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The Arsonist

The ArsholistFollowing on from their well received Disguises EP, which came out back in 2012, Perth electro-pop quartet, The Arsonist, launch their new EP, Echo, at Amplifier this Friday, July 11, with support from I, Said The Sparrow, Casino Sunrise and Graphic Characters. TRAVIS JOHNSON had a word with bassist/synth player Tim Collins.

It’s a pedigree any band would be proud of. The four members of The Arsonist have served their time in such lauded bands Crysis, The Meaning Of and, of course, Karnivool. Coming together, though, they produce a sound completely distinct from their other outfits, as evidenced by their new release, Echo.

“Most of it was born from Louis (Rendle) and Nic (Di Lena) writing a progression and vocal together and the songs then grew in rehearsals and on stage,” says of the EP’s inception. “All parts seem to be pretty loose ideas of what we are aiming for until we get into the studio and tighten up the sounds. I think we all need the pressure of a song being tracked for it to really find it’s feet. We have an open approach to song writing, but most of our best ideas are parts that can be developed alone in a more relaxed environment.

“Echo is like the feeling you get when you have been out all day in the pissing rain and you get home and turn the key in your front door,” Collins says of the release. “If your house mates haven’t changed the locks, then life is pretty sweet. Wait, maybe it’s more like the feeling you get when your lady smiles at you when you just fucked up. Actually, it’s the feeling you get when you haven’t done something you love for a few years and something sparks the motivation to give it another crack, and the overwhelming pride of achievement mixes with the self-hatred for taking so long about it. It’s a collection of songs to make you feel something, whatever that may be.”

Comparing it to Disguises, he notes that “Echo is slightly more warm and homely. Some of the songs we have been playing live for a while and they hadn’t made the last EP for a mix of reasons, the main one being an abundance of tunes that we were trying to find a cohesion between. It is a more balanced EP than Disguises, but more diverse. As in, the extremities are greater but the centre is more grounded. A Witness A Passer By explores the use of electric guitar more than we have in the past, and hits with a slightly heavier groove. I’m excited about the way Echo will be received.”

Once again, they boys worked with Dave Parkin, mixing and tracking at Blackbird after having recorded much of the material at home first. “Dave’s approach always makes the project come to life. He has a way of bringing out the best in you, and makes everyday more entertaining than the last.”

The oft-hinted at upcoming album, however, may be a while off yet. “We are not in a rush to get an album out,” he says. “We want to make sure the next year is about the music, not the business. It’s very easy to get caught in the madness that is the music industry, and try to hit targets with timing and marketing and publicity. It is incredibly tiring and disheartening when shit doesn’t work out, and you forget why you make music at all. So it will be about songwriting, not about trying to book shows in an increasingly difficult local live scene.”

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