Deep Sea Arcade
Being a shit-hot Sydney-based indie-rock outfit, it seemed like Deep Sea Arcade's fresh signing to the renowned Ivy League Records stable was a mere inevitable formality. But it's not necessarily a case of clear-cut musical conscription, as dapper frontman Nic Mckenzie explains. "Yeah joining the 'League," he laughs. "I wouldn't really say it was inevitable. We were on Speak N Spell for a little while, we've kind of done the label rounds a bit, y'know what I mean? I guess it's about settling with the people that you're most comfortable working with."
Joining the ranks of Ivy League alongside Cloud Control, Youth Group and Sparkadia might prove a daunting prospect for some, but Deep Sea Arcade seem more than comfortable making the transition. "Yeah it's really good, we've known all the guys at Ivy for a while, but now it's really exciting working with them all as a team, working with Chris Maund and Marty Doyle, those guys are super great," Nic states. "I've sort of been friends with them separately to music for a long time. I really like their taste, and Marty's got this awesome radio show (on FBi) that he puts on."
Their signing coincides nicely with the launch of a killer east coast co-headliner with buzzworthy Kiwi cohort Surf City - forging a trans-Tasman, surf-rock-revivalist, nautically-entitled unification. "Well our manager found out about Surf City, I think while reading through some blogs, and then sent us some of their stuff, and we really, really liked it," Nic explains. "And we were like 'yeah, we'd really like to play with these guys.' Our manager then lined everything up, and here we are - it's really cool!"
With a killer double-header of similar calibre acts, choosing the playing order may have caused a minor headache or two, but it seems that wasn't the case. "Well, we didn't decide, thankfully someone else - not sure exactly who - made the decision and put us on last," Nic explains with a laugh. "Yeah, the shows we've done so far have been great. My favourite so far has been Bondi, just because of all the hot babes," he chuckles. "Just like a million, gazillion babes."
The end of April will also see the group put out their debut release in the form of a mini-album, containing the already well-received tracks Don't Be Sorry and Lonely In Your Arms, as well as some fresh material. "Well we're sitting on about ten tracks, and of those I'd say probably eight will make it onto the record," Nic divulges. "So it's a pretty substantial portion, for a 'mini' album," he grins.
As well as putting forth a batch of recorded material out into the world, Deep Sea Arcade will spend the better part of the midyear touring with one of the country's most-adored indie-darlings, Nic reveals, "Yeah I think we're doing like 12 or 13 shows with Washington, which should be amazing. I know Megan, I mean we're not super-close friends, but we're friends," he adds. "I've always loved her music and she's always been great in singing our praises. So when we got the call to do the tour we were all really excited. I mean, she absolutely kills it in Melbourne, being a local and all. What, she sold out The Corner like five times? So yeah, we're super-excited," he gleefully states.
The lads from Deep Sea Arcade are also no strangers to Melbourne streets, having made the trip down more than a few times in the previous year alone. "We've come to Melbourne, I'd say, around four or five times. We really love it down there, it's always really fun," Nic states. "We have a few friends down there so it's always really good to catch up. I think last time we were down it was with John Steel Singers, then the time before that was with The Charlatans, both really fun tours," he recalls with warm affection.
While the group's songs are ostensibly sunny pop-rock numbers, there often seems to be something a little darker lying underneath the surface. These qualities may be attributed to the outfit's cinematic source of inspiration, Nic explains. "Yeah David Lynch has always been an influence. I'd say it's his films' sort of coy, dark nature that sort of speaks to us. And Angelo Badalamenti (composer and frequent Lynch collaborator) - I love that guy. His music is a huge influence. His stuff on the Lost Highway is just incredible," he states.
"There was review of one of our shows where we were described as 'Lynchian', which I think is sort of what we try to achieve - like a dark, cinematic feel to our music. Not that we have any backwards speaking dwarfs in the group... yet," he laughs.
Not limiting their all-out assault to Australian shores, the lads are setting their sights on European domination midway through the year with a few choice festival slots ready and waiting. "We've been booked for two festivals there, one in Liverpool and also The Great Escape in Brighton," he states with anticipation. "Then we're doing a run of shows while we're there - some in London, then onto Manchester. There are some other tentative dates lined up as well, so that will be all really good."
Being labelmates with Cloud Control, as well as accompanying Washington around the nation, can we expect Deep Sea Arcade to dominate next summer's festival circuit like those two acts have just well and truly accomplished? "I hope so!" he laughs. "Well I've got my fingers crossed. Wait," he reconsiders, "actually, I'm sure we will."
DEEP SEA ARCADE and SURF CITY team up to tackle Melbourne this week in a flurry of duelling classic garage-surf genius. With DEEP SEA ARCADE's ripper singles Crouch End , Don't Be Sorry , Lonely In Your Arms and Keep On Walking all embedded deep in the collective Australian mind over the summer - and with a mini-album on the way - this is sure to be a ball-burster. The pair play The Northcote Social Club with Loon Lake this Friday February 18. Tickets from The Northcote Social Club, 9486 1677 or northcotesocialclub.com.