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INTERVIEW: Fishing (Take 2)

15 September 2014 | 11:55 pm | Hannah Galvin

Sydney duo Fishing just released their debut LP, Shy Glow. Currently launching it across Australia, we scored some quality time with Russell of the group!

Doug Wright and Russell Fitzgibbon are two Sydney pals making innovative electronic music under the name FISHING. Constantly releasing material, it’s as though they have an insatiable desire to write super fun and adventurous music at quite a rapid pace – which makes our role as listeners extremely advantageous.

Known for their quirky originals (ie ‘OOOO’, ‘White Street Beach’, ‘Your Mouth’) and personalised remixes for bands and artists like Cloud Control, Jonathan Boulet and Teen Daze, 2014 finally saw the duo congregate eleven of their brand new brilliant tracks to fill the walls of their debut LP, Shy Glow.

Currently in the midst of launching the album live with their national tour, we squeezed into Fishing’s schedule and sat down with half of the group, Russell Fitzgibbon, where we discussed Shy Glow, broken wrists and what to expect from Fishing over the next few months.

How did you guys settle on the name Fishing?

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I’ve really liked fishing ever since I caught a little trout with my dad when I was a kid. And I think we wanted something that was kind of vague and just coming from something natural, and that’s a nice thing to think about when you hear it.

I’ve always actually wondered if it came from the hobby of fishing, so there you go

Yeah I’m actually like way keen on fishing, and I never get to go.

Is Doug [Wright] as well or just you?

No actually. I keep saying that I’ve got to take Doug fishing but I never do. The one time we did go, I just caught lots of fish and Doug caught nothing which was pretty rough.

You released your debut album a few months ago. Considering you’ve been together for four or so years, how much time was spent writing and recording Shy Glow?

A bit over two years really. We had ideas from years ago when we were like traveling and moving around that we just sat on for a long time, so like built on those. And then we had ideas from basically like six months and a year ago, so we just wanted to sit on it and wait for it to build organically. It also took us a long time to decide what we wanted the album to be, so we really let it choose its own path, just let it do it naturally.

I’ve noticed you guys have not necessarily changed your sound, but you’ve definitely built upon it. For example, since ‘oooo’ you’ve incorporated lyrics to your songs. Would you say Shy Glow is the final product of how your sound has evolved?

I don’t think it’s ever going to be a final product, but I think it was a conscious decision to kind of take a step back from what we were doing when we started Fishing because we put out a lot of stuff really quickly and were making lots of different stuff and just putting it out straight away for free. So we really just wanted to take a step back and try and think about the type of music that we wanted to make that would represent us, and the kind of music that we, ourselves, would want to listen to for a long time and have something that we can come back to and that wouldn’t be dependent on time and place to decide whether it’s good or not; if that makes sense.

It features the likes of Alister Wright (Cloud Control), Jonas Nicholls (Sures), Marcus Whale (Collarbones) and Lavurn Lee (Guerre). Which collaborative track do you think worked out the best in terms of sticking to the style of Fishing?

I think the tracks we did with Marcus and Lavurn definitely came about in kind of similar ways. We had this idea for a song, we even had ideas for vocal lines, and we kind of had this bed that we laid down, and then it kind of just became obvious who we needed to sing on it just because of the style of the song and the vibe that it had. So in that way, they came together really easily and nicely with both those guys coming in for like one night and just doing it; them singing and us recording it! It was really smooth in that sense.

Were there any other musicians you guys had hoped to work with but were unsuccessful?

There were a couple. We actually had a song that we were talking about with Elizabeth Rose, and we also really wanted to get a girl on the album because we don’t like to just have a total boy zone, and also because we’ve always wanted to do a track with her. As I said before, the album kinda had it’s own feel, so it just happened that some tracks didn’t really work in the final product. But you never know, we’d definitely like to do a track with her in the future. And we’ve got like tonnes of collaborations that we want to look into pretty soon now that we’ve got time.

You’ve just released the clip to ‘Nineteen / Boy Wunder’. Created by you guys and achieved with a low budget, can you tell us a bit about that video?

Basically it was just the fact that we needed this clip really quickly and we’d been thinking of how we wanted the song to be. You know, the song’s kind of got this feeling like this weird mix of euphoric party vibes, but also this straight, dark vibe? Something more desperate and all over the place? And so we were like the best thing we can do is just have one day, throw a party in our tiny house – we took everything out of our living room, invited a bunch of friends around and just had a full on rave in the middle of the day and blacked out all of the windows. So we just danced for [laughs] it would’ve been about ten hours or something and set up a DJ and smoke machine and just decided to film it to see what happened. A lot of stuff happened that we didn’t expect, and we got the footage back and didn’t know what it was going to turn out like.

I think it turned out the same as the song in the way that it’s kind of party and fun but also a bit weird and a bit rough and dark in some ways, yeah.

Who are some artists that you think people should be listening to?

We really like our friend Melty from Sydney who is making awesome stuff. I really like Catlips from Perth, she’s awesome. [Laughs] There are just so many people, I can’t think. Actually, a good one, we’ve been listening to tonnes of Portuguese club music which is really incredible. It’s just all on Soundcloud made by 17 year old high school producers. It’s all like 1.8kbps, and it’s amazing. It’s kind of like really raw percussive versions of traditional Portuguese club stuff. But anyway, I’ve been getting really into that, so that’s what people should definitely listen to.

You’re currently on your Australian album launch tour. What can your audiences expect from a Fishing live show?

Well this one’s going to be a bit interesting. We got Al from Cloud Control to do a song on the album. He’s back in town and he’s coming on tour with us for most of the shows, which is really fun. But in a strange, twisted fate, he broke his wrist at the snow, so we were like oh that’s alright he can still sing things and play some drum pads, that kind of thing. Then not long after, I broke the same hand as well [laughs], so now it’s like four hands between three people. So Al is pretty much playing what I’m doing with my left hand, and I’m just playing one-handed and we’re all going to sing. So it’s actually a lot of fun onstage cause we’re all playing stuff, all singing. It’s interesting to see how the album comes out in that live setting. Cause it’s all played out live and is a bit rough, and I think that’s good. You never want to be unable to fuck up.

You’ll also be making your second OutsideIn appearance. What does OutsideIn mean to you guys?

Aw that festival feels like home to Sydney music, and I feel like it’s been a really big and important event for electronic music in Sydney. It’s kind of like a validation, especially for the Astral guys who are putting it on and also for all the artists and the audience that comes along. To have a festival like that in your city, which has a strong local line-up and attracting these really influential and ground-breaking artists as well to play alongside the locals, it feels like a validation for the Sydney electronic scene to have something that attracts so much attention and so much love.

It should be interesting with the new venue this year

Yeah! It’ll be really interesting to see how they do that. I’m sure they’ll put on an awesome layout and it’s all going to work really well. It’ll probably feel like I’m back at uni going to like, beachball or something, but it’ll be about a thousand times better [laughs].

Can we expect you on any Australian festival line-ups this Summer?

Um, possibly, I hope so. I think there’s stuff in the works, but I’m not really like privy to that at the moment; which is kind of good cause otherwise I’d be like, “ah I hope we can do that”, so we’ll just have to wait and see. I think, hopefully, we’ll be going around, making some appearances.

Other exciting plans we can look forward to in the near future?

Yeah, actually I’m really excited about lots of different stuff that we’ve had the chance to do now that we’ve finished the album. We’ve been working on some remixes, some people are doing remixes of us, which will be really great, I’m really excited about hearing. We’ve also been working on some new stuff with a couple of different collaborators that will probably remain secret for the moment. Whether that’s going to be Fishing or a new project or something altogether different, I think it’ll be really interesting to see how that comes out. And also just tonnes of DJing, pretty keen to get on that.

When you have a proper wrist as well I guess [laughs]

Well you know, there’s two of us so one can do the queuing, the other can do the hot knobbing. It’ll be sweet.

Words by Hannah Galvin.