MYSTERIA MAXIMA MEDIA are currently in Melbourne to promote the release of their latest publication and officially launch this website. We’ve enjoyed investigating the music of Victoria, so we thought decided to interview a few bands to get to find out more about them.
Q. How would you describe your band’s experiences working in Melbourne?
I would say so far so good, Black Bats has been such an easy fun thing to be a part of. We’ve been playing heaps of shows with amazing people all over the place and I feel like the more we are playing the more we get coming in. The Melbourne music scene is an easy place to network and be a part of, if you put some effort in.
Q. Have you lived and played elsewhere and how does the scene compare?
Dave (Singer/Rhythm Guitar), Jacey (Drums) and Dylan (Lead Guitar) have all lived in different places and played music all over the place but I think that we all ended up in Melbourne for the same reasons. The music scene here is pretty solid and constant.
Q. Is the scene here divided up into genres and styles or do bands mix it up?
I think it’s a bit of both, but ultimately pretty mixed up. I think like any scene it can get pretty small the longer you’re in it and naturally, you start becoming friends with a whole bunch of people that are in awesome bands that aren’t anything like your band. I know there have been a bunch of times that we have organised a lineup for a show because we have some awesome mates that we want to play some shows with and they don’t have a similar sound to us at all, but it’s all for fun.
Q. How does your band fit in and where do you play most and who with?
As far as a genre goes I would say that we are definitely a surf rock band, so we kind of scout around at gigs we go to or bands we see popping up on bills around Melbourne with other bands we like and hit them up to play shows. Other than that we are all pretty in the music scene around Melbourne and we always have friends in bands that are fun to play with, too. I would say we play most of our gigs are around Northside, because I think that it lends a little more to our genre/vibe. I guess our favourite venues to play at would be The Tote, The Old Bar, Woody’s – just cool chill live music orientated venues.
Q. Where and where do you guys rehearse and fit around everyone’s busy schedules?
We rehearse at Jacey’s house, she has a little home studio. We generally rehearse once or twice a week, usually on a Tuesday night locked in as a firm ‘this is when we prac’ kind of thing and we all prioritise the band pretty highly.
Q. Melbourne has this thing with sound guys where the band pay instead of the venue, whereas other cities the venue usually provides. Does covering your own expenses like door person, sound guy, lighting and venue hire fees on top effect your gig-making decisions.
Not really with us, we love playing music and sometimes we take a financial hit for it but also sometimes don’t. Obviously it’s pretty rough and ideally, we would walk out of playing a show with enough money to get by happily. But unfortunately, it’s just a cross you bear working in the arts in the current climate we are in and we are under no illusion. I think that there are a lot of ways that you can ramp things up and try and be clever about making a few dollars/breaking even with shows but this generally takes a lot of admin/marketing work and is never really foolproof.
Q. The People of Melbourne seem to really appreciate live music and there is an obvious culture built up around that. So many venues, so many bands – does this make for tough competition?
I think ultimately it’s a pretty supportive network, just like any kind of group of people with common interests, maybe even more so in the creative communities. There are definitely a lot of scenes that may be a little more competitive within the community, but I feel like rule of thumb is be a good person, throw yourself out there and be positive, – we’re all in the same boat. Something that really resonates with me is just going for it, like if you really like a band and you might want to play a show with them or collaborate with some of the people involved, play at a venue, whatever. Just ask, if you didn’t ask in the first place the answer was already no and if that person/group/venue/whatever responds negatively. Who cares though, you probably don’t need that around anyway.
Q.What recordings or new releases are you working on?
This is our main focus at the moment, we are revamping a lot of our old recordings off EP’s on our Bandcamp and making them into an album. We’re adding in new drums and recording everything a lot cleaner and rewriting any of the parts in the songs that we felt a bit iffy about with the first recordings. We’re pretty close to finishing we should have a release date for the album pretty soon.
Q. Who does the most work in the band?
Dave is the brain behind most of the music. He generally writes and records the songs at home on Logic, making like a rough mix of his ideas and then brings it forward to the band and Charlotte (Bass) and Dylan (Lead Guitar) learn the parts/build on them and Jacey (Drums/Percussion) writes the drums. As far as admin/management stuff goes, Dave and Jacey are the main admin/managers of the band.
Q. Are there political, spiritual, emotional or other such themes in your music?
Aha. Uh… Not really. Dave is the main writer, so lyrically some of the songs are about things in his life that he has experienced or thinks. Which a lot of the time is about battling a huge hangover. So I guess that could be considered emotional.
Q. What is the Bands over-arching theme? What do you stand for, what are you trying to express?
I wouldn’t say we have a ‘band theme’ as such. But I guess, not taking yourself too seriously and doing what makes you happy. We all would much rather play music, tour, have a good time and get gross instead of working some 9-5 job that we aren’t passionate about.
Q. How important is doing a video clip to you? Got any crazy ideas?
I don’t think that a video clip is super important to any of us, but we will be doing some. I think that doing as much as you can and getting yourself out there is never going to work against you. I know there have been a bunch of times where we do an interview or something and they ask for a video clip to show or something visual and it’s rough when you don’t have anything. We haven’t got any solid crazy ideas yet, but I’m sure we can work something cool out when we are ready for it.
Q. Do you plan to tour nationally or overseas?
Definitely! We don’t have any solid tour dates at the moment, but once we sort out the album that will be our next focus.
Q. How do you get your music heard? Vinyl, Tape, CD, Soundcloud or Bandcamp? is it working?
At the moment we have a bunch of recordings that Dave made ages ago in his bedroom that are pretty low quality and free to download, so they are kicking around on a few places like Bandcamp, Facebook, etc. We don’t really push those too much, but surprisingly they get a lot of hits still, which is awesome. Once we finish up our new album we are going to put the tracks up everywhere, we get a lot of people asking why we aren’t on Spotify/Itunes.
Q. What the bands Top 3 Influences?
Ty Segall, The Black Lips and The Growlers.
Q. What the bands Top 3 Films?
Kill Bill, Trainspotting and From Dusk Till Dawn.
Q. What are the bands Top 3 experiences?
Oh man. We played a little Minifest at The Tote as a tribute to The Cramps with a bunch of awesome Melbourne bands, we went on a little tour to SA at the start of the year which was pretty fun and I suppose recording. That’s been a lot of fun knocking out our first album.
BLACK BATS PLAY FRIDAY JUNE 30 AT LAST CHANCE ROCK N ROLL BAR.DOORS AT 8PM.