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06-29-2006, 08:13 PM
The Grates Cut Back On Swearing And Increase Touring [discussion]
The Grates Cut Back On Swearing And Increase Touring
Thursday June 29, 2006 @ 06:30 PM
By: ChartAttack.com Staff
Not many bands can say that their lives would be completely different if a backyard shed hadn't let them down, but that's exactly what happened for Australian trio The Grates.
When they formed four years ago, singer Patience Hodgson, guitarist John Patterson and drummer Alana Skyring rehearsed in Patterson's dad's shed ("where we still write heaps of our songs now, actually"). As Hodgson explains, they thought that it was soundproofed and played "heaps of music with swear words in it.
"We used to write the ****tiest songs. We marginally write better songs now, but they used to be ****. We used to have this song that just was like, 'Who's that sexy mother****er with the short, short hair?' and then we'd say it about 100 times."
That came to an end when Patterson's mother informed them that the shed wasn't soundproofed. "I can't say that that hasn't influenced our songwriting, because I think it definitely did," Hodgson says.
"The moment that we found out that John's mom, who really hates swearing, could hear all of our swear words, I really cut back on the swear words to the point where some songs don't even have any in them."
Without counting the few profanities that made it past the shed, The Grates' Gravity Won't Get You High debut is one of those rare albums that boasts both radio-friendly pop and unpredictable indie tomfoolery. The band make fun, lo-fi, garage-style rock with traces of snotty punk, blaring horns and twanging banjos. Though the trio say that they had no plans to take their music anywhere, they quickly noticed that the crossover appeal of their songs had an audience outside of their Brisbane backyard.
Things started changing for the band two years ago when Triple J, Australia's popular youth-oriented national radio network, picked up a rough recording of the song "Trampoline." At the time, The Grates had only been making music for a few months and had never been on tour. They decided to play a few shows only to meet the demand for the single.
"We were never out to pursue anything, but then they kept saying, 'We're going to put another song on the radio,'" says Hodgson. "They didn't even tell us sometimes.
"Like 'Rock Boys,' which was our worst recording that we just recorded with one mic. They just started playing it one day.
"So I suppose, because somebody there liked us, it kind of encouraged us to always take that next step — like, 'Oh, we've got a song on the radio, that's kick-***.' Because you think it's going to happen just the once, and then it happened again. So we're like, 'Let's do another tour.' And then when the other songs started getting played, people were asking us to do supports. So there's just things that you can't control that led into one another."
The band soon found themselves spending two months in Chicago with producer Brian Deck, who they selected to "put more layers into our sounds." Gravity Won't Get You High debuted at #9 on the Australian sales chart in April. The record will be released in North America on August 29, but Hodgson isn't the least bit bothered about sales figures here, there or anywhere. There are other things on her mind.
"In a wonderful way, people really like [the music] and they get really happy and it feels really good for us when we can play a show and it's just positive," she squeals.
"So I suppose when we play our songs and people like it, it's just subconsciously like positive reinforcement. And that's the kind of reinforcement we like, so now we're just really happy with people feeling happy."
The Grates play Limerick Junction in Vancouver on Friday.
due to lack of interest, tomorrow has been cancelled.
06-29-2006, 09:35 PM
oh i love them. i cant wait to get back to australia, i cant believe i havent seen them yet!
06-29-2006, 11:11 PM
Everybody should get their cd its super cute
06-30-2006, 04:37 AM
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Barbie Is Not Your Friend
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Join Date: Apr 2006
i love them they are really good
06-30-2006, 05:17 AM
i saw them a few weeks ago, they were so lovely.
they gave out free 7" and balloons
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