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4 July 2012 | 6:51 am | Tony McMahon

"About six months ago I was thinking about making an album, but now I’m glad I didn’t do that," says Tim Wheatley aka Crooked Saint.

After releasing two EPs independently last year, Crooked Saint, aka Tim Wheatley, has spent a good part of this year in LA, playing shows at the legendary Whisky A Go Go and House Of Blues, amongst others. Now back in Australia, Wheatley is about to embark on a tour to promote his new double A-side single, Hot & Heavy/Outta Sight Outta Mind. More introspective than his previous work, this release, paradoxically perhaps, also sees Wheatley's sound reach a denser consistency, with the addition of what amounts to basically a full band. Lots to talk about here, obviously, but Inpress has the scoop that Wheatley is a huge Jim Morrison fan, so the first thing we want to know, considering he's played the Whisky recently: did he get into any leather-clad flashing action?

“I'm a big, big Jim Morrison tragic. That [the Whisky] was on the list of places I wanted to play and I had a fairly big crowd there, so it was quite strange. I'm sure the place isn't as vibey and jumpy as it was all the way back in the '60s, but it's nonetheless still pretty cool. It seems to be a lot more glam rock these days. Some of the bands playing either side of me were kind of spandex-clad, long-haired – not too different from me in the end.”

More than a lot of music out there that Inpress could mention, Crooked Saint's sound seems to strike a delicious balance between the inward-looking austerity of the classic singer/songwriter's modus operandi and the out-and-out fun of 'classic' band music. Wheatley explains that it's all about the approach one takes.

“When I write the songs I try to make sure they translate to a solo setting, because to be able to play at the drop of a hat is one of the things I really love to do. With this new record, both songs were developed by me just coming in with an acoustic and vocals, but the band was really able to put their input in and their two cents' worth in and there's a little bit more character to it as a result.”

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Will we see an album any time soon? To say it would be eagerly anticipated would be a case of the hoary old cliché turning out to be true. Wheatley's answer reflects much about the kind of muso he is: namely one who cares more about doing things properly than quickly.

“I'd love someone to come up and tell me I've got all the songs, 'Here's the money, go nuts,' but I'm not one for skipping the necessary steps. About six months ago I was thinking about making an album, but now I'm glad I didn't do that. I just think things are building, they're coming along really, really well, and I think there's probably a bit more work to do. The last thing I'd want to do is make an album and have it fall on deaf ears. I'd really want there to be a sense of anticipation about it.”

And, naturally, part of the work Wheatley is talking about involves touring. This brings us nicely to Crooked Saint's upcoming show at the Evelyn. For those reading this article who've never seen him live, what's one of his shows like?

“It's a pretty raw and honest show. Without blowing too much smoke up our own arses, the guys I've got with me are all very experienced and play every weekend in other bands. It's four guys doing their best. Half of us probably have our fingers crossed, because I have been doing a lot of solo shows lately, but the music is starting to become second nature to us now. The most important thing for me is being able to translate my songs whether it's [in] a band setting or solo. It's a no-frills show, but the vibe's pretty up these days.”