We fell in love with young Brissy trio The Goon Sax since the release of their early singles ‘Sometimes Accidentally’ and standout ‘Boyfriend’ which we called “a hooky three minutes that ride a down tempo wave of both laconic wit and painful longing.”
Following those releases the trio – comprised of Louis Forster, James Harrison and Riley Jones, have recently dropped their debut LP Up To Anything via iconic local label Chapter Music.
Signed last year to Chapter on the strength of an unsolicited demo, (the first time that has ever happened in the label’s history), the young collective have gone on to slay critics’ hearts internationally and play with the likes of US Girls, Twerps, Blank Realm and Crayon Fields, and have a spot on Brisbane Laneway Festival in February.
To celebrate the release of this incredibly impressive album (and their upcoming shows) we caught up with James and Louis to get to know the crew a little better.
Louis: James and I met when we were in another band and really just formed the Goon Sax as a joke initially. I had played in a few bands with friends previously, but I think it’s very hard to find someone, let alone multiple people who it really works with. Playing with James immediately felt very different to other bands I had been in.
What They’ve Learnt Over The Past 12 Months
Louis: I think there was a point where we really started to listen to each other rather than just kind of play through our parts together if that makes sense, I am very glad we learnt that. We also learnt to just do what’s comfortable on stage, for a while we really thought about being funny and entertaining to the audience, but I think that can look very forced and if it doesn’t happen naturally it’s probably best not to do it at all.
Teaming Up With Chapter Music
James: Well we all had really loved the label for awhile, and so it was sort of a pipe dream at the time that if we sent some demos of our songs Chapter might pick them up. So when it actually happened we were definitely very very happy.
The Writing & Recording Up To Anything
Louis: Our writing process is always something that happens alone. We have never written a song from a jam at a band practice or anything. All the songs on the album were written by me or James sometime between early 2013 and 2015, we then rehearsed them as a band.
Two of the songs (‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Anyone Else’) were recorded in July 2014 at studio called Incremental, with our friends Andre and Liam producing. A few months later we sent those two songs to Guy and Ben from Chapter.
I think you can hear that those two songs sound a bit different from the rest of the album, the vocals are drier and the guitar tone is strummier. We recorded the rest of the album in 10 days at a studio near James’ house. We wanted the album to sound just like the practices where we first started playing all those songs so we recorded guitar bass and drums completely live.
The Response To Up To Anything
Louis: It’s been really nice, we’ve gotten some really lovely messages from people saying how much they like the album so that’s been really special. It’s so nice to hear that a song means a lot to someone rather than them just hearing and thinking it sounds nice.
On Their ‘Classic’ Inspirations
James: Yeah I think my parents definitely influenced my taste, I probably have found a lot of different music by searching through their record collection which has a lot of classics through it.
Recent Laneway Festival Highlights
James: I really enjoyed having a free massage in the backstage area with our guitar tech Ross and harmonica player Connor, as well as the almonds which were also free.
Saturday April 9
Melbourne – The Tote Hotel
Supports: Chook Race, Hearing and Dag
Saturday April 30
Brisbane – Trainspotters
Supports: Blank Realm and Scraps
Tickets $10 on the door