just the two of us, so we’re tentative to commit to touring with, say, keys or bass or horns. That said, the more time we spend in the studio, the more carried away we get, so we find ourselves adding keys and horns (etcetera) to the tracks. I guess we’ll just need to see what the future holds. At this stage we’re still adding instruments to our set-up, which is a nightmare to travel with, but is a lot of fun once it’s set up!
Amsterdam is a super-stirring track! Could it have been written about any other international city on your travels, or do you have specific memories of a specific time in that specific Dutch city?
The song was written during travels through Europe and Australia, and is about how heavy touring life can be and how unprepared we were for it. Don’t get me wrong: touring the world is one of the best things we’ve ever done. However it can certainly take it out of you! We have spent a lot of time in Amsterdam, as that was where we had first broken our music into Europe, and the Dutch have been super supportive of us. It kind of became our second home while we were writing this album.
We were also listening to Paul Kelly’s Every F-cking City and Jacques Brel’s Dan Le Port d’Amsterdam quite a lot, so basing the song in that city made a lot of sense at the time. After following around The Cat Empire as their support all across Europe in a campervan, we had to drive ourselves (chasing their tour bus), and we were pretty burnt out, haha.
The official video for The Records Were Ours is very cute. Which one of you is that doing the worm, and have you ever accidentally squashed your face while doing it?
That was a funny day actually. I had the idea to mash up some studio footage with a performance piece in a cool-looking ballroom, so we had a look around and found one quite close to where we live! A good friend of ours Carl Allison went to film school with me and we’ve worked on several of our film clips in the past, so we teamed up again and just winged it on the day. The worm came from Carl directing me to just walk around and do stupid sh-t. And yes, I have f-cked my nose a couple of times doing that!
My Tired Mind EP is out now via Warner.
Pierce Brothers are touring with Tash Sultana later this month and into December; dates below.
TASH SULTANA SUPPORT DATES
Saturday 18th November – Adelaide Entertainment Theatre, Adelaide SA
Friday 1st December – Hordern Pavilion, Sydney NSW
Thursday 7th December – Freo Arts Centre, Fremantle WA
Saturday 9th December – 3 Oceans Winery, Margaret River WA
Thursday 14th December – Margaret Court Arena, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 16th December – Noosa AFL Grounds, Noosa QLD