Get to know home-grown band Interim since their rise to fame
FOUNDED AT A TOOWOOMBA HIGH SCHOOL, HOME-GROWN BAND INTERIM HAS RISEN TO FAME, RECENTLY RELEASING ITS DEBUT ALBUM ESCAPISM
rk to your strengths, know what you want and try to spend a lot of time focusing on owning the day you’re in rather than the whole journey as a musician.
When drummer and percussionist Matt Hollonds was 15, he probably didn’t think his grand idea of starting a band in Toowoomba would lead to fame.
He roped his friend, James Basnett, into learning guitar, and Alec Snow into learning to sing.
Their high-school band was born in the Garden City.
When the band, Interim, moved to Brisbane, their friends, bassist Jock Houston and guitarist Lachy Becke joined.
With a modern rock take on blues and a big dose of heavy soul, Interim is shaking up the Sydney music scene in a big way, but it hasn’t forgotten its beginnings in the music scene.
“Pretty well everyone but Lachy taught themselves how to play,” Jock says.
“Lachy got hooked on Queen at an early age and went through teachers and jazz degrees and has a work ethic like no one else when it comes to guitar.
“I had a musical family and was singing and playing guitars and bass all through school, and Matt lived at Murphy’s Creek on a small property, so smashing out drums just seemed the right instrument for him.
“Alec’s family was massively into the music of the ’50s and ’60s and Alec has been all about soul, classic blues and rock’n’roll since.”
After the boys moved from Toowoomba to Brisbane and studied various degrees, they continued to play all around south-east Queensland.
Frontman Alec graduated his course and was offered an acting gig on Home and Away, prompting him to move to Sydney in 2014.
A year later, the rest of the band joined him, and they’ve been living and playing locally in Sydney since.
In that time Interim has had three national tours and created more than 100 demos, 12 video clips and their debut album which was released in September.
“Escapism is the culmination of our band’s journey over 10 years as a bunch of young blokes who tend to move cities a lot,” Jock says.
“The writing process tracks back to five years ago and it’s the first time we’ve worked with a producer in the studio for a release rather than recording and mixing everything ourselves.
“We released the album through a track and video clip every month over 2017, which hasn’t been done before around the world and was a massive learning process for us logistically — total nightmare, but cool!”
Interim has found the transition from a high-school band to fame on the big stage exciting and complicated.
“We were able to leapfrog quite a lot of the nebulous stuff in getting into the local music scene by having it together already and living together and catching a lot of other bands’ shows, but it’s only been this year that the bigger Sydney opportunities have been starting to come our way — things like playing at the Oxford Arts Factory, or Frankie’s Pizza’s fifth birthday in December, or creating relationships with MOSHCAM and Young Henrys,” Jock recalls.
“So much of it only comes around when you’re riding the hype cycle of music releases and publicity campaigns which are massive money outlays for video clips and PR and recording expenses that you are kind of sitting there hoping something bigger comes from it all, and we’ve been lucky.
“I say lucky even though there’s thousands of hours of behind-the-scenes work that goes into creating and
independently releasing an album... It nearly broke me, but (we have been) lucky enough that we’ve had quite a bunch of decent things come our way off the back of that.”
While Interim has found that persistence and patience are a huge part of its success, being an independent band comes with taking care of a huge number of tasks.
“My job title includes the easiest and hardest parts of being in a band – playing bass and management. Bass is great – a simple instrument that I love... Management is not,” Jock says.
“Your day becomes a checklist of new music, bookings, publishing, PR, social media, rehearsals, postering, design, video clips, merchandise, website, the list goes on...
“In the few months leading up to the album release it got so bad that I had to quit my full-time job just to manage everything that needed to be done.”
The humble men of Interim have found that while their success has been wonderful, it hasn’t come easily — but aspiring musicians should endeavour to be a part of it.
“Hit us up if you want to chat about it (joining the industry)... starting a new local band in this day and age and making it work is one of the hardest slogs you’ll come across.
“Love creating music but struggle to get a bunch of other decent, likeable, committed and talented people around you to do it? Learn how to do stuff online and start creating whatever you want in Ableton or a bunch of other platforms.
“Love performing music but hate writing or composing? Get into cover gigs or Djing, there’s a lot of opportunities to do that.
“Love playing one instrument and nothing but that? Great, study music or become a session/touring musician or play in a bunch of local bands.
“Hell, become a Youtube or Twitch hit if you want!
“Work to your strengths, know what you want and try to spend a lot of time focusing on owning the day you’re in rather than the whole journey as a musician.”
Despite a string of huge successes, the five young men haven’t forgotten where they came from.
“Toowoomba will always be special to us,” Jock adds.
“There’s a lot of things we reminisce on about Toowoomba: the fog in winter, rolling over the trees that line so many of the roads is something you really come to miss.
“Toowoomba’s also gone through a bit of a makeover since we lived there eight years ago.
“The street art has added a nice little touch of Berlin to our town, though it’s sad to see the live music scene has really struggled with a lack of venues and spaces over the past few years.
“Luckily The Spotted Cow is doing bigger and better things each year.”
In terms of what’s next for Interim, the guys are keen to relax — for now.
“To be frank, we’re kind of exhausted from it and need to unwind,” Jock says.
“We’ve got a few big shows planned but we’re going underground for a while to work on other musical projects, and Alec’s got some theatre gigs.”
Looking back, these down-to-earth musicians have embraced the rise to fame so far.
“It’s been an amazing part of our lives, we’ve learned so many things and met so many awesome people.
“Alot of the time it can be pretty tough on the old mental health, liver and lungs, but a lot of our favourite memories are of creating or playing our music.”