Erasers chat running a label, Perth’s DIY music scene & their Ears Have Ears exclusive
May 22nd 2017
Ever wondered what the music scene is like on the West Coast? Rupert Thomas of drone pop duo Erasers lets us in on his experiences making music and running a label as part of Perth’s DIY community.
Having released a handful of CD-R’s, tapes and a 7” since their formation in 2009, Erasers eventually unveiled their debut album ‘Stem Together’ in 2015 via their own label Pouring Dream. Evolving their sound over the years, Rebecca Orchard and Rupert Thomas have slowly refined the explorative nature that’s central to their sound, whilst maintaining the elements that make their brand of drone pop unique. Listen below to the exclusive piece they’ve created for FBi’s experimental music program Ears Have Ears.
Your recent album Stem Together has been described as melding psych, ritualistic pop and drone music. How would you describe its sound in your own terms?
I guess like most people that make music, we’ve always found it difficult to describe our sound verbally, but I think those are pretty accurate words to describe our sound. We also use words like repetitive, melodic, long, rhythmic, moody, pop to describe what we do.
What is Perth’s DIY/experimental scene like?
I think the experimental/DIY scene is pretty strong and diverse for a relatively small city. There are people like Tone List putting on and releasing pretty boundary-pushing music, Furchick who’s been doing interesting stuff around town (and out of town) for quite some time, as well as Chris Cobilis (who recently released an album on Room 40). On the immersive/drone end of the spectrum, Craig McElhinney has a bunch of incredible albums. Relative new-comers Rory Glacken (Tourist Kid, Dentistry) and Jack Burton (Dentistry) sit in a similar territory – they also run events as Deep Water Records, putting on free un-announced shows in parks and inside spaces like poly-tunnels,with surround sound PAs. Leafy Suburbs, Akioka, Mei Saraswati, Bahasa Malay and plenty more make a diverse array of left-field pop music too.
How did your relationship with the excellent Brooklyn-based label Fire Talk’s begin?
A number of years ago we put out a tape through a label called Solid Melts. Drew Gibson who runs the label is buddies with Trevor from Fire Talk – we caught Trevor’s band Woodsman with Drew a couple of times while we were in Brooklyn, but never talked to Trevor. A couple of years down the line we were on holiday in Europe and managed to catch Woodsman again in Rome and Barcelona. We got chatting to Trevor after one of the shows. A few months later we received an email from him with an offer to help release something, so we sent through ‘Stem Together’ and he was immediately keen to help put the record out.
Stem Together was released in Australia by your label Pouring Dream, what is running a label like?
Pouring Dream is a label run by us from our home in Perth. We’ve been running it for a few years now, previously under the name OWLS. The intention with starting PD was to provide a platform releasing music mostly from Perth, including our own and that of our extremely talents pals. We cover vinyl, cassette and digital releases and have put out music for some incredibly talented acts including Leafy Suburbs, Akioka, Bahasa Malay and Holy Lotus. The running of Pouring Dream is pretty low-key: we slowly and steadily release things we are attracted to. Although the label spans a diverse range of genres, we like to think of them all having a common thread that runs through.
Recently you created an original piece for FBi’s experimental music program Ears Have Ears, what can you tell us about the piece?
Most of the piece was recorded over the course of a weekend, from mostly first takes. The track itself covers a lot of the ground we cover as a project, moving from a sparse soundscape that then moves into a more densely layered rhythmic section.
How do you approach putting together your live show?
We tend to play a relatively short set of a few longer songs. After a whole heap of refining our setup over the years, we’ve sort of settled on playing around drum loops and overdubbing bass lines – then we tend bring in elements like keys, vocals, guitar and synthesizer.
You’re going on tour around Australia with the hugely popular Methyl Ethel for a string of sold out dates. What are your thoughts going into these shows?
They should be a lot of fun! The guys from Methyl Ethel are lovely and we’re opening each show ,so we’ll get to completely enjoy each evening after we’ve played. The shows should also give us the opportunity to play in front of a bunch of people who haven’t heard of us before too which is exciting.
What’s next for Erasers? You have a new tape coming soon, anything you can let us in on about the release?
We’re currently working on a second album, so hopefully that’ll be finished sooner rather than later. The tape we’re releasing is actually the soundtrack we did for Ears Have Ears, split into two parts. Fits nicely on a 20-minute tape, so seemed like a perfect excuse for a physical release.