Velvet Trip seem quite like a band from a different time, sporting long locks, bell bottoms, and a class of psychedelic rock that harks back to its origins in the mid-to-late ’60s. Whether they’re truly time travellers or just a savvy group of musos remains to be told, but either way, we’re obsessed.
As they clean up the last legs of their debut EP tour, we caught up once again with frontman Zeppelin Hamilton to find out what’s been going down on the road.
DMT joints, pistachios, and comparisons to the Rolling Stones: here’s what went down when Velvet Trip toured their soul-enriching debut EP.
HAPPY: Hey, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?
ZEPPELIN: Hey! Things are pretty damn good right now – I’m currently thinking of something cool to say, but my boss thinks I’ve gone to the toilet so I don’t have much time!
HAPPY: Last time we talked you were warming up to your debut EP, how are you feeling now that it’s out in the world?
ZEPPELIN: Yeah, crazy huh! Feeling really good, it’s awesome to see such a positive response. I feel as though the longer you sit on a release, the more the anxiety consumes you… sometimes into a state of delusion from my experience haha. Could it be better? Should we have done this different? Why are peanuts called peanuts? Blah blah.
It is what it is now. Nice to have it off our chest!
HAPPY: I hadn’t seen the artwork back then, it’s dope. Who worked on that, and what does it mean to you?
ZEPPELIN: Oh yeah, Gene Cundith… or Kai Ra as he goes by nowadays. He is a complete visionary of the highest psychedelic degree. He once told me he knew people that could speak to dolphins, it’s probably true as well.
We went to school together and have collaborated on different projects throughout our lives… he lives in California now and we haven’t seen each other in years. I gave him a call about a year ago and gave him a concept, we workshopped the idea over time – he travels all over the world painting so it was hard to pin him down.
In classic Kai Ra style we got the piece out of him one week before the release date. I hadn’t even seen it before then. It’s a collage of our current worlds colliding.
Joshua Tree, illuminated by the Six Moon Skies.
HAPPY: The tour has looked pretty huge. Any highlight moments for you so far?
ZEPPELIN: Yes!! So many… Byron was amazing and Melbourne was wild. The show sold out, super humbling. People were smoking what I thought was a joint in the front row, which I later found out was a DMT joint. Not sure if that is necessarily a highlight, but it’s worth a mention.
HAPPY: And how about behind the scenes? There’s always a good story about long drives, sleeping arrangements, or big nights on tour.
ZEPPELIN: Haha yeahhh we got very comfortable in my car and ate a lot of pistachios. We slept on the side of the street in Brisbane trying to fill out a Wrangler interview at 3am, we slept in the pouring rain on the beach in Thirroul… we did it pretty rough, but it was sick!
HAPPY: I see you’re even better than the Rolling Stones now too. How does that feel?
ZEPPELIN: Hahah! A huge exaggeration but a wild compliment. It’s funny, there have been a lot of parents coming to the shows because they’ve heard their kids listening to the music and it reminds them of their childhood, it’s so damn cool!
HAPPY: Did you pick your own supports for the tour? Who are some of the bands we should be checking out?
ZEPPELIN: Yeah we have picked our own supports for this tour. We have so many amazing friends so deciding who we play with has never been tricky. We’ve had Eagle Eye Jones with us for the majority of this trip, they are getting REALLY good and are the sweetest guys ever.
HAPPY: It’s the first big tour you’ve done with Velvet Trip, which I feel like is much more your own project than the other bands you play in. Has this felt different at all?
ZEPPELIN: Mmmm yes and no. Ultimately it’s just friends hanging out and making music. There isn’t too much seriousness when it comes down to actually playing.
Velvet is a little different to other bands I play in. We haven’t played the set the same way twice – in fact some shows we didn’t really play a set – just jammed. The Lansdowne will be interesting I reckon.
HAPPY: What else is in the works, for yourself and for Velvet Trip?
ZEPPELIN: I’m heading to Europe for three months to write the next record, it’s gonna be done by next year. Nick, Clay and Sinj – you heard it here first guys!
Catch Velvet Trip and the Wrangler crew at The Lansdowne Hotel in Sydney tonight, the last leg of their Velvet Trip & The Six Moon Skies tour:
Thurs 27 June – The Lansdowne Hotel, Sydney – Details