TOWNS are an alternative rock band hailing from the suburbs of Adelaide, forming in early 2017 they have rocked the scene with all the might ever since, I got to sit down and have a chat with Aston, who kills the guitar and vocals for this stellar 2 piece ensemble.
The boys celebrate their return to Adelaide from their EP Launch tour with a show on the 29th of September at the Exeter Beer Garden!
Me: Now I just want to get a baseline, how and when did TOWNS form, because I know you guys kinda bonded over your mutual love of Title Fight.
Aston: Yeah we looove TITLE FIGHT, but Dan and I first met in 2014 on our first day of uni in our first class, We just hit it off straight away and tried to start a band for a few years, he ended up joining a band called DEAD TIES, which I eventually joined as well, It was a heavy band and then when we would finish practicing with them Dan and I would stick around and write songs of what we actually wanted to play and that's how TOWNS ended up starting, with just our leftover songs from that and we started playing covers from TITLE FIGHT and then we started writing our own songs.
Me: Yeah you guys do play a lot of covers, I especially love your DAMMIT cover because I am a bit of a Blink-182 fan.
Aston: Yeah it's fun to play songs that people know and also show people what sort of songs made us the band we are today and we probably won't do it forever but we're always trying to not take ourselves too seriously.
Me: Do you guys have any specific covers that you enjoy playing the most?
Aston: It's different for Dan and I, I know Dan loves playing 'Killing in the Name Of' and then mine is probably the FRIENDS theme song. Me: Yeah I saw you played that in Melbourne the other week.
Aston: Yeah we played a little tv show medley, fit in well with the Television theme.
Me: You guys are starting to hit it big now, touring interstate and everything. How was the last tour and are there things that you get while playing shows in Adelaide that you just don't get in other cities?
Aston: Yeah, So I still can't believe we went interstate, it was amazing and it was a step I never thought this band would get to as being a two piece and sorta being relaxed and carefree but they were great shows, Melbourne and Sydney both had full rooms with people watching us and we made a lot of good friends really really quickly but I still think Adelaide, well, Dan and I are still really passionate about Adelaide and the scene more and we have a friendship group with all the bands here, its sort of unbeatable at this stage now until we sort of tour more heavily.
Me: And a follow up to that, what are some things that other cities do better than Adelaide in terms of gigging?
Aston: Mm Well Frankie's Pizza was sick because they had Food at the venue so there's literally no reason to leave, I don't think there are too many venues in Adelaide where you can get food and watch the band and just eat it inside the venue and hang out. Besides that, not much else, from where we played anyway, we played The OLD BAR as well, Sydney just has a massive dive bar scene and Adelaide doesn't seem to have that yet.
Me: I absolutely loved the video for WORLD WIND what was the inspiration behind that and why did you go with that Aesthetic?
Aston: Dan and I, Again, Have loved to sorta do everything ourselves and just make things that represent us as much as we possibly can and try to go into a band without trying to be anyone but we have our friend BILLY BOURNE who does REALLY great photo work and he just said he wanted to make a video with us so we kinda came up with this premise of just shooting whatever happens and Dan ended up editing it together to make it look like how it does, We shot most of it at Dan's house and then the rest of it at a beach and it was the most fun to shoot because there were no rules which is kinda like how we do things and write music too.
Me: Now your new Ep is out, I know that you actually recorded another Ep before this and ended up scrapping it and went with this, what was the process involved behind that?
Aston: So when we finished recording our Ep with DEAD TIES Dan and I had about 8 or 9 songs that we liked and we just rushed in to record them. So it wasn't that we had a whole Ep but there were songs that didn't make it because we just thought we'd record every song that we had, a Funny story behind it. It was going to be called another name but we ended up writing a song UNDER that name and didn't want to put it on the Ep so we have another Ep that is in the works at the moment, its this big kerfuffle but basically out of the 8 songs we recorded last year, 6 that are on the Ep Made it and there's already new ones being recorded right now, so we're constantly writing and recording and shuffling things around to fit where we stand currently musically, but we never like to stop releasing stuff that made us who we are now.
Me: Now you mentioned that you didn't think you would tour interstate, Is that because it's quite challenging for Adelaide artists to get involved in the Sydney and Melbourne scenes?
Aston: Yeah well I know there's definitely Adelaide bands that deserve it and are killing it at the moment but I think all the bands that deserve the recognition are doing the right thing in getting there. I think mainly for us we were worried because I sort of think our carefree attitude wouldn't have translated well for a scene where we've never played before, I think at first glance it might seem that we're missing something but by the time we've finished playing we're happy and we're doing something that we love and hopefully people see that no matter where we play.
Me: No you're nominated in the category for Most popular rock artist for the South Australian Music Awards, What does it mean to you to be a part of something like that?
Aston: Oh, well, I can't actually put it into words (Laughs) I just love Adelaide, I love the music here so much so to physically be a part of both is the best feeling ever, I have so much pride for all the talent that exists here and being a part of a city that supports its music scene so much. I'm just happy to see our band name among all the other good ones that are there now.
Me: How important do you think the Awards are for SA and the music scene here?
Aston: I think they are super important, I'm not sure if any other states do anything like this but I think it helps bands remember why they do this, it helps bands get recognized for the little things that they do and the little wins that they get. You know sometimes the industry is super hard to break out into nationally and internationally, so having that trust and respect in the place where you live, it can help you to keep going and working hard.
Me: Now talking about you're music, where do your main influences as a writer come from and what really inspires you to get up and write songs?
Aston: Yeah so my influences started out with bands like TITLE FIGHT, BASEMENT and CITIZEN but they've changed super dramatically into such a more diverse area now, Dan listens to a lot of House and Pop music and I listen to a lot of alternative and rock music and we get this blend that's kinda out of nowhere. When I'm writing music its like a little spark that comes up and whenever I'm sitting there strumming guitar and I hear a sound I really like I drop everything and get up and get to a computer or get to my phone and get the idea down so that I can revisit it later because I know that that spark means that I probably have a song that I'm really going to enjoy.
Me: Now before I let you go, do you guys ever see yourselves getting a bassist?
Aston: (Laughs) We've talked about it and discussed it and the discussion ends. I think we're just so happy with how this band was built on our friendship and all the music and all we do is a representation of that. I'm not sure, something about just doing it with Dan and I just feels right, like the tour we just did, being able to travel together just the two of us and share it together is the most beautiful and cool thing and yeah, I'm happy but I never know what's going to happen in a year or two so who knows.
Me: Well that's it, an absolute pleasure to chat with you man, I will see you at your next show thank you!
Aston: Thanks so much man Can't wait to see ya!