The Other Half
Alt-country exponents Tom Fisher And The Layabouts launch their new EP, Half A Man, at the Railway Hotel this Sunday, November 3, with support from Billie Rogers and Huge Magnet. TRAVIS JOHNSON caught up with the eponymous frontman.
Tom Fisher got the music bug at a very early age, picking up the habit from his father.
“I started as a nine year-old singing with my dad’s band doing rockabilly songs in a very high pitched voice,” he explains. “My dad is a successful muso (bluegrass musician, Jim Fisher) so I guess I just watched and followed suit.”
His current project, The Layabouts, started as a down and dirty pub rock act in the middle of the century’s first decade, although rehearsing and gigging together had to be fitted in between other commitments.
“We had a long spell while I was touring with a Melbourne-based act for a few years and when I came back we morphed in to a bit of an alt-country, blues rock sound. We love gigging as we have all been ‘professional musicians’ at stages but this is a great fun project we all enjoy.”
Now they’re on the verge of putting out Half A Man, a seven-track EP recorded with Rob Grant at Poons Head Studio which was then mixed by Andy Lawson at debaser before Magic Garden’s Brian Lucey did the final master in the US. Fisher describes the writing process in typically self-effacing style. “I generally get the guts of it happening and take it to the lads to arrange and make it sound cool.”
He does, however, admit to being proud of one tune in particular. “My personal fave is the first track, Turning 30. I wrote it the night before my 30th birthday so I could play that instead of doing a speech. It also features Lucky Oceans on pedal steel, which I love.”
After pushing the new disc around the local traps, Fisher plans for himself and his bandmates to try their luck further afield. “A trip to Melbourne is on the cards early next year to play some cool shows and festivals – then we’ll think about doing the whole recording thing again.”