– by Leah Vlatko
Public service announcement: Augie March are back. Retaining their signature textured rock sound, they have returned from a six year hiatus with new album, Havens Dumb, and a fresh excitement to be playing together again. Much loved and widely acclaimed, this band has a loyal fan base overjoyed at the announcement of their current national tour. Augie March Drummer, Dave Williams, took time out to speak to us in anticipation of their arrival in Perth this Weekend.
‘My highlight is playing Sydney Opera House- definitely,’ Williams says, sharing his favourite venue to play, ‘when we played a quiet song you could hear everything and when we cranked it up it didn’t distort, it grew with it.’ Augie March are playing in some beautiful places this tour: theatres, concert halls, arts centres. It’s a comforting and spectacular way to return to the stage together. Boasting a 17 year career, this band are well acquainted with playing live and sharing their music all over Australia.
They are no strangers to our isolated city either, playing venues such as Mojos, The Flyby, Kings Park, and others. ‘We’ve had some pretty great gigs over in your part of the world,’ says Williams.
Williams shares that the fan response to their return has been solid. ‘It’s been generally pretty great, people are happy we’re back,’ he says, describing this stage of the adventure as only the start. The band are looking forward to doing more recording and touring. ‘I think it’s folly to cross anything off the list,’ confides Williams, going on to say they may consider touring soon with smaller rooms, different line ups, and in venues outside of the major cities. ‘It’s always fun to meet people in the middle of nowhere who like your music,’ says Williams, who considers some of the best gigs they’ve ever played to be those in remote areas.
For a band heavily influenced by literature, it is unsurprising that everyone is a pretty big reader in the band. ‘Glenn’s a lover of poetry,’ says Williams. Glenn Richards, who is responsible for the elegance and poeticism of Augie March’s lyrics, is rarely spotted on tour without a decent sized book, and reads everything from classics to contemporary fiction. Books are a source of inspiration for the band, and Williams describes them as ‘paperweights’ they bring on tour.
The long lifespan of Augie March means they have seen first-hand the shifting world of music access. The online world has ‘changed (music) massively, that’s an understatement.’ He explains that whilst he doesn’t think it’s necessarily easier to earn a living, the explosion of Youtube, Spotify, Bandcamp and other music sharing methods has made it a lot easier for fans to access bands. ‘It’s become like water, you just dip your hat in the stream,’ he says, and goes on to say he loves exploring new and old music online.
Williams is currently listening to a huge variety of artists. Four Tet, Caribou, Tom York, and a collection of electronic artists, alongside local radio stations and a steady stream of 50s and 60s music. Rather than restricting himself to a single genre, Williams keeps in tune with a range of vastly different sounds.
Food to best describe Augie March’s own sound? ‘Something vegetarian,’ says Williams, explaining that Richards has a meat-free diet. ‘Maybe something a bit hot and spicy when it goes in your mouth, tastes great but you’re not really sure how it’s going to end up.’
Williams reflects on his personal growth as a musician, when he first felt as though it was something he could pursue. ‘I always loved listening to music,’ Williams says, and reminisces about a childhood saturated with music. He was in the National Boys Choir, and with his parents’ encouragement he made the decision to follow music over Science or Academia in High School. A big believer in ‘the harder you work the luckier you are’, Williams encourages young people who dream of tapping into the industry to continue working hard at their craft, and to surround themselves with likeminded people.
Augie March are playing to a sold out show this Saturday 28 March at the Astor. Keep up to date with all music news on their website.
Photo Credit: Augie March Facebook Page