“It feels like it’s been a long pregnancy!” laughed Adam Gresty, the charmingly soft-spoken frontman of indie rock three-piece Slow Chase. From the fruit of their collective loins comes ‘Exorcism’, a new single with the rock ’n’ roll swagger you’ve come to expect from these seasoned musicians.
Slow Chase formed after a kismet meeting of two like-minded souls – or as Gresty puts it, at “a tequila-fuelled Elvis tribute night”. Legend has it that Gresty caught the eye of Melbourne drummer Emily Shaw as he as was escorted from the premises for tackling an ‘Elvis’ off-stage for showing a lack of respect to the king – and the rest is history.
Not long after that Slow Chase was born, and you could find Gresty and Shaw doing their thing regularly around Melbourne’s pubs and clubs. But something was missing, and it wasn’t long before Alex Hingston was asked to join the pair and bring his bass along for the ride.
“There’s a lot of those blues/rock two-pieces out there. It’s kinda been done to death, and I guess we didn’t want to get written off as just another one,” Gresty clarified. “Adding the bass made a really big difference to the rhythm section. It definitely feels right.”
Gresty – a former hip hop deejay/club promoter – is a man who trusts his instincts, thinks with his head, but follows his heart. So the decision to call on ARIA award-winning producer/sound engineer Jonathan Burnside (Nirvana, Faith No More, Grinspoon, The Sleepy Jackson) again was a no-brainer after successfully working together on their 2012 EP, The Blind Spot.
“He’s as mad as a bag of spiders!” Gresty joked affectionately (you have to remember that Gresty has a British accent – it sounds even funnier). “He’s pretty crazy, but I guess that’s the same with most creative people. He’s very experienced, very talented and he knew exactly what we were after.
“We have a lot of fun when we record in the studio. It’s become a little more difficult with the mixing process because he’s based in San Francisco – there are a lot of sleepless nights, backwards and forwards emails and working on revisions, but we always really enjoy working with him.”
Gresty’s light-hearted tone soon turns serious when I bring up the subject of recording a full-length LP. “It’s a very expensive exercise to go in and record a whole album, mix it, master it, then promote it and tour it. I think it’s a real challenge for a lot of independent musicians at the moment. Honesty, I’ll throw my hands up in the air and admit I can’t make the numbers add up.”
So where does Slow Chase stand on the polarising topic of crowdfunding? “I’m not sure how I feel about crowdfunding. I know a lot of bands are doing it. It seems like a 21st Century patronage of the arts kinda thing. I don’t know, it seems a little emotionally incongruent for me…
“There’s a whole credibility issue. I can’t really imagine an artist that’s a big influence on me, or someone I really respect, doing it. If they came cap in hand, saying we can’t quite get ourselves organised enough to record our album unless you pay $60 bucks to come and eat pizza with us… It’s emotional blackmail! It’s a very confusing time.”
One thing is for sure – if you want a night of all out rock ’n’ roll, a Slow Chase gig has it in spades. “Before a gig, there’s a lot of sitting around, not knowing what to do with yourself.” Gresty paints the scene: “If the bottles are just sitting there, it can be tempting to dampen down the excitement and nervous energy by having a drink. But I’ve learnt my lesson: if you don’t get the balance right, you can end up getting lost on the way to the stage. On occasion we’ve had to alert the National Guard! Yes, it can get very loose – but no matter what, we’re all about putting on the best show possible.”
When&Where: Music Man Megastore, Bendigo – October 17; The Loft, Warrnambool – October 18; and The Barwon Club, Geelong – November 14.
By Natalie Rogers