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Posts Tagged ‘the paper scissors’

Acts Seen:

Imaginary Cities, Boy in a Box, Emma Louise, World’s End Press, Evil Eddie, The Jungle Giants, Little Scout, DZ Deathrays, Jonathan Boulet, San Cisco, Oscar and Martin, The Adults, Eagle and the Worm, Seals

I went into Big Sound Live with one goal – to only see bands I had never seen live before. The thing with this showcase is that it can be so easy to go see the acts you know will be good (Ball Park Music, Velociraptor, The Cairos, The Paper Scissors, Inland Sea etc etc) but for me that seems to kind of defeat the whole purpose. Isn’t the whole idea to help punters discover new local bands and showcase local emerging artists? I mostly succeeded, I had seen a bit of Little Scout earlier this year at Belle and Sebastian and I heard a bit of World’s End Press at Splendour in the Grass but for the most part I saw a lot of acts I had never seen before, or even heard of before.

Highlights:

World’s End Press – I stayed around to catch their whole set and it was well worth it. A genre I can only describe as retro electro, they’re very 80s complete with the loud shirts and bad awesome dancing. Lots of synths and grooving basslines. I compared them to a more subdued !!! (Chk Chk Chk) – well worth seeing again.

Oscar and Martin – I’m still trying to work out how I would describe these guys, because pop or RnB simply don’t cover it. They had two of the most amazing voices I’ve heard in a while and a really unique approach to their music.

Lowlights:

While there weren’t exactly any acts that I would say that I would never see ago, I felt a little let down by Emma Louise. With the amount of hype she’s had over the last couple of months, perhaps I had just set my standards too high. Or maybe it was an off night or a bad venue to see her in or the crowd was just too loud. It could have been anything, but I wasn’t blown away and I’m struggling to even remember anything about her set.

The Venues:

I managed to make it to every venue available for the event – Electric Playground, Bakery Lane, Black Bear Lodge, Ric’s, Tempo Hotel, Woodland, The Aviary and the Zoo.

It was actually my first time to Black Bear Lodge and I was quite impressed! I never thought the atmosphere of the Troubadour (RIP) could be matched, but Black Bear Lodge could even be an improvement. Lots of seating at the back and just generally a more open feel, I’m excited to return to this venue at some point.

Electric Playground was certainly an interesting choice of venue, but it seemed to work out okay. The sound was okay, the stage set up was okay, the scantily clad girls taking drink orders on the floor was a bit out of place but overall it’s an okay small venue. I don’t see it turning into a live music venue full time but it would be interesting to have the odd show here and there.

The only venue I was disappointed in was The Aviary. Absolutely no airflow, and beyond packed both times I went. I swear it was over capacity for Jonathan Boulet judging by the amount of people crammed into the stairwell between The Aviary and Birdees.

The Verdict:

It’s one of those ‘the more acts you see, the more you’ll enjoy it’ kind of events. It’s nice to be able to move around between different venues, and it’s nice to see members of local bands wandering around seeing other acts as well. I felt like I probably enjoyed last year a little bit more, but for the most part this year was very enjoyable and it was great to be able to see some bands I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

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In Loving Memory is the sophomore album from Sydney’s the Paper Scissors, who have recently become well known for their unique blend of indie pop and garage rock accented by Jai Pynes’ powerful vocals. It’s an album that grabs you immediately and demands more listens, but unfortunately after repeated plays wears quite thin. For those familiar with the band, In Loving Memory is a distinctly Paper Sissors sounding album that offers very few surprises. ‘Disco Connect’ opens the album slowly, and is one of the weakest tracks. These slower almost ballad-like tracks just don’t suit the band’s style as well, instead the punchy guitars and pounding drums suit Jai Pynes’ chanting choruses much better. It is also one of the first instances on the album of attempting to add some electronic elements to the music, but instead these electro-beeps sound like telephone touch pad tones and just come across as tacky.

‘Lung Sum’ is a song we first encountered at the end of last year, and is the first single from the album. The bassline weaves around a solid drum beat, and its catchy chorus pushes it to be one of the stronger tracks on the album. ‘Dozens’ and ‘Over There’ are highlights too, following a similar formula to that of ‘Lung Sum’. ‘Wrong’ experiements with a more industrial sort of sound, with vocal effects that sound a little bit out of place, jarring the flow of the album. The highlights of In Loving Memory are real stand outs, and will eventually draw listeners back to this album. The weaker tracks though are preventing it from being one of those albums that will put it on regular rotation.

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Sydney’s the Paper Scissors are all geared up to release their sophomore album In Loving Memory and an east coast tour to support its launch. Drummer Ivan Lisyak sat down to discuss line up changes and how the band has grown over the past couple of years.

What are some things we can expect from your upcoming album In Loving Memory?

I suppose you can expect a pretty massive sounding album, with three guys sweating it out on record. In all seriousness, I think it will surprise some people, we’ve grown up a lot with this record, and compared to the last album, Less Talk More Paper Scissors – at bit of it was ‘skippable’ or I guess rushed to fill an album, In Loving Memory does not have the same issue, I hope!

How did the writing and recording process differ for this album than to your debut?

A few things have changed since the last album, I joined the group just after the tail end of the last album tour to complete drummer duties; At the time, I was a founding member of Belles Will Ring and knew Bryce (TPS’s old drummer) quiet well, he decided to leave, and Bryce asked me if I was interested in filling in for a while. That was nearly four years ago now; I decided to commit more time to TPS so I left BWR. We also are now a three piece whereby with the last album we were four, we had to ask our old guitarist to leave, as we were changing directions, and his playing didn’t fit musically with what we were doing… Recording changed approach as we recorded nearly the whole thing ourselves… the last album was mostly done in Jai’s Fathers’ studio in Byron Bay called Fracas Music. We did end up doing some of the album up there; the majority of the recordings were scrapped, except one song, ‘On Your Hand’, and redone in bedrooms where we felt more comfortable.

How has travelling over the past year inspired you to write?

To be honest, as a collective, we don’t travel that much, except for this large island of ours; I’ve been to Japan, Jai had a short stint in USA for a little while & he came back with the bare bones of one of the songs for In Loving Memory, ‘Dozens’. This was one of the first songs we wrote for the album, and really steered the vibe of the whole thing.

Who have been your main musical influences in forming the sound of the band?

We’re a bit of a hodge-podge kind of a group, and we tend to have a lot of influences, ranging from soul & RnB like the Meters; TV on The Radio; Talking Heads, James Chance (Contortions); Outkast; Early Detroit Techno like Derrick May, UA. We’re also interested in new music, we tend to not look to the past too, we’re really digging The Weeknd, How to Dress Well, Clams Casino, collarbones and James Blake.

How did you think the band has grown since the earlier recordings circa 2006?

The song writing is definitely more mature, we’re contributing more as a group where as before all the songs were penned by Jai, I have also taken producer/ engineer duties on, and we all have a large say in the development of the band… With this album we really wanted to get away from the stigma attached to that bloody cowbell/ woodblock song that a lot of people would remember as the only song we have…

The Paper Scissors have been very busy over the last couple of years – do you guys actually take any time off? What do you do between recording and touring?

On the contrary it may appear that we’ve been busy, but we have a lot of down time… So what do we do in that time? Jai works on his other project, Pork Pies, he also works with ‘Sydney Creatives’ on other projects; I moonlight in other bands like The Philadelphia Grand Jury, I played their album launch The National Philly Jay day, for instance. I sometimes fill in with Deep Sea Arcade as well from time to time; I produce hip hop with a friend of mine, HERB, he has a new single out called ‘Conversation WAR’ which I wrote the beat, mixed, and produced; I also am involved in the Sydney noise scene and have played at various galleries and warehouse spaces in Sydney and Melbourne; Xavier spends his downtime fighting with his virus riddled windows laptop, he likes to spend time with friends and family in Goulbourn & Byron Bay, he has been writing songs recently as well.

What can the uninitiated expect from a live Paper Scissors show?

We’re a pretty loud and punchy band so you can expect a lot of volume, a lot of the new tunes are a little challenging, but have their roots in music that is danceable, a little sweaty, and ultimately enjoyable…

What has been your favourite memory from playing in Brisbane?

We have some good memories of playing Brisbane, the T-T-Time tour @ the Troubadour (RIP) was pretty good; with all the Little Scout crew (who supported us on the tour) bum rushing the stage and joining in- it became a percussion circus in no time! Also when we co- headlined with Bluejuice a few years back, we played the Step Inn, the venue didn’t have air-con turned on; the place was just a heaving mess of sweaty bodies, it was pretty insane.

What has been the highlight of the band’s career so far?

Just being fortunate enough to be able to travel the country and play to people… I think a highlight was playing the Falls Festival the first time in the big tent, the place was full of people and you could here the crowd singing along to some of the older tunes (like that bloody cowbell/ woodblock song) it was pretty surreal. I wish that happed all the time with all our songs! Maybe one day…

What does the rest of the year hold for the Paper Scissors?

We’ll be planning a bigger tour to the one we’re going on soon where we travel to Perth, we just couldn’t afford it this time around as the travel expenses are coming from our own pockets. Then I think the grand plan is to go overseas next year somehow. We’re also working on new material as In Loving Memory took a long time to come out.

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Brisbane dance-pop band the Belligerents are set to release a new EP and embark on their first major tour. I got the chance to ask bassist Konstantine a few questions before it all kicks off…

I’ve heard all sorts of stories about the band forming – strange German girls? Dating each other’s sisters? Let’s set the story straight once and for all…

James and Konsti [sic] knew each other from school, Lewis knew Konsti because Konsti was/is dating his sister and Lewis knew Andy because he pashed his sister once at a festival. Stag came along soon after and the band was formed as one.

Some of your influences shine through pretty clearly in your recordings (Foals, for example), but what are some less obvious bands or artists that have helped to shape the sound of the Belligerents?

Talking heads, Nintendo 64, The Rapture, The Klaxons, Metronomy, Ke$ha, NWA and Eminem

You’ve had amazing success with the Triple J Unearthed program. How has this helped the band so far?

It helped us heaps. We got our tunes on the radio, which means a lot of exposure to a lot of people. It’s also a great way for people to find out about us. It’s not the be all and end all but it is an amazing tool for bands.

Pretty much every live review I’ve read praises you guys for your energy – is there anything you do to prep yourselves before a show to give that much energy?

We like to do naked stretch exercises. Lewis is a professional equestrian so he knows how to properly warm up for shows which is a real advantage for the whole band. Three days prior to our shows we only eat raw meat, which gives us a bit of an edge compared to other performers.

Why was it so important to capture this energy so well on the record?

The energy of our live show is very important to us. We wanted to make a record that captures the energy without adding elements that we aren’t able to recreate live. Every part that is played on the record is played live as well.

Is the title of your new EP Less Arty, More Party referring to anything specific?

We were chatting one day and trying to figure out whether we could get on this festival bill. Then I said something along the lines of: “I don’t think we fit in there. We’re less arty more party.” Lewis the smart little munchkin picked up on it and we decided that it described our band perfectly.

I saw you guys support the Paper Scissors last year – how were they to play with? What other bands have you enjoyed playing/touring with?

Paper Scissors support was fun, those guys play some cool music and we had a mad booty shake with them. Some of our other supports have been Metronomy, Neon Indian and Yacht Club Djs and they all blew us away for different reasons.

You have a pretty decent tour coming up in April for the new EP – what has your touring experience been like so far? Any hilarious stories to tell yet?

We played a show in late-2010 at the Evelyn Hotel in Melbourne with Northeast Party House. The show was insane, big crowd, great bands, but it was all the stuff that happened around it was even funnier. I got food poisoning and barely made it onto the plane, after the show Lewis nearly got arrested because he pissed off a cab driver, Andy passed out and James got lucky.

What can the uninitiated expect from a live show?

Naked men wearing nothing but black sunglasses, pony’s [sic], blow up dolls, confetti and bumper cars.

What’s on the horizon for the Belligerents after this east coast tour?

We’ve got a plan for the rest of 2011 but that’s super secret. What we can tell you is the party won’t story and we’ll be releasing some even fresher tunes later this year.

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Kicking off the evening’s proceedings was Brisbane three piece Massai. There were a few sound issues in the first few songs that drowned out the band’s laid back classic rock style. Members swapped between instruments and lead vocals seamlessly. “I’m Not Insured” was enjoyable, and the real highlight of the set was their lead single “Blow up the Sun”. Cheers of ‘one more’ from the crowd unfortunately weren’t met, likely due to the already behind set times at the venue, but it was refreshing to see such appreciation for a lesser known local band.

Next up was Sarah Chadwick from Melbourne grunge outfit Batrider doing a solo set. Unfortunately she didn’t make a strong impression, with the chatter amongst the crowd becoming louder and louder as her set went on. Chadwick lacked an engaging stage presence for the majority of the set and her grungier style didn’t suit the guitar and vocal set up.

Matt Banham easily made the best stage entrance of the night, covering Ice House’s ‘Electric Blue’ and backed only by his iPod and sporting some pretty wicked dance moves. There were times when it was hard to tell whether this was serious or not, but for the times he lacked in genuine musicianship, he made up for in entertainment and charisma. A few punters recognised some of Banham’s tracks such as “TTRR” and “Death Mocks Me in my Sleep” and offered some cheers of appreciation, but overall the crowd didn’t seem too phased by the performance.

Brisbane locals The Belligerants were up next, and despite the small crowd their catchy funk-rock style remained energetic. They powered through an impressive set, with recent favourites “Bye Bye Bye” and “These Hands” received particularly well from the few dancing near the front of the stage. The band showed off their obvious talent while they changed tempo and pace quite fluidly within each song. “Heart Beats” was a bit heavier than most of the other songs performed and seemed a little out of place in the set. “Take Me Back” closed the impressive set to the best applause such a small crowd could offer.

The Paper Scissors took to the stage surprisingly late, shortly before midnight, with lead singer Jai Pyne claiming “Our bar tab ran out so it’s time for us to play!”. Unfortunately this late start made the set seem rushed, and also made it seem a lot shorter than it should have been with the band only playing for about 45 minutes. Doubled with a smaller than expected crowd, the band’s energy didn’t seem completely there. Despite this, they still delivered an enjoyable and musically impressive set. The chorus of “We Don’t Walk” was barked out vigorously and “Howl” was a highlight. The band closed with a fantastic rendition their latest single, “Long Sum”, which hinted that perhaps on a different night the entire set would have been just as energetic.

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Apologies for the lack of actual content lately, but I promise there will be some to come soon!

I’m out seeing these guys tonight at the Clubhouse – come say hi if you’ll be there!

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