TROPICAL FUCK STORM Riding out the storm

Tropical Fuck Storm’s journey to WA for their Deep States album tour has been a long time coming. The writing and recording process for the record was hampered by COVID setbacks, while their original tour dates in September last year were postponed. Now the band, comprised of members of The Drones, High Tension, Harmony and more, are finally on their way to rip the floors and ceiling off the Charles Hotel on Friday, April 22 and Freo.Social on Saturday April 23. JAMES REDMAN chatted with Gareth Liddiard to find out about the trials and tribulations of the music industry during COVID and the origins of their latest record.

First things first, how did you guys manage through the COVID lockdowns and how does it feel to get back on the road again?

We did okay. It really sucked but we did the best we could. We couldn’t get together much and wasn’t exactly a Garden Of Eden type inspirational overdose. But we managed to make a record and play some shows.

The tours we lost in 2020 were going to be the best thing we’d ever done, we’re not overnight sensations so we’re always on the up but it’s a slow up and this would have been a little faster than usual, so to speak. But it probably would have meant we all died anyway, so who knows? Shit happens.

How has the new record Deep States evolved from your last one? Did you approach it differently from your previous recordings?

It was just really hard to make. We don’t all live in the same city so we can’t get together when we’re locked down, which we were 75% of the time. It took a lot longer to make than anything we’d done but we also spent less time on it, and then when there were equipment breakdowns and stuff there was nothing to be done. It never even got mixed. Everything just broke down. The studio computer shat itself. I couldn’t take it to a studio to finish, no technicians could come and repair shit. It just stopped and we put it out.

What was the story behind your recent release Satanic Slumber Party with King Gizz? It was a welcome surprise for us, but had it been in the works for some time?

Yeah they came up to our place in central Victoria to record Fishing With Fishies in late 2018. I think they wanted to get out of their usual Melbourne studio. They didn’t need my help, apart from just recording them and pointing out any takes that might have been a bit average. They mainly just wanted a change of scene, so they came up and recorded 4 billion songs in four days and during that we banged out a jam that was kind of just three sections that we’d change between and vamp on.

We were all wearing hats, all 37 of us. That was the thing that tied it all together. They took the idea and turned it into The Dripping Tap and re-recorded it. We took the actual recording and got the best bits of the three sections and welded it all together. There wasn’t really any rush. It took a while to get the words together, or the idea. It’s a silly fun idea and it’s just what the music sounds like. Gizz and TFS are both pretty cartoonish in our ways.

It feels like such a long time since you have played in WA! Do you have any other updates for things we can look forward to from TFS, or any of the other acts TFS members are part of?

Well there hasn’t been much chance to branch out with all the pandemic madness. Erica has Mod Con who are really great. I have Springtime with Jim White from Dirty Three and Chris Abrahams from the Necks. TFS has lots of stuff on the boil, same with Springtime. But all the record production plants on the planet are so backed up its impossible to get anything manufactured in less than 11-12 months.

Again because of the pandemic but also because of fucking Adele, who loves to have a good cry about everything while making every other musician on the planet wait a year while she manufactures a mountain of landfill that future generations are going to need to bury.

What can audiences expect of the upcoming tour? And what are you looking forward to the most?

Like anyone else we’re just looking forward to something like the old days before COVID. That’s enough for us.

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