POP VULTURE: The Tommyhawks on their new album and tour
The Tommyhawks have been one of Perth’s many beloved live acts for a little while now. Already having a string of EPs under their name, they are gearing up to release their debut album Underground Raptor on March 9. We had a quick chat with Thea Woodward from the group in another edition of our Pop Vulture series.
IN: Congrats on getting your debut album completed! How has the writing and recording process for Underground Raptor played out?
Thanks! We’re super excited to have completed an album. We did it in various chunks of time over a year (basically when we could scrape together enough money to get back in to the studio), but it turned out to be a positive because each session was pretty different to the one before – different head-spaces etc., and it didn’t feel like there was a massive pressure to get everything done there and then. We even wrote some songs from scratch in there this time which is a new experience for us. And Parko (Dave Parkin at Blackbird Studios) finally brought in his dog Jeff to hang out, which was lovely. …Actually also how the album title came about, due to Addison [Axe]’s dog instigating many a dog melee in the studio and Jess [June] dubbing her (the dog) the “Underground Raptor” for her stealthy ruckus-instigations!
IN: From the sounds of it, there’s a whole lot of anxiety about the world going on in this record. What are some of the main things you hope listeners will take away from this album?
It would be nice if there are folks out there struggling with anxiety and all that mental shit who aren’t yet ok with talking about it – or who don’t realise how common it is – to hear some of the lyrics and feel some sort of solace in knowing that it’s unfortunately more common than I think some people realise. Also reinforcing awareness (if that’s ever enough) of some of the scary things going on in our world right now.
IN: What do you think sets this release apart from your previous EPs (apart from it being an album and not an EP)?
It’s a little more pop / a little less on the bluesy side – well, aside from ‘Fighting the Times’, which is perhaps where we got all the blues delights out of our system in one fell swoop.
IN: Moving on to a couple of pop culture questions now, what have been some music releases from 2019 that you have been enjoying?
Pretty excited about the new Methyl Ethyl album…
IN: Do you have a favourite live venue in Perth?
The Aardvark in Freo is always a winner. You feel like you’re in a secret cavern that only the Freo folk know about…
IN: What was the last film you saw in cinemas? What did you think?
I saw a Perth film festival about the cold war (I think?) a couple of weeks ago. I remember enjoying it at the time, but it was on an evening where we’d driven back from down south (300kms or so) that morning having played a late show the night before in order to get to a beer festival (!) gig in the blazing 2pm Perth sun on a 40 degree day, so to be honest I think my brain was completely fried by the time I got to the cinema in the evening– hence why I literally can’t remember any more about it.
IN: Are you binging any tv shows right now?
Sex Education. That’s pretty much everyone in the band too I gather…! Actually I think most of us have finished it. Hmm. Probs need to find a new series before tour.. there’s going to be a lot of long drives…
IN: Coming back to your music now, you’ll be embarking on a big national tour pretty soon! What can we expect from your live sets?
Ooh… lots of energy. Maybe a few surprise moments of hilarity? Jess has gotten her drumsticks seriously tangled mid-song in her hair a few times… if it’s at the end of tour maybe stay away from stage. We may not smell too sweet.