Friends, Fins, and Toast: My Interview with Dorsal Fins


By: Harrison Giza

Twitter: @BlueHarvestBeat

As of right now, there are few bands that I enjoy more than Dorsal Fins.

To say I love their music is simply not enough. I bask in it, wading through the lush production of mind-alienating Australian psychedelia. They experiment with each song they make. Are they fearless? Completely and continually, with signs of multi-genre wisdom and a Reflektor admiration (check out “Heart On The Floor”).

Yet, while swimming in a sea of influence, the group strives for originality and succeeds every time. My ears swooned the first time I heard “Fell,” a song that slides with melodramatic funk breakdowns, unconventional invention, and real lyricism. Their tracks are constantly changing and range with a variety of Bill Murray likeability.

Mind Renovation is their first full album and I’m sure I’m not the first to discuss how strong of a debut it is. As a “music fan” and “critical hob-snob,” nothing so far this year has caught my attention more… except for To Pimp A Butterfly.

I recently got to talking with Liam McGorry, member and Gmail correspondent for the fifteen-person group. Chatting with him was smooth, conversationally efficient, and only made me appreciate the band more.

HG: Mind Renovation opens with “Nothing Left To Hide.” I absolutely love it: the pounding drums, ripping guitar riffs, and that spastic spacey breakdown really just kick ass. Where did that song come from? How long does it usually take you guys to finish a song?

LM: That was actually (with Fell) the first of the songs we ever did. I made this instrumental I thought would sound great with Jarrad’s voice. He took it away and came back with the vocal and then we re-recorded it all with some friends at a studio with a friend. It all happened pretty quickly though. For the rest of the album we were writing songs the week before heading in the studio and then fleshing a lot out as we went.

HG: How did you all come together as Dorsal Fins? What led to such a refreshing sound?

LM: I guess it started as a vehicle just to work with my best friends in a more experimental realm. The goals were just do what sounds best and what comes to mind first. It’s super fun just to not be super precious about stuff when you know that you have all your friends who can play and add their own ideas into the mix.

HG: Describe your perfect breakfast.

LM: Avocado on Toast with Mushrooms.

HG: Tell me what Dorsal Fins is like live. Any strange tour stories?

LM: We’re still pretty fresh, we’ve only played about 10 shows so we haven’t done too much touring yet, but what we have done has been really fun. We’re 9 people live and most of the time with other guests too. It’s just about having fun with mates.

HG: Jason Galea did a fantastic job with your videos. How did you end up working with him?

LM: We just loved his work for King Gizzard and The Murlocs so that’s how we got to working with him. He’s super amazing and prolific. A really inspiring guy.

HG: What were the first records you ever became obsessed with? Any particular albums come to mind?

LM: Definitely when I started really getting into music, it was The Clash – London Calling , The Cat Empire – Self-Titled, Amy Winehouse – Back To Black. I’m pretty obsessed by Beck’s Midnite Vultures too.

HG: What is the best thing about you guys as a group? What holds you together?

LM: For me it’s just so great to play with friends. I’ve played in a lot of groups where it was kind of like session work, and it’s just not for me. There’s just something incredible about collaborating with friends.

HG: How do you balance living in a band with living your own individual lives?

LM: To be honest there isn’t much that is individual from life as a band, I don’t really have that many other interests other than reading. Pretty one dimensional I guess.

HG: Tell me about the future. What is next?

LM: We’re playing a few shows with our friends Saskwatch at home in April / May. Hopefully we’ll be able to head O/S sometime in the near future. But we’re doing a new album as well.

HG: Are there any groups that you would like to collaborate with in the future? Death Grips, perhaps?

LM: There’s a lot of friends from Melbourne that I hope we can work with in the near future to be honest. But if Beck put his hand up…

Twitter: @dorsalfinsss




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