Track-by-Track: Zeahorse – Torana Dreamin
Sydney’s Zeahorse have finally returned with their second LP, ‘Torana Dreamin’. We asked them to talk us through this sophomore record, track-by-track:
There’s a road not far from the house where I grew up called the ‘old road’ which winds through the national park from Berowra to Brooklyn. As a 17-year-old hoon, (fresh on my red P’s) I used to whip my 1989 Ford Laser around the bends always dreaming that one day I’d be whipping a LC Torana GTR round those bends. I’m still dreaming about it.
This song is about a psychedelic experience. Some can be amazing, some can be life changing and some can be terrifying. Sound wise, definitely a nod to some 80’s Aus pub rock. In 2015 we toured the US in a van we named ‘Sausso’ (cause it looked like a giant sausage roll) and during our enormous trips between a strangely routed tour the Cosmic Psychos were on repeat. Looking back on that time I think it definitely had an influence on this song.
The oldest song on the record. I’m pretty sure we were playing ‘Runt’ during our Pools album tour in 2014! It still resonates as one of the strongest songs on the record in my opinion. It marks the point of moving on from Pools, it’s heavier and more riff based which is what this record is all about. I remember way back in 2012 playing a hell slow 8-minute psych song to 6000 people supporting Them Crooked Vultures and realising mid-song that it was a really bad idea, I think the lessons we learnt that day sculpted our plan for the next five years and that was to write songs for a live environment where we could bash out faster, heavier jams and runt was the first cab off the ranks.
Did anyone else eat BBQ chickens on the reg in the 90’s? I sure did. Like a lot, in fact that’s really all I remember dinners being, apart from the Thursday night ‘kids I can’t be fucked cooking’ Maccas run. Maybe I just really liked chicken?
We recorded these songs at Sunroom Studio in the hills behind the Channon in Northern NSW. Four best mates camping on top of a mountain for 12 days recording 10 songs that we’d worked on for two years. If Zeahorse had a home it’d be right there.
‘Draino’ was written in response to the numerous ‘king hits’ reported in Kings Cross during 2013 and 2014.
This was by far the most challenging song to record. In the lead up to the sessions at the sunroom we had two separate weeks of demoing these songs at Benny’s place in the Blue Mountains. This was where we refined all the ideas and wrote off any stray cats. Thing is there’s no electricity on the property so we had to hire this mega generator to power all our stupidly big amps. Let me tell ya, there’s nothing like crankin a fat riff in the middle of the Megalong Valley. Anyway, unfortunate I feel was a new territory for us which was why it was such a challenge to record. R.I.P Sonic youth.
There’s a band from Boston called Pile. For those who don’t know this band, go forth and let your mind be blown. We were lucky enough to support them in Detroit at one of the oldest D.I.Y spaces in the city called Trumbullplex. Pile is a big influence on Zeahorse and I think ‘Same Boat’ is a true sign of this. There’s a righteous sludge bucket lurking around the 2:00 mark for you.
5am, Redfern, Monday morning the street sweeper begins his day hoovering the needles, vom, nappies, turds and god know what else into one giant bag of sad. The weekends regret. ‘Street Sweeper’ is the first song we’ve ever written inside the studio. We usually have all parts written before we start tracking but in this case we built the song from scratch. It’s a bit loose but better for it in my opinion.
‘Nature Strip’ was the most important track to nail in the studio. I was chomping at the bit to get stuck into tracking it. The vibe needed to be just right. Tone and tempo are huge elements for Zeahorse and I think the ‘vibe’ really depends on them both. It’s a magical thing watching our drummer Julz back up a perfect drum take with another perfect drum take, it’s like watching ducks fly in formation. The song is about masculinity, a nature strip, a strip of grass in which to groom and sculpt into a trophy of pride.
‘Torana Dreamin’ is out on vinyl through Tym’s Guitars and digitally through bandcamp on November 11th and they’ve got an album launch tour coming up in December. For dates and venues head over to their Facebook page.