Interview: Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses
Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses are returning with a brand-spanking new longplayer and Australian tour. We find out more from guitarist Joel Silbersher:
You are back with the boys, Charlie (Owen), Tex (Perkins) and Murray (Paterson) for a new tour on the back of the release of your new album, Tunnel at the End of the Light. Is it different each time you all perform as The Dark Horses or a familiar environment you all enjoy in between other projects?
Well, we didn’t make an album for over seven years. Skritch used to play drums and I played a lot of bass. Now we have Steve and Gus and I play mainly guitar. Personally, it is feeling very stable and familiar lately. We’ve always have had fine and unique folk in this band. Same ones for a while now.
Would you say that this album is a straight-line evolution from your previous releases or a completely separate beast that doesn’t share much in common with its predecessors?
Very much of a piece with the last two. Fans will definitely find this one chock full of charms
It is obvious that alt rock/folk, country is a style of music you all enjoy. What Australian country music influences do you/The Dark Horses draw upon?
I know we’ve all, individually and together, done music that could fall under that banner but no alt-cunt springs to my mind really. I’m more a Hank Williams guy. When Ryan Adams became the season’s hottest I gave most of my cowboy shirts away. Dude has a lot to answer for. I also quit flannos for years after Nevermind hit. I’m pervy that way.
What new avenue of musicianship does playing with the Dark Horses give you that you haven’t encountered with various other outfits (Tendrils, Dirty Three) you have played in and with over the years?
Playing guitar solos for the first time since my teens.
What does this new album say about the stage of your life that you are at and is this something that could have been released ten years ago, or did it require the maturity that only age can bring in order to make it the beautiful album that it is?
I reckon we all know a few tricks we didn’t a decade ago but the main sign of maturing is the weird vibe of calm and acceptance emanating from Perko.
Working with an industry heavyweight such as Tex must be a formidable but rewarding task, what does he extract from you and the rest of the band that may not otherwise come out?
Formidable?! He’s a pussycat! A huge, terrifying, bloody-clawed, razor-fanged pussycat. I can only speak for I, and I say he scares me to heights and lows I’d thought unreachable. He probes and teases until I am a grotesquely swollen fear-sac and then he draws from me the precious juice. Leaves me shattered but it makes for damn good art.
When first starting out in a band it is all consuming and nothing else really matters but as you get older you tend to have more in your life and other equally rewarding distractions. Do you find what you all do outside of the band helps continue to shape the bands content and direction?
Sure. Family, other bands we’re in, work, culture we absorb, deaths of nearest and dearests… If you don’t just play like a machine, all this shit has gotta affect your music
What does music give you that nothing else does?
I’ve never been interested much beyond music and girls so… wrong guy to ask.
In between shows and spending a good deal of time on the road, do you and the boys stretch your legs by playing Tex’s patented zoneball?
I don’t. Anything sporty I attempt results in instant damage to property or body parts (of myself and others). Even a bad-bounce can make playing painful for weeks. The others all have a kick though. Apart from Steve. He smokes and naps.
Where was the subject-matter for the new album largely derived from?
I don’t write the words but, as, I said, I find it’s got a peaceful, rural aura. Tex has a boy toddler, a big family and, like the albums before, the land and animals and elements that surround him up north, feature heavy.
Does the material you create with The Dark Horses allow you to engage with the audience in a different manner?
Yup. We soothe and welcome and mesmerise. Not a lot of antagonism. Not much frantic dancing or chanting either. Chill! Sob! Smile! Discretely fondle yourself or the one you like!
With multiple Dark Horse albums now under your belt, is there a long term vision for the band as you have been gaining momentum and frequency of releases?
I don’t know what the next one will sound like or what this one’s going to do. Ask the big lad! Actually, I don’t think he knows either.
You have toured Australia a number of times with The Dark Horses, in that time you must have encountered strange individuals and wild times, can you share any bizarre stories with us?
I must not, I’m afraid.
Tunnel At The End Of The Light is in stores from July 17 through Dark Horse Records/Inertia. Pre-order from iTunes here.
Tex Perkins & The Dark Horses will play at the following Australian venues in July:
Thursday 16th July – Milton Theatre Milton NSW
Tickets from – http://thelittleboxoffice.com
Friday 17th July – University of Wollongong Wollongong NSW
Tickets from – http://uowunibar.com
Friday 18th July – Lizottes Newcastle NSW
Tickets from – http://www.lizottes.com.au
Saturday 19th July – Oxford Art Factory Sydney NSW
Tickets from – http://www.oxfordartfactory.com
Saturday 25th July – Darwin Ski Club Darwin NT
Tickets from – http://darwinskiclub.com.au
Friday 31st July – Republic Bar Hobart TAS
Tickets from – http://republicbar.com.au
Saturday 1st August – The MEMO Music Hall Melbourne VIC
Tickets from – http://www.memomusichall.com.au/
Friday 7th August Tanks Art Centre Cairns QLD
Tickets from – http://www.tanksartscentre.com
Interview by Courtney Dabb.