Music

Greenthief share studio stories, fun facts and lyric breakdowns from their ballsy new record Tremors

We’ve been fans of the hard-hitting sounds of Greenthief for a while now.

The Melbourne trio flew onto our radar a few months back with their ballsy single Ship To Nowhere and we’ve been eagerly awaiting their second LP Tremors ever since.

Not only are the band currently touring the record like mad at the moment, but they’ve also shared with us a detailed track-by-track rundown of Tremors, complete with fun facts, lyric breakdowns and studio stories. You never feel as close the band as we do right now.

Greenthief

Melbourne alt rockers Greenthief have a surprise for you: a detailed and intimate rundown of their scorching new record, Tremors.

Track 1: Beneath Blue Skies

‘Pass the wine so everything’s fine’

Initially there was hesitation as to whether the main riff was ‘hack’ or not, but after experimenting with the song arrangement over the next 6 months, the song took shape and became the opener of the album. The track heaves inspiration from One Day As A Lion with the emphasis being on groove and attitude, this was also due to the demo being simply consisting of bass and drums. Lyrically the song explores our reluctance of seeing things for what they really are and how easy it is to avoid confrontation of the darker things in life.

Fun fact: I was really excited about this little guitar riff I had for the verse until the producer told me it sounded like Jack Johnston, was like my whole world fell apart at that point in time and the riff hasn’t ever been seen again…

Track 2: Ship To Nowhere

‘All aboard this ship to nowhere’

There is something about this song that screams Track 2. Not only on the record, but you’ll most likely here this track sitting in the same position live. The verse could be described as a ‘heavy bottom with a flowery top’, something in which someone once described our music. The chorus is a little different from previous GT songs with a strong chug factor that straightens the track right out. Lyrically Ship To Nowhere looks at the danger of ignorance and prejudice within society, and the ability to spread with ease.

‘All aboard this ship to nowhere/We need to set sail straight away/Cause when there’s fog the wind blows strong/Leave rationale behind’

Fun fact: The film clip was made using an iphone in 1 single shot.

Track 3: Escape

‘The line of broken lights mark the track’

Our original vision for this track was to create a lovechild between QOTSA and Daft Punk. There’s definitely tongue and cheek with this one with various percussive hits throughout and a random vocoder featuring in the bridge. Lyrically Escape tells of a person heading to a dark place but their companion begs them to come back. Essentially there is always a path to return should you be willing. It’s Liam’s fav on the record, enjoy…

Fun fact: Like Ship To Nowhere, we also shot this film clip also on an iPhone in 1 single take (location: MGV Weiwei/Warhol exhibit).


Track 4: Shrinks

‘It’s simply an illusion, the stress, the test’

Track 4 on Tremors brings you to Shrinks. Live the track has always worked but for some reason we struggled with this one the most in the studio. There was definitely some inspiration being drawn from Royal Blood, trying to capture a very bottom heavy tone. We wanted to keep the chorus light aiming for melodic rather then heavy. Lyrically the song is about the internal battles that rage on in your head that really don’t actually exist in real life.

Fun fact: the chorus features trash can lids instead of cymbals

Track 5: All I Need

‘Now as the ship begins to sink, just make sure that you get a firm grip’

All I Need brings the riff to the record. The form of this track was chopped and changed throughout the writing stage dramatically and we finally settled on the final form days before tracking. The song features a more ‘traditional’ guitar solo which is a bit more rare. Lyrically All I Need discusses our primal needs for… what we all need.

Fun fact: listen carefully you might hear a Bon Jovi talk box

Track 6: The Golden Lamp

‘A 1000 wishes won’t help you, cause those who seek won’t find the truth’

Definitely one of the older ones on the record, The Golden Lamp shines a glimmer of light on the more psych/prog vibe that hides within the band. Liam hard-hitting groove create the foundation of the track. Lyrically the song tells a story of someone discovering a genie lamp. Just like your favourite Walt Disney film, three wishes are granted with the Genie warning his master of the consequences of greed.

Fun fact: if you purchased the limited run of our first LP Voyage in Europe you will find a different version of The Golden Lamp as the bonus track…

Track 7: Tremors

‘Up high, alarm bells stood by, waiting’

The title track of the record, Tremors showcases an emerging sound within the band, the s-y-n-t-h-e-s-i-s-e-r. Reminiscent to late Zeppelin, Will’s Ms-20 shines new colours within the record before breaking into a riff laden chorus. During the mix Steve got a little freaky with phasers on the drums which we instantly dug. Lyrically the song is about how we take risks regardless of knowing the consequences; if we had our time again we wouldn’t change a thing…

Fun fact: Originally Tremors was titled ‘Harry’, don’t know why, just sounded like a Harry.

Track 8: Plastic Sword

‘My armours thick made of 6 inch steel’

Lets be honest, this one is a pop song. Plastic Sword is the intermission on Tremors. It was always a track I was always worried wouldn’t fit but within the album but with the other 11 tracks also coming out so varied I thought this in itself would be the identity of the record. Lyrically the song is about the need to create self-confidence to get through every day life. Definitely some Brit rock inspiration throughout, enjoy.

Fun fact: the first track recorded

Track 9: 21st Century

21st Century has probably my favourite lyrics on the record. The lyrics examines a situation from a thousand years ago and then a parallel from today highlighting the unfortunately violent history of humankind. The result being ‘nothing has really changed’.

The arrow’s fired/Gun shot flies by/Nothings really changed

The plague was black/The waters rise/Nothings really changed

Burned at the stake/Rainbow flag ripped down/Nothings really changed

Strapped to the pillar/Now they volunteer/Nothings really changed

Fun fact: The oldest track on the record

Track 10: Final Conversation

‘So much wasted time, concerned how to climb’

The ballad. Final Conversation was written in the winter of 2014 when I first met Will. At that time we were jamming in his carport with no heating, just a steel door between us and the brutal Melbourne winter. I remember always calling jams short due to blisters forming on my fingers. I’m not sure if the cold reflected the writing but that is what I hear in Final Conversation. Lyrically the song is about someone reflecting their last days on earth and realizing there is so much wasted time with things that don’t really matter. Put your jumper on.

Fun fact: Will’s main polysynth in the band is a Mellotron which he runs using a app on his old iphone 4 (via a midi keyboard)

Track 11: Perplexed

‘Yes I’m sceptical, call me Mr Cynical’

The initial riff came through jamming to a When The Levee Breaks type groove. I started rapping as a joke, but something about it clicked. There is a quite a bit of production in this one, maybe more then the others on the record. For some reason the choir patch in the intro and outro remind me of Batman. Lyrically the song deals with the current climate of tension in the world today. Could be labelled as an Identity crisis on the record, but sometimes you just need to throw down a rhyme.

Fun fact: the intro effect is a mobile phone placed on the guitar pickups travelling to an amp