Proving hard work and talent goes (and lasts) a long way in the Oz music scene, British India is preparing for it’s biggest and most successful year yet – a decade after the band first jammed together in a high school music room.
The boys from the ‘burbs in Melbourne have just been announced as a support band The Rolling Stones’ rescheduled Australian tour, which kicks off next month, alongside Sydney band The Preatures.
“We’re all still in shock about it,” drummer Matt O’Gorman said.
“There’d been talk about it for a while, we knew we were in consideration for it, but then we got an email saying, ‘Mick (Jagger) would like to hear some more stuff,’ and about a week and a half after sending through some more songs we got the call.
“It hasn’t even really sunk in yet… I’ll be walking down the street, for example, and it’ll suddenly pop into my head and I just think, wow, is this really happening?”
Taking a heavy influence from British music exports, it has been previously reported elsewhere that the band’s first single, Outside 109/Automatic Blitzkrieg, was inspired by a Mick Jagger quote from a 1964 interview.
“I guess you could say all of British India’s songs are inspired in some way by Mick Jagger or The Rolling Stones,” O’Gorman laughed.
“What else can you say? I think they’ve influenced a lot of bands that’re around these days.”
British India is more than just ‘around’, though. The single I Can Make You Love Me, from their fourth album Controller, achieved gold record status last year – no mean feat in the age of digital piracy.
“Getting a gold record say, 10 years ago, when people still actually went out and bought CDs might’ve been a little easier, I guess,” O’Gorman said.
“Even though the industry has changed, and the way people get new music has changed, you still need to get the same sales as you did before, that figure hasn’t changed.”
O’Gorman and bandmates Declan Melia, Nic Wilson and Will Drummond have just returned from a month overseas, where they recorded their fifth studio album.
“We recorded this one with our friend Simon from Philadelphia Grand Jury in Berlin,” O’Gorman said.
“We did the last two in Melbourne, Simon had asked us to come over there, we were keen to try something different and the record company thought it would be a good idea as well.”
O’Gorman said the experience was unique from the outset, with each of the band members making their own way to the studio from their nearby accommodation each day.
“I bought a bike and rode that to and from the studio every day, it was great,” he said.
“Before Simon recorded us he had recorded a lady who played the saw – like, she had a proper old school wood saw, and actually played it.
“We got her in to record some stuff for us, but before she came in we had to score all of the music for her so she knew what to play.
“I’m pretty confident in saying that we’re the only Australian band with a saw on their album.”
While the final track listing has yet to be finalised, O’Gorman said the first single will be out in a matter of weeks.
“We went to do 10 songs and ended up doing 14 or 15, but I don’t know how many will end up on the album,” he said.
“The first single is called Come Home, which should be out in early October or late September.
“We’ve just heard the final mixes and it’s sounding good, we’re really happy with it.”
To (literally) warm up for their Rolling Stones support, the band will tour to North Queensland this weekend for a couple of shows.
“We haven’t been there in a while, so we thought it would be a good time to come back, I don’t think we’ll get back up there again this year,” O’Gorman said.
“And yeah, okay, it’s cold in Melbourne so we wanted to get away to the tropics for a few days.”
So will they be showcasing any new tracks this weekend?
“We’ll play a few newies, but a bunch of oldies as well,” O’Gorman said.
“It will be a regular British India show, with us looking better and younger than ever.”
British India North Queensland shows:
Townsville Sept 5 @ Flinders Social w/Lost Boys, Why Wait and Hood Rich DJs
Cairns Sept 6 @ The Jack w/Greta Stanley and The Young Art