Aussie rockers Greenthief are just a few short days away from releasing their debut album ‘Voyage’ and are getting ready to head out on a headline tour to promote it. We caught up with the bands very own Julian Schweitzer to talk about all things Voyage, touring and even Steve James.
Undercover FM: Less than a week until you release Voyage – how do you feel?
Julian Schweitzer: It’s really exciting. I think it’s a combination between excitement and relief. It was done quite some time ago but we wanted to release it at a good time and we wanted to start the year with this. It was kind of ready towards the end of last year but because of everything that goes on and how crazy that time of the year was we wanted to release it at the beginning of the year to get a nice fresh start.
Undercover FM: What can you tell me about the recording process?
Julian Schweitzer: The recording we did on the back of a big national tour, so we supported The Butterfly Effect towards the end of 2012; we did record it over a year ago. We wanted to go straight into the studio right at the very end of the tour so we just finished a 25 date tour and we planned the recording session literally a couple of days after being with each other playing all those shows so we could be very tight and get a good live energy happening. That was kind of the idea behind it – just to be a very well-rehearsed live band and that’s one of the things we wanted to convey in the record.
Undercover FM: What went into creating Voyage?
Julian Schweitzer: I guess I would write a lot of the songs myself and I would bring them to the band and we would kind of work a little bit on the arrangement and the structure. I think one of the main things was to start out with a whole heap of songs so we could really narrow down the songs we enjoyed the most and we’ve got the best reaction live. We were able to test all the songs quite well because of quite a big touring schedule over the past couple of years. We had a really good idea of what worked and what didn’t. Then we just had to think; it might be nice to have a softer song here or a heavier song there. The album is titled Voyage, so it’s like a journey and when you listen to it from the start it really just sounds like one work and that’s obviously what the title is referring to.
Undercover FM: How do you expect people to react?
Julian Schweitzer: That is a good question. I think a lot of people have already seen us live, so I am sure a lot of them will know the songs. They are the songs that we have been playing live for the last couple of years. I just want people to see it as something a bit different. I am hoping that people listen to it from start to finish but I know that is a lot to ask these days with how everything is. I hope people look at it like an album as a whole as opposed to 12 songs.
Undercover FM: How did you find working with Steve James?
Julian Schweitzer: Good! We worked with Steve on the last EP that we did which was titled ‘Retribution’ and he is great! We ended up doing the production and recording with him and we actually got someone else to mix it. Steve is really about trimming the songs down and getting rid of all the fat and really bringing out the main elements of a song which he always does really well and pull great guitar tones. It was really awesome working with Steve.
Undercover FM: What was the most important thing you took away from working with him?
Julian Schweitzer: I guess just highlighting the choruses. When I write a song, or anyone writes a song, I guess they can get a bit self-absorbed and he was that outside opinion that asked; Do you need that? Does that verse need to be that long? Could we cut this down? I think Steve is really good at it.
Undercover FM: In less than a month you are heading back on tour, how do you feel about that?
Julian Schweitzer: Yeah we’re really excited! It’s just going to be good to get out there and start playing because we haven’t been playing for a while, since we got back from Europe last year. We’re getting back on the road and that’s what it’s all about – playing live and seeing how people react to the song. We will finally have an album to sell at the shows of the songs that we are currently playing live because we’ve been selling old EP’s when we tour. So it will be awesome to have the album with us.
Undercover FM: What does a Greenthief headline show look like?
Julian Schweitzer: I like to think of it again as a journey. It goes through lots of different moods, highs and lows. We try to construct our set list to take you on a journey through different shades of colours and heaviness. We also take pride in an energetic, live and passionate show.
Undercover FM: Who has the most annoying habits on tour?
Julian Schweitzer: That is a really hard question. There are some new members involved, we are going to have a new drummer on board, so we are going to have to test him out and see what he is like on the road. It is going to be a bit of a getting-to-know-each-other process in that regard.
Julian Schweitzer: I think that like anyone you’re with for that period of time it can just be the smallest things that get annoying. I think it’s like anything in life – but it really is hard to point out one thing. I am trying to brainstorm now.
Julian Schweitzer: I think annoying habits are when specific people I won’t name don’t have a driver’s license or maybe members get a bit intoxicated and can’t drive to the next show. I won’t point fingers just yet!
Undercover FM: What do you want to say to our readers and your fans?
Julian Schweitzer: We would love you to check us out live, maybe base us on our live show. If the album doesn’t convince you, see if our live show does! That is what we’re about. So please come give us a chance!
Check out ‘Voyage’ released February 10th or catch the band at any of the following venues:
Saturday, 1st March 2014
BALLARAT, Eastern Station – VIC
Friday, 7th March 2014
ADELAIDE, Crown and Anchor – SA
Saturday, 8th March 2014
GLENELG, Jetty Bar – SA
Thursday, 13th March 2014
GEELONG, Barwon Club – VIC
Saturday 15th March 2014
BENDIGO, Musicman Mega Store – VIC
Friday, 21st March 2014
WARRNAMBOOL, The Loft – VIC
Saturday, 22nd March 2014
MELBOURNE, The Espy Front Bar – VIC
Friday, 28th March 2014
LAUNCESTON, New York Hotel – TAS
Saturday, 29th March 2014
HOBART, Brisbane Hotel – TAS
Thursday, 3rd April 2014
PERTH, Ya Ya’s – WA
Saturday, 5th April 2014
BUNBURY, Prince of Wales – WA
Sunday, 6th April 2014
FREMANTLE, The Newport – WA
Thursday, 10th April 2014
NEWCASTLE, Great Northern – NSW
Friday, 11th April 2014
BYRON BAY, The Great Northern – NSW
Saturday, 12th April 2014
TOOWOOMBA, Norville Hotel – QLD
Friday, 18th April 2014
BRISBANE, Crow Bar – QLD
Saturday, 19th April 2014
SUNSHINE COAST, Kings Beach Tavern - QLD
Thursday, 24th April 2014
SYDNEY, Frankie’s Pizza – NSW
Friday, 25th April 2014
WOLLONGONG, Yours and Owls - NSW
Saturday, 26th April 2014
CANBERRA, The Basement – ACT
Sunday, 27th April 2014!
WAGGA WAGGA, Home Tavern - NSW