Interview – The Strange Days

The strange days
The strange days

The Strange Days

I don’t know if I was just unfortunate in my travels in Australia but most people I met or tried to spark up a conversation with about music only seemed to know who Will.I.Am was and what he had for breakfast. Well I am over exaggerating but that is what it felt like.

‘Can we put on something by Rihanna’. No, no we can’t.

Anyway moving onto some music worth listening to there’s a place called the manly boatshed which had a songwriter’s night every Wednesday, after going one week and watching some live music and having more than a few beers it seemed like a great idea to go again.

The last act of the night this time was The Strange Days. They caught my attention straight away before they even started because they looked fucking cool as shit. I’m not even sure what I was expecting but they had a good stage presence and chemistry, and they had that friendly vibe bouncing from each other and then around the room. Playing original material and covers it was a pleasure watching them and hearing a band that are doing they’re own thing and are comfortable doing so.

I was fortunate enough to catch up with the lovely Michael after their set who seemed very nervous but it didn’t show at all during their performance so I was surprised! He shouldn’t have been nervous because he is one talented guy, in fact they are all talented!

1. How did the strange days all start?

Mike: I studied music for a while around the place and have been writing songs here and there with the intent to start an originals band…about two years ago I recorded three demo tracks and put out an ad for a band on Gumtree (local classifieds). Tom (bass) and Francine (drums) joined and we started working on the material I wrote, initially with another guitarist but we soon dropped to three and it just stayed that way. We spent the last year expanding our arsenal to more than two dozen songs before we started gigging. Sadly, Francine had to leave us last year but we’ve been lucky to find Courtney, via one of my old teachers, who has settled in to the Strange Days in no time! 

2. What artists do you guys listen to and have any had a big influence to the strange day’s style?

Mike: We actually have really similar tastes, we all love grunge in general, bands like Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, STP etc. as well as Springsteen, we all love The Boss! Courtney loves a lot of classic stuff like Bowie, Jeff Buckley, and of course she’s crazy about Sonic youth and Nirvana. Tom tends to like a lot of proggy stuff like Pink Floyd, Dream Theater, Rush etc. I’ll listen to anything, I love my blues especially, like SRV, Clapton and J.J. Cale, but as far influencing our sound, you’ve got some of the local bands like Motor Ace, The Living End and The Butterfly Effect, some of the nu-metal bands like Korn, Deftones, Flaw and Finger Eleven, as well as some of the lesser known grungy bands like Kyuss, Hum and Chore. Oh, and we are all huge Tom Waits fans!

3. Is there any bands that currently stand out to you and could recommend people to take a listen?

Mike: I love The Butterfly Effect, locally. Karma To Burn are a cool instrumental group from the US very much in the Kyuss vein.

 Tom: Tame Impala

 Courtney: Last Dinosaurs

4. I saw you guys at the Manly Boatshed, great by the way! How did you guys find that gig?

Mike: It was great! Keith Armitage, who runs singer-songwriter nights has been great getting us into some small venues. It’s a great place to start playing regularly and get to know other bands. With each gig we get stronger and more experienced, last time the energy was electric and the crowd was really receptive. At gigs, a lot of things can turn out otherwise than planned, but the end of the day, when you get that kind of great feedback; it really leaves you with a warm fuzzy feeling that isn’t just acid reflux. Probably. 

5. What has been the strangest or funniest moment during a gig of yours?

Mike: Tom had lacy panties thrown at him at an acoustic gig, which he still proudly wears to this day!

6. What is the best gig you have ever attended?

Mike: I’ve seen Muse and The Butterfly Effect a few times each, both bands are always awesome live. Oh, and Eric Clapton.

 Tom: Chris Cornell at the Enmore in 2007. A three hour sonic smorgasbord of Soundgarden, Audioslave and his own stuff!

 Courtney: Bruce Springsteen, last month.

 Mike: I am so jealous of her.

7. Have you got any upcoming plans for the band?

 Mike: Total World Domination. But more specifically, we’re doing an upcoming gig at The Spectrum on Oxford St on May 10, supporting some great bands such as No Illuminati, Strange than the Wolves, and The Cashmere Revolution. Then we’re doing a few more gigs around the place (May 24th at the Polish Club Ashfield, Manly Boatshed again on 29th, and then we’re entering the Emergenza Festival (First stage 5th July @The Metro). We’re also going into the studio sometime in the next few months to record an EP. 

8. And finally give me the best joke you’ve got!

 Mike: Indie music!

You can listen to the strange days on https://soundcloud.com/the-strange-days or check them out on facebook https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Strange-Days/197229926997115?fref=ts

Article Written By Kenya Scarlett

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