Much-loved rock‘n’roll three-piece The ReChords have developed an ardent live following in Melbourne and beyond, and their new EP, It Won’t Be Long, promises to continue that. Ahead of their EP launch, double bassist Tyron Shaw discussed their ‘experimental’ recording process and their unique look.
Before they even play a note, the first thing that strikes you about The ReChords are their sharp chambray shirts and spectacular quiffs. They look damn good, but this isn’t to say that they’re working a gimmick. “It’s not just a dress-up thing,” Shaw says. “We’re like that anyway, on a day-to-day level. When we’re onstage, we want to make it a visual show, not just a musical one.”
Don’t Know Much, the first single from upcoming EP It Won’t Be Long, bemoans a very modern trend, of spending one’s life in thrall to social media. Its tone of bemusement fits the band’s ‘men out of time’ image, but one wonders if the band tailor the lyrical content of their music to fit their sound and aesthetic.
“I don’t want to speak for Leo [Francis], who wrote that one, but my attitude is that whatever comes, comes. If it’s happened in his life, he’ll mention it, because that’s the world we’re living in. We’re just combining those current concerns with the sounds of a bygone era.”
Despite favouring a well-worn sound, The ReChords aren’t completely averse to a little innovation – It Won’t Be Long will be the first ReChords effort to feature drums. Shaw explains that their drum-free format wasn’t a conscious decision, they just liked things the way they were.
“Originally, we considered drums,” he explains, “but we decided to proceed as a three-piece because the sound was quite strong, just with the double bass and guitars carrying the rhythm, and the harmonies filling everything out.”
However, the time felt right to mix things up. “When we hooked up with Lindsey [Gravina], though, we decided to experiment and put some drums in there, just to get a more radio-friendly sound. We’re really happy with how it came out, but the next thing we do will be as a three-piece.”
Are they not worried that something will be lost, some energy, some excitement? Shaw doesn’t seem to think it’s a problem. “People always dance at our shows – all sorts of dancing, let me tell you!” he chuckles. “I guess there’s just an upbeat feel in the rhythm of our songs that compels people to move.”
How did the collaboration with the illustrious Gravina (Magic Dirt, Rowland S. Howard and The Living End) come about? “We approached him, just to have a chat about our music,” Shaw explains. “We didn’t really think anything would come of it, because what we do is such a niche sort of sound. To our surprise, he was interested in some stuff we sent him.
“We were nervous about doing high-end production, because it goes against the sort of warm, analogue recording that we usually do. With our hillbilly style, it’s hard to give it a modern edge without taking away some of the personality, or making it sound like something that’s been done before. We’re happy with the end result, though: it’s still us, but with a bit more shine and energy.”
With the EP wrapped, the band’s attention will return to their bread and butter – live performance. “We will be doing the EP launch with our good friend Sue Shaw [The Exotics], who played drums on the recordings. The rest of our live shows will be the tried-and-true three-piece, but we wanted to do something special for the launch,” Shaw explains. “We’re also bringing down The Drey Rollan Band from Sydney, and we’re having Cherrywood playing as well – it’s gonna be fun!”
And it won’t stop there for The ReChords. Warmly regarded in Melbourne, after their EP launch the band will be spreading the gospel further afield, with their second tour of Europe. “There’s a good market for roots and Americana in Europe at the moment,” Shaw says. “We’ve getting some love, so we’re just hoping to build on that.”
BY EDWARD SHARP-PAUL
THE RECHORDS will be launching It Won’t Be Long on Saturday May 11 at The Workers Club. It Won’t Be Long will be available through Bundoora Records from Saturday May 11.