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Music Interview: Salary

Words By: Anthony Worrall

Ahead of Salary’s ‘Mini Moke’ single launch at Amplifier Capitol on Friday 22 July, I got in contact with Sean Gorman, the brains behind Salary’s truly unique sound.

Hey Sean, how are things going?

Hey Anthony, going well thank you.

For those that haven’t heard you guys yet, what sort of experience would you say Salary delivers for listeners?

It’s kind of weird pop music, and with nine of us, we get a bit of a living wall of sound going.

Yeah, having nine members in live performances makes Salary an interesting project – how did you guys meet and end up playing together?

I found Louis on myspace probably about ten or so years ago and put him in touch with Sean Hocking from Metal Postcard records and played a few solo shows with him.  A few years ago I was sick of only playing music solo and the only musician I knew was Louis so I asked him if he knew anyone who’d be keen to form a band.  He said he was keen and his mate Cameron J Hanush was too and we formed The Shops.  While we were playing as The Shops I was doing  some electronic-based recordings that I released as Celery; to launch that album I asked The Shops and some other musicians I had met at gigs to join us and try recreate what was on the album, which was pretty layered. Eventually there were 9 of us and everyone gelled as a band and it was really fun creating sounds with a big band.  Over time members come and go as the Gods see fit

How does having so many people in the band affect how songs are rehearsed, performed recorded?

For some reason we all have to be playing at the same time to get things working properly so whether we’re rehearsing, performing or recording it’s kind of the same thing.  The only hard thing is getting everyone in a room together.

Salary’s brilliant new single ‘Mini Moke’, being launched next Friday seems to draw influence from the ornate, folk-rock sounds of Arcade Fire while your grizzled & passionate vocals evoke that of Bruce Springsteen. What sort of music were you listening to when ‘Mini Moke’ was written, and what was the creative process with the rest of the band? How long did it take to record?

I wrote that song about a year and a half ago and I’m not sure what I was listening to but probably a bit of Ought, The Minute Men, Shit Narnia, Jeff’s Dead, The Fall, Arthur Russell, Peter Bibby, Racoo Charles and Louis Inglis.

I wrote the song on an acoustic guitar and then the rest of the band and they wrote their parts at rehearsal. This was a bit tricky as it’s 6 verses in a row and then a longish coda/outro; but everyone was really creative and sensitive to get the song to build and then release into the coda.

We tracked the song live at Fremantle Recording Studios with the band spread over 3 rooms; Cameron J Hanush (bass) and Louis Inglis (drums) in one room; Mel Hall (accordion), Rachel Hocking (violin), Alan Holborn (Sax), Jason Snook (Mandolin) and Jeff Strong (Acoustic Guitar) in another room and; Harvey Rae (synth) and I (electric guitar & vocals) were in the control room with Michael Blackburn (sound engineer). We only overdubbed a few backup vocals so it was a relatively quick process to track and we then contacted Naomune Anzai who mixed No Zu’s latest album and he was kind enough to mix and master for us.

And finally, for those who come down to the ‘Mini Moke’ launch, who’s your pick of the supporting acts of the night?

They’re all good and varied so it’s going to be a great show. Moon Puppy Blues Band have a great sound, have released a couple of really nice tracks on Bandcamp and they’re doing well in the The Big Splash;  Chief Richards is a mysterious character – I saw him at The Bird a few weeks ago and the instrumental loops and guitar riffs sounded like the old Wu Tang Clan a bit to me; Pool Boy are awesome, Beth writes excellent songs and has a absorbing stage presence; Young Robin look like they are going to get the dance floor moving, I haven’t seen them yet but I can’t wait.

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