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?
I am Natasha Rose from Patinka Cha Cha. I play guitar, beat-box and sing the lead vocal part, consequently I also write the songs and the original arrangements before the rest of the band get their hands (or minds?) on them.
Hello, my name is Chris Bolton I play guitar and sing and do the songwriting for Seagull.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parent’s record collection and why?
Tash Answers: “My father is a fan of The Who and The Doors, I’ve never really gotten into rock. I stole one of his Ramones cd’s when I was 15 in an attempt to educate myself and ended up falling back into listening to John Coltrane… Occasionally my other parents buy some great classical and world music cd’s which I always borrow and try to return”.
Seagull jumps in with: “Hmm, they have a pretty good record collection. I have taken Robert Wyatt’s Nothing Can Stop Us and Captain Beefheart’s Clear Spot. Also a lot of Dylan and some Gyuto Buddhist Chants.”
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
Tash Answers: “What a potentially embarrassing question! Luckily I’ve been steering clear of bad pop music of late, so I can answer honestly. I have been listening to a lot of Arvo Pärt and re-connecting with Efterklang’s “Parades”. On a more uncomfortable note, in all honesty I have actually been listening to Seagull’s new album quite a bit.”
Seagulls response: “Recently I have been revisiting Elliot Smith, especially Either /Or and Roman Candle, I love the home production values and the songwriting has a beautiful tension to it.”
‘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?
Tash: File sharing sounds like a really nice and communal thing to do. It’s a very polite way of putting it. Often it’s referred to as MUSIC PIRACY and STEALING MUSIC in really angry red, bold letters. Maybe that’s the difference… the font has changed.
Seagull responds: Well, it’s not between friends at all. You don’t really know who you’re getting it from. So it’s different to someone saying , ‘hey check this band out’. it’s more like ‘hey, give me some free music!’.
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?
Tash answers: “Actually not as shameful as you might think! When I was fourteen or so, my father took me to see his friend playing in this indie rock band (also know as Augie March) at a tiny venue in Fitzroy. I remember thinking it was really loud and cramped… and that everyone was very tall (Seven years later I still think all those things about gigs). I have much more embarrassing stories than that, but luckily you said “first” gig so I don’t have to divulge that information.”
Seagull: “I think it was Slava Grigoryan playing beautiful classical guitar at Manchester Lane. He signed a poster for me.”
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
Seagull: I generally don’t download music. I think about ten years ago I downloaded a Ben Harper (ten years ago) song from Napster. I don’t think any Seagull songs are on Napster.
Tash: “I don’t download music, never really figured out how to do it. Are there various sites? I guess I have no idea if our music is there… “
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
Tash: “I can’t remember why I started playing guitar, but I’m endlessly inspired by other artists to keep writing and playing, whether it is Stravinsky or some Melbourne band playing their first gig. I started using my voice because I wanted to sing my own lyrics, so I guess various poets inspired me for that. My friend Dan (Lewis) was the one who gave me the confidence to start singing.”
Seagull: “I think one of the earliest memories I have of music is listening to Jimi Hendrix at home lying on the floor, I felt very fascinated by his guitar sounds. I didn’t know they were guitar at the time”
Have you ever been arrested?
Seagull: “I got threatened by a ticket inspector on a tram when I tried to run away from him and his goonies, but I managed to look innocent and scared enough to avoid that.”
Tash: “I think I should arrest this interview! (See what I did there? Arrest? Get it?)” smiles nervously… we can’t see her but we know she is doing this.
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
Seagull: “I wear a pounamou sometimes as my mum is a kiwi and there has been talk of having some maori blood in the family but it is a fairly tenuous connection. Anyway a pounamou is green stone necklace which holds special significance for the Maori people.”
Tash: “I think it’s really nice to spend time with the people you’re about to play with, as it often creates a more enjoyable gig. When I am super nervous I usually go for a walk, drink water and meditate.”
What’s been your most outrageous rider request?
Tash externalizes some past gig dialogue: “Excuse me, is it possible to get a glass of wine instead of Carlton Draught?”
“Okay. Could I please have a glass of water?”
Seagull: “Well, it wasn’t part of the rider but when I was touring with Whitley we ‘accidentally’ knocked over a candy machine and had about a hundred dollars worth of chocolate bars that melted in the van over the next few days.”
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
Tash: This is a really embarrassing question because most of the Australia artists I love are either friends or acquaintances. If I could just say Jimmy Barnes things would be a bit easier… but that would be answering “which is the last Australia artist you would like to collaborate with”. Okay, probably Grand Salvo (although I don’t think I could bring anything to his music) so I could watch the way he creates such beautiful art.
Seagull: “At the moment me and Lawrence Greenwood are looking at collaborating on an album, but in terms of dream bands I would have to say Gareth Liddiard. Basically I would get him to write a bunch of songs and I would play a little guitar and I would be very happy.”
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.
Seagull: With the lights down low I suggest Council Tree, as it is probably the darkest of the Seagull recordings.
Seagull & Tash (Patinka Cha Cha) together: Next gigs are at the Grace Darling, Seagull June 5th and 12th as part of a split Artist In Residence with Patinka Cha Cha playing the 19th & 26th. Many great supports too. There will be dim lights and live music… intimate enough? www.thegracedarlinghotel.com.au for more supports, times & more