Sydney’s heavy blues/rock kings, The Desert Sea are so well loved here in South East Queensland, that you’d be easily mistaken for assuming that they are truly ours! And why wouldn’t we want to claim them as our own!? The Desert Sea are hard hitting rockers with edgy bluesy stoner vibes who seamlessly slide into almost any lineup – guaranteed to draw a crowd in and leave them wanting more.
The Desert Sea boys are mere days away from releasing their EP ‘Awake Me’ and taking it on the road for a tour of a dozen dates. GC Live’s Elizabeth Sharpe sat down for a chat with Ashton Tremian (Lead Vocals, Guitar), Andy West (Bass), and Justin Leef (Long time friend, and session drummer for the band).
The final show on your last tour saw The Desert Sea supporting Michale Graves from The Misfits at Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice for their 6th Birthday Celebrations – What an opportunity! But we know there must be some other highlights from the tour… band gossip highlights maybe? Time to spill: Top 3 highlights from your last tour? One from each of you…
Ashton: Ok, big question to kick it off. I like it. The time when we got almond milk and Justy said “I still don’t really get almond milk, I don’t know how it works. I guess it’s like soy milk, but I don’t really understand that either.” That’s one of my favourite quotes. Yeah, that and Rock for Rain. That festival was pretty rad.
Andy: Visiting all the new towns we haven’t played before. Albury, Narooma, Port Macquarie.
Justin: Playing in the middle of the day at Narooma, with one of the best views I’ve ever had while playing drums. It was definitely a highlight, it was pretty different, it was not what you’d usually do. And Chris was absolutely amazing, the hospitality he gave us was definitely a highlight.
Ashton: What about when we got offered to go back to some farm to smoke the best weed in town?
Justin: What about it? 😉
Ashton: Every morning after a gig. Melbourne to Narooma! On the road. The destination that did not exist.
Justin: It just kept getting longer. Every hour it was another hour, it was like what? This is not possible.
Andy: It was always 4 hours away.
Justin: Time was not moving. We were moving, but time wasn’t. How is it taking this long? Where is this place?
Now’s your chance to get some dirt out there – if you were graduating high school right now and they were handing out “most likely” awards … what award would each of you receive??
Justin: Well mine’s obvious.
Ashton: The most likely to be late! *aimed at Justin*
Justin: The only time when I’m on time is when I’m behind the drum kit.
Andy: Most likely to keep everyone up with my snoring. Ashton’s would have to be Most Likely To Pull Out Dad Jokes On Stage. With all the banter.
On your last tour you played with a few old friends that you’ve played shows with in the past, Junior Danger, Elko Fields, Big Whoops… any other bands on that tour that stick out to you as ones that you’d love to be on a lineup with again?
Ashton: Yeah Hammers for sure. There’s also a pretty cool band in Melbourne, Sordid Ordeal. The lead singer is a pretty legendary dude, Lawrence. Super cool really bluesy rock in the vein of even Accadacca maybe. So them and Hammers I’d really like to play with again, apart from the other ones who we’ve played with before
Andy: Big Whoops, Elko Fields, The Iron Eye.
How To Bleed is a killer track and we hear it was produced by none other than legendary drummer, Lucius Borich from COG. Can you give us some insight into what the song is about and what the recording process was like with Lucius?
Ashton: The song is coming from the point of a creative mindset for artists in terms of music, painters, whatever it is that you do, that there is a common societal concept, the old “get a real job” kind of thing and I think with that comes pressure to slot into the monotony of wake up, go to work, eat, sleep, repeat type lifestyle. And How To Bleed is basically a cry to break free of that and experience something with a bit more flare and real-ness to it. So yeah, that’s basically the concept, obviously it’s a metaphor. It’s wanting to put your feet in the earth, just break away from all that shit and be free to be yourself without the pressures of expectations, I guess.
Andy: And we did a bit of pre-production on it with Lucius and in the studio, he worked us, and he definitely got the best out of us in terms of our parts and our dynamics. It didn’t seem forced at all, very natural the way he got it out of us.
Ashton: He’s definitely a perfectionist but in the best way. He encouraged us to push ourselves to the next level and was heavily involved in the production process without just drilling us, I guess.
Justin: Yeah the suggestions and edits and the little bass parts and cutting off bits that were actually recorded but taking them away made it sound better than them actually being there, which we didn’t think of until he suggested the idea. Lots of little things that made big statements.
So, we’ve had two singles in 2018 … I Already Know, and How To Bleed – And now you’ve announced that the EP is not far from release and you will be blessing us with another tour?
Andy: We have the remainder of the EP coming out. Set Me On Fire and a couple of others.
Ashton: Yeah a couple more tracks that were all grouped into that session with Lucius. We recorded 5 tracks which… you’ve already heard…
Andy: One you… Already Know.
Justin: See we finish each other’s sentences
Ashton: Andy doesn’t have a mic for that reason. He writes all my material though. But basically, to answer that question the EP will be coming out early next year with another tour and hopefully jam packed full of awesome shows and we’ll get out and see all the familiar faces and play with some more cool bands. Watch this space.
You can catch The Desert Sea live on their Awake Me Tour for the following dates, thanks to Little Wing Agency:
Gold Coast – Vinnie’s Dive Bar – Fri 8th March
Brisbane – Greaser Bar – Sat 9th March
Peregian Beach – Peregian Originals – Sun 10th March
Newcastle – Hamilton Station Hotel – Fri 15th March
Sydney – Frankie’e Pizza By The Slice – Sat 16th March
Melbourne – Bombay Rock – Sat 13th April
Frankston – Young Supper Club – Sun 14th April
Brisbane – Tomcat – Fri 3rd May
Brisbane – Backroom – Sat 4th May
Brisbane – Woolly Mammoth – Sun 5th May
Sydney – Hideaway Bar – Fri 17th May