< --- home  < --- interviews


Forte, April 1996
by Adam Elliott
In the four years since The Earthmen blasted onto the scene the band has built up a repertoire of hundreds of songs, played by a constantly changing line-up that is only now beginning to take on a holding shape. So far each line-up has represented a stage in the evolution of The Earthmen.

Founding Earthmen vocalist Scott Stevens says changes to the line-up have been a natural part of the progresssion of the band. At the moment the Earthmen are: Scott, Nick who plays guitars, organ and cello, and Matt who plays bass. Currently The Earthmen has no drummer but is not going to let that stop it as a group. The band has just released a new single Scene Stealer and it's album Love Walked In is due to follow later this year.

"I would hope that in our live shows the songs are always a bit different to the recorded versions," Scott says. He believes The Earthmen subscribes to the notion that live shows and recordings are different beasts. "Ultimately an album is an album and a live show is a live show. In one or the other there are always elements that you are not going to hear on both and to me there are specific things that I want to hear on an album that I do not want to hear in a live show. There can be nothing more boring than seeing one of your favorite bands try and play exactly the same as the record"

Scott says "We often get extra musicians in to the studio to play strings and horns and all that kind of stuff. That is not part of our live shows at the moment and whether we will be looking to do that in the future I am just not sure. It could happen later but at the moment it is something we just put on the records because when we wrote the songs we heard them with like an organ or whatever. It is just how you hear the songs in your head when you are writing it."

It is not as if members of The Earthmen are not experienced in the recording studio. In their earliest days, over four years ago, the guys won a competition that landed them on the Triple J compilation The J Sessions. In 1993 the group recorded a pair of singles Stacey's Cupboard and Flyby on the Summershine label. The Earthmen kicked another goal with the EP Teen Sensations, released internationally in January 1994 through Atlantic's subsidiary Seed Records and this release attracted world wide attention.

On the strength of this success The Earthmen could have taken it easy for a while. Instead the group released another EP The Fall And RIse Of My Favorite Sixties Girl and took off for the US and the UK supporting acts like Lost City Girl. Scott says the tour was pretty low key and consisted mainly of showcase performances but it was important for The Earthmen because it learnt a lot about professionalism.

"I think all Australian bands encounter problems when they release a record overseas, much of that comes from the fact they are not over there touring. And I think this is most of the problem that any new Australian bands are going to face and it happened to us too. You know it is just this record being thrown into the market."

"I think we have pretty much a sound that is based around the pop song and hopefully when Nick and I write the songs we approach it so that what is coming out is essentially going to define what the song is going to sound like. Of course it ends up sounding like what you sound like because it is only you so you are not going to end up sounding completely different, but I hope we approach each song individually. So one is like a really crashy pop song and another is like a slower song with a pulse or something. I do not know if that explains anything but I think it is sort of based around the idea that whatever song comes out that is how we sound."

< --- interviews