Amber Isles: The Masters of DIY

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Amber Isles: The Masters of DIY

Amber Isles is the name to know this December. They are the Melbourne five-piece outfit recently releasing their first album Running, and they are celebrating this release with an eight-date tour in December and January.

Formed to adapt the solo concept album of former Brussels-based musician Max Fotheringham, the album is a milestone for the band, following two years of writing new music and evolving the same ‘Amber Isles’ sound Max originally created.

Admittedly not aligning themselves with any particular genre, Max says the band creates their music from many different influences, whilst “tailoring their abilities to the Amber Isles sound”. The distinct dense sound of the album is due to it been tracked in a completely DIY method with the help of their sound engineer’s construction skills, whom Max coins as the sixth band member.

“We got ourselves a house and it had this big garage and our sound engineer [Wouter Gordts], who worked with me before on the solo stuff, came over from Europe and built a sound booth inside our garage and we tracked everything in the sound booth.

“We just took our time with it. We didn’t have any pressure in terms of money or studio time and it just left us with a lot of time to slave over stuff, well we try not to, but it allowed us to make everything very dense and smooth out all the edges and add stuff and explore. There’s definitely a lot of freedom in terms of time.”

This sort of DIY method is core to the band and their sound, gigging independently for the past two years, having solely organised their previous mini warm up tour, as well as their upcoming national tour.

“We just really like to DIY stuff. We like to get anything done with our own resources and everybody is on board with that so it’s really good.

“There’s always compromise with it but it honestly, there is a lot more potential for it to take a lot longer because you kind of learn a lot of stuff as you go. If you work really hard, it is a nice pay off when you can produce something with such high production values and you did it yourself, it feels good.”

Having already “layed the ground work” in Geelong and Bendigo through their warm up tour, the band are ready to get back in front of the fans.
“This time around with the album been tracked properly with our engineer and having a little warm up tour under our belt, I think that allowed us to book it a bit bigger and a bit better, more properly this time.”

Written by Talia Rinaldo

When & Where: The Workers Club, Geelong – December 1, Golden Vine Hotel, Bendigo – December 3, Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne – December 17 & Howler, Brunswick – January 19