It’s been a patient wait for the boys of ROLLS BAYCE, but their initial late night promise to start a new band has finally pulled through. Amongst the hustle and bustle of the opening of the 2014 Bigsound conference, our writer, Emily Hosking caught up with front man Dean McGrath (formerly of Hungry Kids of Hungary) and drummer James Wright (formerly of Millions) to chat about how it all came to be, Bigsound, and what’s happening next.
Most people will know you guys from your previous projects which is probably why this new endeavor has been so well received. How did ROLLS BAYCE come to be?
Dean: ‘It was a project in our heads for a couple of years. It was an idea that we hadn’t actually followed up on. We were playing music and had played a handful of shows, but it was strange because we were getting booked for shows having not really recorded anything. Good faith bookings.’
You guys have an EP about to drop. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Dean: ‘We did a lot of recording for the EP in January of this year. It’ll be out this year.’
You’re no stranger to playing Bigsound live with your past projects. What are you most pumped about?
Dean: ‘Yeah, we are really excited to play the shows. That’s kinda why we do this. I think I’ve been to the last six Bigsound’s, there’s a reason why I keep coming back (laughs). It’s fun. There’s a bunch of friends in town. It’s good times.
Are the Bigsound audiences different to your average festival/gig audiences?
James: It’s a bit more of a party crowd these days. People get a bit more into it. It’s good that ticket holder’s come along just to check out the bands as well.’
Dean: ‘My first Bigsound was 2008 and I was playing and it has grown just in that time. When it started out, it very much felt like you were in a glass box and people were watching you trying to figure out if you were any good. With Hungry Kids of Hungary, our first Bigsound resulted in us meeting our Manager and we made so many connections that first time. As it has grown, the vibes loosened up a little bit. Obviously the industry presence is still there and that’s a big factor in why bands choose to apply and why it’s such a big event. It’s a really good opportunity for non-industry music lovers and fans of Australian music to come out and discover new stuff.’
There’s a really strong 60’s vibe in both Arrows and Don’t Get Me Wrong – the first two singles to be released. Where does this come from?
James: ‘Personally, for me at least, there’s a lot of elements of Otis Redding. Music that makes a conscious choice to make things a bit slower and put a bit more heart into it and I think that’s definitely true of us. We don’t really have any super fast sort of songs. Songs that take their time and let the parts do their thing. We love Motown, Philly soul. There’s too many to mention.’
Dean: ‘Yeah, it just stems from personal taste I guess. Obviously, previously in my writing I have been inspired by other areas of that era – more on the guitar pop slant. But this band is stretching out into darker corners of the 60’s. The first conversation that kicked off the band was all about that music that we have a shared love for. So naturally, that’s what’s going to come through when we play’.
Alright, let’s get to know you guys a little more…Who eats the most?
Dean: ‘It’s a close call between the two of us but…James. Cheese Kranskies. We’ve got loyalty cards at our local’.
Who’s the best dancer?
James & Dean: ‘Dean’.
Dean: ‘I like the finger wag. That actually came from Bigsound last year at the after party.’
Who’s the biggest joker?
James: ‘Neil. I don’t think he even really means to. He’s just a funny dude. Some of the things he comes out with is absolutely classic.’
And who has the pottiest mouth?
Dean: ‘Probably both of us. We’re a bit foul (laughs).