Slick Arnold and Tomorrow Rising: A Tale of Two Singles
Interview by Isaac Selby Photos by Sharmonie Cockayne
We caught up with Slick Arnold and Tomorrow Rising to discuss the launch of singles ‘PV’ and ‘Wolves At Bay’ at Rocket Bar on Wednesday. With descriptions (of each other) ranging from “Tomorrow Rising are punching punk in the face and telling it to go fuck itself” to “Slick Arnold will fry your brain” these are two bands worth checking out. Callum Parr, Steff Esposito, Kierren Mason, Jacob Bosley and Max Lambert are Tomorrow Rising. Jack Crawford, Peter Galanos and Mitchell Larkin are Slick Arnold.
So you guys are playing a double single launch, what’s the story?
Slick Arnold: We’re playing Punk Ass Kids at Rocket Bar on August the 19th. They do it every second Wednesday. We’re pretty excited to have Black Stone From the Sun (WA) opening for the show.
So have you guys got anything planned for the show?
SA: Beach balls and a Li Lo maybe a reggae cover.
Can’t wait, where else have you released music so far?
SA: We’ve got our EP up on Bandcamp, we haven’t got it on Spotify or iTunes yet. We’re pretty shit at being a band really.
Do any of you feel strongly for or against streaming versus physical releases?
Callum, TR: I pay for Spotify, I think it’s good, artists get paid for their music which is important. These days it’s not really where you make your money though. You’re going to make your money from live shows and touring, you don’t really make any money anyways. [laughs]
In terms of exposure, how have you guys been promoting your music?
SA: We’ve been trying to build up a social media presence, I guess that’s the most efficient way to do it as everybody has phones and computers, playing shows is the best way to do it.
TR: You guys sound mega tight live.
SA: I think one thing we need to work on is our recording and digital music, but yeah we’re getting there we’ve got plans of small east coast trips and planning to get on streaming sights someday. It’s a gradual process.
Where are some of your favourite places to play and find good up and coming bands?
SA: Thrillhouse (Ed Castle), Punk Ass Kids (Rocket Bar). The Crown and Anchor on a Thursday is always good, they have bands that could have never played a show and bands that play all the time. I dunno, not Red Square I guess.
TR: I’m sure heaps of bands played their first gig at Red Square. Didn’t Jimmy Barnes used to play there for acoustic Saturdays? It’s actually called Reds because he head-butted someone there and they started bleeding. They were going to call it Barnesy but it didn’t sound right.
SA: There weren’t enough hay bales.
Are you fans of the EDM scene?
A lot of people like EDM and that’s cool but it’s hard to find good experimental stuff.
I guess at EC you might find better experimental…
Sure, or dance music.
So what future Slick Arnold/Tomorrow Rising music can we look forward to gracing the clubs of Adelaide?
TR: Well we’ve got the single coming out on the 19th. We have a few other things recorded that we might release in January, then we might head to Melbourne and play some shows on the east coast. We’ve already done two EPs, so we might just do singles for a while.
TR: Nah we’re doing an album!
TR: Yeah sure, then we might make a feature length film soundtrack and a trilogy album after we play Wembley. It’s a shame because we keep trying to get in the studio but they keep asking us back. We’ve got Abbey Road on one line and Wembley on the other. It’s so fucked.
Then we’ve got to do an acoustic covers album.
TR: We’ve had good publicity since ACDC started covering us at their shows.
Usually it’s the other way round!
Nah Angus Young can’t keep up with my lightning fingers.
Their drummer Phil Rudd probably can’t keep up either since his house arrest….
TR: He kinda reminds me of that insurance add with the old lady where she’s like “it’s better to burn out then to fade away” and he’s just sitting at home like “you know what fuck it, I’m going to go out and get someone killed, do some lines and get some hookers.”
Is that a real ad?
Yeah. With an old lady.
Neil Young insurance?
SA: Or ACDC insurance. “Get on it before we melt your face.” “High Voltage Insurance. “
What influences the regular writing process for a Tomorrow Rising song?
TR: In terms of things that you can hear in our music because of our writing process, half of the songs are done by Max, half of the songs are done by Steff. Then the songs are chucked through to me [Callum] instrumentally and I’ll do the vocals. In terms of outside influence the first couple of bands I started listening to when I was a little kid were Oasis and Queen. As I got older I got into stuff like Greenday and Muse, Muse isn’t really an influence but Green Day are massively. Then when I actually joined the band, Rise Against, became a huge influence on my vocals.
Are they a lyrical influence?
TR: Not really. They’re really passionate guys but I consciously almost write non-politically, purely because I’m not interested in politics, I know nothing about politics so I don’t want to get on a stage and start preaching because I know nothing. A lot of our songs do have quite a worldly presence though.
Any in particular?
TR: On a basic lyrical sense our song Rocket Scientist is kind of a my way of saying “we’re all living on one planet together and we’re all fucking it up and we’re all killing each other and it’s terrible”, and it’s like why are we?
Why are there people going to war over religions, I don’t go specifically into that but that’s the surface, why are we being that stupid?
And for Slick Arnold?
SA: We all listen to different music, but don’t really write according to what we listen to. In terms of influence one album I loved growing up was Wolfmother’s first record. I would listen to that all the time and watch all their videos, I’ve never seen them live but the way they played, the way they’d write it all seems so real. A lot of people didn’t get behind it and thought it seemed lame or whatever, but I think it’s really honest and just loved listening to it. I still love listening to it.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are another big influence. When I first got into playing bass I started listening to Blood Sugar Sex Magik. The Chili’s just seem so real. They didn’t go about their music like they thought they had to. They went fuck everyone else. We’re going to slap bass and white man rap and put funky guitar over everything and if you don’t like it then you can fuck off.
Another influence is Toxicity by System of a Down, not necessarily the music but the fact that they’re nuts. I don’t even know how to explain it. I’m pretty sure Rick Rubin once said that when he saw them for the first time he couldn’t stop laughing, not because they were bad but because they were so unlike anything else that he’d seen. They’re so good that they transcend being different.
And when it comes to the process of writing your own music?
SA: Very much jam based, we always write the song first and then write the lyrics afterwards. Jack is pretty much our full time guitarist, part time vocalist. The vocals come if they come. Jack’s a great lyricist and he comes up with some good melodies but we’re very much focused on the musical creation first and then the lyrics come afterwards as a group.
What is it that you wish to achieve respectively with the music that your bands make?
TR: Ever since I’ve been in a band I’ve always wanted to play huge shows, probably because I’m a singer. I want to have everyone in the crowd singing along to our songs. I’d just like to rock out and be able to play huge fucking shows. Arena shows. Or just do what the Foo Fighters do where they’ll play Madison Square gardens one day and then they’ll go to some shitty little club the next day and still play their hearts out.
SA: I play music for fairly selfish reasons; I play music because I like the way it makes me feel. For me the feeling, I was watching a live show of Muse and the feeling of a whole crowd singing a melody straight back into your face. I’m not even a singer but I just think that’d feel awesome.
If you had to summarise what you love about each other, what would you say?
TR: You can tell from what they’ve said, they’re completely genuine about the music. And everything that they do you can tell is genuine. You know when you rock up to a Slick Arnold show that it’s going to be on point. Every part of that set you’re going to be there with your head banging. I’d love you for them to be huge so that I could be in a massive crowd moshing around.
SA: I like the big punch in the face you get from the music. With the beat-downs and stuff like that. Even the crowd interaction, there’s always banter at their shows and it’s sick. They could play Chinese opera for all I care they’re just good blokes. And there’s plenty of good bands out there especially in Adelaide who are starting to get attention but not all of them are genuine guys and the TR boys you’d be mates with regardless of whether they played music. We’d still be having beers and hanging out, as I said there are a lot of bands out there that won’t give you the time of the day. If you’re playing and they’re after you they will just ignore you. Which is pointless because with a scene like Adelaide’s it’s all about looking after each other as bands and sticking together and building something incredible but the TR boys are good dudes. Except for Jacob.
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