Long-standing Gold Coast fusionists Tijuana Cartel have certainly not let the challenges of 2020 slow their momentum, as they drop a hypnotic new single, ‘Minimal Stuffing’, which they’ve described as wanting to “create something you could lose yourself in headphones to or dance around your living room to”, which come to think of it, is the perfect anecdote for these isolated COVID-19 times. The track, which locks into a blissfully repetitive, trancy groove that doesn’t abate for its seven minute duration, is one for the head as well as the feet and serves as a precursor to the bands upcoming new long player, ‘Acid Pony’, which is due for release in November.
Having recently chatted with Blank GC about, amongst other things, being crowned as ‘”Live act of the year’ at the recent Gold Coast Music Awards, the ever-entertaining Paul George, one half of the Tijuana Cartel creative axis (together with Carey O’Sullivan), brings us up to speed with the new material, as well as discussing their twin studio set up and some upcoming live shows, circumstances allowing..
You guys have clearly been productive during 2020, adapting and getting busy creating new music, the first fruits of which is your beguiling new single, ‘Minimal Stuffing’. Did the circumstance in which it was created play a big role in shaping the sound and direction of the track, or do you think it would have evolved this way regardless?
I think we were on this train well before COVID hit really, we’ve really gone through a lot of influences over the last few years and as a result, I think we’ve finally come to a real understanding of who we are as a band and as producers. In a lot of ways, the new releases have links back to music that grabbed us back when we were teenagers. We are all really excited to release this new album.
You now have two studio set ups, on the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Was this something that came out of current necessity, or was it on the cards regardless of COVID? And has it been a challenge to collaborate and create in such a manner, or has it been a relatively seamless process?
We are built for this kind of isolation when it comes to writing music. Carey O’Sullivan and I have always written music separately, then we usually swap when the ideas start to dry up and the other half takes over. Sometimes it’s good to be in a room together to feel the sense of where the creativity is coming from, but it’s not essential for us. We are happy in our own little studios; I actually built my new one as a result of having flatmates during COVID… I needed a place to escape and create.
You’re also working on a new album, ‘Acid Pony’, which is due out in November. Can you fill us in on how it’s coming along, how you came up with the name and if ‘Minimal Stuffing’ is indicative of the sound/vibe of the album?
Originally, we were going to call it ‘Disco Palomino’ but that evolved into ‘Acid Pony’. I can’t tell you exactly why, but we went through so many album concepts and that one just felt right. I feel like it chose us. We are just putting the final touches on the album as we speak. It has so much in common with our first single ‘Minimal Stuffing’ but also, it is different in its own way. It’s definitely an album to dance to.
How much are you itching to get back out there into the live music realm?! And can we expect to hear plenty of the new album on your upcoming show in Brisbane?
We are really itching! We will play quite a few tracks off the new album, but we’ll also be sure to play everyone’s favourites as well. It’s been too long!
You can hook up to Tijauna Cartel’s blissful new number, ‘Minimal Stuffing’ below and here. The guys are also playing a show at The Zoo, in Brisbane, on 29 August.