Interview: Paper Arms

von am 25. Juni 2014 in english please!

Interview: Paper Arms

Last year Paper Arms released their second album ‚The Smoke Will Clear‚ and told us what their favorite records of 2013 are. 2014 Klaus Zwinger spoke with the australian band right before the show at DasBach in Vienna about past records and future plans…and they interviewed him about austrian beer and his career as an interviewer.

Heavypop: How’s the Tour been going so far?
Tom: It’s been awesome.
Max: It’s been good Man. We’re about halfway through and it’s been going really well.

So, is this your first time in Vienna?
Max: No, I think it’s the third time – we played here twice on the last tour, once with Boysetsfire and once with Strike Anywhere.

Oh! Perhaps I even saw you with Boysetsfire and I just didn’t notice!
Max: Oh come on man! [laughing]

How’s the musical scene in Australia? Because the bands from Australia everybody knows seem to be AC/DC, Silverchair, Nick Cave, Wolfmother… how is it especially for bands like you who play that mixture of punk-rock and post-hardcore?
Max: It’s actually pretty good at the moment. I mean there’s a few bands especially getting over to Europe as well, like Luca Brasi, some friends of ours, they’re coming here later in the year, they’re definitely another great Australian band to check out. It’s actually pretty strong at the moment.

In reviews I’ve read a couple of times that you are to be the „new Hot Water Music“ – what do you make of that, does it put some kind of pressure on you or is it rather uplifting to hear such things about your band?
Tom: Well it’s nice to hear. To be compared to a band we obviously enjoy listening to and we admire is great, because they’re an awesome band.
Max: I don’t think there’s any pressure since we’re not trying to imitate them or compete with them – I don’t think anybody should try and do that either [laughing].

It’s often said that the second album is the hardest, did you feel that way too?
Tom: Yeah, it definitely was. [asking Max] You would say so?
Max: Yeah.
Tom: We haven’t really released the first album –
Max: In Europe.
Tom: The second album ‚The Smoke Will Clear‚ was definitely like a longer process than we wanted, but you know it just happened. We wrote a bunch of songs initially and we didn’t really feel like they were album material, so we had to wait and write and rewrite and get it to the point when we felt it’s done. Because you got a lot of pressure on you, you’ve written an album before and you wanna make sure that it’s better than the first one and you’re really happy with it. So spent the time and we are happy with it, yeah.
Max: The result though is more of where we want the band to be going, I think between the first album and the second album we were still finding our sound and refining what we’re trying to do and the second album is a much better idea of what Paper Arms is supposed to be.

Will there still be a release of the first album [‚Days Above Ground‚] in Europe?
Tom: We would love to. We thought about releasing it here before and there’s been talks… it hasn’t happened yet but it’s definitely a possibility. Though I don’t know how it will be released, on which medium… whether it’s vinyl, CD or just digital –
Max: But we’re tending to a vinyl release, really. It’s been released on CD in Australia, but it’s never been pressed on vinyl –
Tom: so it would be better for it to be on vinyl. Hintmarker! [laughing]

On your first album you’ve worked with Walter Schreifels, how was it and how did it come about?
Tom: Phew, how did it come about, well, you know the story [pointing to Max]
Max: Yeah, when we’re discussing our first album, we thought „what the hell, we should try and get someone to produce it maybe“, we sort of had a bit of a think-about who would be good for it and said „well alright, we just start at the top and work our way down, we’ll just see“. And we contacted him, sent him an e-mail –
[Josh was still at a radio-interview beforehand and just entered the room.]
Max: so yeah, we asked him and spoke to him for a little while and he thought he could offer something to the record and he came down to Australia and it was a really fun time, he is a really charismatic entertaining person and he had a lot of great suggestions and ideas for the record and he’s really beneficiary, not only for the album, but also for us, growing as songwriters and record-makers, I think we all really learned a lot from him. And we really had a good time doing it, so yeah, it was a super-valuable experience.

Do you think you’ll be working with him again sometime in the future?
Max: Umm, we didn’t bring anyone in on the second one, so we just tackled that one ourselves and that actually went pretty well, like we were able to apply a lot of what we learned the first time around with Walter. So I don’t know, I think that felt pretty comfortable, I guess we’ll discuss it when the time for a new record comes, but at the moment I think we’re doing okay. But that’s subjective [laughing]

Are you working on new stuff already or do you just try and focus on touring for the moment?
Josh: Uh, we’ve started writing, yeah. I guess if something happens it would be sort of mid next year. We’d love to do a new album, but it’s gotten a little bit difficult, because I live in a different city than these guys now. I’m living in Melbourne and they’re in Adelaide, it’s 800 kilometers away –
Max: It’s a long way to drive for band practice.
Josh: But we’ve got e-mails and we can plug our guitars in the computer and we’ll find a way.
Max: It’s the future, man.

Alright, great, I think that’s it!
Max: Really? Did you write the questions up while you were sitting outside? [laughing]
Yeah, well, do you have anything else to say?
Max: Yeah, we’ve actually prepared a couple of questions for you – So, how long have you been interviewing bands?
Oh, that’s my fifth interview now, and I’ve started about half a year ago.
Max: Ok cool, who was the first band you interviewed?
That was actually a singer/songwriter called Koji.
Max: Oh yeah, cool cool!
The last interview I had before this one was on Thursday with Chuck Ragan.
Josh: Oh cool, he is a nice guy, yeah?
Yeah, he’s like the nicest guy ever!
Max: And what’s your favorite part of the interview process?
Oh, that’s a good question!
Max: Obviously not writing the questions. [laughing]
No, probably asking the questions. I mean, the ones I’ve prepared! [laughing]
Max: What is the most enjoyable show you’ve been to this year?
This year? That was probably And So I Watch You From Afar.
Max: Cool, and where did they play?
They played at the Flex, which is a pretty cool club right along the danube.
Max: And um, what do you think is the one most important thing to see in Vienna?
Oh man…I’ve been living here for half a year now and I think every tourist who’s been here for one or two weeks has seen more of it than I did. [laughing]
Max: Ok, then I’ll change the question – what is the single best beer in Vienna?
Oh, that’s gotta be Schwechater.
Max: Yeah? 100%?
Pretty much. At least of the Austrian ones.
Josh: Whatever’s freakin’ in here… [reaching for the fridge] is that it?
Yeah, yeah, that’s it!
Tom/Josh: Who’s your biggest influence as an interviewer?
I don’t really know any other particular interviewers actually. So I’m just reading up on other interviews of the band I’m going to interview and see what questions haven’t been asked yet.
Josh: Oh that’s a good idea, thinking ahead, I like that!
Max: When you were a small child, did you always dream about interviewing bands?
Oh no, that just came about half a year ago when I moved to Vienna and I thought I could get to see some free concerts and interview the bands while I’m at it. [laughing]
Josh: That’s cool!
Max: Well thanks for sitting down with us man and answering these questions! [laughing]
My pleasure!

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