Melbourne music extraordinaire and much loved style icons Rhysics have just announced a new single to get us through these hump days and weeks. It's upbeat, catchy and just the right amount of vocoder-y. Listening to it reminded us of how much we're missing seeing their music live, but we've got you the next best thing. Rhys himself talked to Sean last week for this FROCKUP exclusive!! Enjoy the track and the chat.
Find the single here: https://rhysics.bandcamp.com/track/in-my-room
And, why not, here too: https://open.spotify.com/track/7i2JLH67KEzWLcVBd7q6TB?si=hUOnlxqmS1WgZLNNxz75_Q
Artwork by: Bridget Chilver (@bridgog)
First of all, congrats on your new single “In My Room”! It’s definitely the kind of intoxicating groove we all need right now. Where did this track come from, and is it a nod to the huge amounts of time we’ve all spent in our rooms right now?
It’s definitely timely hey, but it was actually written last year about how I spent most of 2018 recovering from a pretty bad leg injury. Long story short it was a massive knee reco after a botched attempt to put a sock on.
You’ve listed the Beach Boys as one of your influences, has this track got any relation to their classic of the same name?
Yeah I love the Beach Boys sooo much. In My Room is probably my favourite Beach Boys song, I think Brian Wilson is a fricken genius and I wanted to pay homage to that song through the title because it just made sense.
How did you guys manage to record this?
We recorded about 8 tracks for the upcoming album right before the COVID thing happened in Australia. It's been a real challenge trying to produce and finalise vocals while we're in lockdown but eventually Nolan and I worked it out. We have just been sending each other little bits back and forth and getting the feedback from each other and then Calum Newton did an amazing master on it that really makes it sound like a real song.
I understand that Rhysics started as a “solo bedroom project that got out of hand”. What was the evolution of the band? Do you write all your songs alone, or is it a collaboration?
I guess that the current situation had brought the band right back to its roots, now that you’re now forced to be a solo bedroom musician? How has lockdown been for ya, have you been working hard or hardly working? Any new hobbies?
It's been fun really dialling in my home recording sound for the next batch of demo's I recorded a bunch of the album B-sides and some new songs I wrote during lockdown and put them on bandcamp for 'B-Sides The Point' I don’t have any fancy gear but if I can get the kick pumping then I'm happy. No gigs means no work for me so I've taken up a bit of painting in the oooodles of extra free time I now have. Painting has always frustrated me because it takes so long but now that feels like a blessing and it is really calming to mix colours and try to paint the things that I want to look at.
Has it made you feel differently about, or make, music differently?
I've found it difficult listening to garage rock and punk stuff at the moment cus it makes me miss gigs too much. I've been listening to heaps of ragtime and crooner/doo wop stuff, heaps of really early blues too. Blind Boy Fuller kinda blows my mind and I'm completely in love with Brenda Lee's album 'Emotions'. I've also had every single Scott Joplin song stuck in my head at some point during lockdown, I basically have cartoon brain.
Having seen you guys play live, I know you love a bit of silly (dressing up as the rock?! Silly!). How have you been keeping silly right now, and what kind of things do you have planned for the future?
Yeah dressing up every now and then has been really good for that, the other day my shelves collapsed so I took it as an excuse to dress in my hottest tradie outfit and fix it. When I was putting together some emails for this single release I dressed in a suit to make myself feel a little bit more businesslike. I made a puppet of my own head and that has been freaking me out a little bit. I’ve also been drawing my own shirts to make me feel a little silly. So far I’ve drawn Bart Simpson drinking piss, a New Balance 264 (the greatest shoe), Howard the Duck and some others too. I don’t even know if I’m being silly, or just losing my grip on reality.
Have you managed to keep in contact with other musicians around Melbourne? What do you think the challenges going forward will be, and how do you think the scene will change?
I've been doing a little movie club with my friends on discord and that’s been fun to watch some shitty movies with the gang. It's really-hard though because so much of my friendships just revolve around being in the same places so often, now we can’t be those places and I'm too shy to message people out of the blue. I don't think we'll be able to get back to moshpits any time soon but I'm hoping we can get some seated dinner and a show type things by the summer. Listening to all the ragtime and crooner stuff makes me wonder if it won’t become something like that. Variety shows and dinner and long sets with breaks. I see a lot of people excited about the house party/DIY scene, and I'm definitely looking forward to summer for that, but I hope we don’t lose too many venues. Melbourne has the most live music venues per capita in the world and that’s why we're able to have such diverse and creative music popping up all the time. Less venues means less new bands so I hope the DIY scene kinda happens around the venues rather than competing with them.
What’s next for Rhys the man and Rhysics the band?
Next for Rhys the man is probably watching a lot of TV and procrastinating whatever the next Rhysics thing is. It's hard to plan anything big for the band at the moment because it’s impossible to tour and I'm not great with a camera so music videos are a real struggle. But we have nearly a whole album recorded, so we're finishing that remotely and then we'll release some more songs over the next couple of months.
And for good measure, you can again find "In My Room" By Rhysics here:
and here: https://open.spotify.com/track/7i2JLH67KEzWLcVBd7q6TB?si=hUOnlxqmS1WgZLNNxz75_Q
Interviewed By Sean Ruse