BEHIND THE VINYL: The Gooch Palms for TCSS
The corduroy comeback is in full swing and we couldn’t be more stoked – we’ve got cord apparel, cord accessories and to top it all off, an exclusive record (Get it? We’re being a little puntastic). We’re teaming up with TCSS to bring you the Recordz collection – the ultimate corduroy compilation to take you through to winter.
To celebrate, we’ve released a limited edition 12” album: Strange Brew, featuring bands The Grease Arrestor, The Ruminaters, Hockey Dad, Bleeding Knees Club, The Gooch Palms, The Jim Mitchells and The Abigails. Packed with tunes to keep the rad times rolling, it’s quite the number and we were lucky enough to catch up with Leroy Macqueen and Kat Friend of The Gooch Palms to have a chat about it.
Jump in to get an insight into their crazy life on the road and all the inspo behind their signature sound!
We’ve just discovered a new word, Novocastrian – can you tell us what circumstances we can thank for bringing you two together in Newcastle in the first place?
Haha yeah we love that word, sounds so fancy! I think its Latin for someone who lives in a new castle? No idea why us bogans get a fancy title like that but it’s pretty sweet. We were both born and raised in Newy and grew up in pretty similar circumstances. We both surfed and were little blonde monkeys that were always at the beach but we didn’t meet until we were all grown up. We met one night at The Cambridge Hotel. It was just fate I guess and maybe boredom? But we hit it off straight away and many years later here we are!
As a self-described sh*t-pop duo, can you tell us how you started making music together? What inspired you to pick up the instruments and develop your signature visual theatrics and sound?
We had actually just moved to Sydney (we lived there for about two and a half years) and were both working at this depressing call centre and didn’t really know anyone or have anything else to do. We lived by ourselves in a warehouse in Redfern and had a big area which was perfect for rehearsing so one day we just decided to start messing around with what we had lying around which was a bucket, tambourine and a guitar. The bucket eventually evolved into a floor tom and the tambo into a snare drum and we stuck with the guitar. But we were so bad. But that didn’t stop us from booking some shows around Sydney and just getting out there and doing our thing. Because we sucked so much at playing our instruments we tried to distract the audience with outfits and stage banter. And somehow it actually worked. But it helped us develop into the band we are now and those aspects will always be a part of our live show.
What drew you to collaborate with TCSS and SurfStitch for the Recordz Strange Brew collection?
We really like the brand and it sounded like an awesome idea so we were into it straight away.
Trackside Daze is a colourful, irreverently catchy tune (matched with a suitably haphazard music video – we’re particularly impressed with the talking marmots) – what inspired the lyrics and sound?
Trackside Daze was written one day when we were sitting on our front porch in Newcastle. We lived right next to a train station and would hang out drinking beers out the front with our cat and watch the trains roll into the station. It was somehow relaxing. But that’s what inspired the lyrics. The sound was inspired by a bunch of stuff. Beach Boys, Frankie Valli, pop music in general, summer time. The video was just whatever came out of our heads while we were making it but it turned out super fun. We don’t know how to do green screen real well so we just went with a ridiculous fun angle to (as usual) distract from the sh*ttiness of the video editing skill ability!!! Haha it’s kind of our thing!
So you’re based in LA now, (although currently hard at work on your Australia summer tour with a pretty jam packed schedule) – how does life in LA compare to your Newcastle roots?
It’s really fun to live in LA. There’s always something happening. But we mostly just hang with our friends drinking tinnies and doing karaoke. LA is really whatever you want it to be, which is why we love it. It can be super “entertainment industry” if you’re into that or if not, it can be super chill. We definitely fall in the second category. The big difference is if we wanna go to the beach we have to plan it and make a whole day of it. It’s a pretty hectic drive in a lot of traffic and LA beaches are a bit gross so we usually head down the coast toward San Diego. It feels a bit like Newcastle down that way. The little coastal towns. But LA is really open minded and so accepting of everyone which we love. You can be whoever the hell you want and no one blinks an eye. It’s also fun to see celebrities every now and then! The music scene in LA is amazing and there is so much great stuff happening all the time. We love touring and love being back in Australia but we’re also looking forward to getting back there and taking 3 weeks off. But Newcastle aka THE GREATEST CITY IN THE WORLD will always be our home!
Your live shows are known for being pretty rowdy with more than a dash of nudity thrown in for good measure. Can you tell us about the weirdest/funniest situation you’ve gotten into on tour?
We played a festival called “Mates” which our besties Palms put together a couple of years ago in Sydney. It was super fun and it was exactly as the name suggests, just a bunch of awesome bands who also happen to be mates, playing a festival. But it was a really hot day (like he needs an excuse) so Leroy got naked. He then threw himself onto the crowd and crowd surfed with his junk smearing all over everyone’s heads and hands then jumped back up and started playing guitar again. I guess crowd surfing naked is pretty weird and funny!!!
Tell us about your plans for 2017 and beyond. You’ve been pretty flat-out for a long time, are you working on anything exciting at the moment to add to the pipeline?
We’re just finishing up our Aussie tour with Dune Rats and Skegss which has been the most fun we’ve ever had. We’ve got a couple of Newcastle shows at the end of March then we head back to LA for some down time which we’ll use to write a new album. We then head to Europe and the UK in May with Dunies which will be wild. Then I guess we’ll head into the studio at some point to record. After that, we will probably tour a bunch more! And the album will come out at some point! It’s all go go go! But that’s how we like it.
Last but not least. Apparently there’s no juicy story behind The Gooch Palms name.. can you make one up for us?
Haha yeah no idea why we are called that! But let’s just say it’s “a Newcastle handshake”. Haha everything is a Newcastle handshake for us though. That’s also what we call shot-gunning beers. This isn’t a Newcastle thing though, we just made it up! Sorry Newcastle for bringing you down to our level!!!