INTERVIEW: Beaten Bodies

Beaten Bodies have been together for just over six months, but are already causing a bit of a stir in the local music community. Joining Tommy M & The Mastersounds and Rocking Horse & The Baby Dolls in channelling a groovy, funky, soulful sound reminiscent of days gone by – as well as having a mammoth eight bodies on stage at any one time – the collective have only performed sparingly and rarely since forming; but impressed judges enough at their recent UOW band comp heat to advance straight to the final. They’re are playing our Radar x Good Jelly gig on July 7, so we caught up with bassist Liam to get the skinny on Beaten Bodies.

Radar: Introduce us to Beaten Bodies. Who are the members and what do they play?
Marli Truran-Lakaev – Vox
Novak Manojlovic – Keys
John McCoy – Drums
Liam Copland – Bass
David Reglar – Tenor Sax
Matt Tarrant – Trumpet
Geordie Crawford – Alto Sax
Nick Chater – Trombone

R: How would you describe Beaten Bodies?
A mix of all the old groove stuff: soul, funk, Motown – with a contemporary sound.

R: Tell us about the history of the band. How did the band come about?
It started as a throwaway comment. My brother was turning 21, and everyone was doing something for the party except me. I told the parents I’d work out the music, maybe an iTunes playlist. I’m not very computer savvy and it became apparent that the whole thing’d be easier if I got some people together for a jam. That was in November last year.

R: What would you say inspires you as a band? What are some of your interests as a group?
Creating something that we wanna listen to ourselves is the obvious. Big funk/soul bands are the inspiration—lotsa horns, lotsa bodies on stage, everyone working at a vibe that is both improvised and aware of its purpose. We’re all inspired by different things, but as a collective, the big ones would be Winehouse, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, The RH Factor, maybe The Bamboos.

R: How do you approach the writing process?
We all just get in there, yell, stick our hands up, wrestle, and laugh a lot. The writing process is extremely productive for us. We’ve got members burning with great ideas. Crazy inspired people with ideas oozing outta every orifice. That being said, the challenge for us is knowing when we’re doing too much, convoluting a song that needs to breath. But yeah, to answer the question, the writing process is collaborative, the songs evolving each and every time we get together, even when we’re not playing them.

R: Any plans for a proper EP or release?
At the time of this interview, we’re pretty close to finishing our debut E.P. All that’s left to record are the vocals and the mixing and mastering stages. There are four tracks, all a bit different. In an attempt to reflect a few different shades of what we’ve been up to, our goal was to go for a sound specific to each song. It should be out in September, at the latest.

R: How do you find the Wollongong music scene at present? How do you think it has changed?
The scene is good, inspiring. Wollongong is going through such a prolific stage at the moment, every second person plays in a band. With so many people in bands, there are so many people going to gigs, and the scene has only flourished because of this. This explosion of bands have urged people to stay in Wollongong for their entertainment, this is a change.

R: Who are your favourite local bands?
Off the top of my head: This Mess, Totally Unicorn, and Kool and The Gang.

R: What can we expect from Beaten Bodies in the near future?
We’re playing the Radar gig at Good Jelly on the 7th of July and the UoW band comp final on the 23rd of August. But the release of the E.P is definitely the big one.

Beaten Bodies join Tommy M & The Mastersounds, Round The Corner, A Cat Named Kesey and Go Away Everyone at the Radar Presents gig on July 7. Click here for more info.

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