Photo by Shaun Gionis
In the catalogue for Melbourne record label Corduroy Records, CORD 143 stands out from other releases by fuzzy garage rock bands with names such as the Hekawis, Devil Dolls and the Naked Eye.
"Get Up Morning" the debut 7" single for young local band [Eddy Current Suppression Ring](http://www.ecsr.com.au/ ) didn't make a massive impact on its release in 2004 but already the band's distinctive style – especially Mikey Young's guitar and Brendan Huntley's vocals - are regonsiable on the three tracks. A grunted "Hey" and wiry guitar introduces the A-side, one of the greatest Australian punk songs ever recorded that captures the loose spirit of the Saints, Victims, the Leftovers and the Chosen Few.
Corduroy at the time was a prolific label and record pressing plant in the bayside suburb of Highett. It was also the workplace for many local musicians including Richard Stanley (the Onyas), Conrad Standish (the Devastations), Guy Blackman (Minimum Chips), Mark Nelson (the Stabs) and owner Nick Phillips who played in stoming garage act Shutdown 66. Mikey and Brendan were young suburban kids when they began working at the Corduroy warehouse and a story that has become legend has it that the band formed when Mikey and his brother Danny (on drums) started jamming at a Corduroy Christmas party and encouraged Brendan to ad-lib vocals into a tape recorder. The song was to become "So Many Things" the B-side to the first single.
The band went on to become one of the most successful Australian band's of recent years winning the Australian Music Prize for their 2008 album Primary Colours and built a rabid following in Australia and overseas. But with success it seems the band never really left the Corduroy warehouse and their honesty and lack of pretension plus ability to produce amazing music helped make them one of the most endearing band's Australia has produced.
On the ten-year anniversary of the record's release we chat to Mikey about "Which Way to Go" and Corduroy Records at the time.
Noisey: Was "Get Up Morning" the band's first song?
Mikey Young: It was the second. "So Many Things" came from the first impromptu jam and we recorded it to a cassette tape to listen to for our own amusement. We had the 7" out by our first show. For our second practice I had the riff for "Get Up Morning" worked out in advance. I guess it was the first song we consciously tried to write. "So Many Things" was just a happy tipsy accident.
Did it always have that break where it stopped and started again?
I think so, I can't remember playing it any other way. I don't think we discussed it or anything, it just happened. It was probably a result of having to stay back and record Shutdown 66 after work and being brainwashed into thinking a double time 60s rave up was the only correct way to finish a song.
I don't mean to piss in your pocket but that first guitar solo is one of the best ever. Did the song always have the two guitar solos?
Yeah I think I did those two solos from the start, once again not really with any existing idea. It just seemed like the right thing to do after a couple of choruses. I'm not sure if me staying on one note and eventually sneaking in a second constitutes a solo, but I appreciate your kind words. Piss away, ha! The second one I get to pretend I'm Dave Davies for a few seconds.
The video is so simple but effective at capturing where you go guys were coming from.
I think we were pretty conscious of not doing anything flashy but just trying to present us as normal as possible. There was an empty warehouse out the back of where our buddy Michael Kucyk was living at the time. Having three of our good friends film it made it a pretty low-pressure affair. I don't really remember thinking too hard about it. I was probably just stoked that I was going to get to make a film clip and be on Rage.
"You Don't Care" has more of a straight 60s garage feel but the B-side seems to have Brendan doing some stream of conscious rant.
It was fun but not because we thought we were recording anything special. It was one of those excellent moments of stupidity that comes from something being spontaneous, and also because it was the first time that combination of people were doing it together. Though if I recall there is a few songs on that same tape after So May Things that gradually decrease in quality. It wasn't all gold I'm sure! I guess the main difference with that song is that Brad wasn't there so it isn't really representative of us as a full band.
What were you listening to around this time?
Corduroy was such an educational time for me musically. Everyone was in bands, everyone had labels, and good records were coming and going. I was still fresh out of the suburbs and my knowledge was slim so having the opportunity to absorb all these records and other people's knowledge of records and also their attitudes to running labels and making music had an undeniable effect on me. Corduroy was where I first heard Can, The Pagans, The Clean, Swell Maps, and so many things that would become some of my favourite records. Outside of that influence in 2004, probably one of the only new bands I was heavily into was Phoenix. I was also still dwelling in a ton of Rod Stewart, Duran Duran, Troggs, Kinks, Human League, Sabbath, funk and disco records etc.
Who came up with the record sleeve design featuring the headless mannequins?
I remember I wanted an anonymous scientific vibe to match the name and to keep ourselves off the cover. I think it was just a lazy online image search then Danny messing with it for a while on his computer. I'm sure we all had some input.
Later this week, more on the "Get Up Morning" video and we chat to people involved in the Corduroy Records scene at the time.