Originally hailing from country South Australia, Tall Enough To See are an Adelaide-based rock band who spend their time jamming out, sinking beers and being all round legendary lads. Last weekend, they released their debut single and video clip This Side Up, reminding us of why we love local music so much.
If you like catchy rifs, punchy acoustics and mad guitar skills, then you're going to like these guys. With a sound similar to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers come Violent Soho, Tall Enough To See are a local band to keep an eye on.
On the back of their debut single release, we sat down with guitarist and vocalist Joe Keain, guitarist Callum MacKinnon and drummer Matt Kretschmer to talk music, influences, drunk-rock and their upcoming endeavours.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
Joe: We started up the band in 2011, because Callum, Matt and I lived together at the time, jamming out to cover songs and that sort of thing. Going to the same school, we all had a bit of a music background and shared the same music taste - heading to Soundwave and other festivals together all the time. Then we decided we might try and write our own stuff, which mind you was terrible at the time, the worst concoction you could think of - but we have just progressed from there. We had a different bass player at the time, but he had to move to the country so we got Doug on board and that's how we started.
Callum: The first time we jammed out was in Matt's shed, it was just the three of us (Callum, Matt & Joe) and his dad kept coming in. We were like, 'Brian! Get out! We know we don't sound good!'
So, you guys seem to be within a rock/punk/alternative style, but what sort of music genre do you guys think you fall under?
Matt: We're still not too sure what sort of sound we are really. People say we're pop-punk, but we're not pop-punk at all. We're probably most similar to Violent Soho, but not as heavy drums.
Joe: Yeah, we're similar to them but with more open vocals and drums. I feel like people who don't listen to pop-punk say we're pop punk, but yeah we aren't really.
Callum: Most of our songs are from a different genre, but would most likely all fall under just 'rock'. We probably have punk-rock influences though.
Joe: I would say alternative rock, but that falls under such a big umbrella these days. I think we're just drunk-rock.
Drunk Rock. Now that's a genre! You guys obviously have a few different influences within the rock scene then. Who do you vibe off most when you're jamming out?
Matt: Joe and I would be mainly influenced by Brand New, they're like our biggest influence.
Joe: Yeah, we listen to a lot more heavier music than we play, but then I listen to a lot of rap too. I've been getting into Kendrick this week, that king-cutter, so good - but that doesn't really influence our band at all!
Matt: Yeah, Brand New and guys like that. I don't know what kind of music you like (Callum); terrible music is what he likes.
Callum: Oh, fuck off! Airlie is an influence, and definitely the Chilli Peppers. Our old bass player used to froth on Chilli, so most of our earlier bass lines were influenced by them.
Joe: I also want to say The Killers as an influence. On our original Triple j unearthed page we had The Killers, Blink 182, Chilli Peppers and Bloc Party.
We know there has been some recording in the works for Tall Enough To See, tell us a bit more about that...
Joe: Just before December we finished the recordings, we were mixing them up until mid-January and now we're just sitting on them. We went through a guy called Reid Jones at Deep Blue Studios in Adelaide.
Matt: We got it mastered through The Exchange in London.
Joe: Reid had done previous work with The Exchange, so he sent it off to them and they mastered it for us. They've worked with Calvin Harris and the likes of, it's crazy. We found a big list of other guys they've worked too, like Brittany Spears and other big names, and we were like 'Whaaatttt!'. The list is crazy. I'm pretty sure they did Dizzee Rascal's 'Bonkers' too.
Well, that's super awesome that you have mastered tracks alongside the likes of Brittany Spears and Calvin Harris! Are you guys now thinking of releasing these tracks as singles?
Callum: Yeah, we did a film clip for our first one called This Side Up, and that was filmed by the same guys who did Grenadiers' Summer. They work above the studio where we recorded.
What is This Side Up about?
Joe: Originally, the base structure of the song was about the time when our bass player Kieran was leaving, and we sort of had a month where we didn't know what we were doing. We were originally a three piece, but once we had the fourth member it was too hard to go back to that. Because all of our songs were based around two guitars, if we dropped the bass it just would've been really hollow. So, the song was about how I was a bit nervous and anxious about the way things were going to turn out. We had all of this stuff going on and we had just played our first gig, but then Kieran was like, 'I've gotta go', so we had to juggle things around and make it work. I guess that's what the single is about. This Side Up actually has nothing to do with the song, we just thought it was a nice little title.
Matt: Yeah, our bass player just came up with it and we were like 'that's a cool name, alright whatever that'll do'.
After you release the singles, are you planning to go on and put out an EP?
Joe: I think these four songs won't go on the same EP, at least three are just singles, and maybe the fourth, but we'll see how we feel a bit later on in the year. I think the plan is this whole time while we're releasing them, to just keep writing so we have a couple more songs in the works. Just so we have something a little more cohesive, and something more to build on after the release of our first single. The thing is with these four songs, they're all a little bit different, like we wrote them all so they're all our sound, but each slightly different. One's a bit more ballad-dy,
Callum: And this one's (This Side Up) a bit more Alt-Rock, and one's a bit heavier, then one is kind of pop-rock.
Do you guys have any specific local bands that you have been getting around lately?
Joe: We really like Lost Woods. They'll be playing at our single launch.
Callum: They've been playing on Triple J recently, and they just released their new single the other month called Ancient Psychic Tandem War Elephant.
Joe: Yes! It is the longest title ever but they're just like, you watch them, and their singer is so good you just lose track of time and get completely drawn in.
Matt: They're really good, but they're a completely different sound to us, it's good to have some variety though. Bad//Dreems are good too, they just have this awesome style. We've also played with Young Offenders a few times which is always fun, they were the first band we played with as an opening for them.
Joe: Tkay Maidza is amazing. I saw her at Falls Festival and she just blew my mind.
What do you think your favourite venue to get along to gigs in Adelaide would be?
Matt: Uni Bar
Joe: Uni Bar
Callum: Uni Bar
Joe: I really like The Gov too. Thebby is good, but I really like The Gov. It has an outdoor area as well, it's a really good venue.
Yes! we absolutely love both of those venues. Do you guys have any other plans for the future?
Joe: Over the next few months we will be releasing at least three singles (including This Side Up), and playing release shows. With each show, we're hoping for it to be a bit bigger and with a crazier theme. This time, it's all about the 90's, so we want everyone to get along in their best 90's attire. The way we think about it is that people have to get something out of our gigs apart from just the music. We're hoping to get to Melbourne at least once this year and join up with a few guys over there too. At this stage, I think we'll wait to get on the tour-train until after we release our EP.
Tall Enough To See will be launching their single This Side Up at the Ed Castle on May 9th. With support from local Adelaide bands, Lost Woods, King Indecisive and The Smile Hooks, it's going to be a good'n.
As mentioned, the night will be 90's themed, so grab your tickets through Moshtix and get your 90's nostalgia ready, to party down with the dudes from Tall Enough To See.
All images via Tall Enough To See