Q&A by Stew from Leadfinger
Tell us about your new single/ album/ tour?
The only new thing we have is a video clip (watch it below)!! We put out our last album (No Room at the Inn) almost 2 years ago and played all over the place to promote it but it took us this long to make a video clip for a song off the album, I guess that’s kind of funny but better late than never. The clip is for the song The Wandering Man – it’s a fairly low key clip, but everyone seems to like it. We like it, it’s not easy to stand in front of a camera and be yourself.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
Hmmm…I like all sorts of food but this is a tricky question to answer. I’m thinking something hearty and sustaining, either a Spaghetti Bolognese or a big breakfast of poached eggs with pesto on sourdough with lashings of butter…our music is good for you and will help sustain you through the day!!
Which song resonates most strongly and why?
From our most recent album, The Wandering Man is doing it for me – mainly because we’ve finally got a nice clip to go with it and it feels like we’ve achieved something. We are just about to head into the studio to record a new album, some of the new material is fantastic and I can’t get out of my head at the moment – we have this song called Mean Streak that is the most ripper guitar riff I’ve heard in years.
Any on the road anecdotes?
That would take a whole day to get that out of my system!! I’m quite proud that we did a gig at the Horse and Jockey Hotel in Tarcutta…a tiny little pub that is exactly half way between Melbourne and Sydney that every touring band from Melbourne and Sydney would have driven past or stopped at. They set us up in the corner on a Sunday arvo and we played to about 20 locals who loved it.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
I get inspiration for my songs from everywhere…books, my own life, Facebook, television, old movies, social politics. I eavesdrop on society and my friends. I analyse my own frailty’s as well. I don’t write songs unless I have something to spill.
What’s next for you?
Well we have about 12 new songs written and rehearsed…going into a good studio in Sydney in April 2015. It’s kind of hard to focus on anything else because we are at that exciting point where the finishing touches are being added to the songs. Can’t wait to put them down, I’m pretty sure it will be our best release yet.
What’s your scene?
I honestly don’t know…we play a kind of music that’s rock, blues, folk, alt-country, power-pop and some other stuff in between, I just call it rock’n’roll. We seem to not fit neatly into any genre or scene and the people who come to see us are from all sorts of bands and backgrounds. On top of that I live half way between Wollongong and Sydney in some sort of no-mans land between the two cities – I float between the two places, a human bridge between scenes, cities and musical styles. Leadfinger is a very strange band, hard to define but we are free.
Wollongong four piece Leadfinger hold onto the philosophy ‘better late than never’ given it has taken them a couple of years to get around to making a music video for the song The Wandering Man from their 2013 Citadel Records critically acclaimed release No Room At The Inn.
The video clip was produced by Sharon Lewis and Rick Jones at Kontrol Productions and is a true testimonial to the wanderlust most musicians, who choose the life of touring and the road, take on. Shot in studio as well as at various locations such as an old fashioned train station, the narrative states not to question it, and that roaming is a natural part of a band’s lifestyle ,whether they like it or not.
Leadfinger, who play their own brand of 70s rock tinged blues/power-pop and punk, is fronted by guitar slinger/singer-songwriter and indie rock icon Scottish-born Stewart Cunningham. Stewart has been a fixture in the Australian underground music scene for the past 20 years and performed in legendary Australian outfits over that time such as Proton Energy Pills, Asteroid B-612, Brother Brick, Challenger-7, and The Yes Men. The band name Leadfinger came from Stewart’s tongue in cheek non-de-plume his band mates assigned to him after his brother had accidentally shot his finger with an air rifle as a teenager and according to legend attributed to his heavy unique heavy guitar style.
Along with Cunningham, the band comprises of Dillon Hicks, (drums), Reggie Screen (bass), and Michael Boyle (guitar/vocals). Influenced by many genuinely great rock and roll bands over the years…the likes of Big Star, Celibate Rifles, Tom Petty, Flamin’ Groovies, Replacements, Leadfinger capture the essence and glean snippets from the glory days of rock’n’roll to deliver their own playful and erudite modern twist, all done on the back of analog recording equipment via an oily rag meets shoestring budget (No Room At The Inn was recorded for an impressively frugal $5,000).
“Most great rock ‘n’ roll is made out on the fringes but this latest album from Australian veteran Stewart ‘Leadfinger’ Cunningham packs such a punch that it deserves to come out from the underground. Fans of bands from The Masters’ Apprentices to HITS will love its greasy swagger, sure-footed songwriting and a sound that’s both rich and raw.” – Noel Mengel of The Courier Mail (Brisbane) re No Room At The Inn album.