FOAM'S "I COULD MILK MYSELF" TOUR/INTERVIEW
Perth-based alt-rock trio FOAM have made quite a name for themselves in the last few years, having released 5 EP’s since 2012 - including a split EP with mates PUCK - it was only a matter of time before they decided to go whole hog with something more substantial.
‘I Could Milk Myself’ is the first taste off of an impending debut LP and if this song is anything to go by, it’s going to be well worth the wait. ‘I Could Milk Myself’ is a raw yet melodically gorgeous tune that demonstrates an evolution of everything the boys do well.
The howling drawl of Joel Martin, the incredibly self-aware lyricism and a violent array of bass, guitar and drum sounds. Pay particular attention to the torrential wall of sound that emerges towards the last minute of the song and you’ll understand what a forward-step they’ve taken.
Lucky for us, the release of the song was accompanied by a list of tour dates including a July 30th show at Mojo’s. We caught up with the guys ahead of their national tour to ask them a few questions about the new song, playing together for a close to a decade and what to expect from their full-length debut.
You’ve announced that ‘I Could Milk Myself’ is the first taste of an upcoming LP. What can you tell us about the song and how it came together?
‘I Could Milk Myself’ is a song about companionship, anxiety and self-reflection. This is probably one of the ‘prettier’ songs off the record, and it features the only guitar solo on the entire LP. Pop sensibilities abound. It can often take me a long time to finish a song, but in this case the chord progression, structure, melody and lyrics all came out in one night on an acoustic guitar. It came together relatively quickly as we fleshed it out with the band. Sometimes I wish they could all come so smoothly.
Prior to this forthcoming album you guys have recorded a number of EPs, I’m curious to know what the writing/recording process has been like working on your first full length project - as opposed to writing an EP?
After the last EP we knew we were heading towards an LP with the next release, so from the very beginning of the writing process we approached it with the goal of making a cohesive record which could be appreciated as whole, rather than just a collection of songs. This changed our writing pretty drastically, especially in terms of song structure and dynamics. It was nice to have more space to stretch our legs and try things we hadn’t before.
During the writing and recording process how much consideration goes into ensuring the songs will translate to a live performance?
An increasing amount, lately. Every show is a learning experience in one way or another and I think as the years go by we’re getting better at picking up on what makes the great moments in a set and how to set yourself up for them. I don’t think it was much of a concern in the earlier days, we just wrote the songs and recorded/played them as they came. Now we’re trying to avoid the conventions that maybe felt consistently average at live shows in the past and work towards a setlist that is more engaging and satisfying from start to finish. Not just for the audience's’ sake, but for our own. It can be a drag playing the same songs over a long stretch of time, especially when you don’t vibe them live.
The three of you guys have been playing together for about 10 years now, how would describe the evolution of FOAM over that time - both musically and in terms of the relationship between the three of you?
Yeah, Jackson and I pretty much picked up our instruments and formed the band at the same time, Harley joined when we were still really young, so you could nearly encapsulate our entire musical evolution as individuals within this group. We developed our taste as it stands now right alongside each other, and that’s all been reflected in our discography. The range of music we listen to has far more breadth than it did 4 years ago, and I think the rate of development is accelerating now that we’re letting more of these influences inform our sound. I think having this project as a constant for our whole adult lives has been good for us. We still have a lot of love for one another and are close enough that we could work through just about anything. It’s like an old polyamorous marriage. Domestic bliss.
In the last few years the live music scene in Perth has undergone some changes, venues have shut their doors and been replaced by newer ones and the Alt 90’s/Garage Rock “movement” has seen a resurgence. What’s been your experience of the Perth music scene in the last year or so?
Maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and my scope of what’s going on has expanded, but I feel like the scene continues to grow stronger and diversify as time goes on. Apart from a few really unfortunate closures (RIP The Bakery) there’s been a steady revolving door of places to play and I don’t think there’s much hampering of what’s happening in that regard (although it would be nice to see more viable and centrally located options for all ages shows). Mostly I’ve just enjoyed seeing the bands that I’ve been watching for years come into their own creatively, and being inspired by the people around me. Also, I’m starting to feel old for the first time as the new wave of young bands start coming through. Looking forward to seeing which emerge as mainstays.
Do you guys want to shout out anyone in the Perth scene doing it good? Or perhaps anyone playing with you on this Australian tour?
There are so many bands and individuals I could name I wouldn’t even know where to begin. So this time I think I’ll just give the thumbs up to everyone at RTR. We’re all boned if you get axed, fingers crossed our new government is kind to you.
Without spoiling too much, what can we expect from the new album?
10 songs. Expect nothing, that’s what I say. Then maybe be pleasantly surprised.
You can catch FOAM on their Australian tour at Mojo’s on July 30th or at any of the following shows: