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The Necks' Lloyd Swanton Doesn't Wanna Hear About You Making Babies To Their Music

24 May 2017 | 2:04 pm | Rod Whitfield

"'Ok, that'll do, we don't need any more information.'"

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When you play in a long-running band, a strange thing starts to occur: the band members start realising that there are punters at their live shows who hadn't actually even been born yet when the band started. And when your history goes back as far as that of legendary Sydney experimental jazz trio The Necks, other, even more head-spinning facts start to become apparent.

"We've come to the realisation that we've been a band longer than we weren't a band," laughs bassist Lloyd Swanton, "it's been more than half our lives. It's quite daunting. And even more than that, I wonder if other [long-running] bands have people coming up to them and saying 'my parents told me that I was made to your album!' That makes us feel useful. And we're like, 'Ok, that'll do, we don't need any more information.'"

"I wonder if other [long-running] bands have people coming up to them and saying 'my parents told me that I was made to your album!' That makes us feel useful."

With such longevity in their career and so much water under their musical bridge, it comes as a great surprise that the band has never played at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. However, that is about to change, with the band making their debut performance at that grand old venue in early June. "We've done the Old Museum many times, we've done The Judith Wright Centre many times and The Powerhouse many times, so I'm not quite sure why it took us so long to do this one," he says, "so we're more than happy to do it now."

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It seems that, even with 30 years behind them, things are just as busy as ever in The Necks' camp — possibly even more so. The band supported Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds up and down the east coast in January, they then went to the United States and Europe, and they have a whole bunch of dates of their own coming up across Australia. Swanton feels there is plenty of juice left in their creative and motivational tank.

"We haven't conquered the world," he admits, "not that we really want to, it's not a bigger picture kind of band. We're very much focused on the smaller picture, always, but we've got three very active territories with really good agents in each. We do Australia, we do Europe and we do North America. We've got this Australian tour, there's two more tours of Europe coming up before the end of the year and already plenty of talk about next year."

On top of all that, the band are also working on a brand new album which, when released, will be something like their 16th full-length release. "We've laid down a whole bunch of tracks," he reveals, "the way we work, we normally set aside a week or so to lay down tracks and start to see a direction take shape. Then often we give ourselves a few months off, then come back and start mixing. We're at that point, maybe this year we'll do some more work on it."