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Interview: Tassie Surf Rocker's Chase City

Tasmanian surf-rockers Chase City are in Brisbane at the moments to finish off the last leg of their ‘Scarlet Skies Tour’. They’ve already hit their hometown of Hobart, Sydney, and Melbourne, but surprisingly aren’t showing too many signs of fatigue.

They are set to play Black Bear Lodge this Saturday July 11, and if you happen to be in Byron Bay on Friday 10, they are playing a cheeky show at the Beach Hotel.

The five boys, with Tarik Stoneman on vocals, Michael Snape on drums, Peter Snape on guitar, Jeremy Ferguson on bass, and Allan McConnell as a guest musician for the tour, shared a plate of “chippies” as we had a chat.

Hey guys, welcome to Brisbane. This is the last stop on your ‘Scarlet Skies Tour’, how are you feeling?

Tarik: Pretty good, really fresh. Haha. We had to pull an all-nighter last night. But it’s kinda warm here and Tassie is freezing so it’s nice. It was snowing down there. 

Any tour stories so far?

Allan: There was this ongoing joke within the tour that if someone nodded off a bit early, one of the boys would put pepper on their nose and eyes. One night TJ (tour manager and bus driver) who is a big guy and a prison guard, fell asleep and Tarik and Michael did the pepper joke. He was a bit drunk when he woke up and didn’t know what was going on, but when he found out he was spewin’, looked like he was going to kill someone. He chased us out of the apartment and he was screaming so loud that 6 different people called the police. He was only in his undies and Tarik was naked. Then 6 cop cars turned up and we had to explain everything.

Who or what are your major influences?

Tarik: My major influence is Mozart, big fan of his classical arrangements, we cover his songs sometimes. Haha. But I would probably go with The Wombats, a lot of people would say Vampire Weekend and The Strokes. Any of those 2000’s indie rock bands.

Is song writing a collaborative effort?

Tarik: It’s different every time. Sometimes I bring something to the band, it’s kind of cool but it needs work. It’s basically realising the songs into what they should be, which seems to take longer and longer each time.

There’s a really interesting mix of instruments in your music. Particularly the steel drum in ‘Scarlet Skies’. Do you experiment a lot?

Tarik: Funny enough, I was listening to Hermitude and at the start of one of their songs they had a really obvious steel drum sound and I kinda liked it. I thought it could suit one of our songs. Alan found a sample on the internet, but in the end we used a real steel drum player from Brisbane in the studio. It sounded really cool. 

What do you listen to personally?

Tarik: At the moment I’m really liking Gang of Youths. I’ve been listening to Passion Pits new album, that’s really good.
Michael: I’m really digging Close Counters (Allan’s band) at the moment. They’ve got Disclosure vibes. The first music I started listening to was Led Zeppelin, so I always go back to that.
Jeremy: I’ve been listening to a lot of North East Party House.
Peter: I’ve been really liking Jamie XX.

You recently played two shows in your hometown supporting British India. Is there a dream support spot for you?

Michael: British India were epic. They were great. The Wombats would be a dream.

You guys played on Toasted TV on Wednesday morning. How did that come about? How was the experience?

Tarik: No idea. Our tour manager organised it. It was strange. There was one point where they we had to play a game where we throw pies at targets and they said “Are you ready to do this Chase City!” and we all went “Yeah!” at the same time without meaning to; we sounded so much like a kids TV show, that weird enthusiasm.

What’s next for Chase City?

Peter: Chill out, go home, have a sleep, have a shower maybe.
Tarik: We get back to Tassie on Monday, we’ll all go off and do our thing, uni or work.
Michael: Then we’re going into a recording session, and we’ve got Gang of Youths and Asta supports coming up. So release a single and do a whole bunch of supports and our own shows really.

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