Reel Life

20 June 2012 | 2:20 pm | Benny Doyle

Playing with their heroes, drunken gig hustling and overseas aspirations – the Tape/Off reel just keeps rolling.

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Branko Cosic doesn't do boredom. If you can't find the Brisbane muso manning the stool for local fuzz merchants Tape/Off or producing a bunch of other local bands, you might be able to tap him on the shoulder while he's buried in his laptop mixing, or just pop into the 4ZzZ studio on a Friday, where he co-hosts lunchtime programme Unnecessary Knowledge. Cosic, just like Tape/Off, is quickly becoming an integral part of the Brisbane music community; a wanted commodity. And listening to their 2011 five-track ...And Sometimes Gladness, you get the feeling that life is only going to continue getting busier for the lads.

That's why it seems only natural that Kellie Lloyd would ask Tape/Off to be her backing band for a run of shows, before simply settling with Cosic to provide a percussive spine to her new tunes.

“She wouldn't tell me what it was about,” he recalls of their first catch-up organised at Beetle Bar, “but [Tape/Off] had been playing Screamfeeder covers, so we thought she was going to sue us! So Nathan [Pickels – guitar] and I went there to meet her properly, and it was only then that she said she'd like Tape/Off to be her backing band. She went out on an incredible limb because she hadn't seen us live or anything.”

In between these sort of beautiful random occurrences, the band have been head-down, planning to tackle their first ever full-length.

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“Everything that we've done up until this point has been self-released and self-recorded,” he explains about their current situation and direction, “but for the LP we are definitely going to take things further. We're in talks to hopefully go overseas – that's something that we'd like to do.”

Cosic and the band, currently enjoying help from Tiny Spiders bass player Cam Smith, are approaching this LP with a different mindset to their previous release. Although to an unaware set of ears ...And Sometimes Gladness sounds like considered set of tunes, the skinsman confesses that the EP actually had to be rushed out due to some boozy mouth flapping.

“We actually had a launch show booked before anything was recorded,” he informs. “That was supposed to be an album. We were finished with [2010 EP] Unreel Unravel and we thought, 'Let's do an album, let's have a go at it'. But I kinda got drunk one night and booked The Zoo just because they'd put a call out for bands, and we didn't think we were going to get it, but they gave us a Saturday night there. All of sudden it was serious, so we had to get our arse into gear, and [...And Sometimes Gladness] is what came out, but you wouldn't listen to it and see it as a rushed release at all. It was pretty motivational; I have never worked like that before, but it came up pretty good in the end.”

Although this run of dates marks the final touring cycle for that aforementioned 2011 EP, Cosic admits that there is no time for feelings of closure. The appetite of the entire band is unrelenting, and they are simply starving for more of the same.

“It doesn't feel like it's the end of an era or anything like that,” he reasons. “I guess it's just growing up. To imagine where we were a year ago to where we are now is a massive growth, so hopefully we can have those same kind of big steps. We don't really know what's going to happen in another year to come, [but] the other guys are really hungry for it, so there's the possibility that in the next year the album will arrive.”