Having conquered their native Australia, Adelaide seven-piece West Thebarton look to take on the world with their brand of soulful rock. On their debut album, ‘Different Beings Being Different’, the septet deliver a set of no-frills, melodic garage rock songs. Throughout, frontman Reverend Ray leads the way with his gravelly voice and bucket loads of charisma.
With seven members, it’s no surprise songs such as ‘Stuck on You’, ‘Bible Camp’ and ‘Moving Out’ sound huge and frantic. Add to that a raw undertone and the occasional wall of fuzz, and you’re left with a blitzing, melody-driven band with a bright future.
Although we won’t see them in the UK until August (at Boardmasters and Reading & Leeds), that hasn’t stopped us from asking West Thebarton about their favourite songs, recommended bands, essential tour items and more.
1 Artist I Couldn’t Live Without…
Brian ‘3B’ Bolado (drums/vocals/guitar): With music that’s lean and Spartan-like, there’s nothing quite like Rowland S. Howard to remind you that less is more.
2 People I Know, That Shaped My Passion For Music…
Ray ‘Rev’ Dalfsen (vocals/guitar): My High School friend Buddy Leon was my first original jamming-partner-in-crime. Every Saturday morning I’d go over to his place and play bass, while he riffed over it with his Gibson SG, and in the meantime, I’d try to trip him up with time changes, key changes or even just pressing in his pedals (which made him furious..). He didn’t only fashion my passion for music, but he was the fucking inception. Listening to Sabbath, then go and try to play all the parts like Tony and Geezer.. some of the best times of my life and really did put me on the right path to enjoying playing music, no matter when, where, who with or how.
After I’d gotten out of my ‘jam in the bedroom’ phase, I’d met a guy (can’t really remember how now…) called David Blumberg (He’s got a million bands, but the one you should check out is the Maraby Band). He made his impact on me countless time – I’d be given a CD, record, cassette, with the promise that I’d ‘fucking love’ what was on it. To be honest, most of the time I actually did and if there’s really one person who’s inspired my love of music, it has to be the person that introduced my teenage-self to Arcade Fire, The Drones and Eddy Current Suppression Ring.
3 Songs You Wish You’d Written…
Josh ‘Heals’ Healey (guitar/vocals):
American Football – Never Meant
This track definitely shaped my love for Emo and how I look at songwriting in general. A little gem of a track only to re-surface a few years back after their break up in 2000 – definitely changed it for me, musically and emotionally.
Refused – Worms of the Senses / Faculties of the Skull
What an opener to an album. From the very first second, I am hooked with the city noise, overdubbed vocal lines and then the huge punch to the face with the whole band kicking in. I don’t know, I feel like a classic like this never goes out of style… but maybe they do.
The Smashing Pumpkins – X.Y.U.
I wish I wrote this whole album, but I didn’t, so I wish I wrote this track instead. This track sits towards the end of the record, after a few sleepy, sombre tracks. If you thought you were going to nod off towards the end of Mellon Collie, think again.
4 Bands Everyone Should Hear…
Tom ‘Gord’ Gordon (guitar/vocals):
3. Blush Response
4. Trust Punks
5 Songs You Love…
1. Mildred Pierce – Sonic Youth
2. Ya Mum’s Ya Dad – Good Boy
3. Powerless – Bench Press
4. Indigo Children – Deafcult
5. Don’t Call Me – Sweater Curse
6 Bands You’re Keen To Play With…
Brian: Thee Oh Sees
Gang of Youths
7 Places You’d Love To Play…
Nick ‘Salt’ Horvat (bassist/vocals):
1. Reading and Leeds, UK – if I had been born as an adult, I would love to have played Reading 1993. Alas, I was born normally, and baby-sized, in 1992, so that was never going to be an option. But, now I actually get to tick both these festivals off with West Theb. Still bloody pinching myself to be honest.
2. Reykjavik, Iceland – I desperately wanted to travel to and play anywhere in Iceland after watching Heima, a film by Sigur Ros, a few years ago. I reckon Sigur Ros did a lot for tourism just with that film alone. The film captured a mood and a feeling that I would love to try and get in touch with if I played there. There’s also something about the isolation and epic beauty of the place that that film captured. There, in the city or outdoor would be a dream come true.
3. Alice Springs, Australia – Alice Springs is a red dust city almost in the middle of Australia. Since it’s so expensive to travel with a 7 piece band anywhere, we haven’t yet made it to through the middle of our own country. One day.
4. Cradle Mountain, Tasmania – I know this is another Australian one, but if I am writing about the beauty of Iceland, then I can’t overlook the beauty of our own little island – Tassie. There’s absolutely no way that a concert could happen at Cradle Mountain, but I since I bushwalked a trail through it with a mate a few years ago over a 4 day, 80km trek we made our way through snow, rainforest, windswept plain grass tundra, ancient wood forest, icy lakes and finally a burger joint and bar at the end. I reckon that would be a mad travelling festival idea. Totally impossible, super-expensive with a vast likelihood of frostbite and sunburn. I’m still keen.
5. Zagreb, Croatia – my grandfather left the former Yugoslavia 60 or so years ago to start a life in Australia, so I’d love to go back and play somewhere near where he grew up in Kotoriba, but I know Zagreb is a really happening place too.
6. Glastonbury Festival, UK – this is sort of ‘The Big Bertha’ for me. I would love to play that Festival, it would be such an honour.
7. Anywhere in South America would be awesome too. Can you sort this? You can? Great.
8 Essential Tour Items…
1. External phone battery
3. Dietary self-respect
4. One more pair of socks than you think you need
5. Camera, pen and a journal
6. Boots – sturdy, preferably leather and lace-up
7. Your mates
8. H2O – stay hydrated
9 Words To Describe Your Band…
Ray: Thematic, Habitual, Eclectic, Benevolent, Abrasive, Raw, Talismanic, Optimistic, Noxious
10 Favourite Albums Of All Time…
Caitlin ‘CT’ Thomas (drums):
Bridging the Gap – Black Eyed Peas
The North Borders – Bonobo
History – Michael Jackson
The Bedlam in Goliath – The Mars Volta
Vol 3 The Subliminal Verses – Slipknot
In Between Dreams – Jack Johnson
The Family Jewels – Marina and the Diamonds
The Sound of White – Missy Higgins
SB2 – Gramatik
Some People Have Real Problems – Sia
‘Different Beings Being Different’ by West Thebarton is released on 18th May on Domestic La La.
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