INNEZ TULLOCH: Music has been a solid creative outlet for me my whole life, I was quite obsessed with classical music when I was kid and would try to compose in my head but as I grew older the rock n roll lifestyle seemed a bit more… hip or something haha. I first started playing in bands when I was around 14 and have had around 6 months since then of not being in a band when I moved to Brisbane. I play in 4 bands, have been a DJ on 4ZZZ, do sound at venues around Brisbane, have studied music full-time for 4 years, I always played music at school, after school and for fun at school. I make records, record records, collect records. Music is really the most real and driving force in my life. It’s always there. It’s amazing how quickly a shitty day can disappear when head to rehearsal, attend a show, or put a record on.
What’s your favourite song you’ve written so far? Is there a story behind it?
IT: I don’t really know if I will ever have a favourite! Most of the processes songwriting-wise that I’m involved in are collaborative so therefore the outcomes largely vary depending on the band or the people or what medium I am writing for. For some reason I am never completely happy with my accomplishments which in a way is good as I am always wanting to improve or evolve.
What else do you do creatively when you’re not playing music?
IT: I work with Donnie at his recording studio sometimes, which allows me to be creative through mixing and recording which is exciting as it extends my knowledge of music that doesn’t involve me making or performing the music. I also really love zine making, stencilling, making tapes, at the moment I am decorating/destroying a bass for a friend, and doing some digital media subjects at uni so I’m learning about web design, video art and photo media which is really exciting. One day I would really love to start making my own instruments and pedals but I need to find more time somewhere!
I know last month both you and your equally awesome creative sister Ili facilitated zine workshops. How did you first discover zines? Why do you feel zines are important?
IT: I grew up in Rockhampton, Central Queensland where I was lucky enough to meet Cameron Borg who stocked records and zines in his partners shop up there. He showed me heaps of zines that he had collected and wrote and my fascination stemmed from there. I also met an artist/zinester Daniel Fikaris when I moved to Brisbane and was really inspired by how you can draw/say/express whatever you wanted. I think zines are a really important way for people to find an independent media source and information that may be not be readily available elsewhere. There are so many alternative ideas and information shared through zines and although I’m not making any zines at the moment it’s something I’d like to start doing in the future.
All of your projects are all very DIY, what was your first introduction to DIY?
IT: I think it was probably through Cameron Borg showing me lots of punk bands and zines that motivated me to operate on a DIY level. That and the fact that a lot of the music or projects I work on aren’t necessarily the most “mainstream” therefore learning how to operate without the help of a label or booking agent for example is essential. Also functioning on a limited budget forces you to find other avenues to pursue your art. I think for a long time I thought it was because I loved punk rock and the aesthetics behind punk rock, but as I grow older I realise it’s more of a “creative” way of operating. In that if you want to do something with your art you really have to do it for yourself as no-one else is going to do it for you. Plus if you are doing it yourself you maintain control over your art, and develop a fuller understanding of the field in which you are working in. What things work, what things definitely don’t work, and how to approach and apply your skills and share them with others.
What are your thoughts on the Brisbane music community; positives and negatives?
IT: I’ve been living in Brisbane for around 7 years now so I feel like I know the place quite well, but you know there’s always something new happening around the place with new people putting on shows or starting new bands which is really exciting. The positive parts of the Brisbane music community are the people who really push to try to make this a great place to live. The ones who open up venues, book shows, do shows at 4ZZZ, write zines, put records out, support bands by attending shows and buying their merch, the ones who haven’t given up on it. The negative part is that people doing these things become burnt out, staying motivated to support the music community is not easy to do, mostly people are doing this without any thanks and on their own funds. It can be hard for people to not throw it in and try for something easier in Melbourne or Sydney but I think Brisbane truly has a great supportive music community with amazing bands.
In your experience, what are some of the biggest challenges faced by independent bands right now?
IT: I don’t really think there are many challenges for independent bands. I think if you really want to do something with your band you should realise that it actually takes a lot of hard work. There are so many bands out there, and really average bands, that if you want to tour or get people buying your records you need to put the hard work in, cause it doesn’t just happen by itself. If you have this motivation and drive then you find ways to make it work. There are so many awesome people out there willing to help put on a show or let you crash on your floor, you just have to find them. And generally people who are doing these things want to share their knowledge with you, because they can see the value in helping you as it tends to come back around when you’re in a supportive community.
Who are your favourite local musicians and why do they rule?
IT: There are so many great local musicians , The No Anchor guys Donnie, Ian and Alex, John Mercer, Tamara Dawn Bell, Geordie Stafford, all of the Bedroom Suck bands, Adam Scott, all of the people I play with of course, Tym Brennan, Stacey Colemen, Jacinta Walker, the Long Gone Records crew, Matt Bach, so many more! The majority of my friends are musicians who I truly admire and respect, so I think I’m really lucky to be surrounded by some amazingly talented people.
HITS (featuring Tamara Dawn Bell):
Dick Nasty (featuring John Mercer + Geordie Stafford):
I adore the new Tiny Spiders record, online Cameron (Smith) commented “I’m pretty proud of this. Innez Tulloch and I have spent a lot of time on this band and this record, and we think we’ve made something pretty special.” What was it like recording the record?
IT: Oh thank you! It was quite a long process; we’ve been working on it for around 2 years which is almost how long we’ve been a band so it really has tracked our progress so far. We made the record at Cam’s studio, Incremental, whenever he had spare time available so that’s why it took so long. I have never really worked on a record for so long so it’s been interesting to see it’s progression. As we developed as a band we had to also bend the record to follow, so there were times when I would re-record parts as we had changed the guitar sound or changed the song structure. I remember listening to the final mixes and thinking wow, this is a lot more noisy than I remember as we had just been layering and changing and mixing for so long I had imagined that it sounded completely different. In saying that I am really happy with how it has turned out and super happy with the vinyl pressings.
How has the Tiny Spiders tour been so far? What’s been your favourite and not so favourite parts?
IT: The tour was great, it’s pretty special to be able to travel and play in other cities so I’m really grateful for that. My favourite parts of touring are getting to see friends/ make new ones in different cities across Australia. I really enjoy seeing new music and venues so touring is pretty great for getting an idea of what a city is like even if you’re only there for 24hrs. The worst part is missing everyone at home, I’m a bit of a sucker so I really miss my boyfriend, friends and family and the cats when I’m away so I often try to take my boyfriend or sister with me so I don’t get too homesick! I also spend a fair bit of time looking at the pictures of the cats on my phone. Does that make me a crazy cat lady? haha
What’s next for you?
IT: I have three records to put out by the end of the year which is exciting and means I have a lot of work to do! Feathers have been working on a record for a while now which is getting closer to being finished, we are almost finished with tracking so mixing and then we can send it off for mastering and pressing. Pastel Blaze are looking at writing a few more songs for a record that we are hoping to start in August which is exciting as we’ve only released a couple of last minute demo’s so we’re really wanting to put something substantial out. And with Roku Music I am hoping to finish off our release for October, which means a lot of writing and recording needs to happen in the next couple of months. I am also in my last semester at uni so trying to focus on completing everything with some reasonable marks, in case I decide to continue studying. So I think the next 6-8 months will be relatively busy, which is how I like to operate. There are also many things that I want to start but one step at a time is trusty advice to follow at times!