BLACK BIRD HUM are an exceptional party reggae band who’s incredible live shows have won them legions of fans and a favourite amongst festivals. Previously sharing the stage with the likes of Arrested Development (USA), The Melbourne Ska Orchestra, Collie Buddz (USA), Kingfisha, Six60 (NZ), King Tide, The Strides, Bobby Alu, Georgia Fair, and Kooyeh.
Just in time for the warmer weather the band are releasing a huge reggae banger called DOWN. The band are on tour and are wrapping things up supporting Arrested Development.
How is the tour going at the moment?
The tour is going great! We’ve been as far north as the Sunshine Coast in Queensland for the Caloundra Music Festival. That was amazing. All the gigs on that north coast and Queensland run were great. Marrickville Festival recently was a really good set too. This weekend we join a great Brisbane act “The Mouldy Lovers” on their national tour for their stop in Newcastle then we do our own headline at Moonshine in Manly the next night.
Must be great finishing the tour off by supporting Arrested Development in Sydney?
It’s the perfect way to round off what’s been a really good month or so.
How did you feel when you were told you would support Arrested Development in Sydney?
We were pumped! We were in the van, halfway between Bellingen in northern NSW and the Gold Coast when we got the message. So that was pretty cool too.
How big an influence are Arrested Development on your band?
It varies throughout the band, but it’s pretty big for a few of us. The first live gig our guitarist Eddie ever went to was Arrested Development. So it’s definitely big for him We supported them on their last tour too, and he was like a bit of a fanboy backstage. It was pretty embarrassing, but also pretty great – they were ridiculously generous with their time and energy.
Will you pull out something extra special for this show?
I’ve bought some new pants. So I’ll give them a go. We might have a percussionist too. We’ve been talking about it for a while, but with 9 or 10 people already on stage, it’s never really a rush to add more people. We’re not really aiming to be a reggae Polyphonic Spree…
How would describe the reggae banger Down and what’s the background to it?
The song was the first track we wrote together as a band. We shacked up in the southern highlands of NSW for a week and just wrote and wrote.
It’s about someone who is in a position to help fix some of the problems in the world, but chooses not to, mostly because where they sit the problems don’t really affect them.
Are there plans for an album or EP next year?
Definitely – while we were away writing we put about an albums worth of ideas down and we are heading back down there in January to finish things off. The next track is ready to go for an early 2018 release and the rest of the album shouldn’t be far behind.
How long have Black Bird Hum been together and where did it all start?
In various forms the band goes back about 7 years! I’d been in a band with my brother Luke and we started to get all Liam and Noel Gallagher with each other so we called it quits. I had a bunch of songs I was working on and started asking various people to get on board. The lineup has changed a bit over the years, but the 8 or 9 people on board now have been going strong for a few years.
What inspired the band name?
A fever-driven hallucination.
Are the more live shows planned for the summer?
Yep! We are heading down south to play at a winery that apparently loves reggae. That’s December 17, then we’re doing every Sunday in January at the Steyne Hotel in Manly. The next full tour up and down the coast won’t be until March most likely.
Interview by Rob Lyon