Music Interview: Unity Floors
Sydney mates Gus Hunt and Henry Gosling, otherwise known as Unity Floors, have just released their new record, Life Admin. We have a chat with them:
Hi and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Something You Said. I remember seeing your show at GoodGod Small Club back in 2014 playing alongside Disgusting People and Atom Bombs. It is interesting mapping the trajectories of some bands to see if they break through the stratosphere over time or simply break up but Unity Floors has continued that upward trend. How do you see the last couple of years as a band and the successful decisions you have made to be where you are today?
The last couple of years have been fun. We find it pretty unbelievable to get to go here and there to go do something that we would be doing in the lounge room of the house on a weekend anyway – I think we always will until people stop asking us to play at which point we will probably just go back to jamming out at home.
Honestly being two friends that hung out for years before playing music together and being the people that we are, we don’t really get too wrapped up in thinking about the future. We just stick to what we like doing/what we do/what we’d be doing anyway, It’s all we really know. I think we’re pretty lucky. As cliché as it sounds I think being ourselves is the most, albeit unintentional, “successful” decision we’ve made – who knows maybe we’d be more popular if we promoted ourselves more, networked, got naked when we played, or had trendier haircuts but it’s just not us and I think our hair looks pretty good as is.
With venues closing down faster than they are opening up such as GoodGod, do you see the live local scene as one in contraction or simply consolidation?
Sydney is an interesting place. The areas that were a buzz for the last few years, (Oxford St, Kings Cross, Surry Hills etc) have shifted and we could chat for hours about why that is – (folks being priced out of the city, live music being swept up as part the NSW Governments lock-out-laws, etc etc) – however I don’t think this shift has caused a decline in the quality or quantity of music coming out of Sydney.
It is exceptionally hard to produce a full sound as a two-piece but you always manage to pull it off. How do you split the duties in terms of writing, recording, producing and even marketing?
Hey thanks, that’s a real nice thing to hear!
Henry does the drums and I do the guitar parts and scribble out the lyrics. There’s no set pattern with our songwriting, sometimes Henry will start playing a cool rhythm or sometimes I’ll come in with a song and by the first or second run through the rest is already there. Sometimes songs will take a while, some stick around, some get forgotten about.
Recording wise, we play all of our own parts. Production is almost unspoken – I think we both have a strong idea as to the base of what we are trying to do and will occasionally bounce ideas off each other, “hey how about this” type of thing.
Marketing? I don’t think anyone really handles marketing that much ha – We try, we’ve started throwing together some clips we’ve filmed phones and posting them online every now and then.
Do you look to make music through the eyes of a 3, 4 or 5 piece act or embrace the boundaries of a duo and allow it to define your sound?
“Embrace the boundaries”, I like that! I hadn’t really thought about it like that.
Honestly it’s all we know – neither of us have played in other bands before. At this stage we make it “as a duo” with no real other key melodic layers like a second guitar or jazzy-walking-disco basslines. Saying that maybe we will learn how to overdub stuff better in the future and get all 100 guitar tracks on a song, gongs, glockenspiels, the whole nine yards, that could be cool, we could be into that… “Unity Floors the studio years”.
Your new album Life Admin is out now, how does differ from your previous work, Exotic Goldfish Blues?
I guess, again clichés aside, It feels more like us, or whatever this thing is that we are doing. We didn’t put any time limits on how long it took us to write the songs or you know, sit down and plan to write an album or anything like that. The first record we recorded in a studio, that was an expensive and bad idea. This time round it was just a real natural thing. We’d write a couple of songs, invite Nick over to help us record them, record them, write a few more songs, invite Nick back over a few weeks later, rinse, wash, lather, repeat.
You recently played Volumes Festival, do you approach a festival set slightly differently to what you would if you were playing a regular show?
Honestly, most of the time we don’t have a set list or when we do they usually get scrapped after the second or third song. We like playing festivals a bunch though, getting to hang out, see other bands you might not usually see. It’s the best.
What’s the rest of 2016 have in store for you?
We’re doing a little tour, with Melbourne on the 22nd and Sydney on the 28th – We’ve got a few new numbers we might start recording in the next little bit, see what happens, summer can be a bit distracting at times.
Here are the details of Unity Floors’ upcoming shows:
Saturday 22nd October 2016 – Old Bar, Melbourne VIC
Friday 28th October 2016 – Chippendale Hotel, Sydney NSW
Buy the album over at Popfrenzy.