Money For Rope Q&A
Written By Alana Mazurke
Any band that uses two drum kits, lists Radio Birdman and Sunnyboys as their influences immediately has my attention. Money For Rope has done that exactly. Their self titled debut record is sharp, energetic, and most importantly, lives up to their influences signature sound. This type of ‘surf rock’ though done before is done exceptionally well, transcending into modern day, commercially friendly, charismatic Australian rock.
Having opened for the likes of The Vasco Era and The Mess Hall, this six piece band hailing from Melbourne are receiving increasing amounts of attention and I was lucky enough to have keyboardist Rick Parnaby answer a few questions…
The self titled debut album came out mid November last year to much adoration and personally, it’s one of the standouts for me as a first record. You’d previously only released three LP’s as singles all of which available in vinyl. Do you think with digital downloads and media outlets nowadays the idea of vinyl records, as great as it is to listen to, are becoming less prevalent?
I think digital sales have rendered the CD obsolete but are probably boosting the popularity of vinyl. I think music listeners desire a physical product, something to hold in both hands, contemplate the artwork and study the liner notes. I love the ritual of putting on a record one side at a time; it forces you to pay attention and gives the music more value. I can’t see us ever putting out an album without pressing up vinyl. The sound quality shits on digital too.
Having toured Money For Rope relentlessly over the past months the process of writing new music; is it more common for the band whilst on the road or rather the case of sitting down and belting ideas out in a studio environment?
I don’t think we could possibly write on the road. We’re operating at a very basic level of existence on tour, looking for the next meal or a place to sleep. The first album was a bunch of Jules’ songs that we had been playing live for a couple of years. More recently individual members have been bringing songs to the band and we demo them together. We have to isolate ourselves to get any work done so we usually travel to a farm somewhere and play music for a few days without distraction.
Tracks “Misery Lane” and “Easy Way Out” have both been released with film clips, the latter being the most recent of the two. In all honestly it looks like the best time; I even had some half decent questions to ask in regards to the track but really, all I am interested in is that giant sandwich (link at bottom of the page). Is there a story to coincide with that work of art?
That sandwich was created for a photo shoot. It was made from the cheapest ingredients in the supermarket so it looks great but tasted fucking awful! Good photo though.
Is Australian music predominately influential to the band? Listed influences include the likes of Radio Birdman, Sunnyboys and Saints. Is this a communal fondness; have you all grown up listening to this type of Australian rock or did one person introduce to another?
With six guys in the band there is a vast array of musical influences coming together. We like to share music when we’re together, Jules introduced me to Birdman and I’ve loved them ever since. I really like a sense of place within a song so I think there’s an automatic familiarity with a lot of Australian bands. You can see a desert landscape in a Go-Betweens song or a childhood cricket match in a Paul Kelly song. I think it’s good to write about what you see and capture a place or a time.
You’ve most recently come off a touring support with Tim Rogers and The Bamboos who are somewhat advocates for Money For Rope. When choosing your own local supports for headline shows, what do you look for in a band? Do you feel the band then becomes equally proponent to the support?
We haven’t really had that many headline shows but when we do we usually choose a support band that we like to have a beer with and love to listen to. Of course we are advocates for these groups but they probably don’t need us to be, we may be begging them for a support next year.
As a band originating from Melbourne, how do you feel the local music scene is faring? For someone who hasn’t lived here over two weeks, the amount of music on offer is pretty overwhelming, yet there are still so many people not attending live shows. Why do you think this is? Do you notice a difference at all when touring interstate?
Melbourne is really spoilt for choice when it comes to live music, which is great. I think the abundance of good music makes Melbourne crowds hard to please which motivates us to perform better. I don’t think you can say there is a Melbourne ‘scene’ cause there are about two hundred different Melbourne ‘scenes’ which make the musical culture so vibrant. Other cities have totally different crowds. Adelaide, which is often bypassed by touring bands, is generally very warm and friendly and we love to play there, Brisbane is another relaxed and fun place. All the good pubs in Sydney are shutting down so we often end up playing to bored eighteen-year-old hipsters. All in all I reckon Melbourne’s doing alright.
You’ve had the ability to play at a few festivals now, most recently Melbourne Big Day Out and the upcoming Golden Plains Festival. What’s your take on festivals? Do you have any highlights thus far when playing at one?
I’ve been going to Golden Plains and Meredith for years and always went to Big Day Out as a kid so it was a blast (as well as terrifying) to be on those stages. I don’t know what else to say, it’s just really good fun.
What cans fans expect of Money For Rope in 2013 apart from sustaining more injuries?
No more injuries please! Instead we’ll record another album through the winter and release ASAP. I imagine we’ll travel about the place making new friends and sinking Melbourne Bitters.