Someone, Somewhere

5 December 2012 | 6:59 am | Chris Hayden

“A lot of the stuff in the past was a bit more eclectic in it’s style, but this is the most solid we’ve been.”

There's a quote from the Bible that reads, “A righteous man falls seven times, but seven times he gets back up”. While it may not have been seven separate falls, Cam Lee, lead singer and songwriter for Melbourne rockers Zoophyte, knows a bit about getting back up. After spending the better part of 2007 recording and touring the band's debut record Another Point Of View and building up a solid live following, Lee was dealt the hammer blow of a mass exodus. Initially, bass player Yiorgo Sgourakis left the band to be replaced by current member Andrew Gilpin. Then all hell broke loose and the remainder of the Zoophyte live band upped stumps, leaving just Lee and Gilpin (Gilps for short) presiding over a crumbling empire. Not ones to lie down easily, the two songwriters took this setback as more of a sea change than a crisis, and the result is their hard earned second album, Somewhere Elsewhere.

“It was frustrating at the time because we'd built up so much momentum and started to get a bit of a fan base on the east coast, but it all sort of came to a grinding halt,” Lee explains. “A lot of time and effort goes into keeping a band together and on the road and I didn't really know whether I had the energy to keep it going. It was a bit of a blessing in disguise as well, though, because we didn't have any other commitments apart from getting in the studio one day a week and trying to come up with some sounds that we liked. We didn't have a defined idea of what we wanted to sound like, we just continued to write. Gilps and I made a pact to stick together and write a song a week – which is what we did through 2009. He was really keen and passionate to keep working and we're very similar in what we like musically so he was a bit of a soulmate in that regard.”

So it seems that with a little help from his friend, Lee was back on track and ready to bring Zoophyte back into the world. One added bonus of a wholesale switch of band members was that he was also able to re-imagine the kind of music the band produced. “We used to be a lot more roots- and folk-driven,” he details. “But the whole band line-up had changed, so we were forced to get back into the studio and write things that we enjoyed. I think as a result of that, the musicians in the band now are a lot more on the same page in terms of the type of music we like and want to write.”

Which lands us at Somewhere Elsewhere, a slab of hard-hitting melodic rock that combines Lee's powerful voice with the skills of a rejuvenated cast of musicians. “As a body of work, I think this album is the most cohesive front-to-end listen that we've created,” Lee enthuses. “A lot of the stuff in the past was a bit more eclectic in it's style, but this is the most solid we've been.” The album itself has seen Zoophyte continue their work as a hard touring band, even landing them in far flung New Caledonia for a week. Not exactly your average touring destination for sure, but Lee assures us that the locals dug what the band were putting down. “That was our first international trip,” he explains. “Most of the bands were brought over from Australia and we were the only real rock band on the tour, so we didn't know how we'd go down. Especially with the language barrier as well – New Caledonia being a French-speaking colony. It turned out to be amazing though. It's a tropical paradise so we couldn't complain too much.”

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

Zoophyte will be playing the follwoing dates:

Saturday 8 December - Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne VIC