Interview :: Cull
October 31st 2013
Cull make psychedelic indie music that sounds like it’s been left out in the sun a little too long.
It’s warped, but in the most endearing way: dripping with strange colours and drenched in a uniquely Australian brand of reverb. Bringing together members and ex-members from a host of local bands (Cameras, Chance Waters, The Darkened Seas – just to name a few) these guys are no strangers to the local scene – and now they’re carving out a niche within it for Cull.
The Flog’s Alex Eugene took five with lead singer Chumpy Ly ahead of their ‘Inside Your Head’ tour.
FBi: Your (very popular, high rotation hit) ‘World Inside your Head’ is really beautiful. What’s it all about and how was it born?
Thank you, we’re ultra-glad that it’s been received so well! We’ve never had anything called a hit before, that’s a real honour.
I started writing ‘World Inside Your Head’ while I was couch surfing in the States earlier this year. It started off as most songs of my songs start these days – being hummed (dementedly) into the voice memo app on my phone, complete with beatboxing. Fortunately one of the places I crashed had a home studio that my hosts were kind enough to grant me a little recording time in. It just went from there.
I brought it back to my bedroom studio in Sydney and finished it off. ‘World Inside Your Head’ is about feeling more at home, away from home. At that point in time I needed to be displaced from my usual surroundings. Being away from home felt a lot more comfortable, and homely so to speak.
Grab ‘World Inside Your Head’ on The Rip: FBi’s free local music mixtape.
Your music has been described as a bunch of strange sounding things: approaching storms, psych-e, an earworm, better than hallucinogens… Was that the idea all along? Any more eccentric descriptors you’re aiming for?
In a way I can relate to all the comments made about ‘World Inside Your Head’ – but I suppose they’re not directly linked to the ideas I had for the song. I guess I’m not really aiming for any descriptors, I just get thrills when I hear of or read interpretations of songs I’ve written – it’s always fascinating to find out how the music makes people react. It’s even cooler when people can identify things that were added subtly, especially with gear choices or techniques.
Despite being about to release your debut EP, Cull’s music is accomplished enough to hint at the fact that you lot have been around the traps for a while. Tell us some highlights from the band’s musical journey up to now.
Again thanks! Cull is comprised of battle-hardened musos from around the east coast. I’ve been in a couple of bands in Sydney, at the moment I’m with Cull and am writing and singing with another band called Polar Knights. Alex, our guitarist/keys-man plays keys and banjo for Chance Waters. Our bassist Fraser lead Cameras on guitar/vox and at the moment plays in Service Bells. Julian, our drummer was in Lion Island and also drums for The Darkened Seas. So, there’s a lot of musical history, even if we’ve only been together for a year.
Cull works in a way in which I lock myself up in my home studio and record tunes and then I bring them to the guys. One of the ongoing highlights of the band’s journey is seeing and hearing those recordings being translated into a live setting. It’s gnarly to see and hear what a bit of spontaneous energy can do to a song and hearing the band’s influences laid on top of the songs is such a treat! I also love seeing Alex and my pedalboards expand and evolve with our music – Alex and I have serious gear acquisition syndrome (or G.A.S for short). Julian just has gas.
Otherwise, a huge highlight has just been everyone’s response to ‘World Inside Your Head’. Every track we release, it just feels like there’s an amazing community rallying to listen to our music. We couldn’t wish for anything more than people enjoying the work that we do – and helping us get more of our music out there.
What does ‘Bà Nội’ (the title of the new EP) mean?
Bà Nội is Vietnamese for “paternal grandmother”. The EP is dedicated to my grandmother who passed away last year, which was one of the reasons I founded Cull.
You’re playing World Bar on Friday night. Any little treats in store for the gig?
Not sure if it’s going to be a treat, but there’ll be pretty lights coming from Alex’s and my pedalboards. Also it’ll be a pretty loud bill so if you’re longing for a good dose of tinnitus there’s a treat for you!
Really though, we’ll be selling advanced copies of the EP – so anyone who just can’t wait til the release (November 15) can pick up a copy. It’s a super limited run (we’re digital babies, after all) so there’s a chance we might even sell out.
Bà Nội is out digitally on November 15, or you can pick up a copy at a show.
WHAT :: ‘Inside Your Head’ launch
WHO :: Cull + Lepers & Crooks + FOAM
WHERE :: World Bar, Kings Cross
WHEN: Friday November 1
HOW MUCH :: $15 on the door
WHAT :: Uni Shmooney
WHO :: Sures + Naughty Rappers Collective + Jenny Broke The Window + Super Magic Hats + Borneo
WHERE :: FBi Social, Kings Cross Hotel
WHEN :: Saturday November 23
HOW MUCH :: $10 for FBi supporters & students, $15 everyone else!