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Gyroscope - The Breeders

Author: Steve Tauschke
Thursday, 25 October 2007
They’ve recorded in LA, toured South Africa, hammed it up in London and now it’s Liverpool’s turn. And did we mention Stonehenge- Perth rockers Gyroscope poured every ounce of their international experience into recording their 2008-bound third album Breed Obsession, as singer-guitarist Dan Sanders tells 3D’s Steve Tauschke.
Hi Dan, I heard there was some friction on your recent ‘Friends of Enemies’ tour supporting Fall Out Boy here...what happened-

Well, I hadn’t really heard of them going into the tour. I’d heard something of theirs on the TV once but didn’t really dig it. But I approached the tour from a band point of view and thought ‘hey, these gigs are going to be massive, let’s give it a good crack’. But I think the Fall Out guys were just a bit too busy but, you know, each to their own. But we had a good experience and it was good fun just reconnecting with all the kids really.

I expect you played to much larger crowds than you’re accustomed to-
Way larger man - the biggest we’ve done! To come back from such a lengthy break from recording where our focus was just getting this record right and then to pop out with our first shows back to be that big, it was just, you know - we really just wanted to play, whether it was to five or five thousand people.
You mentioned the next album, was there pressure on the band to maintain these creative leaps between albums-

It was a conscious thing and it always is with us boys. You want to able to nail the things you are good at while also experimenting. So it’s just going in as musicians and knowing our instruments a bit better and knowing how we work a bit better and making the songs a little bit stronger.

On Are You Involved- you moved away from the power-pop sound of your early days... Will fans see another similar shift in these new songs early next year-
Yeah, everything’s organic in terms of our ideas and jamming because we’ll come into the room with a riff or a vocal or a drum beat and we just create a song from that. There’s no pressure there. But when we finish the song that’s then we look back on it and criticise it and change bits if we need to or put it on the back burner. I think that’s the way we approached the last record and more so this one, really nutting the songs out as we’re writing them and just letting them go on any tangent.

Where was most of it written-
Most of it was written in Perth in a rehearsal room over about eight months, well all of it was actually, and then we took it over to Liverpool with Dave (Eringa) our producer. He put a bit of pressure on us because we knew he’d throw spanners in and that’s what we wanted. Nothing was forced, it was all very organic where nothing was right or wrong.

So why the choice to record in Liverpool-
It was weird actually, we knew we had to go off and record the thing in either Melbourne or LA or the UK or wherever and we had had half a dozen of our favourite producers lined up but just the vibe on the phone with Dave was great. Listening to his Idlewild work and his work with Manic Street Preachers and just the energy levels that he can pull out of a band. And then when we spoke to him he was just so on, you know, he name-checked our songs, which a lot of the other producers didn’t. We thought if we’re going to spend a couple months away from home then it best be with a good guy and he just happened to be in the UK and wanted to work up in Liverpool, which is just a couple of hours away for him.

Could you feel the musical history in the place-
Yeah, we did all the touristy things in Liverpool, I mean you’re in the home of the Beatles where it all began, you know, so we went down to the Cavern Club and had a drink and sucked it all in and then tried to spew it all out on record really.

The first single Snakeskin utilises piano I notice-
Yeah, we brought my sister’s poxy little keyboard into rehearsal when we were writing the album and anyone who wanted a go on it could have a go. We were sitting around one day and someone chucked a keyboard line on at the start of the song.

You shot the video for it on a huge crop circle near Stonehenge in the UK...tell us about that experience-
Well, as a kid I was really into UFOs and all that sort of supernatural stuff and it was always really intriguing. So we all knew of crop circles and all the mysterious powers and all that sort of stuff but we never thought we’d do a film clip on one. But funnily enough we were looking for ideas when we were recording and our manager came up with the idea. We got this crazy guy who’d relocated from California who does crop circles for a living using a plank of wood about skateboard size with a rope around it and he just walks around with it and makes patterns using measuring tapes.
So this on a wheat farm is it-
Yeah, it’s a wheat farm in Wiltshire, which is about two hours from London just down the road from Stonehenge. We learnt afterwards that on the other side of the hill was where Led Zeppelin did their Remasters shoot for a crop circle back in the ‘70s - on the same farm! The farmer got a plane and just took an aerial shot to keep and he sent it off to Led Zeppelin and two years later he finds out they used it for a cover and wants to be reimbursed. I think he said they gave him a signed copy of the album and he was cool with that.

WHO: Gyroscope
WHAT: Play the Gaelic Club
WHEN: November 2