Interview: Paddy Harrowsmith from ‘Green Buzzard’
Sydney outfit Green Buzzard have been turning heads since they broke onto the music scene last year with their debut single ‘Zoo Fly’. Now the boys are back with their debut EP ‘Eazy Queezy Squeezy’ and their first headlining tour. We chatted to frontman Paddy Harrowsmith about the band, their new music, and his surprising love for the Gold Coast.
Your EP ‘Eazy Queezy Squeezy’ comes out on Friday 1 April. You must be excited!
Yeah, very excited.
You guys self-produced ‘Eazy Queezy Squeezy’ with a helping hand from Ryan Hazell and Burke Reid. How much work was that?
It’s been a long process. We recorded those songs a good two years ago, I think it was, with Ryan, and then sort of just sat with them for quite a while because we weren’t sure what to do with them. We only got them mixed a couple of months ago with Burke. I guess for no real reason we have just had them for a while. The actual recording process was very quick – that was only a few days. I think mixing was a little harder.
Why is that?
Ah, it’s kind of a weird thing. We originally mixed them with Ryan [Hazell], and they were pretty much there, and they did have a charm, but it just wasn’t exactly how I envisioned it or how I wanted it to sound. It was I OH YOU’s Johann Ponniah’s idea to get them mixed with Burke. It kind of just gelled instantly, and he got that last little bit and got it exactly the way I envisioned it to sound.
So you had written these songs before your debut single ‘Zoo Fly’?
Yeah, they were actually recorded at the same time. That was all part of the same batch, if you will, of songs.
So why did you sit on them for so long?
Well, we kind of had them all sitting around for a long time, and I just sort of wasn’t exactly sure what to do with them, even before we were a full band. I showed them to friends and stuff like that, and when I showed them to Johann, he just wanted to put them out. His idea was to put out a 7-inch and then follow it up with something else – I guess an EP or whatever. I guess it really wasn’t my idea.
Let’s talk more about the EP title ‘Eazy Queezy Squeezy’, it is quite quirky. Who came up with it and is there a reason behind it?
Yeah, that was myself. It is a lyric in one of the songs called Motorcars & Jaguars. I just thought it was funny – it kind of sounded funny. It sounded like a bit of a nursery rhyme or something and it reminded me of a pavement or something like that. But yeah, I liked it.
It’s been just under a year since you guys burst onto the scene with ‘Zoo Fly’. Did you guys ever think it would blow up the way it did?
Not really, we weren’t even a band before we put [‘Zoo Fly’] out. Not because we were really planning to [blow up] all that much. I guess when we sent [the songs] around, we didn’t really have plans to really do anything with them, and then Johann said to put them out, so we were like, ‘f*ck, we better get a band together.’ Given that I OH YOU are pretty massive, they already had quite a launching pad … so we kind of knew that we would get more attention [by collaborating with them] than by just chucking it up on Soundcloud. Yeah, but it’s been really good so far. We were definitely stoked with the response!
You recently toured with Adelaide outfit Bad Dreems, how was that?
It was awesome. I had met those guys before when I was playing in another band and stuff like that. We knew they were going to be touring, and we really wanted to jump on that, so we were just lucky enough that they asked us. It was a lot of fun. It was awesome. We get on really well with those guys so it was an awesome tour to get on straight off the bat.
You’re also touring on your own very shortly, are you excited?
Yeah, really excited about that. It’s our first time playing our own shows, I guess people will get to know more than just the one track, so I’m excited about playing live. I’m feeling more confident now playing live as well. We are gelling more as a band, having now played together for almost a year.
So you guys only just started working together on Green Buzzard?
Yeah, basically when all of these songs were written it was basically just myself and James [West], who plays drums. After that Huw [Feral] joined on bass and after that Dave [Constable] joined on keys and then after that Micky [Grossman] on guitar. It has been a slow process finding guys who are like-minded but also really good, and whom we are friends with. But yeah, we really only started playing a year ago, so it again was about getting it to sound how we sort of envisioned it. I feel like we have only gotten to that point [recently].
Wow, so it’s been a pretty big year for you guys then, given that it has all happened so fast?
Yeah, I guess we have been thrown in the deep end, which is cool. It’s been a learning curb, I guess, a quick learning curb for us.
What’s your favourite song on the EP?
I really love the opening track Digging a Hole. It’s always been my favourite track, and it was always meant to be an opening track to whatever it was we were to be releasing. That was one of the songs in mixing that I thought we never got quite right, until we did it with Burke, and then it really just sounded exactly the way I wanted it to sound. I really love that one.
As a band from Sydney, I have to ask, what do you think of the lockout laws? Do you think it’s damaging the live music scene?
Yeah, I think it goes without saying. I don’t think there is anyone under the age of 30 that likes it, so I think everyone’s pretty much against it. Either way, there are always going to be people playing in bands. There are still loads of great bands in Sydney. I don’t think [the laws are] going to stop people from starting a band, and making music. I think it may force people to Melbourne… but I definitely think there will always be bands in Sydney. There are good bands in Sydney – you know, like Big White, White Dog and stuff like that – there is always going to be some really cool stuff popping up. But yeah, [the lockout laws] f*cking suck.
You also released a film clip for (I Don’t Wanna) Break Your Heart, which was quite psychedelic. What was the inspiration behind it?
We were releasing the track in a few weeks, so we had to really quickly think of an idea and make a clip, and I just thought to buy us all a bunch of white jumpsuits to start with before we even had an idea. Then we were watching a lot of those cheesy 70’s film clips, kind of like ABBA’s – how it’s really posed and has a lot of head turns towards the camera – just really cheesy. I thought the idea went really well with the song, which itself is a bit of a piss take, a bit tongue and cheek. The colours and all of the frames were from Hew who plays Bass, he thought of all of that – making it a bit like an afternoon ABC kids show looking sort of thing. That was the idea behind it, and we just hung out in a basement one day and got really drunk and had a few laughs and made that clip.
That sounds like a fun time!
It was really fun. It was f*cking hot in those jumpsuits though.
Where is your favourite place to tour in Australia?
I love playing in Adelaide. I love that place – Adelaide and the Gold Coast I think are my favourite places.
The Gold Coast?! It’s filthy!
Yeah, that’s kind of why I like it. I love that they have a bronze statue of the mayor in the middle of the city, that’s just so good. We played at this place called Miami in Queensland with Bad Dreems and it was so good to watch. There were people going absolutely ape-sh*t. It’s like nobody gives a f*ck down there, it’s so good! I love how everything is coloured salmon-pink, like all of the buildings. I just love how tacky it is, I’m into it.
Besides the release of the EP and your upcoming tour, what else can fans expect from Green Buzzard this year?
We’re basically going back into record in April after the tour. We are going to record…I think it is another EP, but don’t hold me to that. It’s something – we are recording something. Then we will hopefully get that out later in the year, and then we will do some touring, which we will announce a little later.
Green Buzzard’s debut EP ‘Eazy Queezy Squeezy’ comes out this Friday 1 April!
Green Buzzard ‘Eazy Queezy Squeezy’ Tour Dates
THU 31 MAR
FRI 1 APR
Rocket Bar, Adelaide
SAT 2 APR
The Foundry, Brisbane
SAT 9 APR
Newtown Social Club, Sydney
Get Tickets HERE