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Maiden Voyage

17 April 2014 | 1:05 pm | Jazmine O’Sullivan

“It’s always good when you’re on tour to get accommodation at the venue you’re playing – it’s just a much nicer experience."

Brisbane-turned-Melbourne locals Greenthief have never been shy with their touring commitments, having played many of the country's more neglected venues over their career. They've now taken to the road in support of their debut album, Voyage, jamming all those regional spots as well as the major cities into the one tour, which should keep the trio fairly busy until the end of April.

We find the group smack bang in the middle of said tour, frontman Julian Schweitzer pointing out, “The weekend in Tasmania was really cool; we played Launceston and Hobart. There was a great vibe at the Brisbane Hotel down in Hobart, which is this really awesome rock venue.”

Schweitzer believes the Brisbane Hotel would have to be his standout show of the tour so far: “It's always good when you're on tour to get accommodation at the venue you're playing – it's just a much nicer experience. You don't have to pack up everything straight away, no one's driving; all that kind of contributes to it being a good night, and just being able to chill with the other bands as well. All those things together made it such a great show, and in such a random place! It was a bit of a surprise. I guess I shouldn't really say a surprise,” he laughs, “but it was really nice.”
This 22-show tour sees the boys logging up copious amounts of travel hours, which Schweitzer enjoys because of the sense of freedom and adventure that comes with it. However he says there is a downside to tours like these for Greenthief. “Being a totally independent band means you have to be constantly doing a lot of admin work, which is quite stressful when you're doing it all by yourself. There's so much organising involved.”

Regarding Voyage, Schweitzer says the group took a bit of a different approach this time around. “[Before we made the album] we had just finished a really big tour around the country where we were supporting another band, and after that we purposefully scheduled the recording time for the album to be the following week. We did that because we really wanted to capture more of the band's live performance on the record, as well as the energy of the live show. With our previous EPs we sort of went about it one instrument at a time while we were recording, so that was a bit of a difference this time around.”

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Having set out to capture their live energy on record, Schweitzer explains he and the band found, ironically, a few of the tracks a little bit tricky to convey in the live setting. “Most of the songs on the record were tracked a long time ago, so most of the album had already been road-tested, but there are a few songs on there that we'd never performed in a live setting. They've been received well, but they're the kind of songs that are actually difficult to perform live, so we're just trying to get our heads around that at the moment.”