Drum roll… boom tish! Daniel Johns returns with his new project, Boom Tish, who have just released their first single, a reinterpretation of The Easybeats’ tune Hello, How Are You? for the Rebeat EP. The Rebeat EP is both a celebration of AusMusic month and the legacy of The Easybeats on Australian music, as well as a tribute to Easybeat guitarist, George Young, who recently passed away. Along with Boom Tish featuring Daniel Johns, the EP has tracks performed by KLP, San Cisco, The Bamboos featuring Montaigne and LDRU featuring Nicole Millar. MICHAEL D HOLLICK chatted with Dave Jenkins Jr from Boom Tish about the new tune, the group’s future plans and just what it’s like to work with an ARIA award winning bona fide rock star.
Who are Boom Tish?
It’s myself on drums, Jake Meadows on harp, Beau Golden on keys and Daniel Johns on vocals and guitar.
And who gave you the name?
That came from Daniel. It’s his name for drums [laughs]. Like, when this project started, it was just Jake and Daniel working on music and that was Daniel’s way of describing what else he needed to fulfill the sound that he had in his head, like he just needed that “boom tish”, and with that, the band was christened.
And how did you guys get together?
I guess the first connection is Jake as he’s known Daniel for about ten years now, like he was on one of the Silverchair records, and so they became close that way. Then when it came time to put a band together for the Talk (Daniel Johns’ solo record) tour, we were drawn together to start making music in the form of jam session. We were all friends, or friends of friends, and from the jam sessions, we started incorporating Daniel’s material, you know, to make that work in a live arena. And then once we had that worked out, we went on tour, and after that, we’ve just continued jamming, working on our own songs and one thing has just kind of led to another.
How did the Easybeats cover come about?
As I said before, we’ve been jamming and working together as a band, and Daniel’s brother, Heath, who works for BMG, was putting this project together and so he approached us to see if we would be interested in being involved and we jumped at the opportunity.
Heath gave us a list of songs and that song was the only tune that we hadn’t heard before, like I think Daniel might have heard it, but we weren’t really familiar with it. So, we hopped on Spotify and checked it out and straight away all of us could imagine how we would play it, how we would delegate the parts between us and how we could put our turn on it. So without even a second thought about the other songs, that was just the one that jumped out to us. Like it sounded like us.
There’s a lot of instrumentation on this track and it does sound like you guys (coming from the Talk tour), did you see that link too?
Absolutely, that was there straight away. Jake uses his harp in non-classical ways and puts his spin on it by using midi triggers and he’s got an electric harp that he runs into synth modules and does all sorts of strange stuff. So as soon as we heard those orchestral parts in the song, we were like, that’s Jake’s part right there. We had Beau Golden, who’s been playing keys, and doing this recording we had a piano at our disposal, so we said that’s where the piano line is going to go. And those really iconic drum fills, and that kind of thing, I saw how I was going to approach the song.
How did you get that sound on the recording. It sounds like a pretty accurate re-creation of 60s slap-back ?
That was definitely something we were milking on this track. We actually found one of those original Roland Space Echoes at Daniel’s house, RE201, he just had it in a room at the back of the house, we walked in there and he’s like, ‘I’ve got this but I don’t think it works’ and sure enough, we plugged it in and ended up running everything through it for that recording.
You guys have been playing together for a while then?
It’s kind of something that we’ve been experimenting with already, since we did the Talk shows with Daniel, we’ve all stayed in touch and we’ll go to his house and set up all the equipment for a week and just roll tape and write songs and jam on things and experiment with different sounds and it’s like we’ve ended up with the similar kind of aesthetic to what you hear in that recording, that kind of psych, 60s vibe but with a bit of futuristic element to it.
What is it like working with Daniel Johns?
Well, what has really taken me aback with Daniel is his work ethic. Like as soon as we got in the room to work on that stuff we had sat down and worked out our parts and we had a pretty solid idea of what we were going to do, he just came in like a whirlwind and he’s like “oh, can you just tune that tom-tom up a little bit” or “the delay on that guitar could be a little quicker” and he just doesn’t stop and he will just go until he is completely exhausted. And it’s very inspiring to watch someone work like that in a creative sense. He really is that borderline manic-creative genius that everyone thinks he is.
And do you know what the future holds for Boom Tish?
Well, we’re friends first and foremost and then it’s the music that brings us together. So in terms of being a ‘project’ or a ‘band’, it’s not that important. Where we are at the moment is somewhere really creative and it’s very organic. There’s a great vibe when we’re all in a room together. We’re not writing for a specific reason and it’s very liberating. I’ve likened it to being a teenager again. Back when you would go to your friend’s house, and their parents wouldn’t be there, so you could set up the drums in the lounge room and get everyone together just to make a bunch of noise and just play music for the sake of playing music. So I guess we’ll just have to see where it takes us.