Interview: The Siren Tower

Hi Grant and welcome to Beauty and Lace.
Can you tell us a little about how you all met and formed The Siren Tower?

We all knew each other in our previous bands. We kinda cherry picked each other and put our dream line-up together. We’ve all come from heavy music backgrounds so there’s a real solid backbone to the folk and roots thing we do, which makes the live show pretty intense.

Where did the name come from?

Out of the ether; to be honest I don’t think any of us enjoy choosing band names. It’s so important but at the same time it really doesn’t mean anything at all, it’s just a signifier of the thing that matters. We just wanted something that was a little left of centre while sounding strong, The Siren Tower was a winner as soon as it was suggested.

How would you describe your sound?

I guess the first thing people have been taking from the music is the strong sense of Australiana and the band’s love of storytelling. We like to draw from very ordinary scenarios, things that people can relate to, and it’s been reflected in the stories people have been recounting to us, their own experiences and how they relate to our music. That’s been one of the coolest parts of the journey! As far as the sound goes, there are elements of rock, folk and roots in there, and as I mentioned, our background in heavy music means we put a little extra lean on everything and make sure it has as much dynamic range as possible.

Who has had the biggest influence on your musical career?

Probably my peers; we’ve come up through the West Australian scene watching our friends make amazing music and lead the national scene. Karnivool, Gyroscope, Shock One… when the bar is being set by these kinds of artists, you need to aim high or you’re wasting your time. That friendly, and supportive competition has been very healthy for us, and the Perth scene in general

The debut album, A History of Houses, was released in 2012, what can you tell us about it?

It almost killed us. But any good record should I think. It was two years of almost non-stop work; we tried to make few, if any, concessions during the process, which proved to be incredibly expensive and time consuming but we’ve made something we’ll all be very proud of for the rest of our lives so it was absolutely worth it. Hopefully we’ve built a canvas of relatable narratives and sounds that evoke something in the listener. If people feel moved by this record then we’ve succeeded in what we set out to do.

The Siren Tower promo shot 1

King River is the new single, what inspired the lyrics?

I actually wrote this track while I was at home on my parents little farm in Victoria. I had a couple days off while travelling for work so I went home to just get some down time. King River is about going to the places from your past and finding shelter, but it’s also about realising as you grow older that these ports can’t protect you in the way they used to, that eventually you have to go back to reality.

Can you tell us a little about the songwriting process?

Yeah our process for this album was pretty consistent. I write at home on my acoustic guitar until I’ve got a structure down, then I’ll take it to the band and we’ll panel beat it into a Siren Tower song. I’m blessed to work with the guys in the band as their musical prowess is incredible and they take the music so much further than I ever could left to my own devices!

What is your favourite album to listen to at the moment?

This week I’ve been spinning Tales Of Us by Goldfrapp, very cool, minimal production vibe.

You’re heading out on tour, what can audiences expect from a live show?

The album times ten. Because we did our apprenticeships in heavy music, we learnt how to play with a lot of power and energy, and it’s translated really well into this more organic style of music that The Siren Tower is writing. People don’t often expect the live show to be as intense as it is, so that’s something we’re always pleased about.

How did you come to be working with Tim Brade on the King River clip?

We worked together on our last clip, The Banishing Of William McGuiness so it was a natural progression to come together again. Tim headed up the bulk of the shoot before moving to Melbourne so we took over the reigns and finished it ourselves with some back and forth between Tim and ourselves. For the limited resources we had we’re stoked with the result, everyone that worked on the clip did an amazing job!

You do a lot of the post-production on your clips yourselves, can you tell us a bit about the process and why you prefer to handle it yourselves?

I worked as an editor for a few years out of school so whenever we can, we’ll handle the post-production of our projects in house. It just streamlines the process and makes decision-making much quicker. Because it’s our own product we also hold the end result under much higher scrutiny, so hopefully the end result is that much better. We’ve cut all our video’s to date, apart from William McGuiness, which I cut with Tim.

What’s next for The Siren Tower?

The King River Australian tour is next on the cards for us, heading right around Australia which is always awesome fun… as they say, the worst day on tour is better than the best day at work! We’ll be hitting cities up and down the East coast and we’ll also be getting to Tasmania for the first time ever which will be amazing.

Thanks for chatting with us Grant and good luck with the tour.

THE KING RIVER NATIONAL TOUR

October 24
The Republic Bar, HOBART*

October 25
The Espy Front Bar, MELBOURNE#

October 31
The Great Northern, NEWCASTLE*

November 1
The Beresford, SYDNEY#

November 2
Tempo, BRISBANE#

November 9
Amplifier Bar, PERTH*

*Tickets on the door
# Free entry

To find out more about The Siren Tower you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, thesirentower.com and YouTube.

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