Adelaide four-piece Ghyti have just dropped their latest EP Race To The Bottom, their first since 2016 – but they’ve been at this game far longer than that. The EP showcases a maturity in vocalist Matt Hill’s songwriting that you can’t fake, the kind of understanding forged by years of experience and naught else.
Preceded by lead single Focus, Race To The Bottom is a 6-track collection of hard-hitting melodic rock. Right before they clocked in to their EP launch at The Edinburgh Castle Hotel last Friday night, we took five to chat the EP, where the band cut their teeth, and a few more live dates to look out for.
Shifting influence, new tunes, and the Adelaide scene: following their Race To The Bottom EP, Ghyti are ready as ever to hit the road.
HAPPY: Hey guys, how’s it going? What are you up to at the moment?
GHYTI: Hey. Things are good! Generally what we’re up to is we’ve been getting the new EP out, rehearsing lots and getting ready for the tour. Specifically, at the moment I’m having a coffee before loading in for the EP launch tonight.
HAPPY: Firstly, how was Ghyti formed? What brought you guys together?
GHYTI: Originally it was a solo project of mine (Matt Hill), and I roped in Sam (Henderson) and Travis (Duke) to play a few live shows. Eventually we decided to make it a real band, and Nick (Pipe) joined a bit later after we played with his former band. I guess what keeps it together is that we have a good time playing shows, and a few common influences.
HAPPY: Who do you count among your biggest musical influences?
GHYTI: The big ones as far as our sound goes are Blur, Custard, XTC, quirky stuff like that. But everyone brings something different from the bands we grew up on, so there’s everything from Pavement to The Smiths and Queens Of The Stone Age to The Black Lips. Guitar seems to be the common element, along with ‘clever’ lyrics. I’m not saying we’re that clever, mind.
HAPPY: Your new EP Race to the Bottom is out on the airwaves now. How have you found the response so far?
GHYTI: Great so far. The first track that went out, Focus, was picked up by a few stations before we even had a chance to send them copies. So there’s been plenty of support there, and audiences have liked the live versions too. There’s always that moment when something new goes out where we wonder if we got it completely wrong, but so far it looks like we got away with it again!
HAPPY: What did the writing process look like for this record?
GHYTI: Similar to what we normally do. I wrote the basic songs and brought them along for the rest of the band to work up. We probably shaped these ones together more than we have before, but that process seems to work well for us. And we started on the earliest of these tracks just after the last EP back in 2016, with the newest finished just before we started recording late last year. So it’s been a long time coming.
HAPPY: How do you feel this EP differs from your previous work?
GHYTI: Probably some of the influences are a bit different. I think there’s a bit of Bowie on this one, since I listened to him again after he died. But also, we generally wanted to get back to our art rock roots a bit, so took inspiration from XTC and Talking Heads etc. I think these tracks are possibly more angular and off centre than usual, and we are usually pretty off centre anyway.
HAPPY: You’ve got a few upcoming gigs on the cards. What can audiences expect from your live shows?
GHYTI: High energy, cool guitar sounds, quirky riffs, loads of melody. If I believe what people tell us, and why not, we put on a pretty fun show. We’re playing with awesome bands in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra, so they’ll all be solid nights out. We also enjoy kicking on with willing audiences, so there’s some added value.
HAPPY: Being so busy on the live circuit, do you guys have any hobbies you indulge in to recharge the batteries?
GHYTI: Oh, the finer things in life, obviously! What they are depends who you ask, though. The other three are all active types, either playing or watching sport. They all like their cars too. I’m particularly good at relaxing in a more literal sense, such as eating and sleeping. I won’t mention Travis and Tinder. I won’t. But we’ll also be seen at gigs, of course. Can’t keep away from music.
HAPPY: We’ve heard a few great things out of Adelaide lately. Who are some local bands you’re all about right now?
GHYTI: So many!!! Our favourites are Dean Forever (and their alter egos It’s a Hoax), we also love Alana Jagt, The Heggarties, and Mark Curtis & The Flannelettes. These are bands everyone needs to hear. Generally the bands we play with the most and our mates like Big Daddy’s Discotheque, Pink Noise Generator, Coy Carp, The Smocks, 4 Star Heroes, Oceans and Blush Response (their new album is amazing). Finally, look out for Tanya From HR. They haven’t launched yet, but I’ve heard them rehearsing and they’ll be huge.
HAPPY: Thanks for the chat!
GHYTI: No worries. Thanks kids!
Following their EP launch, Ghyti are hitting the road to celebrate their Race To The Bottom EP. Check out the dates below, and grab the finer details here.
8 June – The Retreat, Melbourne – w/ The Vacant Smiles, Telescreen
9 June – The Yarra, Melbourne – w/ The Mother Gurus, Bad Bangs, Lip Sync Chicks
12 July – Frankie’s Pizza, Sydney – w/ The Knots
13 July – Captain Cook Hotel, Sydney – w/ Hurst, Ollie Thorpe
14 July – The Phoenix, Canberra – w/ Slow Dial, Greg’s Intervention