The Goon Sax talk “She Knows” video and upcoming U.S. tour in BV Q&A
Australian trio The Goon Sax have an exciting summer ahead. Their second album, We’re Not Talking, will be out in September and much sooner than that they’ll be in the U.S. for their first ever shows here, including two in NYC next week: June 6 at Union Pool with David West and Rips (tickets), and a Northside Festival show at Knitting Factory on June 7 with Shana Falana and headliner Lou Barlow (tickets). They’ve also got dates in Chicago and Los Angeles — all are listed below.
Meanwhile, we’ve got the premiere of “She Knows,” the album’s excellent first single, which features the band having the sort of fun bands have in videos, here involving umbrellas, inflatable swans and a big pond. The band — James Harrison, Louis Forster and Riley Jones, who all write and sing — answered a few questions about the “She Knows” video, the new album and visiting America for the first time. Read that below.
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You’re about to play your first American shows — What are you most looking forward to when visiting and playing NYC/LA/Chicago?
Louis Forster: We don’t really know too much about America really. The first show is at Do Division festival in Chicago and we’re pretty excited to see Martin Rev there, he’s a cool guy. Seeing Carla Dal Forno will be great too. We’ll definitely have as much pizza as possible in New York and hopefully just have some time to walk around, that’s the most fun thing to do in a city you’ve never been to I think. If I’m in one place too long when visiting somewhere for the first time I get kinda restless or something. In LA we’re hoping to see some desert and walk around there a bit. Scratching the dirt.
What should American audiences know going into a Goon Sax show?
James Harrison: Well, we will be there. They should know we will be trying to play well at the shows and really hoping everything in the country goes smoothly.
Any good stories from the making of the “She Knows” video?
Louis: I guess we had some hiccups. The first day we shot Riley had two matching hair ties and then she lost one for the second day of shooting, that was a bit of a bump in production. Also we tried to shoot one day and set everything up and the camera wouldn’t work. We also made this really sweet trident and forgot to use it — the video would have had a very different flavour.
What is the biggest change between the first and second album?
James: All the songs: faster by a bit. I think the songs are a bit more varied with this second album too, which is good! Revisions revisions revisions with the structure of songs, lyrics etc. It was a really fun process. I think revising anything in life is great. Revising what you say after you see people and think you said something silly. Revising it all! We went to a town, Melbourne, and saw the shimmering lights and thought of going back to more relaxed chill places.
The strings are really lovely on the new record — was there a group or song that served as inspiration for them?
Louis: The Raincoats were a pretty huge influence. They’re an influence on pretty much every single thing we do. Also Non Band, they have some wicked violin. “Owners Lament” by Scratch Acid also has a really really cool violin. It was those sorts of things we were thinking of. Initially we had synth strings on those songs because we couldn’t afford real people, but then we splashed out.
What are you listening to in the tour van?
Riley Jones: We have had a lot of hours to listen to stuff and we’ve definitely been through everything in my iPod now, like Syd Barrett‘s The Madcap Laughs, Non Band’s Non Band, Dub Housing by Pere Ubu, Metamorfosi by Una Bèstia Incontrolable, Croaker by Chris Knox, A Saucer Full Of Secrets by Pink Floyd, Shyness by Angie, Metal Box by PIL, Melody Dog, Oz Waves Compilation, lots of Townes Van Zandt and heaps of Brisbane bands like Piss Pain, Sydney 2000.
Louis: Also some Solid Space and The Space Lady. Hexmere, Pet Sounds. We were playing a lot of stuff off my phone but I lost it now, probably around Boulevard Voltaire in Paris… if anyone’s seen it, it has a clear case.
We also listened to Loud by Rihanna quite a bit. The new Milk Music album and Salty Town by Wonderfuls, and Black Ark in Dub by Lee Perry.
What’s the best thing you’ve eaten on tour this year?
Louis: James went out really late at night when we were having a movie night in Paris and got this brand of brie which you can buy in pretty much any supermarket, even back home, but this one tasted totally different. So many more flavours. You would think that that brand would ship the same Brie around the world, but it’s a shadow. That was definitely the best thing I ate.
THE GOON SAX – 2018 U.S. TOUR DATES
JUN 1 – JUN 3, 2018 CHICAGO, IL DO DIVISION STREET FEST
JUN 03, 2018 CHICAGO, IL SUBTERRANEAN
JUN 06, 2018 BROOKLYN, NY UNION POOL
JUN 10, 2018 LOS ANGELES, CA THE ECHO