Do you even like playing music?
An Interview with Nathan Roche
The following interview was conducted a few weeks ago, between a representative of Glenlivet-A-Gogh and Nathan Roche.
Glenlivet-A-Gogh is an enterprise that has just recently bought out Artground/Fartpound Records/Publishing and in early 2014 plans to organise a range of events and releases. Including An example of an art exhibition, Thirty Days, Thirty Shows (a psychological study of playing thirty shows in a row throughout Sydney pubs) — along with many other social experiments and book/record releases as well as a documentary on lost Oz punk band The Revivalists.
Nathan Roche is an author/musician who has just released his 10th album and a first under his own name titled Watch It Wharf.
So you've released your debut solo record. How is it any different to any of your other recordings?
It's all very similar if you ask me. Same chords, same subject matters only the drawing card of this one is the fact that it's actually recorded decently. It's a little more varied than the Camperdown/Wentworth Ave. stuff — maybe more like Marf Loth (dead and buried, not worth crying over) me and my good friend Joseph Ireland made this one. He's also from North Queensland and got me into cycling. We lived together for a bit. He's played on the majority of the records. I think?
What kind of a stupid name is Fartpound Records?
Well, it used to be Artground Records when I was younger and started the thing in high school. Soon I realised, it wasn't really art at all. There was no such thing as art. Like the food we digest and put into our bodies, occasionally we "pass gas" and a stench goes airborne. Much like all the culture and influences we take in and digest and produce a product as a result of that (if you're a musician, screenwriter or whatever?) So it's like a "fart", "fart pound" is a gas of cultural air. I never quite made a stool though but believe me I tried. A pound is somewhere that stray things go and can be collected or taken. Anyway, none of that matters now - you bought it out. I've been meaning to ask what does Glenlivet-A-Gogh mean?
Give it a Gogh.
Glenlivet-A-Gogh — give it a go. It doesn't matter what it is — you can give anything a go music, writing, art and so forth. Its also one of my favourite scotches and painters. It's a play on words you see? It also encourages the production of art via alcoholic consumption.
Oh, ok then. (smirks)
Back to the interview. What happened to that band Camperdown & Out and why are you singing about wharfs now?
That band was all part of an experiment. It was to select pre-existing band members from well-regarded bands. Then to get me, a nobody from Far North Queensland to front it (or half front it) and see what happens. A record deal within the month and instant stardom is what happened. Top of the pops. Now, with the hard work of the record label complete I will ride the success of their efforts in marketing and promotion. As for the wharf part of your question — I moved to Woolloomooloo about a year ago. I've always loved wharfs though don't get me wrong. I like nautical things a little too much — the photo was taken by my neighbour from down the road — you know the cover photo? Well, it's a rip off of the Lee Hazlewood album It's Cause and Cure even down to the back cover! Did you realise that? Will Harley from Housewives was the only person who made the connection. No one buys Hazelwood's stuff besides that bloody Nancy & Lee record so they'll never know. Go get Cowboy In Sweden for $300 off ebay and you'll never be the same.
So do you even like playing music?
No, it's a curse. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It's purely for social interaction and meeting people. When you travel with music you have a purpose and you meet people that you otherwise would have never met. Those people have stories and interesting life's and it makes your own life richer. Most of my friends are musicians. I'd be a loner writing shitty books if I didn't play music. I more or less gave my guitar to Pat from Disgusting People to rid it from my life. But it didn't seem to work. It was like the gizmo it just kept coming back. A couple more records and that's it. That's final. I'd do anything for a hot book deal. I'd do nothing for a gig.
So are you going to tour this new record Watch It Wharf?
Yeah, I just got back from a little tour with The Ocean Party. We went up to North Queensland and went swimming in creeks in the rainforest, in the soup-water of Townsville and wherever else. They drove everywhere while I got upgraded to business class flights. My good friend Angie (Circle Pit, Ruined Fortune) and I are embarking on a tour in December. We haven't organised a backing band or transport just yet. It could be one of those train-hoping trips. It will be like that film The Festival Express only we'd be eating beans on a pile of coal.
So what are you doing next?
Well, now that you've bought out my sorrowful record label and publishing house you will be releasing another solo record early next year, you will also be releasing a cassette called Port Of Drawl: Meditations For A Drunken Sailor (noisy sea-shanty/Buddhist drones) some more books, some improv stuff — and putting on events — you've got a very busy year ahead of you.
And does Glenlivet-A-Gogh stand to make any money on any of this?
Probably not. But the readers of this website could make a start by attending any of the December shows or buying the new CD (out now) and the vinyl (out December).
And how do they actually get these records?
Either at the shows, or if they're in Sydney I'll personally deliver them to you on my bike. The vinyl should be in all decent record stores mid-december.
Nathan Roche thank you for your time.
Catch Roche playing this Saturday night at the Unity Floors album launch. His 'Double Visions' tour with Angie kicks off next week.
Friday, December 13: Sydney, The Square, Sydney
Saturday, December 14: John Curtain Hotel, Melbourne
Sunday, December 15: The Phoenix, Canberra
Friday, December 20: The Underground (The Grand Hotel), Newcastle
Saturday, December 21: Turkey Breakfast Festival at The Globe, Brisbane
Sunday, December 22: Time Machine Records, Nambour