Two Of A Kind

12 June 2012 | 5:15 am | Danielle O'Donohue

"We’d book time in a studio because I’ve always had this inability to feel comfortable singing my guts out in Ash’s spare room while the rest of the family are watching Family Guy in the next room.”

More Even More Even

The year is 1996, the city is Melbourne. An alternative rock band called The Fauves and the indie power-pop band Even have both released career defining albums. Both bands can be seen on every stage across the city. While Less Is More is Even's debut, The Fauves are onto their third long-player Future Spa, an album that boasts two songs in the higher end of that year's Hottest 100, Self Abuser and Dogs Are The Best People.

Fast forward to 2012 and the two bands are teaming for a much-anticipated tour. Ask Wally Kempton, Even's gregarious bass player, when the bands first played together and his answer is a surprising one.

“It was last Christmas,” Kempton says. “I'm pretty sure that the first time Even and The Fauves have shared a stage together outside of a Push gig or a Freeza gig was last Christmas at a Christmas Even show.” In the small scene that is the Melbourne music world, though, Kempton has certainly known his new touring buddies a lot longer than that. “It happened over twenty years ago when I was just into the world of music, as were they. I really loved a demo of theirs that I heard because I was a booking agent for a company before anything else. I went and saw them and thought, 'Fuck. You guys are great.'

“And I was booking The Tote so they played there a lot. I've got a close working relationship and friendship with The Fauves and [Even members] Ash [Naylor] and Matt [Cotter] were saying the reason they were a bit confused was their first band The Swarm played with the Fauves back in the '80s. That's how long we've all known each other.”

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This year is Even's 18th birthday and they're touring their sixth album, In Another Time. While a lot of bands spend an eternity recording, Even have refined the recording experience to suit its members' busy lives.

“The way the current record was done, it's because everyone had lives to lead,” Kempton explains. “Ash would go, 'Hey Matt, what are you doing? Have you got a couple of days free next week? Let's go into a studio'. And Ash would say, 'This is how the song goes and this is the feel I want' and 'Sticks' Cotter, 'One Take' Matt would do it. It would take less time to do the drum tracks than it would to set the fucking drum kit up. Then Ash would take the drum tracks home and do everything else then he'd ring me.

“I'd go round to his place and sit in his spare room and he'd play the song over and over and I'd go, 'Fuck man, that's awesome'. Three hours later we'd have a bass track down. Then when there were enough tracks together we'd book time in a studio because I've always had this inability to feel comfortable singing my guts out in Ash's spare room while the rest of the family are watching Family Guy in the next room.”

With the band's 20th year fast approaching, surely it's time for a big Even party? Kempton's renowned in Melbourne for throwing legendary rock'n'roll parties, and a 20th birthday party for his band has the potential to be huge.

“Well, we had a big 16th party so we can't really have an 16th, an 18th and a 20th. A 21st would be fun. The Meanies [Kempton's other band] had a 21st. That was a lot of fun.”

For now though, Even are just going to be celebrating heading out on the road with one of their favourite bands. It's a tour almost 20 years in the making – don't miss it.