The Bands Of Gonerfest Eleven, Meet Nathan Roche & His Band



Up next in our series of The Bands Of Gonerfest Eleven, Nathan Roche & His Band. Let me just take a moment and tell you all that this interview was the fastest most complete response I have ever had. Ten minutes after I hit send , full paragraphs, list of books, witty and fun answers came flying back to me. I sent Nathan an e-mail back trying to understand how anyone could answer so quickly…he told me , he types fast. Besides the ability to type fast, Nathan is able to channel all the people who influence him and come out with something that represents who he is and the music is very cool indeed. It’s easy to pick up on the Lou Reed vibe , maybe a little tougher to hear the Alex Chilton/Big Star but it’s there. So is some of that hippy Velvet Underground stuff . This is for that gang that enjoys the smart well written tunes. For me that’s the Guided By Voices/Lou Reed crowd and I would gladly say, I get where they’re coming from, so sit back, enjoy the ride and get ready to add Nathan Roche and his Band to must see, must buy artist of 2014.

Nathan Roche (Sydney, Australia) (From The Gonerfest Bio)
Ex-Camperdown & Out artist goes solo to devastating effect. This Sydney native writes songs that are a little loopy like the Memphis Limes, but with a different propulsion, and different compulsions. You might hear some Lou Reed in his songs, and I hear the Twinkeyz, too. Good mix!

Hi our name is….

Nathan Roche, or Nathan Roche and his band, its not just me.
Be grateful it’s just not me. Otherwise it would be very disappointing.
It would be a pizza base with no toppings.

People say we sound like…..

I’m not sure many people have even heard us outside of a few suburbs in Sydney or maybe Melbourne in Australia. But that’s ok! It’s for the best because we’re locked into the Goner Fest line-up and we’re past the point of no return. Best to ignore all rumors and hearsay. Some of my friends/neighbours have told me we sound like Lou Reedishs meets Alex Chiltons half-arsed albums with strange 70s artrock but that’s probably because I told them that before they listened. Its something along those lines, sloppy but poppy, strange arrangements. You will walk away from the concert feeling like another beer even if you’ve got a full one in your hand.

We are….

Me and Joseph (Ireland) are from Townsville, North Queensland. Its like a more tropical version of the deep south in America. Swamps and canfields near beaches and rainforests. Been living in Sydney for half a decade or more where the rent is a lot more expensive, Angie is born and raised in Sydney and on bass is Mike Spyros from New York City. We’re like Motley Crue
or a motley crew.

We are originally from…..

Whoops, I got too ahead of myself. Townsville/Sydney, Sydney, New York. But I guess I was born in Perth in Western Australia. Never went back there. No one ever does, its cheaper to fly to Asia.

Who are some that have an influence on your sound??

Alcohol and scattered thoughts. Usually it’s too many influences that’s why they always turn out different. Definitely the folks I mentioned earlier, Lee Hazelwood, Nikki Sudden and .. I don’t know, I’d be the sort of person to put on a Van Der Graaf Generator record at a dance party, and then a Back To The Grave Comp and let the whole thing spin through. No one would ever let me DJ again. I still think the best single of all time is “God Star” by Psychic TV. Have for years.

The first time we met was…..

I met Joseph in 2007 I think? Can’t remember. We started putting on shows at this sort of squat artspace in Townsville when we were younger. I played in his band Joseph Liddy & The Skeleton Horse who were like Tav Falco-meets-no-wave-meets-dylan-blues and he’d play in my one called Marf Loth. I met Angie the second day I moved to Sydney outside the Hopetoun Hotel at a gig she just played with Circle Pit in 2008. I met Mike in 2009 when he came home from his parents place and found me asleep in his bed in New York City.

We knew we were going to be a Band…

The others didn’t know. I sorta blind folded them, and forced it. I never wanted to be in a band or play music though. But I started when I was a bit younger and haven’t be able to shake it. Got stuck into the routine unfortunately. The daily grind. The rat race. Another cog in the chain.

Books we recommend …

off the top of my head, heres some light reading.
Flann O’Brien – The Third Policeman, Nikolia Gogal – Dead Souls, Knut Hamsun – Mysteries, Blaise Cendrars – To The End Of The World, Mikhail Bulgakov – The Master And Margarita, Malcolm Lowry – Under The Volcano, David Bromige – Men, Women & Vehicles, Joseph Heller – Catch-22, Kurt Vonnegut – Cats Cradle, Phillip K. Dick – The Man In His High Castle, Georges Perec – Life A Users Manual, Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand, Henry Miller – The Colossus Of Maroussi, Fyodor Dostoesky – The Brother’s Karamazov, John Fante – Ask The Dust, John Kennedy Toole – A Confederacy Of Dunces, Virgina Woolf – To The Lighthouse, Hubert Selby Jr. – Last Exit To Brooklyn, No catcher in the rye and NO beatniks (except The Red Night Trilogy)

Our craziest gig ever was….

I don’t remember, but the best support slot ever was with Tav Falco’s Panther Burns last year in Sydney at The Square. We’re not popular/energetic enough to play crazy shows.

What are you most looking forward to during Gonerfest?

Having a beer with Bruce Saltmarsh and his wife Jeanie. Oh and all the bands and the southern vibes. Seeing all my Australian friends too!

If you could pick any time to travel back to for music, where would you go and what year would it be….

1200 B.C when they used sticks, stones and human bones for music. The best hit of the summer was the “three-stone-twig-tap” but other than that either Heavy Metal Parking lot era, where I could drink PBRs after an Iron Maiden concert on a Chevy, or maybe when all the Jazz musicians like Coltrane, Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman etc started going spiritual. Wait, naw its gotta be — JAMICAN DANCEHALL.

Growing up ,at home we listened to…..

Cyclones and rainfall in North Queensland. Plus lots and lots of records from Pet Sounds (the only record store) which had lots of weird stuff like Captain Beefheart, Can records and cool post-punk stuff like This Heat, The Fall, Alternative TV etc.

What tunes are on heavy rotation for you…

I’ve been overseas for three or four months.. about a month before I left Sydney I bought The Limes – Rhinestone River and it was the greatest thing I’ve heard in ten years. I came a bit late, it turned up in Repressed Records second hand and I remembered someone saying “you sound like you’ve been trying to rip this guy off” I heard it and thought they were right. Just gotta try a little bit harder.

If you could open for any Band right now who would that be and why?

Alive or dead? I don’t know too many bands besides the ones in Australia and I’m usually lucky to play with some of them anyway. I’d say The Limes or The Rolling Stones.

When you are touring and have some time off , where could we find you..,.,

Usually sitting on a bench somewhere, I can only spent time at home when I’m writing a new book or cooking. So usually at the pub, at the beach, mountain hiking, reading in a park, riding a bicycle or in several different countries panhandling.

The one thing we want you to remember while your listening to us

Remember all the good music you heard in your life.

Listen to Their latest album…


Goner Records

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Co-founder of 50thirdand3rd, stepped away to spend time with family and write. From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife, 4 great kids, and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

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