The Genes began their musical journey busking in the Queen St mall in Brisbane in 1990, and now they will embark on a busking tour from Noosa to Bells Beach and anywhere in between February through March. We chat to the guys while they’re on the road.
Hey thanks for speaking with Forté. How are you and what are you up to?
Thanks for having us. We are driving around in a campervan basking and filming in remote locations all the songs from the album and surfing where we can.
You have just released your new album Dead Street Light. How has the process been bringing that album together?
It was born mainly out of great challenge. I had a pretty serious back injury and was on the couch for six months and use the time to write songs and then record them. Took a while but was super happy with the result.
What were some of the key highlights and challenges from working on this album?
The highlights were we managed to capture a pretty live sound because we use a minimal amount of microphones and we spent a fair bit of time chasing the right take. Chasing that elusive bit of extra something. The low lights were a lot of the song writing process I was in so much pain it wasn’t a happy time.
The debut single, ‘Godfathers Lament’ is a tribute to Mr Coppola, and was inspired by your love for the Godfather trilogy. What is the fascination with the Godfather, was that stemmed from childhood?
Godfather part one is one of those movies when you put it on you go aaaaahhh, this is how you make a movie! It’s pretty much a masterpiece. Great acting, great everything. Didn’t really see these movies until I turned 18, but they just stick in your memory over time except maybe large chunks of Godfather part three. That one has some issues.
Busking is quite a craft and many musicians got their big break busking. What was the driving force behind embarking on the upcoming busking tour this month?
We wanted the freedom. When you busk you can do whatever you want play whatever you want however you want, it’s a lot of fun. Also going to a National Park looking out across this amazing countryside and playing your songs is incredibly special. In this social media age if you like about and by the time you go to see them in concert you seen hundreds of clips of them playing live on YouTube Etc. There is not a lot of mystery. To be walking along the street and see a band play well you would not expect to see a band to me that’s pretty exciting and there’s an element of mystery to it.
Creating 12 albums is an impressive achievement for any artist. How have you found the process, is it hard to find a new angle each time or do you follow the same sound? Do you have plans for a 13th??
It’s challenging but it’s also something we are compelled to do. Like we have no choice in it. We just have to do it. How it sounds is really driven by the songs and what works best for the songs. We try to keep it as unplanned as possible. We’ve Started the next album. so far it’s all live, very stripped back with no overdubs.
What are you most excited about for this tour?
It’s just heaps of fun surfing hanging out basking playing in the countryside filming trying to get a good take to put on YouTube and Facebook for prosperity. Did I mention surfing?
Thanks so much for chatting. To finish off, do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start their career busking?
It’s super nerve wrecking but once you suss out a good spot, open new guitar case put a thank you sign in it and start playing your stuff, it’s the best. Just do your thing and focus on how it sounds.
Where can we see you busking around the Victorian coast?
We’re going to keep it a surprise because we mentioned we were going to busk at bells beach and we had a call from the bells beach surfing reserve committee warning us we need a permit and we wouldn’t be granted a permit. Also somewhere near the 12 Apostles on the hush hush. We’ll put it on Facebook @thegenesband shortly before we set up and posting clips on the genes YouTube channel.
They’ll play Bells Beach on March 7.