The Electric Guitars are about to release their second album, Sideways Changeling for all flame-brained beatniks, slobbering gutter trash and ecstatic surfers of the cosmos. The album includes forty-odd minutes of Stooges-esque skronk rave-ups, mangled Phil-Spector-via-Jesus-&-Mary-Chain melodies, grandiose Jean-Claude Vannier affectations and epic explorations of nihilism and psychic doom. It was recorded by Paul Maybury in a disused Depression-era 3-D printing facility in Melbourne, Australia, and created by the disused Depression-era brains of The Electric Guitars.
Sideways Changeling will be released on their own (and therefore prestigious) Volume Creep label, as was their first, self-titled, LP in 2015, and the recently released 7” double A-side single Three Body Problem/ Death from Beside. The band answers a few questions for Hi Fi Way: The Pop Chronicles.
How exciting has the build up been for Sideways Changeling?
The build up was like an endless tunnel full of constant “left path or right path?” moments. But it wasn’t all like that: there was also laziness, confusion, boredom, and bad choices.
How would you compare album number two to your debut?
The music, title and cover are different. Also it’s more of a homogeneous album as the band on the first album never played live and this one has been playing together for a while so we have been able to find out what works best BEFORE the recording process, and to know our strengths (none) and weaknesses (also none).
Did you have a clear vision of how you wanted the album to sound?
Yeah, we did. A live review summed it up nicely: “your feelings about this band will depend largely on how you feel about the phrase ‘aural assault’”.
Did the recording experience throw up many challenges?
Your phrase “throw up” answers the question.
But seriously, not many. Recording at maximum volume has its challenges, and trying to hear each other over the roar was probably the hardest. But it also has its rewards: hopefully you can hear the air being moved. It’s great to work with recording engineer Paul Maybury as he’s both willing to try anything but also able to curtail some of our more … excessive tendencies.
How was the process of making the video clip Death From Beside?
Was it fun being involved in all aspects of the production of the video?
It’s always fun. But we can’t really say we were “involved in all aspects” as all we did was stick together some stuff that other people had already produced.
Where did the name Electric Guitars come from?
It’s THE Electric Guitars, and comes from trying to give a mundane, everyday phrase a new context. It’s also a tribute to two favourite groups: The Electric Prunes and The Electric Eels.
How would you describe The Electric Guitars to someone who hasn’t heard of the band before?
Like The 13th Floor Elevators, The Butthole Surfers and Hawkwind on acid.
“Your feelings about this band will depend largely on how you feel about the phrase ‘aural assault’ (you ignorant clod)”.
The cover art is awesome, how did that come about?
Yes, it is. It’s a painting by Trevor Comley, who is an old friend of (our bass player) Dave. The front and back of the gatefold are close to the magnificent original, but it’s been heavily tampered with elsewhere.
What’s next for The Electric Guitars?
Being in this group is like being sucked up one of those twisty, spiral, party drinking straws except at a glacial pace and the straw isn’t solid but is vague, changeable and difficult to see out of, so, thankfully, we have no idea. But we are launching the album on 25th May at Woody’s in Collingwood and playing a withinstore at Polyester Fitzroy on 7th April and shows are being arranged interstate and in rural Victoria as you are reading this.
Interview by Rob Lyon