Lachlan R Dale runs the label Art As Catharsis, which as everyone who reads this blog should know by now features the best underground Australian stoner, sludge, doom and drone bands.
Lachlan has kindly agreed to take time out from his frantic schedule to give this interview.
Just before we get onto Art As Catharsis, I have to talk about the bands you are involved in - 4 or 5 at my last count! The Serious Beak album "Huxwhukw" blew me away - I think it should be mentioned in the same breath as Intronaut - due to the incredible complexity of the music, how hard was it to replicate live?
Thanks for the kind words man, I really appreciate it.
As you might guess, it's pretty difficult to actually play some of those songs or sections on"Huxwhukw", but yeah, we can definitely do it. It's been done in the past.
While we've got some good muscle memory going on for a lot of that album, the material still demands a lot of practice and rehearsal to be consistent. It's challenging stuff, and it takes a lot of time to stay on top of. There's always a constant tension for us between writing new material and rehearsing for shows. Our latest new song has been in production for over 12 months... it's pretty demanding music!
Your psychedelic drone/doom band, Adrift For Days came out last month and I don't think that I have seen any reviews that have been less than glowing, it will certainly be in my albums of the year list - have you been surprised by the reaction?
I guess. As a musician you're not really allowed to expect or anticipate a reaction from critics, but I'm glad they like the album. I like it too! It was really fun to put together. There isn't too much I'd change if I got another go at it.
Art As Catharsis has introduced me to so many new bands from down under - what is your criteria for collaboration with these artists?
Nothing, really, aside from that I have to like the band -- and I'd like to focus on Australian music that I feel doesn't really get the attention or praise it deserves.
Obviously they have to like what I do in terms of promotion, too. We've got to be pretty like-minded -- we're not about to start pissing gold and buying Benzo's or anything -- but maybe we can get your tunes to a few extra people.
Hydromedusa, In Trenches, Space Bong, No Anchor, Houdini are all bands I found on your compilation "Drone from the Underside of the Earth".... there is obviously a healthy underground scene in Australia, how important do you think your label and others like it are for these bands exposure - you make full use of Bandcamp, has this helped spread the music?
Well, I think all 'scenes' require support - not only from labels, but from bands, media and promoters.
The Australian stoner, doom and sludge isn't healthy because of me - that would be a ridiculous claim. It's because I'm able to build off the work of many immensely talented and dedicated individuals; bands who have worked their asses off building up their name, and all the promoters who really help that 'scene' thrive.
Nathan from 666 Entertainment has run the awesome Doomsday Festival series for many years. Skye did an awesome job with building up Devils Kitchen. Rob from Heathen Skulls is really taking the international tours to a new level.
A 'scene' really can't thrive without all of those elements.
Fanzines and websites have embraced what you are doing - do you think the underground scene will ever filter into the mainstream? I personally think that a bigger public awareness is not going to happen ...... I selfishly like my hidden world of music and worry that the purity and spirit of "do what the fuck you want" would somehow get diluted with major record label involvement!
I don't even care man. I like the music that I play, and that I promote. It just totally isn't the goal at all!
I'm sure it will if it becomes cool enough -- just look at how grindcore and death metal has been distilled in metalcore and all this modern weird pop metal bullshit. Who cares though?
And finally ...... how the fuck do you find time to do all this!
You know, I play in 3 bands, do this label/promoter thing, work full time, study full time and live with my long term girlfriend -- it's definitely a balancing act to a degree, but I think the big secret is that I don't watch any TV. It's amazing how much time that gives you!
And I guess I'd rather be run off my feet (and broke) than bored (and slightly less broke).