In between the Go-Betweens
James Manning Juke, January 1982
A lot of people said you sounded different after the trip to Europe. A little funkier perhaps.
Robert: I think it showed in our music that we had been to England. But we never really saw anything that influenced us much. I think we would probably have changed anyway, regardless of the trip.
Grant: We saw a lot of bands when we were away and we realised that we could be doing a lot more.
Robert: In Brisbane we could only see one or two styles. But once we left we were seeing a lot more.
How important is it for the band to get back overseas. Especially with the line-up as it is now?
Grant: It's very important. If only for our own state of mind it can be very frustrating. Robert and I have been together in various formations, but we have never really been a band until Lindy joined. So really we've only been going since September 1980. The sound in those months has changed quite radically and we are playing stronger than we ever have. We have played Sydney and Melbourne, we just need a change. The good thing about us going is that we are not connected to any trend or fashion. So we can arrive anytime.
In Australia, maybe more so than in England there is the "established" rock music industry and the "alternative" rock industry. How hard is it to exist in the alternative framework?
Lindy: We just keep away from the rock band industry. You've got no choice really we just don't fit on the rock band circuit.
Grant: We've only ever done two gigs within 'the' rock industry. One was with Madness and the other one was at Narrabeen in Sydney where we were asked to stop playing. An abysmal night, but we needed the money !
Robert: It seems in Melbourne that the punters are willing to go and see the bands. And I think the Melbourne rock hierarchy keep an eye on the underground a little more than elsewhere.
Missing Link records have shown interest in you, is that part of the reason for your trip to Melbourne? (The band now live here.)
Grant: Well, it's a small part. We just couldn't survive in Brisbane with the ambitions we have. We are spending all our money just making trips to Sydney and Melbourne. And to try and get away overseas in 1982 we just have to work and try to save some money. Unfortunately, we are not very successful at saving (laughs).
Lindy: Melbourne's heaven after the hell of Brisbane.
What about the Go-Betweens album?
Lindy: It's finished. It will be released in February on Missing Link.
Robert: It's an eight track album called Send Me A Lullaby. We could be recording a single soon but it won't be something off the album. The album was recorded last July so we'd like the single to be something new. We worked with Tony Cohen again for the album. It took us three trips south to finish recording.
Lindy: We keep getting a lot of new material too. We would have nearly two new songs every three weeks, one from each of them (Robert and Grant). So we are constantly working with new songs.
Grant: We are pretty vicious in our material selection. We drop a song if it's not good enough. And very rarely does a song come back from the dead!
What about the selling of the album overseas?
Robert: Well Keith (Glass Missing Link) will be going overseas in February with the Birthday Party. He'll have their album and he'll take ours too.
Grant: We have had a report from London that we're dreary and a bit on the slow side (laughs) which we take no notice of.
What sort of things do you listen to?
Grant: At the moment none of us really listen to much because no one owns a record player.
Lindy: I get excited by drummers. And they have a big influence on me. One is Jeffrey Wegener, from the Laughing Clowns. And I listen to a lot of drum music.
Grant: We all love Wired for Sound by Cliff Richard. It's just such a happy song.
How do you find the rock industry Lindy, still tending to be male dominated?
Lindy: Yes, very much so. But a number of people have done big things to help change it. Tina Weymouth from Talking Heads was great. Chrissie Hynde and Debbie Harry are good too.
The established rock bands are still idiots though. They haven't changed or been affected by anything. Their regard for women is still as sexist as it ever was.
Grant: Do you think all the alternative bands are non-sexist?
Lindy: No, not really. But at least they have the veneer of pretending. Girls have just got to play, it's only action.