Graveyard Train

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Graveyard Train

While Graveyard Train have taken a step away from their schlokier horror-based tunes they’ve become known for, there’ll be no changes to their live antics, as frontman Nick Finch assures me.
“We’re not very good at toning it down, so it’s going to be much the same,” he says laughing.
“I think the healthy thing about us this year is we’re playing so few shows that our life expectancy isn’t going to reduce as significantly as it did in past years. But definitely when we’re there and on stage, we’ll be just as action packed and crazy.
“Whenever we’re on stage we always put everything into it and we always have heaps of fun on stage. In the past occasionally the hangovers have got to us after in conversations and in the tour van and such.”
Those unhealthy times for Graveyard Train that Nick refers to come from their first tour of Europe and the many sleepless nights, empty bottles and missing band mates that came along with it.
“I remember our second gig overseas ever [in Scotland] one of our band members just went missing. He basically kept drinking from the night before of the first gig and we rocked up to sound check at the second gig and he was gone in Edinburgh,” Nick says.
“He never ended up showing up but we found him on like a pile of garbage unconscious after the show. Looking back it’s funny; our second ever international gig and one of our guys was asleep on a pile of garbage. In retrospect that’s funny but in the moment it was like, ‘What the fuck are you doing? It cost a lot of money to come over here we should really be playing these shows and not getting wasted and ending up on garbage’.”
Though the crazy moments weren’t limited simply to their trips overseas. Visits to Geelong have been just as crazy, and it’s those crazy moments – and our proximity to their hometown of Melbourne – that warranted their upcoming show at the Barwon Club.
“I think maybe the first three or four times we played in Geelong they were at the Nash back when that was open. That was a really great pub, we loved that place. But I remember one of those gigs we had kids coming on stage and stealing the microphone and singing along,” he adds with a laugh.
“It’s always pretty crazy and drunken in Geelong, every time actually I’ve managed to get too drunk, but I’ve stayed through well enough to get through the gig. But afterwards I’ve just seen some weird things and talked to some weird people. It’s good and I really like the Barwon Club too actually, we played there – I think the last time we were in Geelong – and I’d never been there before and I really like that pub, it’s got a great vibe.”
This time around the boys will be just as crazy as before, but they’ll also be sharing with us some new topics covered in their songs. Instead of the tales of werewolves and vampires we’ve all sung-a-long to, the band are talking about much deeper issues like death, though masked by their upbeat rock-country stylings.
“I think when we started it was just a fun side project for the band and it was just kind of a dumb idea that was a bit of fun, but when we started there was kind of a point to Graveyard Train. Then as we kept playing I guess we kind of just grew up a bit,” he says.
“We always took things seriously, we never wanted the band to be a joke band or anything like that, but I guess just with time some of those schlokier songs just stopped coming out as much. We also just ran out of monsters to write about really, there’s only so many vampires.
“People would also come up after the show to talk to us about our songs and ask about the metaphors in our songs. As in, was ‘Bit by a Dog’ about heroin addiction and that sort of stuff. They’re all much more low brow than that, they’re just about werewolves. But it kind of got us thinking and we thought maybe we should be getting a bit more metaphorical with our songs.”
Another change for the better has come with the band’s decision to return to doing things for themselves. Graveyard Train are probably best known for making their own instruments, but they’re also responsible for driving themselves around, managing the band and their record label and, most recently, taking to making clips with their track ‘Takes One to Know One’.
“We had another film clip sort of half get made for that song by a mate and it was supposed to be a drunken cookie monster doing a cooking show,” he says.
“The cookie monster was drinking real whiskey while they were filming and got too drunk and passed out so they couldn’t finish the film clip, so they had to scrap it. And Josh the banjo player was just like, ‘Stuff it, I’m just going to make it myself’.”
The resultant clip, sans the cookie monster, features various old school cartoon clips timed to perfection with lead singer Beau Skowron singing along. It’s the perfect mix of dark lyrics and cheeky fun, which is exactly what you can expect with their performance in Geelong on July 3.
When & Where: Barwon Club, Geelong – July 3 & Melba Spiegeltent, Melbourne – July 4
Written by Amanda Sherring