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an interview with Woollen Kits

September 27, 2009

Woollen Kits1
I recently spoke with Tom and Leon from Melbourne’s “twee-pop trio” Woollen Kits, a couple of days before they opened the fantastic Spring Tones festival on Saturday night.  Probably winning themselves a host of new fans. Tom and Leon put a lot of effort into presenting their releases and they also put a lot of effort into making some damn good music.

Tom (Guitar and Vocals)
Leon (Guitar)

How long have you been playing together?
I started out on my own in the middle of 2007 and then me and [a different] Tom, the drummer, went to Tasmania so he started drumming in September last year and then news years even 2008/2009 was the first time Leon played.

How did you guys end up on the Spring Tones lineup?
[laughs] I really like Vivian Girls and got it in my head that we should support them when they came here so I just bugged Mistletone and they said “you can’t do that but you can play at Spring Tones.”
It was pretty easy; all we had to do was bug them.

Since being put on the lineup have you got to know anyone at Mistletone?
Not really, they’ve been sending out emails but not really no. I only met Ash as Golden Plains after Dan Deacon played and we carried all his shit back to his tent.
That was so weird, walking back in the dark and he had no idea where he was going.

Anyone else besides Vivian Girls you are looking forward to playing with at Spring Tones?
It all looks pretty good. I really want to see Ducktails.
Pretty psyched about the stage we’re on. It’s us then Super Wild Horses then The UV Race, Ducktails. Pretty good little row of bands.

Any other Melbourne bands that you get compared to?
Not really. In our heads we like to be compared to or lumped in with UV Race and Super Wild Horses, that sort of stuff. Not really though.

How about internationally? Any particular influences or comparisons there?
Not particularly, Tom likes Beat Happening.
Actually we’ve been getting a lot of Jonathon Richman comparisons; it’s funny, good but funny. Me and Leon really like all that sort of Tyvek, Eat Skull, that sort of thing.
Chillwave [laughs]

You’ve got some recordings coming out soon, do you put more emphasis on live shows or on recording?
Probably the last year or so we’ve been focusing more on the live show but when it was just me doing it I focused more on recording since the live show was pretty… shit [laughs]. It sort of started as just a recording project but now that’s it’s an actual band playing live is actually fun now and it sounds good. I guess it’s just easy to play live and to record with more people.

When you were recording by yourself how were you releasing it?
The first few things were when I was full time employed and I recorded all this stuff in my spare time and then when I had enough to release it and I was happy, my job ended and I was unemployed. I made a hundred covers that were all covered in felt and really intricate so I just released that. Two things like that. It’s usually physical, the releases, but I think I did put them up for download as well.

Why did you decide to start your Periodic Collective label?
Me and Tom, the drummer in Woollen Kits and who used to do Wonderful Fellowship, and Simon who does Yama Boy; we had just met each and were new friends and we were all doing music so we were talking about how we should start a label, keep it friendly, just do our own stuff and we didn’t really do anything. We just made a name for it and then it existed.

So that’s all been physical releases. Do you have a problem with people downloading your stuff online?
Not at all, all the out of print stuff and stuff we never released I’ve been preparing to put that all up on the website but I just haven’t got around it to it. I mean we make actual releases because we like buying other people’s stuff, if someone’s listening to it then they’re listening to it.

Do you think the internet has been useful in getting you more shows?
Yeah definitely, particularly MySpace. It’s weird we’ve got the website but I don’t think it’s really as useful as the MySpace. Just with MySpace it’s all so easy because they are all so connected and stuff whereas with accessing other sites people are a bit lazy, in general, not that that’s a criticism of people it’s like clicking “send message” is easier than copying the email address. The website is just kind of token these days.

Have you guys been written about much?
Not really but when we release stuff people will actually review it. But not like any real live reviews. Just album reviews in street press and Mess and Noise, stuff like that. I’d like to see a live review, see what people think.

Are you planning a proper tour soon?
Leon’s going overseas for three months in about a month. We’re really hoping to get up to Sydney before then. That’s the plan but it’s pretty tight.
We’re all like working or at uni so it’s pretty hard to organise.
We’d like to go to Sydney.

So while Leon’s away are you going to keep the band going without him?
I think we’re gonna pull back and not do many shows but I think Simon, who does the Yama Boy, is a really good drummer and knows most of the songs anyways so sometimes Tom (drummer) has not been able to play and Simon has filled in so we thought Simon could play drums and Tom could play guitar and just play occasionally just to keep it up a little bit. Not do heaps though. That’s the plan, I don’t really know.

So when is your next release coming out?
It should be at our house tomorrow.
We’ve just got to do the covers.
The launch is on the 23rd of October and I hope they’ll be out two weeks before that.

How do you go about distributing it?
Missing Link takes stuff on consignment, Sunshine and Grease will take a few and then just on the website.
Tenzenmen took some too.
But we don’t really have any good distribution [laughs]

So is it going up online as well?
Maybe we’ll do it maybe a month after release. Maybe we’ll circulate but not put it someone.
With records you want easy access to listen to it on your computer.
It’s being released on vinyl but we might put a download link in the sleeve, or a CDR but it’s probably cheaper to just put mp3 links. It’s not going to be one of those fancy ones with codes or whatever [laughs].

Woollen Kits Myspace
Periodic Collective website

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    October 11, 2009 12:10 pm

    Woollen Kits are so rad!

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