It’s been a busy year for Melbourne’s adored breeze-pop outfit, Twerps.
The four-piece have performed perhaps only a handful of gigs this year, trading-in their buoyant and energetic live show for some serious recording time in the studio, with some great results. The first, an 8-track EP entitled Underlay that our own Tone Deaf writer described as “like a slightly more honed-in effort from a band who feel like they’re almost ready to crossover from cult adoration to a more widespread level of success.”
The second is their forthcoming sophomore LP Range Anxiety, which will be released 27th January, 2015. The band teased eager fans with first single from the record, ‘Back To You’, a bouncy-beated throw that encompasses the laconic and carefree poppy disposition that is Twerps in a mere two-and-a-half minutes.
With the band putting the finishing touches on Range Anxiety, and ahead of their Sugar Mountain appearance we thought it was high time we caught up with the local legends. We decided to have a bit of fun with the ever-cool frontman Marty Frawley, who dug through his vinyl collection, sharing stories of each wax that was significant to he and the band.
Before he cracked open the crate, he cautiously warned, “I try to listen to lots of jazz to not have to listen to music, and I listen to a lot of reggae.”
Wait, what? Jazz and reggae? We had to know more.
“I think because when we’re at home, Jules might be studying or I might be tired just after working in a café or maybe I don’t want to feel like I have to listen to something just because I like listening to music.”
He explained further, “I don’t know enough about it, it’s not me thinking about it, I have a good distance from it, it’s like people watching crap TV, but now Jules is right into it so I like that she’ll say ‘oh put on something that’s a bit more relaxing jazz’, it’s nice for me to switch off.”
With this, Frawley revealed pulled out his first vinyl which lo and behold, was a jazz record.
Dexter Gordon – Ballads
“Probably my favourite jazz dude. This one record Ballads is pretty good and my favourite, there’s one that’s called Go that’s awesome, but the Ballad album is my favourite.”
“There was another one, do you remember Mediafire? That was one of the greatest things that ever happened to me and I do believe in stealing music because I think it’s good for people to learn, but the one record I downloaded was Our Man In Paris. It’s got a rad font and it’s him on the front smoking a cigarette and I put it on one day when we were making the first record and it was just perfect, everything just seemed perfect and right for time.”
Lou Reed – Coney Island Baby
“That’s been a pretty big record, I think the mood in this record is so good. I listen to it by myself and I don’t know, I don’t know a word for it, it just sounds still.”
“There’s always really good productions on these records and I like that it sounds simple yet there’s a lot going on.”
Junior Byles – A Long Way
“I bought that one in America on tour because of Dion who was playing bass with us for a while.”
“We were in a record store I was going through a lot of reggae stuff because and he was like ‘you should get that record’. I was like ‘this record cost me like $20.00’ and that’s a lot in America for a record, ‘it better be good’ and I put it on and it was just perfect, it’s kind of like that soul reggae where there’s a lot of singing.”
Yo La Tengo – And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out
“We listen to a lot of different records. I like Yo La Tengo, some of their earlier records, not like the ‘90s, I’m not into that kind of Americana ‘90s stuff, but I like their softer records like this.”
White Fence – Live In San Francisco
“The first one we bought was Is Growing Faith, but all of them I thrash, I like certain parts of all of them.
“They released a live record of his last year and when you see him live, he’s easily the best band I’ve ever seen live, in my life.”
“When we played with them it was just next level it was mind-blowing without sounding daggy, but he’s got that energy which on his records he tries to do, I don’t know, insider bedroom pop, but when it’s a live record it just goes off and so that live record is it for me, like they just jam for 14-minutes and it’s awesome.”
The Congos – The Heart Of The Congos
“I remember asking Rick a long time ago what his favourite record it was called Heart Of The Congos, that’s now probably my favourite reggae record.”
Pavement – Watery, Domestic EP
In March of 2015, Twerps are set to support Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks at their Golden Plains sideshow at the Melbourne Zoo Twilight series, we had to know if they guys were fans.
“I love the Watery, Domestic EP it’s got ‘Shoot The Singer’ on it. I never really liked Pavement for ages maybe until last year even, I found him a bit hard to listen to. It’s like cool man, you’re really good with words, and guitar.”
“I like the Best Of, because I mean Stephen, I’m gonna call him Stephen, I don’t think he’ll want to talk to me, but if I did I’d be happy to tell him that I find his records sometimes a bit too dense, and I’m into simple stuff. But I think the new Jicks record is awesome.”
“He seems really cool, and knows what he’s trying to put across. I think he’d admire someone telling him that Steve Jicks is better than Pavement, he’d probably be happy, maybe we should do it?”
With the four-piece having been included on the eclectic lineup of Sugar Mountain Festival of January next year, Frawley detailed some of the acts he’s stoked to see, “I knew that Nas was really cool and I listened to that Illmatic record and it was amazing, I really like that record it’s crazy.”
Hilariously, he confessed of his infatuation with Denmark’s post-punk buzz band “I saw Iceage recently at Hugs & Kisses and they were really fun, some people were like ‘they just seem so handsome’ and then when they played it was really fun, but they write stuff like ‘take us more serious, we’re not just handsome dudes’ it must be hard being that handsome. But they’re awesome, they’re really cool I really like them.”
The breezy-pop outfit are gearing up for a show in mid-December this year, and following this, will charm Melbourne audiences at both Sugar Mountain, Melbourne’s Zoo and Golden Plains Festival not to mention unleashing what will no doubt be another classic Aussie album.
For more info on Sugar Mountain festival 2015, visit www.sugarmountainfestival.com