Melbourne’s Saskwatch have had one heck of an epic year, from deciding to release their album independently as well as stepping into their own producing chair, to selling out their album preview shows in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year. With the release of their fourth studio album ‘Manual Override’ and the announcement of a massive national tour taking them around the country throughout October and November, we chat to Liam McGorry ahead of The Mane Event this weekend.
Hey, how are you? Thanks for chatting to us, what have you been up to recently?
Well thanks! No worries at all. Since the new album has come out we’ve just been gearing up for the tour so that’s been fun working on playing the new songs live.
Congrats on the release of your recent album Manual Override, which has been called a career-defining album for the band, been the first time co-producing and mixing your own material. How was the whole process?
The process was really long and tough to be honest, but really rewarding. Recording the last album ‘Sorry I Let It Come Between Us’ in Philadelphia was an amazing experience but kind of gave us the want to try producing the next one on our own at home. We toured pretty extensively for that album playing 30/40 shows in Australia alone with our mates Cub Sport, and in a run of days off we demoed up a batch of songs some of which became ‘Then There’s You’ and ’100 Years’. We then took those songs and a bunch more and recorded them in at our friend Cal Barter’s studio Newmarket Studios in Melbourne. Rob & myself I guess took over the producers chair with Cal making things happen and telling us when our ideas were bad.
Do you agree that this album has been career-defining? What has been the best part of it so far?
To be honest I really do think it’s career defining… maybe not in the sense that it’s going to be hitting the top of the charts or selling a million copies any time soon, but I think it’s the best ‘album’ we’ve ever written together with it sounding the way we like. The best part personally, is that after what has been a tough mentally and physically 18 months for the band (with the changes we’ve gone through), I think it’s the best we’ve ever worked together in the near decade we’ve loosely been around for.
The whole sound of the album is quite different to your past stuff, it’s pretty psychedelic now. Was finding that new sound a conscious choice, or did it just evolve that way organically?
I think it was pretty organic to be honest. In making the album, (as always) we really just wanted to write the best songs we could and make it sound as good as possible. My favourite albums though are ones that really take you on a journey and change drastically throughout.
You guys also downsized to a smaller unit, with only six of you now. Has this impacted the dynamics and the way you create ?
It’s really freed us up to be more versatile. No disrespect to the other guys but with the six of us, it’s been really fun to play more and have the freedom to go where we want. I think it’s been really good for expanding our horizons a bit.
Kicking off your tour tomorrow which has a fair few dates, what are you most looking forward to?
It’s always great to play shows, and I’m happy to say that with Saskwatch we love getting to as many places around the country as we can. I’m looking forward to getting back to places like Hobart, where we haven’t been for some time, but mainly playing in general, which we haven’t done much of for some time!
You’re also stopping by Geelong for the annual Mane Event held during Mental Health Week, the aim is to raise money and awareness to combat the rising rate of suicide and support mental health services within the local community. What does it mean to you being included on this lineup?
It’s really great. Mental health is so vital to everyone and it’s great that we have events like The Mane Event and Mental Health Week to raise awareness but also do something about it. It’s great too that people realise the value of organisations like headspace, beyond blue and lifeline and want to support it – because they really do need all the help they can get. Also – physically, the wealth of talent on the bill is amazing so it will be a great day for sure.
What else do you have planned once the tour finishes up??
Have a break I’m sure! No, we’ll be back at it with some more shows over summer and no doubt working on some new music.
Thanks so much for chatting, anything else you would like to add?
Thanks for having me! And see you on the road Australia!
When & Where: Karova Lounge, Ballarat – October 12 & The Barwon Club, Geelong – October 14