Eternal Dust on imitating Johnny Marr and making Internet music
February 24th 2023
- Eternal Dust (Oscar Sulich) :: Interview with Jasper Craig-Adams
Sydney dream-pop-meets-art-rock outfit Eternal Dust have just released their debut record Spiritual Healers, Defence Lawyers. Merging layers of romantic 80s guitar sounds with ethereal and distant vocals, the album has earned the coveted title of FBi Radio’s Album of The Week. Eternal Dust’s guitarist Oscar Sulich stopped by FBi Radio to chat with Real to Reel’s Jasper Craig-Adams.
Jasper asked Oscar about how he felt about finally having Spirtual Healers, Defence Lawyers out in the world. Oscar was modest about the album’s reception
“It feels nice, because then other people can maybe like it.”
“It sounds cool on vinyl, it changes the sound a bit just listening to it in a room rather than in headphones.”
Spiritual Healers, Defence Lawyers as a title resembles something of an unfinished riddle or coded message. Jasper tried to find the correlation between the juxtaposing professions and quizzed Oscar on its origins. The guitarist couldn’t shed much light on the meaning, but attributed the title choice to his bandmates Ebonny Monro and Finn Parker.
“I think only Ebonny would know, I think it was just one of her lyrics and Finn said he wanted that to be the album. It was decided two years or three years ago, before the album even existed.”
Oscar explained that Spiritual Healers, Defence Lawyers existed as a song that was originally going to feature on Eternal Dust’s 2020 self-titled EP. The title and track are not the only aspects of the record that have been around for quite some time. A large part of the album’s guitar parts were recorded back in 2021, while vocals didn’t get recorded for up to a year after. Oscar describes the album as “internet music” due to the disjointed way it was made.
“I guess it was just life. Everyone was doing separate things or busy.”
“It was created and recorded on the computer in all separate ways, not all happening at once which is pretty normal… It’s all pieced together on a computer in a way.”
Oscar’s guitar parts preceding the rest of the vocals and instrumentation makes sense when listening to the record. Jasper describes them as “front-facing” and “a real hook.” Oscar explained that the guitar lines are often the result of a jam session or in the case of ‘Candy’, his best attempt at unashamedly impersonating Johnny Marr.
“The ‘Candy’ one is sort of me trying to make my own version of ‘Barbarism Begins at Home’ by The Smiths… what I’m playing in that isn’t that hard, It’s probably just all generic riffs that I would play mixed together.”
“It’s just like a Johnny Marr rip off riff.”
The band’s vocalist Ebonny Monro’s lyric writing methods are equally as unorthodox. Oscar let slip that some of the lyrics from the track ‘Absinthe’ were a result of Ebonny reading random pages of a book that happened to be in the room. This resourceful writing isn’t a new practice for the band.
“There was another song we put on soundcloud called ‘Picnic at StoneHenge’ and the lyrics were just reading from the StoneHenge book or something.”
Outside of Eternal Dust, Oscar has a side project called boba lego while also lending his talents to other Sydney musical projects. He is also present in the art scene as a painter. Jasper asked Oscar if these two artistic pursuits ever cross over or inform each other. While there is no direct link, it is clear that his art forms the visual identity of Eternal Dust.
“Only maybe when it comes to having to do designs… I’ve done a lot of the posters for the gigs and the album covers.”
The cover of Spiritual Healers, Defence Lawyers is a watercolor pencil work by Oscar. Having attended National Art School and practiced life-drawing, Eternal Dust have a built-in artist at their disposal.
In response to whether the band will be launching the album in a live setting in the near future, Oscar’s response offered little more than optimism that something may be on the horizon:
“That would be cool.”
Listen to Jasper and Oscar’s full chat up top (you don’t want to miss Oscar’s Channel 7 news reader impersonation) and stream/purchase Spiritual Healers, Defence Lawyers below.