Gold Coast new-garage/psych peddlers White Lodge have been making waves and winning over converts at a rapid rate across the local musical landscape. Anthony Gebhardt spoke to the White Lodge lead vocalist Hudson on a breezy couch in Miami.
Consisting of Hudson Tesoriero (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Jonny Ranger (lead guitar and backing vocals), Harry Gordon (drums and percussion) and Jordan Biazos (bass guitar), the band have only been playing together for the best part of 12 months, rising from the ashes of local hardcore outfit Shields.
White Lodge is however a very different musical beast. They deliver a swirling blend of uber-catchy, psych-laced jams mixed with an undercurrent of ramshackle 60’s garage-punk and a smattering of darkly addictive, twisted pop-smarts. The lads also manage to channel a pleasingly diverse array of smashing influences through their hazy fuzz-filter, from the classic stylings of seminal ghosts past (The Cramps, The Gun Club) through to the new vanguard of cool/weird underground sounds – Burger Records via Nuggets and beyond! And then there’s the band name itself, a reference to David Lynches surrealistic TV series Twin Peaks, to complete the picture of the band’s woozily catchy, slightly off kilter vision.
Last year saw the band bang out an impressive debut six song EP titled Holy Void, which is currently available for download via the band’s Bandcamp page. In addition the band also released a split seven inch single together with Taiwanese band Forests. Oh and they also brought out a pair of demo releases on that old school medium of cassette tape which, believe it or not, is currently basking in a minor resurrection at the hands of the new musical underground.
As fortune would have it, the release of the band’s split seven inch single with Forests led to them being invited to play a few shows in the Taiwanese capital of Tapei – a pretty unique happening for a young band’s first overseas tour sojourn! I asked amiable front man Hudson Tesoriero what it was like playing to a new crowd in such a musically obscure location, and he enthuses about the experience and how the crowd reacted to an unknown Aussie band.
“We probably received a better response than anything we’ve played at home. It was raucous, unhinged, plenty of people dancing and having a good time.”
Despite their short time together, White Lodge have built rapid momentum on a groundswell of burgeoning live performances in the local realm, including a coveted support slot for Californian beach-goth band The Growlers when they were recently in town. Being massive fans of the headliners, the guys could have been forgiven for perhaps feeling a tad overawed on the night. But no such dramas ensued, the band comfortably winning over the crowd and slotting seamlessly into proceedings.
The remainder of this year shapes up as an exciting and transformational time for the band, their growing exposure and dedication to developing their craft seeing them continue to tour at a rapid velocity over the coming months. On the recorded music front, there’s another EP on the horizon soon, with a bunch of new tracks ready to be recorded. Plans are also afoot to start work on a full length album later in the year.
So what can one expect from the band in a live setting? In the words of Hudson it’s all about a bunch of guys having fun onstage. “We’ve definitely been influenced by The Black Lips and their absolute irreverence. Our music is serious, but I don’t think we take ourselves seriously. We’re keen to have fun, make the most of anything and keep some sort of spontaneity in the set.”
So there you have it folks, be sure to pencil in a visit to the White Lodge the next time they’re in your neck of the woods – killer tunes and good times are a given!
April 19 | The Beetle Bar, Brisbane with The Ottomans, Hypnotic Bedrooms, Doom Mountain
April 24 | The Great Northern, Byron Bay
May 30 | The Waiting Room, West End, Brisbane with Heads of Charm
June 7 | Trainspotters, Grand Central Hotel, Brisbane with Drunk Moms, Wod, The Good Sports