King Cheer

22 November 2012 | 6:00 am | Sally Anne Hurley

“I have no idea what’s next. I do have a backlog of music but my personality is that if I don’t get it out within a certain amount of time, I’d rather move on and keep everything fresh."

''That was really bizarre!” says Carl Fox, talking of a recent review of his King EP by this writer, which included a reference to Jimmy Tamborello's electronica. “I totally spun out when I read that 'cause I did have a really heavy Dntel phase 'cause I love The Postal Service and I was trying to work out who was mostly behind the parts that I liked – the 'electronic' dude or the 'band' dude. I think I came to the conclusion I liked a mix of the two. There's a cool YouTube video where he goes through all his equipment in his studio and that inspired me to buy my drum machine, so I did spin out when I read that review.

“I've always been into things with amazing production like Radiohead and Björk. I love working out what makes it cool and why it's so amazing. Often you just don't have a clue, you have to power down and say 'well done' 'cause you just have no idea.”

Fox is conducting this interview while taking time out from his day job sanding timber floors. His forthcoming tour, in which he will play Perth, Sydney, Melbourne (twice), Brisbane and Adelaide in just nine days is proving to be costly and requires getting his hands dirty. “Obviously, my passion is music but when I run out of money, I do have to work, but then I'm right back onto my beats at home.” While King has the sound of introverted bedroom studio pop music, he'll be touring with a six-piece band which promises to open up the vibes. “I have so much respect for my band 'cause if I have any ideas or shortcomings about transporting it into a live format, then there's trustworthy opinions in the rehearsal room as things change and morph.”

The tour seems a logical step to air the new EP, which has garnered plenty of support across triple j and even UK blog Best In New Music. “King was the first song I finished – I wrote that shortly after a trip to Melbourne after finishing my audio engineering degree. I was so busy and focussed on education and gigging my other record [his 2010 debut, Chunky Rainbows], “by the time I finished my degree and started writing again, I had enough songs to make an album. But then I decided to make an EP just using my favourites.” So with such a large hot pot of songs still to choose from, surely another longplayer shouldn't be too far away? Surprisingly not, it would seem. “I have no idea what's next. I do have a backlog of music but my personality is that if I don't get it out within a certain amount of time, I'd rather move on and keep everything fresh. Some of this stuff may get put on Soundcloud or something though.”

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His current exploration of bucolic poppin' beats appears to have been birthed from two distinctly different musical chapters. On the one hand, there's the influences of his high school classical guitar training which rebelliously saw him migrate “into Nirvana, The Offspring, even Pantera, Mudvayne and heavy stuff. Just shitty bands… I always had a mellow side and I was writing this absolutely depressing pop because with my acoustic guitar I had these very, very sad songs. Then I moved to Switzerland for a year [in 2008] and met these amazing people who were DJs and into clubbing and music to them was fun and all about being upbeat and I made a conscious decision to train myself to write songs that reflected my personality a bit more. And the cheese was quite nice!”

Carl Fox will be playing the following dates:

Thursday 29 November – The Bird, Northbridge, Perth WA
Friday 30 November – Brighton Up Bar, Sydney NSW
Saturday 1 December - The Toff in Town, Melbourne VIC
Tuesday 4 December - The Workers Club, Melbourne VIC

Thursday 6 December – Alhambra Lounge, Brisbane QLD
Friday 7 December - Rocket Bar, Adelaide SA