South Of The Border

23 May 2012 | 10:08 am | Troy Mutton

“We’ve always aimed for it, but we kinda tend to procrastinate a little bit and then freak out when we have a deadline or something. The theory is if you have 40 songs, there’s gotta be some good ones in there,”

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While Tijuana Cartel are on the tail end of touring their third – and arguably best-received – studio album, M1, they've a new single out called Offer Yourself and singer/guitarist Paul George, along with his bandmates, is warming to the idea of hitting the road again on one of their patented national tours. “I've just been talking to the guys this week actually [about the tour],” he says. “It's kind of like a love/hate relationship I think. We really love what we do, and even if things go wrong like we're stuck in an airport or something we generally like the whole ride of it. Certain things do get to you like sharing rooms with four guys constantly and not really having any of your own space… but it's definitely overridden by how much we love what we do. The pluses outweigh most things.”

And the pluses are on the up-and-up, the group whose popularity seems to coming ahead in leaps and bounds over the past 12 months – their hard working tour ethic playing a big role – especially due to their willingness to get outside of the capital cities. “Yeah every [regional] town has its own quirk I think. Regional towns definitely drink a little bit more,” he laughs, one sensing George has been on the receiving end of a few hard nights out in the country. “And it's cool, they really get into it, Maybe they appreciate it a bit more and get less bands through there. So it might be easier for us in a sense… And we find we can pull good crowds in regional areas so it's fine.”

Given the last tour may still be pretty fresh in many fans' minds (depending perhaps on how hard they boogied/partied), George understands that with the new single has to come some new ideas for the show, and in that spirit they've added a couple of new members. “We've just added a Middle-Eastern percussionist and a new trumpet player and that seems to be going really well. It feels really natural on stage now for the band – kinda just playing together and enjoying it…

“A lot of our new stuff is coming out with a bit more of a Middle-Eastern tint. And we wanted to make sure we gave people something new because it wasn't that long since we toured, so we wanted to give something for people to come back to.”

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Offer Yourself is itself a somewhat new direction from the band, an uplifting and groovy psychedelic number that's fast becoming a live favourite. Part of the new flavour can be attributed to new producer Scott Horscroft. “We recorded it with Scott Horscroft who worked with The Presets, Empire Of The Sun, 360… So that was pretty cool,” George tells, before going into their new recording process, which will now involve Horscroft as full-time producer, and recording a heap of songs and then picking out the best. “We've always aimed for it, but we kinda tend to procrastinate a little bit and then freak out when we have a deadline or something. The theory is if you have 40 songs, there's gotta be some good ones in there,” he laughs. “And we've got a producer now that we really like working with, and we're really looking forward to bringing them to him and adding new sounds to them as well. We feel like we're on a pretty good wicket at the moment.”

This will also be the last chance to catch the guys for a while before exploring the European and American touring circuit, with one particular festival being right up their alley. “[After Europe] we head to America for Burning Man festival and a couple others. Doing that festival is one that's been on our bucket list for years so we're all really stoked to do it. It's a seven-day festival in the desert, I think we're just gonna be naked hippies in the desert for seven days, it'll be great.”