Music Interview: Loon Lake

Loon Lake_2013_lo res’s Carol Bowditch speaks to guitarist Sime Nolan of Melbourne’s Loon Lake about the band’s forthcoming Big Day Out gigs, their new longplayer ‘Gloamer’ and following their hearts. 

Whats the story behind the name Loon Lake? Have you been to the Californian body of water of the same name?

The name was taken from a novel of the same name. I think at the time we just thought that name sounded cool and we all really love alliteration. None of us have actually been to that body of water in California.

With the Australian music festival season looming and the Big Day Out tour to prepare for, would you say that you prefer the intimacy of a venue gig or would you prefer playing to a festival crowd?
They both have their pros and cons. With your own shows I guess you know the people are there solely to see you and obviously interested in your music. And at your own show you have more of an opportunity to play longer sets and have your own production values. Whereas at the festivals it is always really tight for time so you have to alter your sets to suit. There is always an uncertainty if you will pull a crowd at a festival too. You know you could be slotted up against anyone from Slayer to Cliff Richard, which would be a travesty. The thing about festivals though is everyone always seems to be in a real cracking mood, which always makes for a great show.

When I was researching for this interview I was wondering whether your song Cherry Lips would be a cover of that Garbage song. Have you done covers as a band before?
Ha. You know I wasn’t even familiar with that track until after we had released our song. Yeah we have done covers, we usually like to throw a cover into our set. I really enjoy playing covers, and I love seeing a band play a cover. I remember years ago at the Golden Plains Festival when Tame Impala did that cover of Remember Me, I thought that was a splendid version. Actually the first incarnation of Loon Lake was a cover band. We played a couple of nights at our local footy club playing covers and it was great fun.

What song would you cover nowadays if you had the chance?
Um, I would probably love to have a go at Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers. It is such a wonderful song with so much feeling. It would be a very hard track to tackle though, especially vocally.

Why did it take a while to get your album together?
I guess to some people it might feel like a long time to have put a debut album out, but to us it doesn’t. It has just been a steady progression of releasing singles and EPs until now. I feel the songwriting and maturity within the musicality has grown a lot over the last couple of years. If we were to release an album a couple of years back it probably wouldn’t have sounded as ‘complete’ as our debut, ‘Gloamer’ does. As a band we are all really happy with how the album has turned out. It is an album, not just a collection of songs. We wanted a story and something that sounded cohesive as a piece of music, and personally I think we have achieved this.

Finally, if you could describe your band in three words what would they be?
Following our hearts.

Pick up a copy of ‘Gloamer’ when it hit stores on October 11. Take a look at their website here for everything else Loon Lake related and if you’re in Aus, then catch the band at the following venues in October.

Wednesday, 9 October – Spectrum, Sydney
Thursday, 10 October – Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Friday, 11 October – Howler, Melbourne
Thursday , 17 October – Flyrite, Perth
Friday 18 October – Rocket Bar, Adelaide

Interview by Carol Bowditch