COSMIC ROUNDUP: ALEX BODINGER OF ESTUARY BLACKS
I love Estuary Blacks and their gentle, post-rocky heaviness. Was lush to put them on with Slomatics earlier this year. I assumed Tom would do this interview but Al replied, all good.
Hi Tom, how are you?
It's Al here. Toms currently on a quest to the find the perfect taco in Mexico.
Tell us the history of Estuary Blacks. How you met/formed etc.
We all went to school together and were mates from then. I've been playing with Dan since we were 14 or something like that. Tom and Jonny roughly the same. In maybe 2013 Dan and Tom got chatting about doing something in the same vein as Bomb The Sun (our old band) we were all keen to play something on the heavier side again. We asked Jonny to come in as another guitarist last year as we thought he'd compliment band well. Also we'd just recorded the album and realised we'd added loads of guitar parts and just couldn't play them live. I probably got a bit carried away with the overdubs haha
The Gower is a very beautiful part of the world. Is that what your songs are about?
I wouldn't necessarily say they're all about the Gower. They're certainly inspired by it though. There's quite a few places which can be really unforgiving and harsh when the weather's bad but equally beautiful and peaceful when the weather's good. We've always tried to incorporate that contrast in our music i guess. Theres also all the history - smugglers, shipwrecks etc which we've always found interesting for song ideas too.
Is there another album in the works?
Yeah! We're getting there slowly. The last album felt like it exhausted a good few years worth of ideas. We had the core songs and then used quite a few ideas that had been hanging around for years so it really was back to the drawing board so to speak. We're also really picky with ideas so sometimes we'll be working on something for weeks then it's thrown out because we don't think it works. Jonny only joined the band last year and no doubt he's spent a lot of time thinking 'how the fuck do these guys get anything done!!' haha. Actually he probably still thinks that. We're in no rush though. It's ready when it's ready!
Give us some great bands from the Swansea area to check out.
I'm guilty of not going out to gigs too often so there's no doubt loads of bands making good music who I don't know about. A few I do like at the minute are Sigiriya, Hwdu (Jonny's other band) People & Other Diseases, Cities, Suns of Thunder, Prosperina, Mines, Hot Mass, Picsel.
What was the best gig you played in 2019?
For me it was Swansea Fringe in October. Good crowd and good sound.
Best gig you attended?
Tom and I saw Ty Seagall in London a few months ago. Incredible show. Such a good songwriter. Oh Sees in the Tramshed was also up there.
Best festival you attended?
Swansea Fringe Festival. Didn't get to any major festival but rarely do anyway.
What are your favourite releases from 2019
Floating Points - Crush
Ty Seagall - Taste
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizzard - Infest The Rat's Nest
Nick Cave - Ghosteen
Wand - Laughing Matter
Richard Dawson - 2020
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Fishing For Fishies
What the hell are you up to next year?
Finishing another album is the only real focus we have at the minute. Playing some more gigs outside Swansea would be great too. I don't think we've ever got further than Cardiff!
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