AoTW Q&A ROFLMAO BBQ :: Richard in Your Mind
September 8th 2011
Psychedelic Sydneysiders Richard In Your Mind are back with a shiny new album Sun, our latest Album of the Week. Their third full-length album is the mind-bending follow-up to their first two offerings Summertime EP and My Volcano, and takes listeners on a ray-filled trip just in time for Spring. We took time out to sit in the sun with frontman Richard Cartwright for a good ol’ fashioned pow-wow.
FBi: So kicking off, you’ve been on the road for some time now, any notable adventures to report?
Richard: Nothing too crazy really, though when I don’t eat for a long time I tend to turn into an Incredible Hulk-like demon, only shrimpier and less green. One time when we got to Ballina (I was staaaaaarving) the Red Rooster counter girl informed me that this Red Rooster had no chicken. It snapped my brain and I went on a rampage, like an unstoppable cyclone. I tore the town apart, I woke up in a field, wearing nothing but my tattered purple shorts, remembering nothing.
What’s the most memorable gig you’ve ever played?
There's been many! But Falls Festival last year was one of them; we had a giant inflatable balloon which we threw around the crowd and halfway through the set a Japanese girl in a kimono came on stage and served us all sake.
Your new album Sun has been highly anticipated by the FBi office that’s for sure. How did the new album come about?
A seed was planted last year (in our minds) and soon a few shoots started to show, (a few songs were sounding cool) some bees and lizards started hanging around (so we observed them and became inspired), soon we could see what kind of plant was growing. So with love and care we fed the plant (in our minds) all the right things so that it was on the right path to being strong and tall and beautiful. Turns out it was a sunflower.
Sun has been reviewed as a more ‘focused’ sound than that of Summertime EP and My Volcano. Do you think it is? If so, is it difficult to focus psychedelia, a form known for free form improvisation?
I think it's more focused, or at least there is a more similar vibe flowing through on this one. I don't think we're that psychedelic all the time really, but I do like the word, and how it kind of stands for a freedom of imagination. But as far as focusing the psychedelia and improvisation, I think we generally start with a strong defined idea of what the song is, and then we improvise, play around and dress it up in colourful clothes. Focused psychedelic is easier than complete mayhem, because you have an idea of where you're going. That said, mayhem sounds like fun. Let's do that next.
How do you write material? Is it a collaborative effort from square one or does everyone write individually?
Mainly I come up with a loose structure with chords and words for some songs. Conrad then says which ones we should work on, then we all fill it in with whatever we think might be cool, then we change things around, add and subtract stuff then voila! Tunes!
Often your sound is straight out of the 1960s, particularly from the US and UK. How does this sound make its way to Sydney dudes from 2011? How did you find your niche?
There was great music in the 60's! Tonnes of it! I think there are still lessons to be learned about making great music, from listening to 60s music. 60s music made its way to us and so many others through experimentation, parents’ record collections and classic hits radio stations (thoug