Interview: Shining Bird

Shining Bird

“Musically, artists like The Triffids, Icehouse, The Warumpi Band, & Nick Cave have all been huge influences for us.”

 

We interview Shining Bird, an upcoming act hailing from Wollongong, Australia. Fresh off their debut release Leisure Coast, the band talks about the inspiration behind the album and more. Many thanks to Lead Vocalist Dane Taylor for the interview.

 

1. When we first checked you out, the thing that struck us was how unbelievably chilled out your personas were and are. Something tells us you guys knew each other before the band came into existence. Tell us your back-story.

 

I guess that laid-back attitude might be a sign of growing up in the Illawarra region (meaning ‘five islands’ in the local aboriginal language) That’s the strip of coastline we call home, directly south of Sydney.

 

Russ and I started making Shining Bird songs about 4 years ago. We’ve been mates for around 10 or so years, it’s the same for most of the band actually. I’ve known Strat (Bass) since I was 2 years old, we use to share the same babysitter; and Ricci (Drums) for about 15 years. We’re all good mates… most of the time.

 

We generally don’t take ourselves too seriously, and I think we enjoy the process just as much as the finished product when it comes to writing and recording music, and shooting and editing our film clips. We have a great bunch of creative friends surrounding us, and they love to get involved whenever we are starting a new project. It really feels like a collaborative effort most of the time.

 

2. You appear drawn to several classic Australian influences from the 70s and 80s. Specifically though, which bands and/or artists inspired you to make music in the first place?

 

A lot of our inspiration for the album came from Australian cinema, poetry, and music. Late last year we received a list of pre-1990 Australian films from a well-known Australian movie critic named David Stratton (our bass player’s granddad). Some of our favourites from that list are, Wake in Fright, The Last Wave & A Sunday Too Far Away. All brilliant films in their own way, specifically in their exploration of Australian culture, identity, & spirituality.

 

Musically, artists like The Triffids, Icehouse, The Warumpi Band, & Nick Cave have all been huge influences for us.

 

3. There is so much off-kilter humor floating around in your videos. For example, did you ever consider that the kangaroo with speaker eyes in ‘Distant Dreaming’ might resonate as Frank from Donnie Darko to American audiences?

 

We never thought of that! Funny thing is Donnie Darko is one of our favourite films, so in a way that kangaroo might have come into it on a sub-conscious level? The film clip also has that darko dreamlike quality too.

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpouMXpR-eA?rel=0&w=500&h=281]

 

4. Analog keyboards and a deliberately slow pace makes your music quite refreshing and unique in today’s hectic pop industry. How does the chemistry work for a quirky, laid-back indie group like yours?

 

It’s hard for us to say that we fit into one particular genre, because we don’t. I think the album as whole could fit across a range of genres. But overall we like to call it ‘Valium Pop’.

 

5. In which apocalyptic scenario do you think your music would perform better commercially: Nuclear Winter (‘Keep Warm’) or Sharknado (‘Terra Nullius’)?

 

I like the word ‘sharknado’ so I’m gonna go with that one.

 

6. Any relation at all to Western New Guinea folk group “Mambesak” (aka Shining Bird in Papuan)?

 

Nope, But I’d love to hear their stuff.. I cant find it anywhere.

 

7. Wollongong must be an awesome place to call home. Apart from the stellar beaches, could you give us some of your choicest recommendations on sightseeing and cool attractions?

 

Wollongong and the general Illawarra area is such a beautiful strip of coastline. We all grew up here and feel a connection with the area. There is a small space between the mountains and the sea, so any one of the many mountain lookouts has spectacular views of the region. In the summer we spend a lot of time bushwalking in the national parks, there are tons of tracks that lead to isolated beaches and campgrounds.

 

Shining Bird

“We generally don’t take ourselves too seriously, and I think we enjoy the process just as much as the finished product when it comes to writing and recording music, and shooting and editing our film clips.”

 

Want to know more about Shining Bird? Begin by looking up their YouTube page, and give her a shoutout on Facebook or Twitter too. Also check out our review of their Leisure Coast album.

 

 

 

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