Onstage the formidable presence of frontwomen Rani and Stacy is further amplified by the percussive force of drummer Joe. Ahead of their debut BIGSOUND performance, we had a quick conversation with Rani and Stacy about touring, Kim Gordon and the origins of Joe.
Pure, unabashed punk rock is Terrible Truths’ business. We caught them for a chat before they caused some damage up on the BIGSOUND stage.
HAPPY: I once heard the music of the Bush Tetras described as “rhythm and paranoia.” Do you feel that’s a label which could be applied to Terrible Truths?
STACEY: For sure!
STACEY: I haven’t heard that one before.
RANI: Even the other way around: Paranoia and rhythm.
STACEY: Paranoia first.
RANI: Severe anxiety and beats.
HAPPY: I read that you guys originally met through a Riot grrrl forum. When did Joe come into the mix?
RANI: Four years ago at A Low Hum in New Zealand, our drummer at the time didn’t turn up. He didn’t know you needed a passport to get to New Zealand apparently…
STACEY: I think that was his way of saying “I quit the band.” Joe was drumming in Kitchen’s Floor at the time who were also meant to play the same gig but cancelled. He was there and we were there so we practiced for about two hours (in front of an audience).
RANI: He learnt all the songs and then that was that.
STACEY: It was really nice. A very easy entry, I mean he’s a genius; it’s pretty easy for him to pick up anything. He’s drumming with Totally Mild this week, but he’s never played with them before, he’s just filling in. Actually he’s a bit of a freak…the good kind.
RANI: What a man.
HAPPY: Have you ever had a chance to meet someone who has inspired you or your music in the flesh?
RANI: We got to play with ESG a few years ago, that was pretty much the peak of my entire existence. They didn’t want to talk to us (we were just a lowly support band), but we managed to mumble “we love you” in passing a few times.
RANI: They’re just a huge influence to us. So being able to play with them in Melbourne and Sydney, that was just like, life changing!
HAPPY: It’s exciting to see so many Tenth Court and Bedroom Suck acts crop up in the BIGSOUND line-up this year. Do you think the festival is something certain elements of the music scene have shied away from? What drew you to it?
STACEY: Joe said (drops voice) “We’re gonna go play BIGSOUND,” and we were like “Okay!”
RANI: No. We were meant to play last year, but it didn’t seem like a big deal to us. This time Joe thought it would be really good for us and good for the label to be represented. To us anywhere we can go and play a show and have a receptive audience, we’re there.
HAPPY: Is there another band or speaker you’ve caught or look forward to seeing?
STACEY: I wish we could see Kim Gordon, but I know she’s already spoken.
RANI: Yeah! We blew it!
HAPPY: I want to read her book Girl in a Band! It’s on my to-read list…
STACEY: It’s good!
RANI: So amazing. Musically, artistically and politically she’s an absolute hero!
STACEY: Yeah pretty good, we had no idea what to expect at all, but people turned up and people came from different cities. We were stoked.
RANI: We’re from Adelaide, so if ten friends come see you play you’re stoked. So I guess we don’t have a lot to compare it with. The main reason was for a festival in the Netherlands called Incubate. We managed the tour around that. It was amazing; it’s based in this sleepy country town that gets taken over by a conference and festival at the same time.
HAPPY: You were around number of years before you released eponymous debut LP last year (it was well worth wait). Is there another release on the horizon?
RANI: Yeah, we’ve recorded a new album. It’s currently being mixed.
STACEY: We recorded it back in May.
HAPPY: Was it a DIY or studio thing?
RANI: We went to a studio, a very expensive fancy one. I don’t know if we’ll be repeating that!
STACEY: And we are saying this: DIY IS BETTER!
RANI: Much better!
STACEY: I like control, a lot. We did it because you always think “How much further could it go? How much more professional could it be?” But we’re just not that kind of band. We just want our records to sound like us as a live band, we don’t need much wizardry.
HAPPY: Are you thinking about a follow-up to the follow-up?
RANI: Yeah, we’ve been writing new songs.
STACEY: We’ve got four new songs for the new album. We’re going fairly quickly now, before that was a lot of personal drama. Also us living in different states prolonged things.
HAPPY: You’re all living together in Melbourne now?
RANI: Happy family.
STACEY: It’s good! We can all just kind of like forge ahead!