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?
Stacie Reeves – singing and percussion
Matt Reiner – I play the guitar, ukulele, sing a little bit and write all the songs.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parents’ record collection and why?
Stacie: My parents had 8 tracks. Unfortunately they didn’t stand the test of time as well as records! But I remember there always being Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Van Halen (not Van Hagar) blasting through the stereo. I still love that music.
Matt: I stole my parents’ copy of the White Album by The Beatles…but then felt guilty and gave it back. My favourite tracks from that album are ‘Wild Honey Pie’, ‘Blackbird’ and ‘Why Don’t We Do it in the Road?’ Mum and Dad listened to a lot of John Denver when I was growing up, so when I left home, I had to steal John Denver’s Live at Sydney Opera House. It’s a pretty nostalgic record for me to listen to – and has all his hits on it.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
Stacie: I don’t have an iPod but I’ve had Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s Beat the Devil’s Tattoo on repeat on my Walkman for about a week straight now.
Matt: I don’t own an iPod. But, I have been listening to a lot of The Phoenix Foundation (great New Zealand band) and their latest album called Buffalo. It’s so good. I’ve also been listening to the latest album by Van Cleef. I love their instrumental track that closes the LP called ‘Ghost Train Dog’.
‘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?
Stacie: I don’t think there is a real difference. I think people have always and will always share music this way.
Matt: I enjoyed doing mixed tapes back in the day, but for me, they were always a stepping stone to buying the real thing. This was so because doing mixed tapes always produced an inferior sound quality – and there was no artwork or lyric sheet.
File sharing today is similar in some ways to doing mixed tapes – in that there is no artwork or physical product to look at. The main difference today is that the sound quality in sharing files is excellent…so the great temptation is to build up a huge library of files that sound really good and professional – at little to no cost. While getting anything for free is always pleasurable, the danger with file sharing is that it can damage musicians at a grass roots level and deprive them from a source of revenue to continue making recordings, touring etc.
I know lots of people do it, but I think buying records in a physical form is absolutely essential in order to support musicians and bands that are trying desperately to earn some extra cash needed to continue recording and releasing their music (which is not cheap). That is why we should support our local independent record stores like Clarity Records and Mr V Music (here in Adelaide), which in turn support the local scene.
I think the digital age of music is here to stay, but what we need is a balance between electronic file sharing – and physical formats such as CD, vinyl and tapes (yep –they’re still out there!). Balance is good.
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?
Stacie: My first gig ever was when I was 12 years old. I went to see Bad Company and Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Coca Cola Starplex in Dallas, TX. My aunt and uncle took us along with a group of their hippie/bikkie friends. It was good fun!
Matt: Midnight Oil at Memorial Drive. I think it was 1991. They were touring the Blue Sky Mining album…I knew every song and sung every word. The concert ended with a huge display of forked lightning over the Adelaide Hills which mimicked the cover of that album. Pure gold. Following that concert, I knew I wanted to play in a band and do music.
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
Stacie: I’m pretty crap when it comes to technology, so I don’t download music myself. Luckily I have heaps of muso friends and friends obsessed with music, so I’m able to get music off of them.
Matt: I used to do Napster years ago…then Limewire. But they gave me viruses, so I stopped doing that. These days, if I hear something on Triple J Unearthed that I like, I will download a song. Bandcamp is also good. I have downloaded some of Gareth Edwards’ (ex-Sandro) music on Soundcloud. He now does his music out of Brisbane in a solo capacity under the moniker, The Holy Rose.
The Dunes have music on Triple J Unearthed. Our song ‘Going Under’ is there for people to download. So far, 135 people have downloaded the song which is pretty cool. We’ll put another song of ours called ‘Dress to Kill’ up on Unearthed in a few weeks time for people to listen to.
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
Stacie: I was always (and still am) a huge fan of rock ‘n’ roll front men from the 60s. I love the androgynous sexuality of guys like Robert Plant and Mick Jagger. They aren’t overtly masculine but something about them, the way they carry themselves, is just f*cking cool! I always thought I’d be a kick ass front man if I’d been born a dude.
Matt: I played piano for about 5 years from the age of 8 and hated it. About 6 months after I had stopped playing piano, I heard ‘Sweet Child ‘O Mine’ by Guns ‘n’ Roses on MTV and thought I’d like to play guitar like Slash!!! Slash was too fast – and I was too unco to learn those chops, so I picked up an acoustic guitar instead. My family had some really good Irish friends – so we would go around to some of their parties and half the Irish community of Adelaide would be there singing the old ballads and rebel songs. I really learned how to play guitar at those sessions. People would throw songbooks in front of me and say ‘play this’. I got to learn lots of great music from Irish acts like The Dubliners, The Wolfe Tones, Horslips, Christy Moore and Planxty. Wanting to sing also stemmed from these sessions too.
Have you ever been arrested?
Stacie: No comment
Matt: No. However, once I was driving home after seeing Ed Kuepper play at the Synagogue – and I was pulled over by a police officer on Grange Road (just opposite the Findon Hotel) for driving without my lights on. Luckily, I got off with a warning. That’s about the extent of my brushes with the law.
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
Stacie: I don’t think I have any ritual or lucky charm. I was heaps nervous before our first show at the Grace so Matty and I did a shot of tequila before we went on. Maybe we should make that a ritual!
Matt: Before I go onstage at the Grace Emily Hotel, I enjoy going to the lavatory and reading the graffiti that people have written in the grout between the tiles above the urinal. According to the wisdom of the dunnies: Ghyti makes good music. There are many other pearls of wisdom inscribed into the grout that can get you going before you hit centre stage.
What’s been your most outrageous rider request?
Stacie: Well, I don’t drink beer so sometimes I try to talk the bar staff into letting me have vodka on the rider. I don’t think it’s that outrageous but apparently they do! Still haven’t found anyone to accommodate that one yet.
Matt: I don’t indulge in rider requests, but I enjoy riders when they are offered by the venue. A slab of Dr Tim’s at the Grace is always a nice treat.
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
Stacie: I would love to collaborate with Warren Ellis (from Dirty Three, the Bad Seeds, Grinderman). Dirty Three were the first live act I saw when I arrived in Australia. I’d never heard their music but a friend had a spare ticket to their show at the Gov. I was literally standing right in front of Warren during the show and I was completely mesmerised and blow away. I’ve seen them a few times since and they never cease to amaze me. I love the way he gets completely engrossed in his music and performance. Amazing musician.
Matt: I’d be interested in working with talented Australian producers to capture The Dunes on record. Someone like Tony Cohen would be great to collaborate with as he has produced albums by some of the greatest Australian artists of the last 30 years. Some of these acts are also some of my favourite bands such as The Go-Betweens and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. What I’d be looking for in a producer would be someone with a good understanding of texture and ambience, but also able to capture the sound of the act that is organic and true. I think Tony Cohen would be a good fit for The Dunes.
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.
The Dunes will be launching our debut single ‘Going Under’ throughout July. The song has been available at Triple J Unearthed since early June at: http://www.triplejunearthed.com/thedunes
We encourage people to go to Unearthed and check out the song.
We are doing two separate launches to officially release the single. One is in Adelaide and the other in Melbourne. We also have some other shows listed below:
– Saturday July 16: Producer’s Bar (Adelaide CD Launch Show) with Wiley Red Fox (Melb) and Rachel Cearns.
– Sat July 23: Pure Pop Records (St Kilda, Melbourne), 4pm. Afternoon show.
– Sat July 23: Builder’s Arms Hotel (Melbourne CD Launch Show) with The Holy Sea, The Broadside Push and The Hope Addicts (9pm)
– Thurs August 11: Metro Hotel (Adelaide) with Naomi Keyte
Copies of the single will be available at the two launches (in Adelaide and Melbourne) and people can buy them for $5. The single also includes a b-side called ‘Dress to Kill’, lyrics sheet, liner notes and a slick design.