Swimming out of Sydney’s inner-west is Newtown-based school of fish, Ruth Carp and The Fish Heads.
Forming in early 2015 and accumulating an underground following ever since, this indie-rock four piece are already slaying the local scene with the little material they have released, including EP It’s This Or The Noose.
There’s a definite connection between Dylan’s voice to that of Kurt Cobain, from the edgy rasp to the overall vocal capability. I’m So Scared and High-Fidelity are two hypnotic tracks where this is glorified, beaming with low-tempo melodies, grunge vibes and incredibly honest lyricism.
Listening to Ruth Carp and The Fish Heads is like listening to a melancholy lullaby, traversable from parties to solitary listening. With a new EP on the way and the forthcoming return of the bands’ other project Dead Brian, we chatted to Dylan to find out a bit more about these mysterious sea creatures, their plans for the future and where the hell the name came from.
Ruth Carp and the Fish Heads are an unpredictable, booze-addled bag of talent and entertainment that’ll leave you hungry for more.
HAPPY: What’s your backstory?
DYLAN: Well that depends how far you want to go back. If you mean in terms of music it all started when Marc and I listening to a Nirvana record for the first time and deciding we wanted to start a band. We approached our friends Bowen Shakallis (Big White) and Taylor Laird (Call to Colour) who also loved the idea of being rockstars. Everyone picked an instrument and learnt how to play it and although that band died in 2013, it was the stepping stone for both Ruth Carp and the Fish Heads and Dead Brian.
HAPPY: What inspired the band name?
DYLAN: The full story of how we got our name is long and kind of lame but the short version is I’m really into the idea of alcoholism being compared to the ocean. They both can be calming, rock you round a fair bit and produce some pretty ungodly creatures.
HAPPY: You guys harness a pretty unique sound in High Fidelity, drawing similarities to Nirvana’s Rape Me, from the vocals right down to the instrumentals. Can you talk us through your sound, and what drives the song thematically?
DYLAN: Normally when I write music I’m in a pretty dark place or have a strong sense of nostalgia. I try and use those ideas to produce sounds that create images so it feels like you were there for an event in my life. High Fidelity is a perfect example of that, as I had a falling out with my best friend over a girlfriend of mine, and the song is about a day I spent with the ex I had before her and how I wished I was still with her then.
HAPPY: You seem to be a pretty under the radar for how developed your sound is. Do you have any overarching plans to dominate the music industry?
DYLAN: I’m pretty sure I’ve completely given up on the idea of commercial success or dominating the industry. I think people are sick of seeing musicians portraying themselves in a certain way because they think that’s what they have to do to be successful. My plan to is to make music I want to listen to and if I share something with our fans, I’m doing it because it’s something I want people to hear.
HAPPY: Talk us through the creative process. Do you write most of the music yourself, or is it a group input?
DYLAN: I normally write the music myself and then go to the band who write their own parts and fix up any issues with structure. Im always happy with what the lads come up with.
HAPPY: How have your own emotions and personal experiences reflected your song writing?
DYLAN: I’d say that all of my song writing is just a combination of those two things. I only write about things that have impacted me in my life the most. That mainly includes any trauma I’ve had, alcoholism, my friends, family or lovers.
HAPPY: Have you found music to be a helpful outlet for those times you find yourself feeling negative emotions?
DYLAN: Emotions? Never heard of ’em. Nah kidding. Thats a weird one because in a way it does and in a way it doesn’t. It doesn’t make me feel any better and often times you could argue it makes things worse, but what it does do is gives me something to hold on to or live for when everything else doesn’t seem to be going very well.
HAPPY: What have Ruth Carp and The Fish Heads got planned for 2018? Do you have any gigs on the horizon?
DYLAN: Since getting back from our USA tour we have only been playing select shows but I think now its time to get back into it. We have no shows planned yet but are looking to launch a split EP with Dead Brian in April to help pay off a debt we acquired from crashing our RV in the states.
Keep an eye out for these fishy rockers, coming to a pub show near you.