Gareth Liddiard of the wildly inventive Melbourne rock band Tropical Fuck Storm never thought the apocalypse would be this… boring. With all of Australia currently on lockdown as their case numbers have reached unmanageable heights, he and his wife, and TFS bandmate, Fiona Kitschin have scrolled all they could scroll and are ready to focus on spreading their twisted brand of rock and roll as far as their cacophonous squealing guitars will allow. With their third release, Deep States, the band took their brand of Crazy Horse noise meets dark poetic Nick Cave lyricism to gnarlier depths, with looser live-wire orchestrations and biting commentary from Liddiard on this incomprehensible time to be alive.
Liddiard and Kitschin started Tropical Fuck Storm from the ashes of another cherished band, The Drones in 2016. With Lauren Hammel of High Tension on drums and Erica Dunn of MOD CON, Harmony and Palm Springs on guitar and keys, you might say the band is an Aussie underground supergroup, in some respects.
On Deep States—out now via Joyful Noise—Liddiard makes no mistake or veiled allusions that we may have missed the proverbial exit as a human race. On the album’s opener, “The Greatest Story Ever Told” he lays out the reality as plainly as it needs to be told. Like a surgeon hired for his knife skills and not his bedside manner. “There ain’t no end of days, this ain’t the Middle Ages,” he sings, “There’s no grails, there’s no safe bets. What you see is what you get.”
In this conversation, Liddiard and I discuss their new album, Liddiard’s lyrical approach to songwriting, keeping up creative enthusiasm during the pandemic, his unorthodox guitar playing and so much more. Gareth also hints at his new collaborative project with Jim White and Chris Abrahams Springtime which will be releasing a new album this November.
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