Dark-blues band brings new album to the Grand Hotel
HE describes himself as "not very exciting", but vocalist and guitarist Shane Hicks' band The Blackwater Fever is far from dull.
Having just released its third album in March, the dark-blues rock band is set to bring its deep, methodic music to Gladstone for the El Grande Festival at the Grand Hotel on August 3.
The Brisbane-based band has a strong blues influence but with rustic vocals and a deep drum beat, the band is much more rock 'n' roll.
The Depths is the band's third album, recorded, mixed and produced by the group themselves from their home studio.
Shane said The Depths was the band's best release yet.
"I guess it took like a year," he said.
"It was a huge learning curve with much trial and error but in the end I think the result has vividly realised our ideas and vision."
Unfortunately, the album also taught them much about the mundane chores of recording and releasing.
"It was a bit of getting it wrong and re-doing it," he said.
"Mixing it was a bit of a chore too."
Since the group first started, The Blackwater Fever has progressed from a duo to a trio.
Shane, Andrew Walter (drums) and Jed Walters (organ, bass) make up the three-piece band.
The Blackwater Fever has considerable radio airplay on Triple J.
"In terms of writing music and places you can go, it's better with three people," Shane said.
Recently the group supported Baby Animals in Brisbane and while their bass and keys player Jed was at a wedding, The Blackwater Fever temporarily transformed back to the original duo.
"There were a bunch of songs we couldn't play because the songs were built with bass and keys," Shane said.
Now, after recording their latest album, the lads are looking forward to some fast recording at their leisure.
"The whole process now is just a lot quicker and continuous," Shane said.
"We can record whenever we feel like it."
Shane said he was also working on a solo album.
"I'm almost finished the recording and pretty much mixing it."
The album is set to be released by the end of the year, if all goes according to plan.
Since its first album was released, the band has experienced some top highs.
Shane listed Big Day Out and Bluesfest as some of his highlights.
"We supported the Black Keys back in 2008," he said.
"That was fantastic."
The band received its best-ever crowd response.
"It's always good to play in front of someone else's crowd that is a lot bigger than you."
But when the band heads to Gladstone for the first time, big things are expected.
When they hit the stage, Shane said they just try to be honest with their music.
"All three of us are kind of straight shooters," he said.
He said when it came to music, they did not succumb to trends - "We are all about honesty".
Other than that, rehearsals are key.
"Make sure you rehearse. It's easy to tell if you haven't got your s*** together."
Be sure to go into the draw to win tickets to the epic El Grande Festival at Gladstone's Grand Hotel on August 3 by filling out an entry form in The Observer. Tip: There's an entry form on page 25 of Thursday's paper.
- Where: Gladstone Grand Hotel
- When: Saturday August 3
- Time: 3-1.30pm
- Tickets: oztix.com.au
- Cost: $30 pre-door, $40 on the door
- 18+ only event