Eddy Current Suppression Ring Article – Rush to Relax
Eddy Current Suppression Ring without doubt are one of the most electric bands you can see live. Their 60s/70s garage sound attracts followers from across the genres and all everyone seems to be doing is having a great time. Especially the band. They scrub up alright on record too, and I had a chat with them back in February about their new album, their national tour and the timing and execution of getting their name up in the clouds.
It’s hot as hell and we’re slouched in a semi circle in the King’s Domain Gardens talking about the new album Rush to Relax. It explores more experimental territory than their first two but still captures the raw energy that gets people dancing and having so much fun at their gigs. Which is like capturing lightening in a bottle. I smile despite the sticky heat because the boys are relaxed and wearing their regular unassuming gear. Brendan and Mikey in particular have some pretty special styling going on. Both are dressed more like unpopular kids in a John Hughes film rather than garage rock sons of Melbourne.
Danny confesses the album was initially an exercise in recording some new material. They holed up in the Revolver Rehearsal Studios for a mere six hours to see if they had enough songs for an album.
‘There ended up being enough to do a record. We had twelve songs and we cut two out. With the first one, we just went in, recorded our songs and there was enough for the album. The second one we booked a weekend and this one we kind of went back to the first one.’
I shake my head in awe at the speed of the recording and Mikey continues in his measured way of speaking, like he wants to make every word count.
‘It’s not really a big thing, most of our albums took similar amounts of time, so it’s only big if you compared it to other people… each process seems to have suited each record really.’
Brendan kneels closer and nods earnestly.
‘That way you don’t over think or put any pressure on the recording process too, its just matter of capturing the songs if we happen to capture them.’
I ask Danny about their writing process and he squints in thought before he answers.
‘Most of the time we get to the jam and Mikey might be warming up or he might have a riff he’s done and we join in and Brendan shuffles through his books because he has heaps of lyrics so he’ll find one that suits that song and so that becomes a jam. Then if we’re all happy with it we can break it down into a song….there’s never like “Hey here’s this three and a half minute song with these parts.” It’s never like that, we get to do our own thing.’
We talk a little about the last gig at the Tote, the iconic pub recently closed due to inappropriate liquor licensing laws. The boys were able to play an early 1pm slot at the last minute.
Brendan smiles in memory. ‘It was like a weird celebration. There was sadness in the air but everyone started celebrating and it was just cool to be a part of it.’
Danny agrees. ‘We could just play. Do a nice fast set and see some people who’ve been coming to gigs for a long time up the front.’
Their fans include U.S. garage psych outfit Thee Oh Sees who played shows with them in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle last December. And the feeling is mutual. Danny tells me they’re back off to the States to play with their pals after their National tour finishes in April.
‘We wanna go and visit the people we played with last time. It will be good to go back with a little bit more press or whatever to play with those sort of bands again.’
I tell them how awesome and slightly creepy I think the album cover is and they laugh. It’s a noticeable move from the previous two record’s unadorned covers. The boys are ankle deep in the ocean at Avalon beach wearing dressing gowns and clear masks while holding a Rush to Relax sign with the band’s name up in the clouds.
Brendan gives kudos to the photographer, Nicole Reed.
‘We had the airplane flying over so we had to make sure someone was taking enough photos who knew what we wanted and how we wanted it captured.’
At my blank expression Brendan asks Mikey to get a copy out of his bag and I look closely. On the back of the album is a lone plane flying low over the ocean. It’s actually dragging the band’s name across the sky.
Danny explains as my gob smacks.
‘What we saved on the recording we could afford to lash out. Well, that was the idea so we had to sort of do it anyway.’
Brendan finishes his sentence in that easy way they have with each other. ‘We figured we may as well do it for real. Rather than photo shop something like that in.’
I say it’s kind of what the band is all about.
The boys all nod and Danny grins. ‘Yeah, that’s why. Brendan and his girlfriend even handmade the sign.’
Which Way to Go — filmed by Johann Rashid, Chris Middlebrook, Daniela Velicovic, John Huntley. edited by Johann Rashid.