From all over Australia – Newcastle, Wollongong, Coffs Harbour and Albany, WA – Charles Rushforth, Hamish Dobinson, Sarah Sykes and Will Blackburn came to Sydney and formed Flowertruck. The band has been gaining traction with its live shows (recently nominated for an FBi SMAC Award for Best Live Act, losing out to Royal Headache) and releases its debut EP, Dirt, next week.
Flowertruck plays with a warm, welcoming, Australiana jangle: familiar enough to catch your ear and different enough to keep you listening. It’s hooky, irresistible, ‘80s-tinged garage-pop-rock with simple, relatable lyrics that capture what it’s like to be young and in a band – or just young – in Sydney’s inner west.
Broadsheet: Tell us about your new EP, Dirt. What inspired the title?
Sarah Sykes: Our EP is our flower child, a collection of some of the first songs we crafted together as a band. We recorded it over a few days in Camperdown with Richard Belkner, a wizard who helped us orchestrate our ideas.
Charles Rushforth: Dirt’s our first physical release, the title is about all realising that the shitty-messy-frustrating things in your life that you ultimately want to overcome might be responsible for your growth in the first place. God bless the dregs.
BS: What do you think it is about Sydney’s inner west that has produced such great bands over the years?
Will Blackburn: I believe any band's success is directly proportional to their proximity to good bars and cheap Thai food. Based on that science, the inner west is a proverbial slam-dunk for bands.
BS: What kind of musical/creative energy is there around the inner west currently?
SS: There’s quite an optimistic musical energy in the inner west at the moment – many people are branching out into multiple musical projects, or solo projects apart from their bands. The recent introduction of lockout laws in Sydney has promoted a lot of uncertainty and negative dialogue about live music in this city, something which is very sad, however I feel like the lockouts have given the music scene a little boost of anger and determination to keep on keeping on and creating new things.
BS: If you could go back to any era of Australian music and play in any venue, when and where would it be?
HD: ‘80s, anywhere.
CR: There’s been some pretty great line-ups at the Workers Club in Melbourne, something in the late ‘80s with The Saints or The Laughing Clowns would be cool.
BS: Apart from music, what inspires you?
SS: I'm inspired by my best friends, by documentaries, good journalism, novels, films, the ocean, my parents and Will Blackburn's ability to fully convince people that Perth had a cutlery ban a few years back. Being committed to that kind of lie is a like a full-time job.
HD: I’m actually really into trains. I also have an impressive collection of ornamental plants.
Flowertruck plays at The Gasometer on February 16. Tickets are available online.
Dirt EP is out January 29.