ROCK SOLID

TIM ROGERS AND HIS ALT-ROCK BAND YOU AM I ARE STILL ALL ABOUT CLAS­SIC GUI­TAR WORK

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - FRONT PAGE - DANIELLE MCGRANE

The new kids on the block may be making mu­sic on their lap­tops, but You Am I are still very much a clas­sic gui­tar band. Their 10th al­bum, Por­ridge

and Hot-sauce, doesn’t stray far from their roots and that’s ex­actly what will keep the fans, who have fol­lowed them through­out their 25-year-ca­reer, happy.

They’ve gone down the old­school route of record­ing all tracks on tape at the leg­endary Dap­tone Records in Brook­lyn, New York. Guitarist Davey Lane, who has been with You Am I for six years, says the band hasn’t recorded that way since the 1990s, prob­a­bly not since 1995’s Hi Fi Way, and it really doesn’t leave much mar­gin for er­ror. “It cer­tainly put the pres­sure on be­cause the room that we were record­ing in was tiny. It’s not like an or­di­nary record­ing stu­dio where ev­ery­thing is sort of cor­doned off and sep­a­rated, it’s ba­si­cally the size of a small lounge room and if you lis­ten to each track in­di­vid­u­ally all the in­stru­ments are bleed­ing into one an­other.

“So we had to make sure that we all nailed our parts at the same time. If some­one bug­gered some­thing up we had to go back and do it again,” Lane says.

With­out mul­ti­ple tracks and mod­ern crutches such as au­totune to fix up any mis­takes, there were some er­rors. But that’s what Lane says gives the record its au­then­tic­ity.

“We enjoy work­ing within the lim­i­ta­tions that were forced upon us in that stu­dio,” he says.

“Ev­ery­thing had to be recorded live and ev­ery­thing was go­ing down onto tape, so it’s not like nowa­days if you’re record­ing on to Pro Tools, you can go back and ma­nip­u­late any­thing in any way that you want it, really. And, if you lis­ten closely, there are lit­tle mis­takes here and there.”

It’s those lit­tle mis­takes that re­minded the band of clas­sic albums they loved from bands like the Rolling Stones.

“I’m sure those lit­tle things that they left in ended up be­com­ing peo­ple’s favourite parts in the songs,” Lane says.

“We like mu­sic with a bit of char­ac­ter.”

With this clas­sic sound comes a clas­sic im­age. The al­bum’s cover is a snap­shot in­spired by the al­bum’s ti­tle: an over­turned bot­tle of hot sauce that lies be­side an old­fash­ioned can of oats, making it look like a snap from the 1970s.

“That was the di­rec­tive with the im­ages, to give a nod to that era but some­thing a lit­tle time­less as well,” Lane says.

The con­coc­tion also re­veals what front­man Tim Rogers likes to eat in the morn­ing.

“I can’t say I’ve tried it yet but Tim eats por­ridge and hot sauce,” Lane said.

He has no prob­lem tol­er­at­ing Rogers’ quirks as he’s also been tol­er­ant of the singer’s foray into mod­el­ling. The band’s front­man is one of the faces in the lat­est David Jones cam­paign, danc­ing to Kanye West’s song Power with his top off. “Good on him,” Lane says. “As with ev­ery­body else in the whole wide world, we’ve got bills to pay and he’s got his daugh­ter to put through school.” The guitarist reck­ons Rogers can take on any­thing and do it well.

Per­haps that’s the case, but he’s also ben­e­fit­ing from the back­ing of his band who are back out on the road with him.

With the new mu­sic, Lane says You Am I have been learn­ing from scratch again.

The band left some room for spon­tane­ity on the record­ing and so were still work­ing on their parts when they en­tered the record­ing stu­dio. When it came to play­ing the songs live, they had really only played them a hand­ful of times.

But now it’s all com­ing to­gether as they tour the coun­try un­til De­cem­ber.

“It took a few shows for ev­ery­thing to set­tle in but ev­ery­thing’s start­ing to work really nicely now.” Por­ridge & Hot­sauce is out now.

WE ENJOY WORK­ING WITHIN THE LIM­I­TA­TIONS THAT WERE FORCED UPON US IN THAT STU­DIO

You Am I play Park­wood Tav­ern on Satur­day night

You Am I’s Tim Rogers, David Lane, Andy Kent and Rusty Hop­kin­son are tour­ing again af­ter putting out new al­bum Por­ridge and Hot­sauce.

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