Gotye has finished on his first new material since completing his global victory lap of 2012 that culminated in winning three gongs in major categories at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards this past February.

But rather than dive headfirst into coming up with a sequel to the global-conquering ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’, Gotye has instead focussed his efforts on the local, returning back home to Melbourne to help some (very talented) musical mates, as well as support the ongoing cause for preserving Australia’s live music scene.

As part of SLAM’s crowdfunding campaign, which is offering exclusives the equivalent of a music lover’s wet dream (merchandise, vinyl, dinners and tuition with musos!) in exchange for pledge donations, Wally De Backer has teamed up with musical humourists Perfect Tripod to record an a capella cover of cult classic ‘Quasimodos Dream’ by 80s Aussie electro pioneers The Reels.

Perfect Tripod is the combination of the much-beloved Melbourne comedy trio of Scott Edgar (Scod), Simon Hall (Yon), Steven Gates (Gatesy), and suave hometown comedian Eddie Perfect. The group have just completed their Australian Songs Tour where they covered a selection of Down Under ditties, from Kasey Chambers to Kylie Minogue.

As our Tone Deaf reviewer glowed of their debut performance at the Arts Centre Playhouse in Melbourne, “armed with unparalleled comic timing, the incredibly endearing group brought new life to some otherwise obvious classics.”

The collaboration with Wally De Backer, aka Gotye, was originally thought to be a live performance as an extension to the Australian Songs concept, but as the Grammy-winning artist tells The Age, it soon developed in a different direction.

De Backer says that he’d not heard ‘Quasimodo’s Dream’ prior to recording it with Perfect Tripod, but he could find parallels in the influential [track]…

“Eddie Perfect and Tripod had done a few shows of all-Australian songs which they arrange a cappella. I ended up getting the easy role of doing lead vocals and they had the hard part of doing four-part harmony,” De Backer tells the paper, noting that the five musicians worked out the arrangement of the Reels cover via email.

Sending different mp3s back and forth until the final version was summated on the day in the studio. “There was a lot of complex harmony and movement in the arrangement,” says De Backer, “and we spent four or five hours doing separate takes. It got to the stage where we weren’t sure we had a killer take all the way through.”

De Backer says that he’d not heard ‘Quasimodo’s Dream’ prior to recording it with Perfect Tripod, but he could find parallels in the influential title track from The Reels’ 1981 second studio album and his own flush with worldwide fame. Particularly in the line: “Fame, won’t alleviate heartache/Knocks at your door/Gives you the score/Then won’t set you free.”

“You lose something once you’re in the public eye,” says Gotye. “You can remain a private person, but there’s more difficulty retreating into a feeling of anonymity.”

Perfect Tripod’s Gotye-augmented tribute to the Reels will feature as the second entry in SLAM’s contribution to this year’s Record Store Day (April 20th), a series of 7” vinyl singles, the first of which features Tim Roger covering a track by Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, and vice versa on the record’s B side.

“People like Gotye may never need to play a small gig again, but he understands how important they are for the development of a vibrant culture.” – Helen Marcou, SLAM

The 7” single is available for a pledge of $30, while a digital download of the single is also available for $10. The SLAM Record Store Day series is just one of many tantalising rewards for those looking to support their cause.

Other one-of-a-kind offers available include VIP treatment to a Tame Impala show on their upcoming national tour for $125, instrument mentoring with the likes of The Living End bassist Scott Owen or guitar with Richard Lloyd of Television for $250 a piece, and for $2,000 you can grab an ‘On The Door’ pass, giving you access to iconic Melbourne venues such as The Corner Hotel, The Espy, HiFi and The Tote for three double passes to gigs during the year.

Speaking of the development of the pledge rewards, SLAM co-founder Helen Marcou previously remarked ,“we’re just absolutely humbled that they’ve come forth and offered these experiences for SLAM… Chewing the fat with Bob Log, or Gaz from The Drones, or talking songwriting with Steve Kilbey (of The Church).”

Ms Marcou says the crowdfunding campaign is help generate sustainable funds for SLAM, helping go towards expenses like project management, artwork, photography, printing, distribution, and legal fees – just to name a few.

Speaking to The AgeMarcou says “we need to secure the funding to remain sustainable as an organisation,” while also commending De Backer’s support of the local live music scene. “People like Gotye may never need to play a small gig again, but he understands how important they are for the development of a vibrant culture.”

UPDATE: In related news, and in some rather good timing, Tripod have also announced they’ll be releasing Men of Substance, their brand new studio album on March 28th. Material from the new album deals with “perfectly relatable adult concepts” in the trio’s own words, and was developed during their own ‘band camp’ to a Shoreham beach house.

Returning to get the kids’ school lunches ready, the trio then enlisted producer John Castle (whose credits include work with The Bamboos and Washington) to help craft Men of Substance‘s 13 tracks, making for “a A musical album you can laugh at. A comedy album you can dance to.”

Amont tunes about telling their 5 year old offspring about how mummy and daddy met at a men’s club (on ‘Gay Bar’), or discussing the ‘Triangle of Happiness’ – the perfect equilibrium between home, work, and the shops – in a cheekily agressive ditty; there’s ‘The Blueprint’ a tune that’ll surely please lovers of Australia’s troubled live music scene, and certainly a number that SLAM would be proud of.

‘The Blueprint’ humorously looks at the not-so-humorous issue of planning permits that hatch a plot to destroy the city’s vibrant live music scene’s established pubs and clubs, with encroaching noise complaining residents. (Sure to be a hit with Bourke St resident and noted venue grumbler, Mark Edmonds.)

Tripod’s latest will be available in time for the Men Of Subtance show’s last ever season upon the return to the Melbourne International Comedy  Festival this March/April 2013 (details below).

You can view SLAM’s crowdfunding campaign rewards, including Gotye & Perfect Tripod’s Record Store Day single, here, and listen to The Reels’ original (via Spotify) below:


MEN OF SUBSTANCE Melbourne International Comedy Festival Performances

MARCH 28 to 14 APRIL
SUN: 7:45PM
Tickets from $30 available via Ticketmaster

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine