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Transgressive Transcendence

15 September 2014 | 3:44 pm | Kane Sutton

"While still a challenge, performing solo holds no fear for Liddiard"

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The Drones’ songwriter-frontman Gareth Liddiard is definitely a chill kinda guy. Having just got back from a tour through Europe three weeks ago, he’s been enjoying his time mellowing out and getting back to basics. “I’m just writing tunes, really,” Liddiard begins. “I’ve just been chilling out over the past few months. The tour was really good, we had a great time – it was one of those tours where everything just went off without a hitch. All the shows had their own crazy vibe, a bit of zing. It was spectacularly good.”

"Like any kind of music thing you do, it’s all about enjoying it, and the more you do it, the better you become at it"

A hard-working man on stage with the band, Liddiard is setting himself up to head back to his hometown of Perth for a one-off, intimate solo show. Since releasing his debut full-length solo alubm, Strange Tourist in 2010, Liddiard solo shows have been rare and scattered, but after playing a string of shows on the east coast, the desire is back. “Like any kind of music thing you do, it’s all about enjoying it, and the more you do it, the better you become at it. It’s challenging; it’s doing stuff I’ve never done before. That was the whole idea behind the solo record; it was just guitar and voice, and I’d never done that before... I figure while I can remember how to play the songs, I’ll go to Perth and do a gig there too. I get to see all my buddies and my family, so it’s great. I’ll be staying down in Freo too, which is where all my mates and I stayed after we finished high school, so it’s basically just going to be good being back at home.”

While still a challenge, performing solo holds no fear for Liddiard. He’s mentioned several times before that his one-man performances are essentially The Drones minus the band, and that keeps him together. “When I’m trying to write a song, I’m just trying to write it. I’m not making stuff to fit certain outcomes – the best outcome is that I end up with a song and it’s not crap. I practice a fair bit, but that’s mainly just to get all the words straight and the chords straight. You wouldn’t know, it still sounds like I’ve just rolled out of a gutter or something,” he laughs, “but a lot of practice does go into it. Because when you fuck up by yourself, it’s a huge clanger compared to being in a band. I don’t worry about it, if it happens it happens, and you can’t pretend it didn’t because everyone saw it, so you just get on with it.”

The good news for Liddiard is the recent tour and solo shows have meant working on new songs, and because the band and the individual are one and the same musically... “We’ve leased a studio building for a year in Melbourne, and we move into it on October 1st. We’ll be putting all our recording stuff and our music gear in there and just start jamming and see what we come up with, so a new Drones record is definitely on the way.”


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