Sydney hard rock/nu metallers Dead in a Second will team up with Karnivool member Steve Judd’s new project The Arsonist for a late February/early March tour. These shows will be under the banner of Festival in Your Lounge Room. A number of ‘special guests’ will join the tour at various shows. The concept is based around presenting new Australian bands and artists of varying styles of music. The tour will feature at least five new acts on the bill and will be the first opportunity for the public to see Dead in a Second and The Arsonist live. Loud spoke to Dead in a Second guitarist Tristan “Trizo” Bouillaut about booking a tour on a shoestring budget.
Q: I understand Dead in a Second are working on a new EP at the moment. What’s the latest on that?
A: Yeah, doing another EP. I actually started this one the first week after the other one was released, so it’s been non-stop recording for 14 months basically. It’ll be nice to have a break from it (laughs).
Q: Fair enough. Tell us a little about the motivation behind organising this tour.
A: Well, I wanted to do something different. Obviously being fortunate to have played a couple of things over the years, and I just wanted… Dead in a Second were looking for stuff and it just seemed like the shows that were available and the touring behind it was pretty mediocre. So we just wanted to do something a little bit different, that’s the whole reason behind it. Festival in Your Lounge Room is an idea I had to basically get local talent in the area, and bring them in for like a festival type of vibe. Because you like go to a rock show, and it’s five or six hours of the same kind of genre, the same kind of thing. But this is five or six hours of music, across genres. And it gives local artists an opportunity to be part of something that is in the media, with a professional agency and publicist behind it. People actually taking notice of them, they bring people to the show; people are going to take notice. So it’s giving a little bit of a leg-up to some local talent. If all goes well, who’s to say we can’t keep doing this year after year, as a way of showcasing new talent and put on some bigger artists towards the end of the show to close it off. So that’s the idea, giving a little back.
Q: How did you approach selecting the local talent for each show?
A: Yeah, that was the hard thing man, because there’s just so many good musos in this country. So many talented people actually across the board; we’ve just got an amazing work ethic and the standard is high. Really, we could have picked 15 acts in each territory (laughs), and had it run from midday to midnight, which I know a lot of other people do. But this is just a smaller one to start off with. We’re looking at five or six acts at each show and they’re ranging from DJs to hard rock to singer/songwriter to acoustic duets, that kind of vibe. And our friends are coming over from Western Australia, The Arsonist. So I’m really looking forward to hanging out with those boys, who are doing the whole tour with us. I suppose there were lots of people, lots of artists we spoke with, but the ones we chose were the ones who were the most enthusiastic.
Q: How do you go about scheduling or pacing a show like that, when you have a diverse range of acts?
A: Honestly, I don’t know (laughs). I haven’t done it, so I’m not too sure. But you know, just like any kind of festival, they don’t put a singer/songwriter on last, you know? They’d put them on at the beginning and kind of work up like that, and always finish with a DJ as kind of a party atmosphere, so that’s the model we’re going off. You wouldn’t really want to put a singer/songwriter after a hard rock band; I don’t think it would work too well. We’ll see; there’s lots of room for learning, so we’ll see what happens.
Q: This is being run on a shoestring budget as well I understand.
A: Mate, it’s being done on next to no budget. It’s a labour of love, that’s for sure. I can tell you that it would have been easier just looking after Dead in a Second and just going out on the road for some shows. But instead, taking care of all of it, it’s a lot to chew. But the thing is, you have to give back somehow and this is how we’re doing it. There’s a lot of people that complain about the state of industries at the moment, and the arts and music being one of them. But I kinda feel that it’s what you make of it, so just creating some more opportunities. The amount of e-mails I’ve had over the last year, just saying, ‘hey, how do we get a show?’ And these are from really good bands, asking how they can get a show with you on something. There’s definitely lots of room out there for young talent to come out and play.
Q: Is Dead in a Second doing another EP somewhat of a reaction to where the music industry is headed? A lot of people have suggested that the art of the album will slowly dissipate and bands releasing a few songs at a time, on a regular basis will become the new business model.
A: You know what, yeah, all of that, I reckon you’re right. I don’t think there’s any major point in releasing an album at the moment. That’s just my instinct, but I can’t talk for other people. But for Dead in a Second, my theory is we just keep doing EPs and singles until there’s enough people who will actually want your album (laughs). There’s a lot of bands that release albums, and it’s like, who’s going to buy it, apart from your family and friends? If you’re going to invest in an album and put in that kind of work, I feel you should have some experience and campaign behind it. An album’s not everything though; you look at a lot of big Aussie artists, they actually broke through on EPs, not albums. If anything, albums close their career (laughs). Doing five songs on an EP I think is better in this day and age. But who’s to say that won’t change next week, like everything else in the industry? (laughs)
Q: Do you see the current state of the industry as a new beginning? How concerned are you about where it’s headed?
A: Well, it’s definitely a new beginning for me, because it’s a new band. But yeah, I’m definitely concerned. Touring is getting harder, there’s less promoters, which means there’s less specialised shows. And the bigger bands I suppose, they’re finding the pinch pretty tight as well, so it’s hard for them to take a risk on upcoming bands. It’s really hard for them to do that. Well, it’s not them; it’s their management and their record company saying, ‘no, we’re not going to take that risk, we’re going to put these bands on and make sure it’s a big deal’. You’d be crazy if you weren’t concerned about where we’re going and how it’s all working.
Q: Interesting. Changing topics, but is Thousand Needles in Red on the backburner now?
A: No, for me it’s completely over. Dead in a Second is my number one priority. It’s been together for 13, 14 months now. Obviously not with full members, but the band on paper has existed and recorded different things. So yeah, this year for us is about building a live audience and keeping it flowing (laughs), keeping active. So I’m looking forward to showing everyone the live show.
Q: These will be the band’s first ever performances as well.
A: Yeah, this is the first run. I feel good that we’re doing the first bunch of shows like this. Like I said, it’s taken a lot of work to get Festival in Your Lounge Room happening, but we’re all pretty much in the same boat. Like The Arsonist features Steve, the drummer from Karnivool and he’s playing sold out shows all the time. So his band is coming over here to play over here for the first time. So it’s really good that we’re all kind of in the same boat, and that’s the whole purpose of the show. It’s all really exciting, that we can all be testing the waters over here for the first time, together.
Q: Any famous last words?
A: (Laughs) Thank you to everyone who has supported Dead in a Second, from our street team and our families to the media. We just really appreciate everyone who has already accepted this band before seeing it live. We’re looking forward to coming out and playing some great shows.
The tour dates are as follows-
February 27 – Dicey Riley’s, Wollongong NSW
February 28 – The Factory Floor, Sydney NSW
March 1 – The Basement, Canberra ACT
March 2 – Ferntree Gully Hotel, Ferntree Gully VIC
March 3 – The Evelyn Hotel, Melbourne VIC