Having spent the last three weeks zigzagging up and down the east coast, now it’s Melbourne’s turn to celebrate the release of their long-awaited new single Ride Home, while soaking up their swagger – and be treated to an introduction to their forthcoming studio album, Americana Doom Fuzz.
“Melbourne’s been really good to us,” says frontman Tim Meaco. “There’s a really warm and welcoming community of musicians and bands down there. That makes touring that much more enjoyable.”
The Lockhearts formed in 2012 over a shared passion for vintage guitar stores, hot sauce and the first four Van Halen albums – and they have gone on to achieve national success. They currently hold the title of longest running weekly residency in Sydney and are the instigators behind the hugely successful Old Mate’s Block Party festival. Last year they inked a deal with Golden Robot Records, a respected independent label with reach around the world.
Americana Doom Fuzz will be their first release since closing the deal, and as Meaco tells it, the making of this important release was a labour of love and a product of late-night experimentation. “We actually started recording [the album] around this time last year, so it’s been something we’ve been working on for quite a while.
“We deliberately chose not to rush and work hard at getting it right. We made sure it lived up to our own expectations before we played it for everyone else.”
On stage, The Lockhearts take their cues from rock legends of the past and their sound is heavily informed by American and English bands such as Led Zepplin and early Aerosmith. “We love the idea of tracking interesting sounds in the studio and we’re obviously very influenced by the production that came out of the ‘60s and ‘70s when that kind of pursuit in recording was young and experimental,” Meaco says.
“We used the old Led Zeppelin trick of recording the drums in a stairwell and we actually set up a toy drum kit – it’s this little thing but it has this insane reverb, just from echoing through our concrete stairwell. We used it for some different effects on the album and we doubled it over the top of other drums. You can get some really interesting sounds tracking in strange rooms.”
Despite the fact that Americana Doom Fuzz has been recorded, mixed and ready to go for a while now, Meaco admits fans will have to wait a little longer to get their hands on a copy. “There’s been some delays with getting it out but that’s standard practise with any album release I think. It’s going to be out early next year – early 2018.”
In the meantime, catch The Lockhearts’ high octane, dial-up-to-11 live show. “We tend to get a little restless not playing new stuff, so we will be playing tracks from the upcoming album at these shows,” Meaco says.
“We can’t wait to play in Melbourne again. Melbourne has its own scene and it’s very communal. We treat everyone with respect and they treat us with respect too – and they welcome you with open arms.
“James Young at Cherry Bar has taken care of us many times before, and the boys at Young Henrys down there always make sure we’ve got a good rider,” he laughs.
“It’s always interesting going into new territory when you’re not sure how to read a new crowd. We tend to play the same way in uncharted waters as we would play at home. Occasionally we will throw in a bit of Daryl Braithwaite’s The Horses. That’s a classic that has held up over time.”