West Thebarton Brothel Party have been busy playing countless shows across Australia, supporting British India at The Gov, playing Big Sound, Stonecutters Festival, dropping their own 7” Red or White / Dolewave, plus they recently trudged across Australia for their own headlining tour. Did I mention they were also nominated for 6 South Australian Music Awards? Yeah they’ve been really, fucking busy. Last week however, before playing a sold out show at Jive, we had a chat with Brian about everything WTBP.
First things first, congratulations on the SAMA and NLMA (National Live Music Awards) nominations! Were there ever any hints that you guys might get nominated for so many SAMAs?
Nah, to be honest it came as a bit of a surprise to myself and the rest of the band, last year I think we might have been up for Best Rock Live Act, or one of those, and we do everything at our own pace, so to find out we were nominated for 6 South Australian Music Awards and another National Live Music Award, we were quite taken aback by it. It’s really humbling to know though, (because) this year we just worked really hard, put out a few singles and toured as much as possible.
In regards to touring so much, how do you guys go having seven members... definitely a few extra than most bands?
It’s not as tricky as some people may think, it might take a little longer than usual, but we’ve all experienced touring before so everyone is pretty on board with trying to move forward and getting the band to where they need to be.
You’re about to finish your Four More Years tour, how has this tour been compared to other tours and in particular, how was Stonecutters?
Yeah, the Four More Years tour has been our best tour to date, it’s been a pretty great experience getting over to Melbourne and Sydney, but it was particularly great getting over to Brisbane and Woolongong where we haven’t played before. We played Big Sound in Brisbane and we played four other great shows in a row. Melbourne was out best show to date, it’s just been really rewarding seeing audiences grow over there and get to know our music. But Stonecutters was great, organised by the people at 5/4 Entertainment - our friend Jesse from Grenadiers. It was a nice little tease for our show at Jive, because we haven’t played a headline Adelaide show for quite a while now.
When it comes to writing music in a larger band, how do you guys go about creating songs?
Lately what’s been happening is myself or Ray/another member of the band will bring an idea and from there show the rest of the band. We don’t bring the idea out in a full 7-piece form to start with, its normally show a condensed form, just so it’s a bit easy to get the skeleton out of the song and then just give it a bit of meat from there. You’ve gotta be a lot more patient being a bigger band, because you have a few more people trying to pitch in their ideas. At the end of the day for West Theb, it’s about writing the best song possible and putting on a great live show to play those songs.
Dolewave, had a pretty sick video put together, how did that idea come about?
The film clip was filmed by our friend Lewis Brideson, and the effects were another mate of ours Ryan Sahb from Rad Jams Exchange. Lewis has done all of our film clips, he did Dolewave, Red or White earlier in the year and Misophonia last year. I think from the start when we knew Red or White and Dolewave were going to be the two singles we would put out in 2016, we really wanted to put together a film clip that showed what it was like to play a West Theb show and to also be at a West Theb show. It was quite fitting, looking back and watching the film clip, I can’t remember, so it’s probably indicative of what it’s like to be at a gig, you don’t remember specific moments or what someone looked like at a certain point in time.
Besides yourselves, and playing together, has there been anyone else you’ve enjoyed playing with?
In terms of personal highlights, we really enjoyed playing with Courtney Barnett, just before she released her debut record at Jive; that was a really good show. Big sound was also really good, more so just the event of being there and being able to watch all these bands that we listen to or have been listening to this last year.
If you guys could put on a show with an unlimited budget but in Adelaide, what would you guys do?
Uh, we’d probably put on our own little West Theb Fest, in the back of the West Thebarton Hotel, it’s a pretty good spot (laughs). We’d play with a few mates from Adelaide and invite a few friends of interstate as well.
Did you guys ever have any other names on the table or did this one just come up and that was that?
No, um it was quite literally a name it and go, we haven’t looked back since. It’s not something hard to remember, you might not remember all four names but you’ll probably remember the Thebarton or Brothel part. It’s a point of difference and I think it suits the chaotic vibe.
Thanks for the chat Brian!
Photos via Harrison Schultz