Link to our Facebook
Link to our Instagram

Tuning In

14 February 2013 | 5:00 am | Michael Smith

“I’m just trying to be as honest as I can and reflect on the core of my life experiences and try and put them into a story or a format which speaks about it but not necessarily spells it out in so many words, alluding to the core elements of what it is to be human.”

Progressive surf roots rockers Band Of Frequencies' singer, songwriter and guitarist Shannon Sol Carroll is calling from the road on the way to Rocking Horse Studios in Byron Bay, where the band has been working on the soundtrack to the movie based on their trip to California last year to play a festival called the Transparentsea Voyage, which was aimed at raising awareness of ocean conservation issues. As they toured through California, they'd set themselves the task of writing and recording 23 songs in 22 days, “So we're re-recording a handful of those for the film. It was definitely ambitious,” he understates with a laugh. “But it was a mission. We were also packing up camp with 25 people and getting the kayaks in and out of the water each day and cooking for everyone – it was wild.”

Obviously their current album, Rise Like The Sun, was written and recorded before the band took off on that adventure, but a lot of the themes Carroll touches on lyrically sit well with the philosophy behind their Californian sojourn, even if he occasionally beds it within some impressive Hendrix-style guitar pyrotechnics.

“It was definitely a revisitation to my lower roots as a guitarist on this record,” he admits. “The first tracks I learned and was inspired by were Hendrix, Cream and all my dad's albums pretty much from the '60s and '70s, so I sort of headed back into that territory, revisited it for a bit.”

Based up on the northern NSW/Queensland border, Band Of Frequencies was formed a couple of years ago by Carroll and bass player Owen Newcomb, who'd previously been playing together for a decade as part of worldbeat/hip hop/funk/jazz fusion/electronic combo Afro Dizzi Act.

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

“We ended up doing West African fusion stuff with [Senegalese Kora master and vocalist] Jali Buba Kuyateh, and through that I kind of just had this craving to play loud, loud guitar in the middle of it somewhere,” he laughs, “and get back to a guitar trio format. So I followed my gut instinct and got a whole bunch of tunes up.”

With Mark Henman on drums, the band eventually became a four-piece with the addition of occasional member and fellow Afro Dizzi Act, keyboards and sax player Andrew Szumowski. But getting back to the 'philosophical' side of the Band Of Frequencies, “We've just been playing music all our lives and so through doing that, I think with any artist in any field, you work out who you are and what you're referencing in life and what your influences are, and our philosophy's filtered through how we've grown up and how we've grown through our different projects.

“At this point in time, there's no point really doing anything else other than staying true to your roots and staying true to where you want to head, so this music defines the philosophy of the band and the music is the philosophy of ourselves and our lives, where we're heading, what we're interested in, where we want to put our energy and what we want to support and cultivate in our own lives. If people resonate with that, that's great, but in essence, we've got to stay true to that aspect of ourselves really. It's a constant process, refining the drive and the direction where your intuition sends you.

“I'm just trying to be as honest as I can and reflect on the core of my life experiences and try and put them into a story or a format which speaks about it but not necessarily spells it out in so many words, alluding to the core elements of what it is to be human.”

Band Of Frequencies will be playing the following dates:

Saturday 23 February – Mojo's Bar, Fremantle WA
Sunday 24 February – Indi Bar, Scarborough WA
Wednesday 27 February – Ellintons Jazz Club, Perth WA
Thursday 28 February – Prince Of Wales, Bunbury WA
Friday 1 March – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River WA
Saturday 2 March – Nannup Festival, Nannup WA
Sunday 3 March – Clancy's Fish Pub, Perth WA