Pulchritudinous four-piece Yes Sir Noceur haven’t exactly had the most predictable year. They left the iconic Focus building – the apartment half the band shared for three years and where they actually started playing music together – and moved to Nobby’s, they had a break (from music and from each other) and hooked up with Rolling Stone. We’re also thrilled to announce they’re the first band locked in to play live at the 2017 Gold Coast Music Awards. Samantha Morris sat down with all four of the men to chat about the year that was, the whole hiatus thing and what 2017 has in store.
Eliot Toll (guitar) says Yes Sir Noceur had always planned to take a month off. Just not so much cancelling one of their shows.
“We were hanging on by thin threads,” he said. “Working hard and just life.”
“We all knew we were going on a holiday, but then at the last second we just snapped,” Eliot said. He bailed to Indonesia with Rory Swiztzer (drums). Harry Toll (bass) hit New Zealand and Marc went home to Canada.
“It just let us refuel the jets,” Rory said. “Any creative process, when you take a break and don’t touch your instrument, you come back with so many ideas.
“You realise you love it,” Harry added, while Marc commented on the sheer volume of songs they wrote when they got back.
It was during that break that they got the call about the Rolling Stone gig, which was ultimately the catalyst for reunifying the band.
“We thought, if we’ve gotten this far now and we’re getting opportunities like this … well it’s like family… you know, you just sort things out,” Rory said.
I have to say I was worried about the four-piece when they cancelled a show and disappeared for a while. But I’m happy to be sitting with them now and seeing the lads so animated about the past few months and what’s on the horizon.
“It was fantastic. It was our first interstate, flying, toury kind of show,” Harry said. “We linked in with a major sponsor Uppercut [which saw Rory front and centre in a men’s grooming ad campaign], through people we know. It all worked out really well. We played with Stonefield and Flying Colours and had a chinwag with Chief Editor of Rolling Stone and Rolling Stone Australia.”
Meeting people like that, and connecting with teams from Mushroom Records and Australian Music Went has forced the band to look at how they’re releasing their music and what they’re trying to deliver as a sound.
“We have another three tracks on the back-burner, ready to be mixed and mastered,” Rory explained. “Turn To Fire was going to be the single ahead of the full EP. But now after meeting with Mushroom – people that deal with strategy – we’re going to hold out until next year.”
But it’s not just release strategy that they’re mixing up, and they admit they’re still working out how they will execute that. The big news for lovers of Yes Sir Noceur is an evolution of sound.
“We don’t want to put a mish-mash of songs together,” Marc said.
“Fortunately now we’ve got people who can listen and tell us which ones she should focus on,” Eliot added.
Marc tells me more about that evolution. “I think it comes in part with learning – none of us had any formal music training. So, we’re learning that now,” he said. “We’re watching what other bands are doing, seeing what we like. We’re trying to create a song that’s going to be along the lines of making sure it’s something we like – rather than copy something – it’s been a fun process.”
“We never really thought about the end process,” Harry said. And they all agree their starting to grow out of the surf influence.
“That Dick Dale sound is definitely disappearing,” Rory added.
“We’re surfing way more but writing surf music less,” Eliot said. “We’re playing around with a lot of effects, trying to dial in to a particular sound. We just haven’t found it yet.”
“You could say we’re in a very comfortable identity crisis,” said Rory.
With a new year looming, they’re also comfortably looking to the future with shows in Sydney squared away (not to mention a killer slot on NightQuarter’s new year’s eve lineup), a tour of Canada in the pipeline. They’re also the first local band booked to play the 2017 Gold Coast Music Awards live on the beach at Surfers Paradise as well as a spot on the main stage for Surfers Paradise LIVE which happens in the days following.
“2017 is just basically the year of the next step,” Rory said. “We’re trying to step away from the Gold Coast a little bit, being selective in supporting bands a step or two ahead of us.”
“We’re starting to figure out our own roles,” Marc explained. ”I’m going to focus on writing and catching up on writing theory. Harry’s been doing heaps of bookings, networking with bands. Rory’s been marketing. Eliot’s been, ummm doing artistic expression.”
They all laugh at that. Actually, I think they were all laughing at Eliot.
Considering Marc has only just finished his psychology degree and for the past three years they’ve rehearsed on an electric drum kit in an apartment in Focus, Yes Sir Noceur have made great strides for an indie band working on the Gold Coast.
“Oh, we potentially have an Indo tour too,” they laughed. “So that surf rock thing might just have to come right back.”
Yes Sir Noceur play Midnight Trip at NightQuarter for new year’s eve alongside The Delta Riggs, The Vanns, Sahara Beck, Aquila Young, Peach Fur, Lotus Ship and Keelan Mak. VIP tickets include drinks package and exclusive balcony access.
If you’re thinking of going, you need to know one critical piece of information. The band are organising a coach from Nobby’s.
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Catch Yes Sir Noceur:
10 December | GD FRNDS Christmas show at Miami Shark Bar
31 December | Midnight Trip at NightQuarter
27 April 2017 | Gold Coast Music Awards, Surfers Paradise Beach
IMAGE (c) Lamp Photography