I N T E R V I E W
Forecast Sleet: An Interview with ‘Broadcast State’
with Ian Duggan
The 3rd Annual Hamilton Underground Press Xmas Party is on Friday 14 December at Nivara Lounge. Included on the bill is a new band full of familiar faces, ‘Broadcast State’. HUP caught up with Scott Newth, Andrew Newth and Gareth Schott to find out a little about the new band; who is part of it, what do they sound like and, importantly, how many pedals do they have?
HUP: The name ‘Broadcast State’, like ‘System Corporation’ – which shares several members with this band – has something of a dystopian feel to it. What is behind the name?
Scott: I could tell you a story Ian. About the name. I could say it's a statement about the current battle between governments and privately-owned media companies. I could say it's a throwback to cold war propaganda machines. I could say it's indeed dystopian, because it sometimes feels like we are living in the climate induced end times. I could go on a big political rant about lizards from 1984 blowing up the twin towers to kill the illuminati, who live in a secret underground sea somewhere under eastern Europe. But the reality is, I liked the word 'Broadcast'. But that wasn't available as a band name, so we stuck 'State' on it, and Bob's your uncle. But it does lend itself to some cool imagery, such as Gareth's poster, above. We actually wanted to be called something else – [I] can't say what. And we reserve the right to change our name without warning. By the time you print this, we might be called something completely different.
Gareth: Forecast Sleet.
HUP: So who is in the band?
Scott: We are Gareth Schott (sink \ sink, Ancient Tapes), Kent Newth (Rumpus Room), Gavin McDermott (Sora Shima), Andrew Newth (Southern Tribe) and Scott Newth (System Corporation).
HUP: How is this band different or similar to your other projects, particularly Rumpus Room, sink \ sink, Love & Violence, Southern Tribe and System Corporation, of which members of Broadcast State have been central figures in?
Andrew: One of the coolest things about playing with other people for the first time is discovering your sound. There were ideas about the sound the band would take on before we started but the reality doesn't really match any of those. I guess you could say Broadcast State sounds like an amalgamation of those bands we've come from but it's very much its own monster.
Gareth: We are still early days, but many of the associated bands mentioned are ongoing, so there is no reason for doing Rumpus Room .2, as that project still exists. I think we will attract those comparisons due to the members of Broadcast State, but I hear Scott playing bass much differently in response to Gavin’s drumming. I am playing differently to the way I did in Ancient Tapes (although the Ebow does come out for one song). I think maybe I disrupt the amazing interplay you see between Andrew and Kent in Rumpus Room, which then leads to different things. Kent has an amazing ability to just land in the song and give it its spine, so that if he’s not there for some reason the song loses something vital and we struggle to play it. Lots of pedals but people know what to do with them, and when to use them. We work really well together, complementary both in style and tone. For me there is a hint of new wave and post punk to what we have so far, but who knows where it is going?
Scott: I don't think we set out to sound like anything in particular. We wanted to just play the type of music we like, and I assume everyone bought that idea along in their own minds, and then had to adapt that to what came out of it. Of course, there are elements of all our other bands (…maybe not Southern Tribe so much), but that's to be expected I guess.
HUP: Who is playing what? Who is singing? And who is writing the songs?
Andrew: Scott is on vocals 100% of the time and bass 95% of the time. We have three guitarists, Andrew, Gareth and Kent. Andrew has picked up the bass for one song so far, which is a first, and we have Gavin on drums. Needless to say, it can be a big sound at times. Song writing is very much a collaborative thing in this band. Most songs have fallen out of jamming together. We have tons of ideas that need to be formed into songs all from recorded jams that we are working through together. Sometimes someone will come to practice with a song idea but we all treat it as a collaboration. We're not interested in getting hung up on who did what and when, that just gets complicated and boring.
Scott: In the future I think we will be working on songs people bring to the band and those might be a little more sophisticated than the raw adaptations of jams we have turned into songs so far.
HUP: How many pedals will you have between Gareth, Andrew and Kent?
Scott: I'm not sure how many pedals there are. But even I have two if you count my tuner.
Gareth: I count 30.