A Blaa Blaa Blaah With Halcyon Drive Talking Mud Brick Studios, Breaking International Grounds and Their Upcoming Tour

jamesRiding high of their latest release, Untethered, Halcyon Drive, have been busy planning their upcoming tour. Despite their busy schedule they took the time to have a little chat with us TWL and get a little look at what it’s like to be a developing artists in today’s musical climate.


Untethered, your second EP was delivered May 13th.  How are you all feeling? 

We’re feeling ace; so pleased to have revealed our new EP in its entirety, about to embark upon our most expansive tour yet and of course being able to talk to the mysterious Wandering Lamb!


Now you will have to excuse our ignorance, but when you released your excellent debut EP Cruel Kids, there were two of you, but now you are three.  We’ve done our research and can’t work out how and when you became a trio?  Can you share with us some of the background? How has this changed the dynamic of songwriting?

You are correct; we are now a 3 piece. Basil (bass, synth, vox) the multi-talented soul, joined just under a year ago to expand our live set-up, freeing Mick and myself from wallowing in the challenges of recreating our songs live for a two-piece. The Untethered EP songs were already written at that stage, so the newly found songwriting process is still being resolved, but is always evolving regardless. A third opinion does help make swifter decisions compared to the 50/50 split often contended between Mick and myself.


For Untethered, you stepped into the studio with producer Steve Schram, a talented chap, recording in a studio in the Otway’s National Park (for those unaware, around 162Km South West from Melbourne).  Can you share with us, the experience?

The best aspect of the experience about that studio was it’s not a studio at all, merely a mud brick villa we rented and converted to a studio space with Steve’s gear. Mick and myself were more excited by the prospect of recording in a makeshift location opposed to a bland purpose-built studio. It was a different, all encompassing recording approach living in your workspace. The challenge was to balance the luxury of recording whenever one pleased with appropriate amounts of leisure time; a vital lesson from Steve. The dead quiet serene hills of the Otways don’t exactly dampen booming drums one might say.


Lyrically, Untethered plays out rather personally, almost reflective moments at times.  Is this a fair assumption? Can you share with us your motivations and inspirations behind the lyrical content?                                                                                                                                

HD vocalist/guitarist Mick solely writes the lyrics for our songs. More often than not they are inspired by his personal experiences that transpire when the songs are being coined. In some ways the lyrical content captures moments and emotions that Mick is faced with over a period of time. For instance, lyrically the song ‘Flash’ is based on events and take-aways from a visit of his to the royalty of Dubai.


We are big supporters of the gang at Rare Finds, they do a lot for Australian music and have curated some great Australian bands, such as yourselves.  As a band growing a well-deserved fan base in your home country, are the aspirations in getting an international following?  Are their plans to go abroad?

Absolutely there is a desire to develop an international following. Foreign listeners on Soundcloud and international blog appreciation have planted a small seed, however the next steps in performing overseas is something that hopefully will be arranged in the not too distant future when the time is right.


The production on Untethered is exceptional, quite different to your debut EP, a change in direction, a bigger sound.  We couldn’t help but hear some sounds that reminded us of some excellent comparisons, like TV on the Radio, Bombay Bicycle Club, Cold War Kids and Local Natives.  Hope you don’t mind the comparisons.  Any major influences that helped craft your direction on this EP?

We’re always interested in what our sound is compared to, so glad to hear it! Indeed we approached this recording with a direction for a crisp, poppier production (despite the improvised studio). Hopefully this lets the intricacies and details of the songs shine through, meaning each listen can yield different elements not heard previously. At the time during our demoing of the tracks, St. Vincent had entered our lives. Some of her influence may be heard in some of the tracks.


You commence your biggest East Coast Tour, come 9th of June.  Now more than ever, touring and offering a memorable live experience, in our opinion is what raises the better bands above the rest.  Do you agree? What are you most looking forward to about the tour?

 Still the biggest core component for differentiating bands is their ability to conjure unique songs in my eyes. Memorable performances do capture your attention, but it is the content that retains one’s interest for a band’s journey beyond a single performance. We’re hungry for this tour purely to perform our songs strongly in front of new audiences. Sure we’ll visit new locations during the 4 weeks, but ultimately we’re rearing for the times we can do our thing on stage!


We have a simple moto at The Wandering Lamb, “A Passion For New Music, An Urge To Share”.  Can you share with us any new music that is tweaking your ears that you care to share?

The new song ‘Satan’ from D.D.Dumbo is absolutely jaw-dropping. I personally can’t remember the last time I was that impressed by a new song. There shouldn’t only be an urge, but a duty to share that song.