Food Court and Upskirts chat weird names, recording processes and frosty beverages

Following a whole bunch of awesome support slots with the likes of Courtney Barnett, Peace and Delta Riggs, Sydney garage legends Food Court have embarked on a short run of headlines dates, including a killer show with Upskirts and Polish Club. We put Food Court and Upskirts in a virtual room (the internet) and forced them to talk.

Food Court and Upskirts

UPSKIRTS: You guys have scored some pretty killer support slots in the past few months with bands like Peace, The Delta Riggs and Courtney Barnett, how has it been playing those bigger stages? What were the bands like?

FOOD COURT: Yeah we were super stoked to score those support slots. Playing Sydney’s Metro two weeks in a row was something we never would have ever expected to be doing. And as Sydney kids growing up and seeing bands like You Am I, Silverchair and Tumbleweed at that place it was so rad to finally play that room ourselves. Peace, The Delta Riggs and Courtney Barnett were all brilliant hosts and legendary people too, makes a difference to your performance when the good vibes are in full effect.

FOOD COURT: You guys have just finished your rad new EP Barely Moving, how was the writing and recording process on this new one?

UPSKIRTS: Pretty different from the last. For the last we went into a studio in Byron and smacked everything out over a week. This one we recorded in different sessions over like a year in a half. We started off working with Woody Annison in Melbourne back in 2013 to record We Could Be A Team, just ’cause that’s all we had at the time. But that session kind of sparked something in us and we slowly started writing different stuff. Then we did the rest of the EP with Tim Carr back in Sydney in a few different studios in Sydney over like three sessions, so it was all pretty staggered. But it turned out for the best – there’s a whole bunch of different stuff on there.

UPSKIRTS: How was it working with Owen Penglis? He’s so sought after, especially as a garage rock producer, what was the recording process like? Has he really got that dirty magic touch?

FOOD COURT: Owen is awesome to work with. Super friendly chill dude and an amazing producer. He knew straight away what we were after so the recording process flowed like hot lava. And more importantly he was able to put up with our heaps shit jokes. He’s got tonnes of killer gear in his studio so we made sure to utilise a lot of it on our last EP Big Weak. He’s got a taste for gelato too so we had went on a few excursions up to the local Gelateria.

FOOD COURT: Your sound has a good dose of psych influence. What do you think of the current state of Aussie psych rock especially with recent dedicated festivals like Gizzfest and Psychfest?

UPSKIRTS: It’s getting pretty big hey? I guess with bands like King Gizzard, POND and Tame Impala getting pretty big overseas there are heaps of bands wanting to do similar things, and people are digging that kind of stuff more. There are some pretty sick psych bands in Australia and it’s good that bands are taking it to new places and people are enjoying it. Massive props to the Gizzard dudes for putting those gigs on and Bad Vibrations who do Psychfest. The more festivals and gigs for people to go to the better, but these psychier ones tend to get pretty loose, and that’s sweet.

UPSKIRTS: Your name totally has that vibe where if you look at it for too long it starts to look super weird. Where did it come from?

FOOD COURT: Yeah it’s a funny one telling people our band name. People are like “What?’ Really? You guys are drongos!” We had a few hundred potential names and heaps of songs. So we were decided on ‘Yeah Man’ then Dan our guitarist though of ‘Food Court’ and that was the winner. I think one of the hardest decisions a band has to make is a band name. So I really wonder how long Limp Bizkit and Chumbawamba took to decide on their names. And Upskirts hahaha.

FOOD COURT: When I Google imaged you guys at work my boss walked past my screen and I ended up receiving a written warning (not entirely true). Where did the name come from?

UPSKIRTS: Honestly, I don’t know. It’s stupid. We know that and people know that but hey, it’s meant to me harmless. We came up with it when we started playing music back when we were 17. Our tunes were a bit punkier back then and it seemed to make more sense. It doesn’t anymore but that’s cool, I’m sure the dudes from the Butthole Surfers regretted that decision…multiple times.

UPSKIRTS: I feel like shit is going to blow up pretty big for you guys real soon. Where do you wanna take your music next?

FOOD COURT: We’re actually heading back into Owen’s basement studio o’ love very soon to start recording again which is exciting. We’ll probably release a new single in August/September then record some more and hopefully release a debut album early next year. We’re taking a few months out after our June headline shows to really focus on this next bunch of songs as well as some heavy brunching. There’s an interesting mix of styles creeping into the new material so we’re excited to see what people think of it when we release it soon.

FOOD COURT: What’s the plan for the next year? Any overseas tours in the pipeline?

UPSKIRTS: We are writing and doing demos for an album at the moment too. We’re touring Barely Moving in August, but everyone is pretty keen to get back in the studio ASAP. We definitely don’t wanna wait two more years to put something out. I guess we’d love to do SXSW or The Great Escape again next year, maybe do some recording overseas, but who knows….we need money, bad.

UPSKIRTS: What makes you guys Happy?

FOOD COURT: A good brunch is always a winner. We have this lil Italian place on Lygon St we go to whenever we go to Melbourne. We each have a top notch Spaghetti Bolognaisse and a cold VB. It’s the combo of the year.

FOOD COURT: What makes you guys Happy?

UPSKIRTS: Shit, I was gonna say world peace or something, but a Spag Bol and a frosty VB sounds pretty bloody good.

Food Court are playing the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay this Friday before heading down to Melbourne next week. Upskirts’ new EP Barely Moving is out now via Inertia Access. See all the details below:

Fri 19th June, Beach Hotel, Byron Bay, free

Fri 26th June, The Gasometer Hotel, w/WOD, Melbourne. Tickets here

While you’re here check out our piece on funny band names.

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