Mezzanine are a great example of a hard working Perth band. They’re constantly rehearsing, recording and gigging and about to embark on another National tour in support of their new album ‘Strange Paradise’ I sat down with Ollie to get the latest happenings.
1. Congratulations on the release of Strange Paradise, How was the whole recording process and how was it working with Dave Parkin? Thank you, it’s been great. Before we went in the studio we did a lot of prep to minimise time waste and everyone had their schtick down before we walked in the door. Parko was good at keeping us enthusiastic and on task too. We all have a lot of respect for the work he’s done and him as a guy. As far as recording goes it started with the scratch tracks and then working from there to build the songs. The individual tracking can be painstaking sometimes but the whole time we were all just happy to be there and making an album.
2. In your opinion what shape is the Perth music scene in and do you have any favourite Perth bands we should keep an eye on? When I started playing (2003) the scene was in a different phase. Indie music had just dominated the radio and everyone started to realise you could get noticed despite not playing the most mainstream songs. A lot of good local bands were playing during that time and were successful nationally. I think now it’s plateaued in a good way and people are still paying attention to local music despite the scene shifting. There’s a lot of variety in Perth and the level of talent can rival any major city. There’s a few local bands that I’m really in love with at the moment, like Lanark. Everything they do grabs my attention. Same with Sugar Army. Those guys are playing at an international level and deserve every bit of success they get.
3. What are some of the toughest challenges Mezzanine face being based in Perth? Probably the same every band faces – lack of venues and the distance from other cities. Luckily the venues we have are great and people flock to them regardless. But shutting down the Hydey was a big kick in the guts to Perth music. If you’re a new band starting out there’s not many places to play anymore. And the cost of touring from Perth to the eastern states is a big obstacle. If you’re serious about touring you have to dedicate some hard earned time and money.
4. You guy’s really impress me with your work ethic. Your jamming at The Hen House religiously as well as touring the east coast. Does it get hard to maintain that focus and drive? Not yet. Touring this album will probably test our resolve. We’re all sensible enough to know playing music isn’t going to make us rich, but we all have a good work ethic. As a band we just want to play and we know it takes hard work to keep that consistent. Everything else is a bonus.
5. Favourite room or rooms to Rehearse in at The Hen House? Every room is great. We’ve all played our fair share of run down rehearsal studios with dodgy P.A’s and no toilet. Hen House is a place I look forward to playing in every time. Being able to dim the lights is possibly my favourite amenity.
6. Finish this sentence. “In two years time I hope Mezzanine… …will be recording their second album and have their name on the Hen House wall.”
All the best with the tour
Check out the tour dates and songs here; https://www.facebook.com/mezzanineonline/