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The Violent Crumble
Tim Underwood

Well-known for his days in seminal Perth bands The Rosemary Beads and Valvolux, Tim Underwood has a new band, The Violent Crumble and will launch a new album, 40° In The Shade, on Sunday, December 28, at Mojos with guests, The Whiskey Pocket. BOB GORDON catches up with the singer/songwriter.


How far back do these songs go and how have they evolved over time?

I write hundreds of songs every year, but only a few ‘make the cut’. The oldest song on the CD was written in 2002 and the latest in 2014. The songs on the CD were written during the intervening years. All of the songs gradually evolved between the lounge room and the rehearsal room, but I have a very clear idea of how I want a song to sound.


What’s the story behind the recordings and the personnel you assembled?

I realised that I had never made an album, despite having been in the business for 30 years. Cruiky (Mark Cruikshank, Red Jezebel) and I have jammed together for years. I roped in my brother Pete, because I wanted to work with keyboards and Waz (Warren Hall, Volcanics/Datura) was a deliberate choice because we all love his drumming. Kat came in late to add some sweetness to my admittedly harsh vocals.


There’s a dark underbelly to your songs, but the hooks and melodies are often delicious. Do you enjoy the counterbalance?

Yeah, absolutely. My songs, characters and stories are often disturbing. To me, telling a dark and horrible story in a melodic way opens up a new dimension. If the melody draws a person in, they might pay attention to the story, and appreciate the package in a different way.


You’ve not performed a whole lot over the years, have you missed it?

You bet. I love to ‘strut my stuff’ on the stage and I love the crowds, the noise, the lights and the energy. I love to prowl the stage and settle into a groove. I missed it a lot. The Valvolux reunion show for RTR a couple of years ago was incredible. It reminded me of how much fun it all was.


You’re revisiting The Rosemary Beads in late January, what are your memories of the band and that era in Perth?

I am looking forward to it, because we were a great band. My memories of that period remind me of how frenetic those times were… the Orient, the Harbourside, the Beat Room, bands playing from Tuesday to Sunday, great bands such as Cinema Prague, Blue Tile Lounge, Yummy Fur, and the list goes on and on, the three tours to the Eastern States, a paragraph on two occasions in Rolling Stone, writing and performing.


How’s 2015 look now your album is out. More gigs?

I hope so. I want to play as many gigs as I can. Music and performing are central to my life… I love to write, to jam, to play, to record. I love music and the more involvement I have with it, the happier I am.

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