Sure we’ve heard about you before, but we think it’s time for Tone Deaf to get to know you a little better. Slip in to something comfortable while we put on some music, pour us a couple of drinks and turn the lights down low.
Who are you and what do you do in your act?
My name is Vivian Huynh and I play guitar and vocals, playing alongside Trischelle Roberts (bass/vocals) and Charles Daaboul (drums/vocals).
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parents’ record collection and why?
My parents’ record collection consisted of an old Elvis best of, and the Village People, both of which came free with the record player. Instead, I was subjected to tapes and tapes of traditional Vietnamese ballads – tedious hours of slow, high pitched warbling. I preferred the karaoke VHS videos of cheesy pop covers by Vietnamese singer Lynda Trang Dai – ‘Funky Town’, ‘Jump In My Car’, and ‘Hotel California’ were among her biggest hits.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – The Beatles, ‘Just Like Honey’ – The Jesus And Mary Chain, ‘My Autumn’s Done Come’ – Lee Hazlewood, ‘Justify My Love’ – Madonna
‘Home taping is killing the music business’ was the catch-cry of the record industry in the 1970s, but it managed to survive until now. What do you think is the difference between mates taping copies of friend’s records back in the 80s and 90s and file sharing now?
In many ways, not a huge amount. If we’d had the capacity to share music in the ‘70s the way we do now, it would’ve been done I think. Ultimately, when we listen to good music, we want to come together and share that experience – be excited by it, discuss it, gush about it, pore over it. The difference now is that we have a greater capacity to do so with a grossly larger number of people – through forums, blogs, and of course, file sharing. The sad bit I suppose is the facelessness of it; the tangibility of sharing music is gone for a lot of people. No more scribbling mixtape tracklists onto flimsy cardboard cassette covers, or taping songs off ‘Rick Dees and the Weekly Top 40’, being careful not to cut off the beginning.
You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What was the first gig you went to? Where was it and what was the venue?
Homebake. It was in the Domain, as always. I told my parents I was going to the library, because Asian parents don’t really understand when you say you want to run around in a park and see a bunch of rock bands, and maybe get a beer poured over your head. My memories include blurry photos of all the stages taken on my disposable camera, stocking up on band tees, and rushing home at 7pm to make curfew.
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
Probably Hype Machine, Rose Quartz, and Polaroids of Androids. Searching ‘[whatever you’re looking for] +rar’ is the way I usually travel though. I rarely pay for downloads, if I’m honest. In an effort to repent, you can download a bunch of No Art tracks from our Facebook and Triple J Unearthed pages, as well as Hype Machine and Polaroids.
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
I went through a desperate Radiohead phase (as do most people, I think). I was also mad for The Smiths and Blur. I was a mopey teen desperate to get out of the suburbs, and these bands nursed me through it. I wrote some fairly atrocious songs during this time.
Have you ever been arrested?
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
A beer or two usually doesn’t go astray.
What’s been your most outrageous rider request?
That we even ask for a rider is pretty outrageous at this point in the band’s life – seeing a crate of beers on ice still holds its excitement right now.
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
Crowded House (do they count?) or Nick Cave maybe, because the notion is so fantastical to me at this point in time – as if to say I’d invite Jesus, The Pope and Hitler to a dinner party.
Right, let’s get really intimate. Tell us what releases you have that we can listen to with the lights down low, or even better, where we can see you play in person next.
Our single ‘Kids In Place’ is available fairly liberally across the internet. We’ve also released a cassette tape, featuring that track, plus an ambient instrumental piece, ‘Snaky Looking’. The single will also feature on our debut EP ‘Exotica’, out in the coming months.
If you’d rather see us live and intimate, you can catch us Tue 5 Jul at Flinders Hotel (SYD) with Dark Bells and Teenage Mothers, Wed 6 Jul at the Workers Club (MELB) for Siberia Records as part of The Released Series, or Fri 15 Jul at MUM – World Bar.