Dotted around the Surf Coast of Victoria, the four members of Altitude have a relaxing lifestyle. Their serene surrounds juxtapose against their own unique take on modern rock. Coming off the back of the 2012 FReeZA Push Start finals where the boys took out first place, they’re now working on an EP while finishing up their year 12 studies.
Congrats on snagging FReeZA Artist Of The Month for May. How does it feel?
Liam: It’s a real honour. We have a lot to owe to FReeZA after the last few months and this is just another thing to add to the long list!
How did you boys first get together as a band?
Luke: Well, Liam and I having been jamming together for about five years now, writing songs and playing small shows with other friends under the Altitude banner. We invited Lachy into the band on the drums about mid-2010 and starting to take everything a little more seriously.
We started refining our older songs and writing new ones and also started playing bigger and better shows. We then got another school friend, Tom, in on second guitar and additional vocals just over a year after that. From there everything started to go our way, with the first round of Push Start being only Tom’s second gig with the band.
You guys are Geelong born and bred. What’s the local rock music scene like?
Liam: Admittedly there’s a wide variety of things happening in Geelong at the moment. You can’t ignore the hardcore scene being spearheaded by bands like Rise From Ruin and the like. The scene we’ve really associated ourselves with is alternative, along with some cool bands like The Rustys, The Underhanded and The Laughing Leaves, to name only a few. It’s a relaxed and fun atmosphere to be in so we really dig it here, especially with our frequent trips down the Surf Coast to play some of the cool festivals we have down there.
There are some killer guitar riffs and drumming action in “Amnesia” – how do you come up with the composition?
Luke: Haha, thank you. “Amnesia” is actually our second earliest song out of the lot. We wrote that when it was just Liam and I. Liam showed me the song in its very early forms. He showed me the guitar part and the chords and told me to write a bass part to it. That’s pretty much how we write our songs: Liam comes up with the first sounds and has most of the song mapped out in his head, but each person still does what they want with their instrument until we are all happy and we like what we hear. We can play every instrument in the band to a point, so we all help each other out very often.
Drawing inspiration from some big rock acts like The Vines & Foo Fighters, what direction are you guys trying to take the genre of rock with your music?
Liam: We try not to plan too much into where our sound is heading. Each new song we write and collaborate on seems to take on a life of its own, which we really dig as it creates a whole sense of diversity in our set and we don’t feel like we’re dwelling too hard on one particular aspect of the rock ‘n’ roll sound. Also, we’re forever discovering new bands, new sounds and new scenes that we like to pick and choose the “cooler” elements from. The “Altitude sound” was never intended to be stuck in the one place though.
Congratulations as well on winning the FReeZA Push Start Grand Final! How much will this opportunity help your band?
Luke: Thank you very much! Winning this competition has really opened up a gateway of opportunity for the band – all the prizes, such as recording at Hothouse Studios in St Kilda plus mastering with Jack The Bear. We were lucky enough to get an article in Beat and a photo shoot to help gain some really good Melbourne exposure. The equipment pack from Billy Hyde is already at home in our band’s practice studio!
How did the recoding in Hothouse Studios go?
Liam: Better than we could have ever expected! We were blown away by the professionalism and the (excuse me while I make up words) “radness” of the guys we worked with at Hothouse. They really did understand straight away the sound we were aiming for and that made things so easy and stress free. I think it’s safe to say that Hothouse hasn’t seen the last of Altitude.
Can we be expecting an EP soon?
Luke: The EP is on its way, we can guarantee that. We’ve got some recording still to do at Oxygen Studios in Geelong before the release, but it’s definitely on its way.
What gigs are coming up?
Liam: At this stage all of the band are doing year 12 together so we’re taking things pretty slow until the end of exams. That being said, everything we do announce will be put up on our Facebook site (new window). We’ve got a pretty strong online presence so you won’t miss anything if you’re following us on there!
Cheers for chatting with me today buddy.
Luke: Not a problem mate, thanks for having us!
Stay up to date with the latest news from Altitude at www.facebook.com/altitudeband