“It is definitely exciting to pick the band back up and to breathe some life into older songs, or to pick up songs that we may not have played in 15 years. Its also been good to see how each other’s musicality has changed.”
After a six-year hiatus, Augie March stuck their heads out from under the radar recently with a new album, Havens Dumb. CHRIS HAVERCROFT speaks to drummer, Dave Williams, about the plan for Augie March to return to life on the road. Augie March play the Astor Theatre this Saturday, March 28.
Dave Williams sounds refreshed after his long break from the musical outlet that delivered some high rewards, but was also a source of much tension for all of its members.
All of the history has been put aside as the band prepared for their first tour in years where songs they hadn’t thought of for half a decade required a quick trip to YouTube for the members to confirm how they each played their parts.
“It is a bit different,” offers Williams of the way in which the band operate on stage during this current chapter of the Augie March story. “That tension is still there, and that tension has been positive in a lot of ways since the band has been together. There are also times when it tips over, but as we have come back together we have been able to harness that tension better and point it in the right direction. If things look like they are going to go south the band is able to respond in a much more positive way, instead of just falling to pieces.”
Williams likens the band to a kiln, in that the idea is placed inside and it either snaps or gets hardened. It is important for Augie March to continue to challenge each other as this is the only way that they can strive for the best results, but there has been time during this creative process where the act of playing the songs live has seen the mood turn to despair or anger.
“It is definitely exciting to pick the band back up and to breathe some life into older songs, or to pick up songs that we may not have played in 15 years. Its also been good to see how each other’s musicality has changed. Generally you are the same type of person unless you have gone through some kind of rebirth – and I can tell you none of the band have done that – but we all have another five years of different type of work in our musical lives, so it is interesting to see that influence.”
The human is a strange beast and things can have a way of bubbling to the surface, and people in bands do have a habit of getting on each other’s nerves. This is something that Augie March are only too conscious of and acknowledge. If you empty the room of all scope for argument then that is no good for anyone. As the members of Augie March have gotten older, the wisdom of being open to everyone’s idea is something they have been better at.
“It was more that the creative tension that we had usually managed okay, had boiled over into anger and it just wasn’t fun anymore. There would be flash points all the time. When we got away, it was nice to not have to worry about 20 emails turning up in your inbox each day and having time to look at other things in your life – both musical and personal. That was a real blessing and it was the right time.”
This renewed sense of self as a band finds Augie March in a solid space to deliver on their promise as a live act.
“We are conscious that we haven’t played in places for six years so we have learnt a lot of songs so that we have plenty things that we can dig into. In creative life though you need to feel that you are moving forward to keep breathing so that is why we have six or seven of the newer songs off the record in the set. They have really come alive in the rehearsal room and on the stage. The songs are revealing themselves to us as we go, so that is exciting.”