There’s no doubt Australia has produced its share of rock bands and among them are Men At Work, AC/DC and Silverchair. We can now add Rapids to the list. When our friend and mixtape junkie Rich Noguchi, enlightened us about Rapids, we immediately took a liking to the group’s upbeat bass lines, catchy choruses and guitar riffs that beckon you to dance. “I like them because they don’t necessarily fit one particular style of genre and it seems like they are making an effort to being open to new creative ideas. Creativity doesn’t necessarily mean complexity, and they do a great job at developing music in an innovative way that takes on the minimalist approach,” Noguchi said.
The band is comprised of Jamie Timony (Keys, Vox), Will Shepherd (Bass), Remy Hii (guitar) and Angus McLaren (Drums). We can blame these guys for getting us hooked on the track, “Get Better Than That,” which is infectiously catchy and will surely get stuck in your head for hours. The accompanying music video is equally enjoyable featuring vivid colors, artistic shots and cool, calm and collected rock stars.
We were able to talk with Rapid’s front-man Jaime Timony about the band’s beginnings and future plans.
1. How’d you decide on the band’s name?
It’s funny, the idea of choosing a band name always sounds fun and exciting, but when you’re actually trying to decide on one it can be such a tedious process. You can always find a reason why a name sucks. ‘Sounds too much like this’, ‘It’s too familiar to this other band’s name’ etc. Our name got birthed after Jamie and Will set off on an afternoon trek around one of the mountain ranges just outside the Gold Coast in Queensland. With limited hiking experience and a bag full of packed sandwiches, cigarettes and thermos coffee, they found themselves following a path which wasn’t really a path, and that lead to whatever you call something that’s neither quite as big as a river nor small as a creek. Lacking the desire, or ability to cross the rapids they figured they could make a compromise and so the band was named rapids.
2. How did you all meet and how did you develop your sound?
We all met at different points over about 8 years. Will and Angus went to high school together in Victoria. Then moved to the Gold Coast for a period of time and it’s there that we met Jamie, followed later by Remy who was living in Brisbane. We developed our sound by simply standing in a room together and trying things out. Inevitably you develop your own sound over time as you get to know each other and the way each other work. Having a united taste in music also helps.
3. Are you guys working on any projects at the moment?
It has been quite a busy few weeks for us as a band. Just a couple of weeks ago we flew down to Melbourne and tracked down 2 new tracks with our friends in their freshly made home studio affectionately named ‘The Manor’. We recorded our last EP with those guys and we’re stoked to working with them again. Since then we’ve been focused on mixing the 2 new tracks with Eric J Dubowsky at Sydney’s BJB (Big Jesus Burger) Studios and now we’re in the final stage of getting the tracks mastered. We’re pretty happy with how they’ve turned out, so I suppose from here we’ll be doing our best to get the tracks out there on the interwebz.
4. Where can fans catch you guys live? Any tours/shows coming up?
Our next show is on the 19th June at The Annandale, a long standing live music venue in Sydney, playing along with some wicked Sydney bands including Deep Sea Arcade, Made in Japan and The Spirits. We also have a couple of exciting shows coming up at various venues around Sydney. But we are really excited about our residency at Oxford Art Factory (Sydney) in August. We are also playing the Oxford Art Factory’s 3rd birthday party on the mainstage with some killer local bands. Should be a great night.
5. Are there any bands you admire and wish to work with?
There are plenty of bands who we admire, respect and are influenced by. We’re a big rap for the likes of Foals, Late of the Pier, The Scare, Animal Collective. Lately we’ve been getting into Chillwave a bit too with Caribou, Toro Y Moi and such. Every day it feels like you find a new band you dig that’s better than the last one you discovered and you want to start writing songs like them.
6. What inspires your sound?
We try to keep our inspiration coming from all aspects of our lives; not just music but work, friends, television shows and movies, and people we interact with on a day to day basis. We appreciate both pop sensibility and the more experimental side of music creation and do our best to fit somewhere in between those two where we can.
7. What are your musical goals and what lessons have you learned so far?
We’d be so happy to be a band who could tour and make records for a living. We’ve learned that having the respect of your peers is very important. You never want to be considered a fake or a douche and it’s that desire that keeps you double checking everything you do to make sure it’s authentic and that it’s coming from your heart. If people don’t like it then, at least you know you’ve done everything in your power.
8. What’s the best piece of advice someone ever told you?
‘buy a guitar’ – Will
‘Rick K. And the Allnighters are the best band in the world’
‘Can we use the other band’s drum kit’ – Angus
9. What do you guys do when you’re not making music?
We all work our respective day jobs and school studies to get by and then try and suck as much fun out of the rest of the day as we can. We’ve nestled ourselves the party house in our group of friends, so there never seems to dull moment in the office – We have the pleasure of living in a slightly non-conventional an office space, which our love grows for everyday.
10. We’re asking every band we talk to: What’s your favorite restaurant?
We can’t get enough of a little cafe just on the outskirts of Erskineville (inner-west Sydney) called Sofia’s and is always our 1st preference for breakfast and lunch.. They do good coffee too and we all know good coffee is good soul food. Delhi O’ Delhi in Newtown (also inner-west Sydney) is an Indian restaurant which we tend to frequent on special occasions with a nice bottle of red or two.
11. Anything else you’d like to add?
Our last EP is free to download via our myspace. Our first film clip is also up on our myspace and youtube as well, check it out!
For more information about the band, check out:
Like what you hear? Let us know what you think in the comments section!
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Very cool that got to do an interview with The Rapids. I'm guessing that these guys will be traveling through the US some time next year– probably be part of the lineup for one of those bigger indie rock events, such as Coachella and SXSW.
Everything is ok but I want to know:
what about their first band name [Ballet Imperial]
what was wrong with it?