Brisbane-based alternative rockers, Mecha Mecha are working on a number of new songs at the moment.
Brisbane-based ‘dark-indie’ rockers Mecha Mecha have spent their time away from touring focusing on their next sonic chapter at Studio Truth.
They also recently released a music video for crowd favourite, 2018 track ‘Karma Krow’.
The trio features brothers Angelo (drums) and Walter (multi-instrumentalist and vocals) who embody high energy and melodic rock accompanied by the haunting violin, bass and harmonies of Isaac.
We check in with Walter, with Angelo also adding his two cents towards the end of the chat.
The band’s next release will be ‘Caught In A Cage’; is that a single release? What inspired the track? It is a single with our strongest film clip to date.
It was influenced by the soundtrack to the 2011 film ‘Sucker Punch’, with Bjork and Skunk Anansie. We’re hoping to get sued by John Wick because the intro themes are so similar, but we’ve got proof we wrote it first. We actually ripped it off from the original Ratchet & Clank O.S.T., waaaay back in like 2008, PlayStation 2 era.
2020 for Mecha Mecha… a little birdy shared the band have been working on other material for a new album; what’s the latest on that front? Ah, we’ve got so much material it’s difficult to choose what to work on next.
It really comes down to the vibe and aesthetic we’re feeling, which has been problematic because we’ve not been able to settle on an image, until the last release and the next release sort of made our aesthetic cohesive between songs, for once.
An album could be a little while away just because it’s a bit of a slog in an already reasonably dry artistic field. We’re always working on material and gigging, but sometimes life gets in the way, whether it’s work, major break-ups, a global viral epidemic, you know, the normal stuff.
How does this collection of songs relate to Mecha’s back catalogue? Some of them are really old, some of them are very new. We’re demoing a song we wrote before the band even existed, from when we were still in high school.
‘Caught In A Cage’ must be around nine years old now – our first performance of the track being way back at Ric’s Bar in 2013 I think.
When it comes to themes and issues the band wish to explore with lyrics, do you tend to be drawn to particular areas? I used to write thematically or about emotions that were not directed clearly at anyone, but I’ve found myself opening up about my relationships and personal life a lot more.
‘Greedy Boys’ was a thank you to the women in my life; ‘Caught In A Cage’ is pretty much a break-up song.
For those new to the band, what’s the elevator pitch about the group’s style, sound? Like Royal Blood but sadder because we have a violin.
Violin and piano aren’t the first instruments you associate with rock music… how did the group’s sound evolve to include lush keys and strings? Just where we started musically. Isaac (violin, bass, harmonies) comes from a family of folk musicians, and Ange (drums, vocals, samples) and I (guitar, bass, piano, vocals), our parents were both classical, gigging pop and rock musos.
In 2015 we were working as an Irish covers band and went from a five-piece down to a four, then four to three, and so we just worked out how we could fill up the sound as much as possible but not limit ourselves to the (somewhat saturated) combination of guitar, bass and drums.
As a group of musicians used to performing live, how have you dealt with the lack of shows in 2020? Miserably. Missing it like crazy, and while I’ve wanted to pursue the limited gigging opportunities available, they’ve been competitively sought after and they’re not particularly ideal with the viral restrictions. It’s just been a good opportunity to work on the material we’ve got banked up.
The band recently released a video for the group’s 2018 song ‘Karma Krow’; what was the motivation behind that? It’s one of our best songs, and totally emblematic of who we are and what we sound like, and we had some setbacks with the production company producing the video, so we took matters into our own hands and started from scratch at home. It was really fun!
The band also relocated from Nimbin to Brisbane; was that a natural move? Nimbin and the Northern Rivers in general aren’t as barren as many regional towns are as far as having an arts and music culture go, but being based in a capital city is a more tactical vantage point for opportunity scouting.
What’s the most underrated thing about living in Brisbane? Walter: The rent prices. Ange: Abandoned scientology buildings, but they’ve been knocked down.
The band originally formed as an Irish covers group; do you still throw the odd cover from time to time when on stage? Heaps, yeah. It’s really fun, and I feel that we owe it to audiences. Especially when they’re arriving, to cop three hours of original music where they might only know three or four songs across three acts, we feel like it’s the least we can do to entertain people for coming along.
Often we’ll chuck an Irish reel or a heavy rendition of the traditional Jewish piece ‘Hava Nagila’ and watch people just losing their minds carrying their friends around on chairs. It’s really fun. Really fun cultural appropriation haha.
We also sometimes carry out covers gigs for the money, to sustain the length of tours, and will book ourselves as a covers gig while usually getting away with playing our own material for 50 per cent of the gig.
The next 6-12 months for the band, what is the plan? Singles, singles, get into any festivals we can. Starved of gigs. Must eat.
To date, our most embarrassing moment was the time... Angelo existing. Nah. People hearing our music. Nah.
We got play on the bill with Smash Mouth and Marcia Hines at the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, and the second gig we played at, the staff loved it so much they gave us a bottle of $80 rum, which we downed the same day, in addition to there being an already unlimited supply of alcohol for all performers.
The next day, we were SUPREMELY hungover for our Balcony TV live feature, which happened to be at bloody 9am. Isaac and I both partook in tacky voms prior to the gig, but we actually pulled the song off thank god, because it was televised and we looked awful!
Life on the road can be... Walter: Really fun, really expensive. Angelo: It can be not fun and really warm. Walter: You’re a nerd.
If you'll have us on your bill, all we ask is that our rider contains... Angelo: Cigs. Water . Walter: Sharpie texters.
The most scary scenario you’ve found yourselves in? Realising we weren’t gonna be paid for a $2,200 gig in Proserpine because the venue declared bankruptcy after we played there. Or just in general, loads of really drunk people offering to be ‘roadies’.
What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be spokesperson of the band? Probably Mike Kerr from Royal Blood. I feel like he would understand us and he’s been a huge influence on us. New song from them is a banger.
What's the one chore you dislike the most? Walt: I literally enjoy housework. Ange: Dust and lint consume my life and everything I own.
Do you have any phobias? Ange: Chores, loud noises and large crowds.