Tell us about your new single/ album?
We’re all really happy with it, so much so that even though it’s our seventh album we decided to make it our first eponymous one and just call it “The Breadmakers” because it totally captures our sound what the band has always been about – loose but furious garage RnB fun!
What’s your favourite work at this point in time?
If you mean from my band then I really love the double album we made back in 1996 simply called “Cool” we recorded it with mad professor MONO genius at Preston Studios he was a master at getting that vintage sound but the main reason I like it is that somehow I didn’t keep a copy of it for myself and so hadn’t heard it for more than 10 years until our singer spotted a second hand copy in a local store. It cost me $35 to buy my own record back but it was worth it – I couldn’t believe how many great songs we wrote for that LP.
Paradoxically I also love the new LP because recording with Mikey Young is always amazing and he’s gone for less of a retro feel, it just sounds like us (and we’re retro enough anyway!) He’s even got us to embrace the very latest in hi fidelity recoding techniques and convinced us to have the record in STEREO rather than our usual insistence on Glorious MONO! As you may know he’s a little younger than us, in fact his mum bought him our second album Hoodoo Nightspot in the early 90’s when he was a teenager so it’s brilliant to get to work with him and have him actually playing on all the songs too.
Another thing I really like about the new LP is that we have 10 new originals, but every band member has written at least one song any my favourites are the ones I didn’t write! Also it’s cool to do a cover of the Marksmen’s Aussie 60’s classic ‘Moonshine’ as it fits the band perfectly and one of our founding members, Homesick Gordon, was from Wollongong and we met when he came down to tour Melbourne with his band The Unheard – so there’s a spiritual connection to that city.
How would you describe your sound in food form and why?
I’m not sure if our band is a food – especially because the rhythm section refuses to even eat before a show. I’d say it’s definitely more of a drink. We recorded this latest album with Mikey in a beach shack overlooking the crashing waves of Sorrento Back Beach. It was beautiful summer weather and so after every few takes, we’d all pile out into the sun and swill down Pimms and lemonades (with a dash of ginger ale). I doesn’t sound the most rock n roll story but it was bloody brilliant!!
Tell us a quick, on the road or studio, anecdote.
Well our latest tour was to Spain in April last year; it was so amazing to go back there and have people that had come to see us 17 years before turning up at our shows. Some were dating when they came last time now they had kids, one of them even had opened a recording studio and he got our touring buddies Thee Cha Cha Chas to go out there and record some tracks for their new LP. That was the other great thing about the tour, getting to travel around with Lluis and Kylie from the Cha Cha Chas – they are such great fun and such a cool combo. The Breadmakers have adopted them and intend to share with them the rock n roll secrets we’ve learnt over our extensive “careers”. Oh Dear!
What, or who, inspires you?
I guess people just doing stuff for the love of it. That’s what this band has always been about. For example, we just played (possibly) one of the last rock n roll shows ever in Rye. It was at a small Arts Collective and it was just when everyone started pulling out of shows because of corona virus fears. We were the support band but unfortunately the main band Schizophonics had to pull out at the last minute. We still drove down to Rye but the wasn’t a huge number of people there because the main band had pulled out. We knew the Collective wouldn’t be making much money, so we offered to play for free. They were such nice people just trying to get a music scene going down there. I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m inspired to play with a bunch of guys who are happy to drive an hour and a half each and play for free just because that’s what we love doing. Then the Arts Collective surprised us by putting up a whole lot of clips of us which you can see on YouTube.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
Going all the way – The Squires
Up the Junction – UK Squeeze
Nothin’ – The Ugly Ducklings
By My Side – The Elois
Death and the Maiden – The Verlaines
Waterloo Sunset – The Kinks
Desolation Blues – Cuby and the Blizzards
What changes with your musical direction have you made due to the Covoid-19 restrictions?
Well it’s certainly given more time for song writing and remember that apparently Neil Young wrote “Down by the River”, “Cinnamon Girl” AND “Cowgirl in the Sand” while delirious in bed with a high fever – after this virus passes there might be a whole slew of masterpiece songs released to the public. In fact, I just heard my first LP that was recorded BECAUSE of the Corona virus. It’s two of the guys from the Cavemen from New Zealand who are under mandatory quarantine in a flat in Alicante Spain with out their usual guitars and amps so they’ve recorded a sort of country type duo with one guitar and an acoustic piano and a tambourine and it’s sounds great. They call themselves SIN CITY.
What’s next for you?
At the moment we are organizing to donate two of our songs to a benefit compilation LP being put out in Spain to benefit the Spanish health workers. After having such a great time there last year it’s the least we can do. In fact, it is mind blowing to think that less than a year ago we were hanging out in Mallorca with all our Spanish buddies. What a difference a year makes!
What’s your scene?
My scene hasn’t changed much in the past 40 years – it’s garage RnB all the way. I absolutely adored the Sunnyboys when I was at school, so I was so proud to read these comments from their bassist Pete Oxley after the Breadies supported The Aints recently;
“I just saw the Breadmakers actually. I’ve been playing with Ed Kuepper and they played with us at the Caravan Club outside Melbourne.They were fantastic. I loved them. That’s the sort of music that you should play before you die. You don’t play country music as you get older, you play 60s garage rock”. http://www.collapseboard.com/the-collapse-board-interview-pete-oxley-sunnyboys/
Amen to that!
Recorded by Mikey Young, The Breadmakers is the band’s first album in over a decade, and their seventh album in a “career” that how lasted over three decades. It includes a version of The Marksmen’s lost 1966 Australian classic “Moonshine”.
Rhythm’n’Blues ravers THE BREADMAKERS are a Melbourne institution and have an international fan-base that views them as Australian icons. Formed back in 1989, they became mainstays on the garage-rock underground, and unlikely heroes on the Fitzroy/Collingwood indie scene in the ‘90s. (Regulars at The Evelyn, Punters Club and The Tote, they’d often cross the river for gigs at The Great Britain, The Corner and The Espy, even The Continental.) They’ve released six previous albums and undertaken countless overseas trips, the most recent to Spain in early 2019.
They’ve played countless Garage festivals and Weekenders across Europe, and Japan, sharing bills with the likes of The Monks, Thee Headcoats, The Mummies, Guitar Wolf and Teengenerate. Here at home they’ve shared stages with the likes of The Pretty Things, The Stems, Southern Culture on the Skids, The Aints and every ‘60s-inspired group who has passed through. They’ve done The Big Day Out, Meredith Music Festival, and, appropriately enough, the Zoo! They’ve built a reputation based on consistency and reliability; always loose, but always fun.
The band was first formed by members of early garage-rock outfits including The Puritans, Bo-Weevils and Cracked Jaffers from Melbourne and The Unheard from Wollongong. They used – and continue to use – vintage instruments and amps. The intention was to play an authentic style of mostly Southern R’n’B like their heroes The Rolling Stones had attempted in their early days.
Amazingly that was 31 years ago. At that point, The Stones themselves had only recently clocked up their 25th anniversary. In their first 25+ years, The Stones had progressed from R&B through all manner of rock and pop styles, even disco. The Breadmakers, in their 30+ years, have barely progressed at all! They still sound like they should be sharing a bill with The Pink Finks, Rising Sons and Spinning Wheels at the Wild Colonial Club in 1965.
Whilst their early records were recorded in mono at the legendary Preston studios with crazed rockabilly & blues producer/engineer Graeme Thomas, The Breadmakers have at least progressed in that department. These days they record with Mikey Young of Eddy Current Suppression Ring, who has had a hand in a record by just about every young punk band that has mattered over the last 15 years or so. Mikey’s actually been playing keyboards with The Breadmakers on and off for some time now, having befriended them when working at Corduroy, the infamous vinyl pressing plant that Breadmakers bass man Cadillac Slim aka Nick Phillips ran back in the ‘90s. (That was back when no one cared about vinyl of course; Nick went out of business before everyone caught on.) Mikey recorded the new album in a beach shack on the cliffs of Sorrento back beach (as he does) and has captured the immediacy and energy of The Breadmakers’ sound like never before.
The new album, released on Germany’s Soundflat label, is the band’s first since 2008’s Night of The Cobra. It’s only their second album in over 20 years. It contains 10 new Breadmakers’ originals, including raucous toe-tapers like opener “Corner of My Eye” and “Monkey Do” which would’ve caught Stan Rofe’s ear back in the day, and a number of moody numbers like “The Savage” and “Swamped”. The album also includes a couple of fantastic covers. “Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” was originally recorded in 1965 by Memphis teens Danny Burk & The Invaders; famed Sun Records session guitarist Roland James produced it. “Moonshine” is an Australian ‘60s garage classic; originally recorded by The Marksmen from Wollongong in 1966, the original 45 is one of the holy grail records of the era. The Breadmakers do them both justice.
Decked out in a stunning new cover illustration by drummer Scotty Lacey, and available on vinyl and digital download from Bandcamp (with a CD coming soon), The Breadmakers is The Breadmakers’ best album yet. They’ll get around to launching it in Melbourne – and no doubt hit the road again for parts unknown – when the episode of The Twilight Zone we’re living in has finished. In the meantime, they have 31 years of history and a great new album to talk about, so interested media types should get in touch.
The Breadmakers are: BLACKTOP BRIERLEY – GUITAR, BOOTPOLISH LACEY – DRUMS, VOCALS, CADILLAC SLIM – BASS, VOCALS, GUMBO SQUIRES – KEYBOARDS, GUITAR, LAZY DIK – VOCALS, HARMONICA
THE BREADMAKERS is out NOW. Get it here.