While up at Festival of the Sun we had the chance to speak with some of the amazing artists that were on the bill.
First up is the chat with Ness Muir from Hot Spoke. The Sydney four-piece are fresh of their first appearance at BIGSOUND, have just finished up tours with the likes of Husky and Alex Lahey and are now getting ready to unleash their new EP to the world.
Transmitting some of the freshest, fuzziest vibes of 2016, Hot Spoke have irrefutably proved themselves as an emerging Aussie act to devote your ears to.
HAPPY: You guys have been playing heaps of support slots lately for some pretty big names, how has that all been?
NESS: Yeah awesome, really good. We played with Husky just the other night which was so awesome. And we also played with Alex Lahey, she was amazing. She was really chilled and so easy to chat with too, so that was really nice.
HAPPY: How have all the crowds been for your sets?
NESS: Awesome actually. We played a gig a few weeks back where we starting right at the same time as the NRL kickoff was starting, so there was like three people in the room. But since that it’s been up heaps. The response has been really good.
HAPPY: Do you like playing in Sydney or do you prefer getting to go to different places?
NESS: It’s sort of a different vibe everywhere we play. In Sydney, there is obviously less places to play now, so it’s a little bit sad, but we still definitely love playing in our home town. There’s a real communal vibe to it.
HAPPY: Can you notice the change that the lockout laws have had on Sydney?
NESS: Absolutely. Everyone is always a lot more rushed to finish upon time and that’s not how a gig should be. I’m hoping that something will happen about it soon. It’s been sad to watch venues close down because of all this.
HAPPY: This is a fairly decent sized festival to be a part of, have you played many festivals before?
NESS: Our first one was BIGSOUND this year, so this was the first actual festival stage that we’ve played on, so we’re quietly crapping our pants but I think we’ll be ok, hopefully.
HAPPY: How was BIGSOUND?
NESS: It was so fun. It was pretty amazing and just the vibe is so great. Jumping from venue to venue and meeting all the other bands, I’ve never experienced anything like that before. Everyone is really willing to chat and everyone gets amongst it, so it was just so cool that we were able to play up there.
HAPPY: How would you describe the band’s sound to someone that’s never heard you before?
NESS: It’s a mixture of I suppose 90’s scuzz mixed with a West Coast 70’s kind of vibe. I’d say there’s a few Eagles influences in there. As a band we all listen to The Smiths, I love the Eagles and Joni Mitchell, so we’ve kind of gone for the retro sound I guess.
HAPPY: Do you write collaboratively?
NESS: I write the songs but now we’ve started doing little things together and having it be more of a collaboration. But the EP that’s coming out will mainly be songs that I’ve written.
HAPPY: When did you start writing music?
NESS: I think when I was 11 or 12. My dad is a musician so he got us onto playing guitar and piano, and really got me into music.
HAPPY: How did you guys in the band all meet each other?
NESS: We all went to uni together in Sydney. It was a music college so we just got thrown together and it stuck.
HAPPY: Is music full time for you now?
NESS: Pretty much. I just quit my job a couple of weeks ago. It’s the best feeling in the world. I’ll probably end up doing bits on the side, but right now I just want to focus on writing and the band. It’s pretty scary but you have to take a shot on yourself I think.
HAPPY: When is the EP due for release?
NESS: Hopefully end of January, early February.
HAPPY: How are you feeling abou it? Excited, nervous?
NESS: We’re pretty excited. We really just want to get it out because there’s a lot of songs on there that we’ve had for a long time and we have heaps of new stuff ready to go. It’s going to be so cool to finally get it all out there.
HAPPY: You released the single Outlines not too long ago, will the EP have a similar vibe to that?
NESS: It’s got elements of that, but overall it will be a bit heavier and a bit more up-tempo. We have a couple of more ballad songs too, so there’s a lot of variation on there, it’s going to be seven songs.
HAPPY: What are the plans for the band for next year?
NESS: We’ve got the EP release early in the year, then hopefully do a support for someone, go on a tour and do some more writing and recording. I’m hoping to do an album but I think there might be an EP first. We’ll see what the label says. We’ll just keep plugging away and working hard!