Music interview: The Quick and The Dead

quick and the dead

The Quick and The Dead are just about to drop their self-titled, second album. We have a chat with Rhys Duursma from the band:

Hi Rhys, Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Something You Said.
Hey, thanks for having me.

Firstly, congratulations on your new album. For those who haven’t had the pleasure of listening to The Quick & The Dead, how would you describe your sound?
Cheers! We’re a Southern-Rock band with a side serving of Blues. Some day’s that has a little folk thrown in the mix as well.

What subject matter do your lyrics tend to revolve around when it comes to writing and formulating?
For me lyrics are generally written as a direct result of ideas or questions that I’m processing at the time. I place a lot of value on belief, the pursuit of truth and the way those two things interact with the day to day, so that usually comes out when I write. My questions find their home in a Christian faith so there’s also some wrestling with how that affects the mix of ideas. On this album I experimented with concept writing as well so there are four tracks (Chapter I, II, III, IV) scattered through the album that tell a tale of cowboys, whiskey and pistols.

Your previous EP Folk ‘N Flight was recorded in a very organic manner as a collective jam session, but this album is the first that you recorded where the instruments on the songs were all tracked individually. New methods present new challenges, what was the most difficult aspect to recording in the way?
We get excited about capturing the feeling of a moment not getting a perfect song that’s lifeless. So the exciting part of this record was obviously the creative freedom of adding/redoing whatever we felt the song needed. The difficulty I guess was not getting carried away with that and still focusing on getting the raw life of the song coming through. We’ve been playing most of these songs live for a while though so the groundwork was already there. Also convincing my brother that he didn’t need to add in ‘just one more’ lead guitar was hard at times, hahaha.

I hear hints of White Stripes, You Am I and Ben Kweller throughout The Quick & The Dead. Were there particular genres and artists you were all listening to in the lead up to the album that ever so subtly crept into what produced?
The songs were written over two years so there’s a bit of variety in influence which I think comes through in the different songs. We were listening to a lot of old blues artists, Jack White is definitely an influence, Tom Petty, Cry of Love, Josh Garrels, Robert Cray band, Aaron Gillespie, U2, Zeppelin, Maylene & the sons of disaster, Foo Fighters…

How has the (rural) living and landscape of Glenrowan come to bear on your music?
That’s an interesting question, I guess just being a little more isolated than some means we don’t have much of a music scene to influence the way we do things. So it’s meant that we’ve just really worked out our own way of doing things and written music that we like. It’s definitely made it necessary to be versatile in the way we perform so that we can suit a variety of settings.

Remaining truly independent, you have written, recorded and produced all of your work. Whilst on one hand you have complete freedom but on the other it must be incredibly challenging to hold the line when you are responsible for every aspect of the production process?
We were actually talking about mixing and mastering this album ourselves but when we got to it we just decided we needed another perspective, because we were so close to the songs. It was the right choice and we were really happy with how the tracks came out but part of me still wanted to be in control. Being so independent is just natural for us, everyone that we’ve chosen to work with we already had a prior relationship with so we knew where they were coming from and a rough idea of what they’d bring to the equation. It may get harder in the future but for the moment all the extra work is definitely still worth it to us.

You finished an East Coast tour not so long ago. What was one of the most memorable gigs and why?
We got sick. So driving through roadworks in summer holiday traffic to Sydney, with passengers throwing up in a lunch box all day next to you, then trying to pull ourselves together for a show. That was pretty memorable, hahaha. Not really the best kind of memorable…

What does the rest of 2016 have in store for you?
In the next few months we have two weddings and a baby due within the band. So we’ll just be playing some local shows and starting to write new tunes for a bit.

For news on their upcoming album and to keep up to date with the band in general, follow them on Facebook.



Interview by Courtney Dabb.