ST Interviews: SaskwatchPosted: July 13, 2012
Saskwatch’s fresh and third 7″ Single titled “Your Love”, have a listen:
When the full 9-piece that is Saskwatch enter a venue and unleash on you a tantalisingly-modern take on the R&B/Soul on the 60′s & 70′s that inspire them, surely heads will turn. Saskwatch are quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, especially when fronted by vocalist Nkechi Anele, who’s soaring throat-box brings to life musical pioneers alike Aretha Franklin or Gloria Gaynor. They’ve been snapped up quickly by Northside Records, which is great news for the rest of us as we wait in anticipation for their soon-to-be released debut album ‘Leave it All Behind’, due August.
The following is our chance to chat to Liam McGorry, one of the Saskwatch family. Together we delve into topics of what influences them, their greatest memories of influential shows, and what is coming up for them next in the future. Enjoy the read.
First of all, how do you all know each other? Seeing you’re quite a formidable 9-piece band live on stage.
Well we all met studying music in Melbourne, at the Victorian College of the Arts / Monash Uni.
How long has Saskwatch been around for, is this everyone’s first involvement in a band?
We’ve been around I guess 3 years… (Woah)….In terms of other bands, we’ve played with a variety of bands over the years and still do. Tom and Ed play in Tessa and the Typecast, Rob, Tom and Nkechi in The Do-Yo-Thangs and myself in Eagle and the Worm. But in terms of Saskwatch, we started out playing covers of our favourite Soul tunes outside Flinders St Station, and gradually over a period of about six months, started to write our own songs and play at real venues.
You guys have obviously played a few large sets, but being a soul/R&B band do you prefer playing more intimate shows like ‘Soul Thursdays’ at Melbourne’s Cherry Bar? Of which July 12th was your last I sadly hear?
I love how different it can be show to show. Our shows at Cherry over the years have been incredible in such an intimate setting, and it is much easier to gauge the reaction of the crowd, and vibe is definitely always up. I guess in terms of some of the larger shows, festivals, theatres etc, you can feel quite isolated, but for me it’s the buzz of playing those venues, amphitheatres that is so rewarding. That said, it will be sad to finish up at Cherry which has been i guess the spiritual home of Saskwatch pretty much since inception (of the band not the movie).
With your schedules becoming more and more hectic as Saskwatch lifts off, are you finding it increasingly difficult to all come together to make more music?
Actually, I feel like it’s kind of the opposite. The longer we’ve gone on as a band, the closer we’ve all become… we’ve worked harder and harder at our music. We have our time for rehearsal, which no one misses. Everyone enjoys it (I think thats the main thing).
Together you’ve been able to support some self-described ‘soul legends’ through touring, is there any show that you consider your most influential or just simply the best?
There have been a few standouts. Golden Plains was just ridiculous for us. We’d never played to crowd over 300, and then suddenly we were playing to over 8,000…everyone was so excited, and rose to the occasion… and we shared our dressing room with Chic. Also, supporting Earth, Wind and Fire was terrific. To see those guys still killing it at 60 or 70 y.o, still touring internationally and to be so incredibly supportive (and not jaded) was really refreshing.
Who are your influences as a group, both old and recent?
More soul / R&B and a lot of mixed modern influences. We all love the classics (Otis, James, Aretha, The Kinks) but also new stuff from Dr. Dog, Javelin, Alabama Shakes, Mark Ronson, Charles Bradley etc. I love the language and forms from 60s and 70s soul / but with a bit of modern sounds and style.
Who had the idea for the name Saskwatch, does it have any meaningful reference, or is it just simply a snappy sounding name?
That would be our trumpet player Nic – he thought it was pretty snappy. And it stuck.
What does the future hold for you all, are there any big steps for Saskwatch ahead?
Hopefully, I’d like to see into a crystal ball or something. We’re launching our new 7″ ‘Your Love’ at Ding Dong in Melbs on Fri July 20th and in Sydney at The Beresford Sat July 28th; we’re touring internationally for the first time (to the Edinburgh Fringe / UK this August), and our debut LP ‘Leave it all Behind’ is out August 17th thru Northside Records / Shock which we’ll be touring nationally sometime later this year. Can’t Wait.
An intimate insight into Saskwatch’s flawless instrumental talent: