Armed with a brand new album previously thought lost for decades, Brian Canham opened up on how Pseudo Echo's signature sound evolved and continues to thrive on last week's episode of 'The Green Room'.
There's something to be said for being in the right place at the right time; just ask Brian Canham, aka frontman and brooding vocalist for Australian new wave icons Pseudo Echo.
Prolifically transcending from unknowns seemingly overnight back in the mid '80s, Pseudo Echo went on to defy every hurdle that life and the music industry could throw their way, including sudden fame, a band break-up and the rise of the digital era. But while the Melbourne group have gone on to thrive decades beyond the time when sizzling electronica first commanded global attention (and gave INXS a run for their metaphorical money), it's certainly no coincidence that Pseudo Echo have maintained their abundant reputation after all this time, as Canham explained on the latest episode of The Green Room With Tiana Speter.
"I think we found our thing, we found our own sound," Canham told podcast host Tiana Speter.
"Even though we were greatly influenced by our peers at the time, I think, for me, I never really set out to sound like any one particular of my idols and influences. It was always a very vague cross-section... and I think because we had our own sound, our own look, we had our own material... it was something. It was a stamp, it was our thing! And it's stayed our thing, we didn't lose it, we hung onto it.
"Even in the recent albums that I've released over the last ten years or so, I've always thought about the heritage of the band, and its brand, its flavour, and tried to retain that. I have this thing where I always go back to the past and get some element, or elements - and bring them in to the current album. I'll always get an old song or... something! Some lyric or some part or some sound that'll make an appearance again. And it sort of just marries everything together."
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On the band's latest release, the extremely long-awaited 1990: The Lost Album Demos, there's obvious levels of old-school Pseudo Echo lying in wait; a fact quite unsurprising given the album was unearthed after spending three decades lost in a box, and being entirely demoed back in the late '80s in anticipation for a then-fourth Pseudo Echo album.
While Canham fortuitously stumbling upon the lost master after three decades had passed may help sum up the band's ongoing knack for serendipitous happenings; Pseudo Echo's penchant for happy coincidences actually stretches much further back, with one of their biggest hits, breakout moments and even their signature sound evolving from Canham's arbitrary ability to be in the right place at the right time.
"There were so many coincidences and strange crossings of paths with not only Molly [Meldrum], but with all the people in the industry... strange coincidences kept happening," Canham said as his eyes lit up.
"Like - it's Molly who played the original version of Funkytown to me in 1979, 1980... something like that. I used to go to this club, and Molly was the resident DJ there, he didn't know me, I didn't know him! And I used to just watch, I still like to watch the dancefloor, see what excited people, listen to the grooves, listen to the textures.
"I just took mental notes, that's what I did... every week I would go to this club and just listen and observe. Somebody once introduced me to Molly and, you know, I didn't want to be a fanboy or anything, so, I just said "hi" and that was it.
"He kind of probably knew me as this shy kid on the sidelines, never dancing, never talking, just kind of listening and watching. And so, when he came to see Pseudo Echo for the first time... he didn't know it was my band. He just came in, saw the band and went: "That's that kid!!" he said laughing. "That's the little kid that I see every week!"
And the rest, as they say, was history...
Listen to and/or watch the full The Green Room podcast episode with Canham below on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts - or check it out wherever you usually grab your favourite podcasts!
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