The Cactus Channel Q&A

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The Cactus Channel Q&A

A great interviewee makes all the difference in the world, and as it turns out Lewis Coleman from The Cactus Channel is one, and some seemingly great roadtrip company as well.
Hi Lewis, thanks for taking the time to chat with Forte Magazine, how are you and what are you up to at the moment? 
Thanks for giving the time! I’m good. Right now right now? I’m drinking a cold coffee I forgot about, and am about to go and pick up a synthesizer I swear is still broken, but the shop says it should be fine so we’ll see. In other less boring developments, and in relation to the band, we’re chugging along. Just started a lil’ tour, recording a bit, kicking the ‘pill’ (footy). It has stopped being bitterly cold every day, so we’re not so anal with each other about closing the door behind us.
So we saw you’re looking for a van for your Brisbane trip, how’s the hunt going? 
Hahaha I think it’s still ongoing, one day we may be sponsored by stretch Hummers, but for now we need to mooch of our lovely friends around the place. I’m sure we’ll find something soon, even a big tandem bike may suffice.
We’re guessing the whole tour is going to be an on the road affair, what kind of company are you on long road trips?
Yep mostly road. With the occasional travel by our good friend the air. On the road, half of us are trying to out joke each other at an amazing pace for the first hour and a half, then Al Green comes on and we have a break. Thankfully, even though there’s a potential to have about seven back seat drivers, we are often lost in ridiculous hypothetical ‘would you rather’ questions, like would you rather have five children right now? Or never have children? Or would you rather have wheels for hands, or wheels for feet.
Do you have anything you do in particular to pass the time? 
Besides the CD pile and the hypotheticals, we have successfully loaded Pokémon on to three or four laptops before, and argued on the best method to raise/battle them. No one has caught them all yet. We played an impressive amount of cards, namely 500 last week, It got really passionate. Daniel has fruit ninja on his phone.
You are in the midst of your ‘Cobaw Tour’, how’s it all been going so far?
Real good! Nice crowds, great bands, good friends. We’ve done three shows plus a live to air with Henry’s dad Charles, but there’s much more to do. Phoenix bar in Canberra was warm and welcoming as always, the Blue Mountains were beautiful, Sydney had a great turn out! There’s been some good lunch stops in the van. Holbrook had a good vanilla slice.
How have fans been enjoying the new tracks? 
We’ve had a good response to them! There’s about three or four new tunes since we went around last December I think, and Callum got a new Casio keyboard that has a cosmic-space-sound-effect button, which he busts out regularly in big moments. I wish we’d used it on the actual recording of Cobaw.
In terms of writing the new tracks, as there are 10 of you, how involved is that creative process, does everyone get a say?
It’s pretty collaborative for the most part. Though everyone’s welcome we tend to simplify it to about four or five of us at a time nutting an idea out, then when it’s ready we translate it to the full band. Everyone gets a creative say at some point; it’s a bit hard to massage them all into the tune but we try our best! In contrast, sometimes just one person has pretty much written out/recorded a demo of a full piece of music to learn as well, so it varies.
And what does an average day in the studio look like for you guys?
A plunger coffee, maybe some Tim Tams, a lot of stepping over leads, and moving my clothes off the mixing desk. We’ve started recording from a house that three of us share, so an average day has changed because it’s kind of whenever we want to record something we can. Due to space we tend to record the rhythm section first on a day, then do the horns the weekend later. Then I throw my clothes off my bed and back to the mixing desk and go to sleep.
Good luck with the van hunt and thanks again for chatting with us, are there any last words of wisdom you’d like to share with our readers? 
Thanks for having me! Looking forward to getting around to the Cattery! Come have a boogie and say hey, our new single has a sophisticated black cardboard sleeve, so you should grab one if you like that kinda junk!
When & Where: Shebeen, Melbourne – September 11 & Barwon Club, Geelong – September 12