Interview with Tim Morrissey from the John Steel Singers
With their new single, Weekend Lover, surfacing this week and ahead of their BIGSOUND appearance, I had a chat to vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Tim Morrissey from the John Steel Singers about Brisbane music and the recording process of their highly anticipated third album, Midnight at the Plutonium.
Bridie: What inspired the name of the album?
Tim: We wrote a track called Midnight at the Plutonium, and then built a recording studio called The Plutonium, just so we could record it in there.
Bridie: The new sound has been described as ‘groovier and funkier.’ Was this your intention?
Tim: We’ve lately been listening to lots of Donald Byrd and Arthur Russell’s disco era, (check out Dinosaur: Kiss Me Again). We’ve also been taking in some smooth Mizell Brothers productions. That stuff is so great, it has to creep in as an influence.
Bridie: There are a series of guest musicians on the album. Who are they?
Tim: Sydney vocalist Donny Benet features on the track Weekend Lover, and Liam Campbell (Jeremy Neale, Good Sports), and Vlada from Major Leagues have also sung on the record.
Bridie: You’ve been in the industry for ten years now. What is the most important thing that you’ve learnt along the way?
Tim: Just to try and please yourself. I don’t give a shit if no one listens to the album, because I’m happy with it, it’s made for me.
I don’t give a shit if no one listens to the album, because I’m happy with it, it’s made for me.
Bridie: What do you guys do in your spare time?
Tim: Our spare time is the band these days, cramming it in around work wherever possible.
Bridie: What is your opinion of the Brisbane music scene?
Tim: It’s bloody great at the moment! Blank Realm’s new album is killer, Kitchens Floor’s new stuff is sounding rad, and Major Leagues are killing it. Primitive Motion also have a new record out.
Bridie: What other bands are you hoping to catch at BIGSOUND?
Tim: Tempura Nights, Babaganoüj, Ocean Party, Holy Holy and Donny Bennet (The Edge is the best track all year!).
Bridie: Where and when will you be playing at BIGSOUND?
Tim: Thursday night at the Zoo and Friday night at the Triffid.
Bridie: What are your plans for the rest of 2015?
Tim: To finish mixing the album!
Midnight at the Plutonium is expected to drop early next year, so keep your ears peeled!