Formed in 2014, Dorsal Fins is a nine-piece band from Melbourne made up of musicians you might recognise from the city’s music scene. Its members Liam McGorry, Jarrad Brown, Ella Thompson, Richard Bradbeer, Sam Raines, Rob Muinos, Olaf Scott, Ross Beaton and Lachlan O'Kane have played as part of acts such as Eagle & The Worm, The Bamboos and Saskwatch. Together, they pool their significant musical chops to make tracks that are irresistibly fun, danceable and in the moment: new album Digital Zodiac already sounds like the soundtrack of summer.
Broadsheet: What’s the best thing about being part of Dorsal Fins at this point in time?
Liam McGorry: To me, Dorsal Fins represents the “now”. The whole spirit of the band is playful and collaborative, knowing that it's probably not going to last forever and wanting to really embrace the present – working on new, exciting music and playing live with eight of my best friends.
BS: You’re a nine-piece, and your music is very cohesive. What’s the trick?
LM: We try our best to restrain ourselves and be minimal in writing and recording, but it's hard. Our first album kind of sounds like you're shuffling through 10 totally different bands, so we made a bit more of an effort to make the new album a lot more consistent, more cohesive, and to find out what Dorsal Fins really sounds like.
BS: What else can you tell us about your new album, Digital Zodiac?
LM: The name came from this really bizarre phrase we had going while making the first record. Everything was feeding back because we were using too much delay and it kind of sounded like “digital” wasps, hence the term “digital wasp” was born. It then morphed into Digital Zodiac when we were looking for something to sum up the new album. I guess the songs generally deal with being in our late twenties/early thirties and searching for a bit of spiritual meaning in a digital world, hence Digital Zodiac.
BS: What can you tell us about your recent Neighbours cameo? (Dorsal Fins’ first record, Mind Renovation, was given as a gift on vinyl to Ramsay Street’s alternative music aficionado, Piper Willis.)
LM: Ah look, it's an Australian institution, so it's great to be a part of that. Good to see they're supporters of local music and musicians. It's a pretty cute episode.
BS: Fantasy support slot – any artist, any era, any time?
LM: There's so many ... Oasis at Knebworth [Hertfordshire, England], Primal Scream, Renee Geyer, Chic, Paul McCartney …
Fri November 4 – Deadlam Festival, various locations
Fri November 18 – Face the Music conference, location yet to be announced
Sat November 19 – The Plot festival, Parramatta Park