I recently caught up with bassist and all-round eye candy prince Leon Wan for a quick chat about his new involvement with indie-rock/post-punk band Dark Arts!
SOS: Leon! Thanks for joining me. I’m stoked at your addition to this insane group of boys, how did you get involved?
LW: Well the band started way back for the boys sometime about 4 – 5 years ago while at school in Ballarat. I joined the band in March this year and ever since I have just been playing shows with them between Melbourne and Ballarat!
SOS: How would you describe the Dark Arts vibe?
LW: Just a couple of good friends enjoying their time playing music. Hopefully that comes across through the music and our performances. But if i had to put a vibe to it, i would say an energetic, fresh and emotional vibe haha!
SOS: For our readers who are unaware, what’s behind the name ‘Dark Arts’?
LW: I have no idea where the name originated from, but I joined the band when they were already called Dark Arts but I am pretty sure it has to do with Harry Potter or something. I am pretty sure there is no meaning behind the name, just a name i guess!
SOS: How are you finding it playing in Melbourne venues as opposed to Ballarat venues? Is there more a sense of home for the band when playing in ballarat?
LW:Well, honestly coming from a neutral point of view, I feel that all the Ballarat shows that i have played have been amazing. It has an awesome vibe at Karova Lounge and everyone knows each other. I guess its more comfortable back in Ballarat for the boys but i am pretty sure in Melbourne we do feel the same. Carrying gear and stuff is just a tad bit of a hassle when coming to Melbourne, but other than that, we meet awesome people everytime we play.
SOS: Your debut single ‘Heart Strings’ has just been released, what was the process in writing and recording that?
LW: Well Gabe (keys/vocals) wrote most of the song and did a couple of demos with Sam (drums) and from there we just slowly refined it. We recorded it with Vinci from Gold fields in Sam’s bedroom and it was amazing. I remember playing FIFA 07, while Sam was just nailing his drum parts. It was simple but a lot of hard work went into the song. Hope you guys like it!
SOS:… and a video to go with it! How was it filming the debut video?
LW: We filmed the video at Camilla’s (Oliver’s [guitar] sister) backyard and that was amazing. Highlight of it was trying to play heart strings double the speed of the original song and also playing it two times slower. Tom who filmed our clip is just an amazing dude and he is a legend. It was an amazing experience and i hope to do one in the near future.
SOS: Can we expect an EP in the near future?
LW: Well at the moment we are just writing and practicing as much as we can, so till then i can confidently say that we will smash it out and take our time to do an EP, hopefully next year!
Check out Dark Arts at Triple J Unearthed
and catch them this Friday (October 5th) at The Espy
Photo by Aleks Kostadinoski at AdamNotEve.net
Thursday night witnessed up-and-coming Melbourne indie/roots band Velma Grove perform their very first headlining gig. Only hours after participating in a university battle of the bands competition on the other side of the city, the lads were back on Smith Street ready to get into the night.
Kicking it off was local act Chloe Turner (supported by BJ Hancock) who had the audience in silence from start to finish with her stunning vocals. A set of cleverly picked tunes, Chloe and BJ’s harmonies sounded pitch perfect and it was obvious of their history on stage together.
Following Chloe and BJ were rock/blues band The Men They Call Jayne. With just a half-hour long set, these guys were able to get the crowd going, ready for arrival of Velma Grove.
Just on 11pm, the audience started getting rowdy as the house music was turned off and the room went dark. The room lit up only by stage fairy lights, there was complete silence as frontman Maxie Roberts began plucking his guitar to the intro of ‘Criminals In The Night’.
With a set lasting over forty-five minutes, and managing to include all tracks of debut EP ‘Head for Heart’ (including a cover of The Jezebels ‘Endless Summer’)Max, Michael, Sam, Declan and Anthony had completely won over the entire room. Five-part harmonies, heartfelt lyrics and melodies that were stuck in my head for the rest of the night, Velma Grove completely nailed their debut headlining show and with almost 100 people attending, the gig proved to be a true turning point for the young band.
Photo by Chloe Turner