Having recently released their debut self-titled EP The Money War, the members of local duo The Money War, formerly of Rainy Day Women fame, have been hitting it hard, performing gigs across the summer and coming up with ideas for the next release. JOSEPH WILSON spoke to one half of the duo, Dylan Ollivierre, who talked about the EP’s American influences, the band’s inspirational road trip and the pros and cons of recording in a home studio.
What has The Money War been up to?
Mostly recording, working on new stuff which will be coming on later after this which is our new EP. We played a couple of gigs as well, we played the Badlands festival (City Limits alongside Jebediah, Gyroscope and more) – the main focus was to try spending more time in the studio which has been fun, enjoying the beats.
Sounds like The Money War has a lot planned – a new EP in the works?
It’s the benefit of having our own studio; it’s like constantly milling through material. It just means any time something comes up, we don’t have book a time and organise it, it’s just like “let’s do it”. It means we can turn stuff out a bit quicker than bands that don’t have that luxury, which is what we plan to do.
Does recording in a home environment differ from recording in a regular studio?
I think it can be really good because there is this one song that we’re working on at the moment which we re-recorded six-times and had we had to gone into a studio it would cost so much money. But if you were in the studio you wouldn’t be tempted to re-record it again and maybe have the perspective to realise it’s not going to make that much difference.
So it can be trap where you have the flexibility to revisit something a million times. It’s kind of a blessing and a curse. I am still trying to figure out which one it is at the moment because it can also really do your head in.
So sometimes would you just wake-up and jump straight to recording?
There’s no real separation from work and producing – which I also do as a job for people. I pretty much just stay in the house and have to force myself to do stuff out of the house to get perspective and get inspired, otherwise it’s just whatever is happening in here becomes my world.
It can be a really good thing because you can go right down-the-well, but it also can take a toll.
You guys have recently been signed on to EMI – how did that come about?
There would have definitely been some interest or flow on from Rainy Day Women stuff; it’s like a distribution deal with EMI. Its (through Perth-based label) littleBIGMANrecords where they just distribute to EMI, who were into the band and got in contact.
The new EP came together whilst in America – did the band’s time in America influence the sound of the latest record at all?
I think a lot of the music we listen to is from over there. A lot of it sounds like that, most of the songs were written during the road trip. So it kind of makes sense that it sounds like a road trip – I hadn’t thought about it like that. I think it’s a combination between the music we listen influencing it, and the actual experience I think definitely crept in because the songs were literally written there-and-then on a road trip.
How did the road trip actually go? Was it across the U.S?
It was across the U.S, we did it across three months I think – because my Dad is from the Caribbean, to get to there you basically have to go via the States. It was a really hot Californian summer, so we spent most of the time in California in L.A and San Francisco, San Diego and other places.
I’ve read the single Stars is about living in L.A – was that single written on the spot whilst staying that city?
A lot of it was, it’s hard to pin-point what was written or where – but definitely the core of that song. The idea of it that was written and we perfected it in other places. But Stars was definitely inspired by L.A where we were based for a couple of weeks.
What was your favourite place whilst road tripping over there?
There is a place called Big Surf, which is right on the coast on the way from L.A to San Francisco and its iconic. It was somewhere we had always wanted to go and we went there and it was just so beautiful – it was the highlight of the trip.
Talking about the next EP looking forward – will it be more local centric as it will be written and produced in Perth, rather than taking inspiration from America?
It’s hard to say, the next thing I think is that the music influences are just so intrinsically from America, the sound is still a continuation. That trip was a year and a half ago now so it’s definitely going to feel different just because we have had different experiences since then.
How has the journey felt for the band, coming from that road trip in America, playing a few festivals over summer and now releasing a debut EP?
Awesome, mostly because we didn’t have any ambition to even release the songs or didn’t really know whether people were going to really like the songs. Whether we have been super fortunate that the radio has played the songs, you never know whether that is going to be in your favour. So we felt if we just put something out it could just be that our friends think it’s great and share it around or maybe they wouldn’t. It’s pretty remarkable that this has happened to a band that is less than six months old.