Thousand Needles In Red extensive tour brings them to Melbourne and regional Victoria this week
There must be some kind of cosmic connection between Brisbane band The Butterfly Effect’s lead singer Clint Boge and Thousand Needles In Red guitarist and founding member Tristan Bouillaut. Prior to Tristan asking Clint to join his band, the singer had actually had kind of a premonition of this event occurring, as Tristan himself explains from a car on his way to the airport at the start of their tour: “We were always talking doing a band or a project together,” he starts, “and the time came up. I put the call through, and it was real casual, kinda like ‘hey Clint do you wanna check out some demos?’ And he was like ‘Sure!’ It’s funny, we still have a bit of a laugh about this, ‘cos he actually ‘envisioned’ me calling! After a couple of beers, we have a bit of a joke about it. It’s like, he remembers the time and exactly where he was. When I’m in Brisbane we’ll be driving and he’ll remember the exact spot where he was when he thought I was gonna call. So yeah, it’s a bit spooky!”
Thousand Needles In Red are a band in one of those unusual positions – which do occur occasionally, but are far from the norm – where the members are based in completely different cities and states.
It means that their activities are just a little different to that of most bands. “’Cos Clint’s in Brisbane, and the rest of the band’s in Sydney,” Tristan expands, “everything we’ve done from day one has been very strategic. Like, the songs for our EP were basically written in a weekend when Clint came down. When we’re together, has to be game on, because we don’t have time to muck around. So when Clint’s down we gotta work, it’s like ‘let’s put in, eight hours, just to start off with.’ We’ve just gotta go for it.
“Thousand Needles have always done things opposite to what most bands do,” he adds with a grin. “Our first show was a tour, our demo turned into an EP, being mixed by Jay Baumgardner in NRG Studios, while we were there with Linkin Park. Then we were in ‘Vegas with John, the drummer of System Of A Down and the P.O.D boys. It’s just ridiculous; everything has been back to front.
“And now Thousand Needles is starting to grow, starting to do its own thing, as a name,” he continues. “We gotta let it organically move in the direction it wants to; we can’t force it. But we’ll see what happens with the single, that’s gonna make our decision of which producer we’re gonna use. We can’t mention any names now, ‘cos we’re negotiating with quite a few. Our first priority is with this tour, for (single) Brand New Day. Once we’re done with this, we’re going to hit the class room again, and get ready to put a huge album out.”
Having Clint Boge on vocals also puts them in another unique position, whereby comparisons between Thousand Needles In Red and The Butterfly Effect are going to be inevitable.
One listen to TNIR confirms that their sound is close enough to appeal to fans of TBE, or at least not alienate them completely, but contrasting enough to not be considered too close for comfort. Thousand Needles In Red sound a little more raw, a little more edgy than the darker, more ambient approach of The Butterfly Effect, especially on the latter band’s more recent releases.
But Clint’s highly distinctive vocals open up a whole new world of potential fans for the band. “You know, it’s the same thing as (Ian) Kenny from Karnivool,” he theorizes, “and Birds Of Tokyo. It’s his voice. But I don’t think Karnivool sound anything like ‘Birds. And we gotta respect each other’s space, if that makes sense, and we’re not going to be writing in the same direction as another band.
“But yeah,” he laughs, “we’ve got Butterfly Effect fans at our shows now. It’s funny, on the first tour they were all rocking up in the ‘Butters’ shirts. I’ll tell you, our first show was pretty nerve wracking for me,” the guitarist reveals. “I had three guys standing in front of me, with their arms crossed, in black shirts. One was wearing a Karnivool shirt, another was wearing a Cog shirt, and the other was wearing a Butterfly Effect shirt!” he laughs.
“I thought ‘oh man, I’m on trial here!’ I know exactly what they were thinking! But by the end of the set they were jumping! And now Clint is saying to me ‘man, there’s quite a few people coming to Butterfly Effect shows with Thousand Needles ‘needles’ t-shirts on!’ So it went full circle pretty quick.”
Thousand Needles In Red current extensive tour brings them to Melbourne and regional Victoria this week, with shows in Ballarat, Geelong, Frankston, Ferntree Gully and finally The Evelyn on Sunday night. Punters can expect a high energy, but very dynamic show from this Sydney four piece. “It’s everything you want in a showbag!” Tristan quips.
“We’ve got the heavy parts, we’ve got the hard crispy parts, we’ve got the soft-centred parts! But yeah, it’s rock n roll man; it’s a box of Cadbury Roses. You know, it’s hard for you not to like one of them! It’s a big tour, and to quote me on it, ‘it’s game on’!”
You get the feeling that this is just the beginning for this ambitious band. The rest of this year and 2011 has a lot in store for Thousand Needles In Red: “I can see a lot more touring,”
Tristan predicts confidently, “possibly another single between now and Christmas, off the album, depending on the writing process. And yeah, debut album next year, a bunch of film clips, a bunch of touring and I can see a couple of overseas tours as well. So yeah, it’s going to be a really massive year.”
One wouldn’t bet against them achieving it all either.
THOUSAND NEEDLES IN RED are launching their new single, Brand New Day , with a huge tour that hits Victoria this week. You can catch them at Karova Lounge, Ballarat this Wednesday September 29, The Bended Elbow, Geelong on Thursday September 30, The Ferntree Gully Hotel on Friday October 1, The Pelly Bar, Frankston on Saturday October 2, and then finally at The Evelyn Hotel on Sunday October 3. For tickets and support details, as well as to buy and download Brand New Day , check out myspace.com/thousandneedlesinred.