Interviews

Sweet Talk chat their new documentary and the beauty of danger in music

Sweet Talk makes a new breed of southern boogie that you just won’t be able to resist. Read on as they chat their debut EP, a new doco, and wild Melbourne nights.

Sweet Talk is an anachronism in the era of the bedroom producer. A joint force of six shit-hot musicians, who pride themselves on doin’ it live. A rollicking powerhouse of groove that you might just find yourself moving to on a whiskey-soaked night on the town.

We took five with the dual guitar slingers from the band, Dave Turner and Soren Walker, hot on the heels of their brilliant debut single, Superman. They talk about their ‘dangerous’ approach to the studio and stage, capturing spontaneous moments, and the mystery of the “bung”.

Sweet Talk

HAPPY: Hey Sweet Talk! Whereabouts do you find yourselves today?

DAVE: Sunny Coburg in Melbourne, Australia.

HAPPY: How did the group start? What is the motto of Sweet Talk?

SOREN: We’ve been working towards a band like this for quite a while, but it’s only in the last couple of years we’ve really solidified the members of the band and our sound. It’s taken multiple attempts, a revolving door of incredible players and some impressive determination, but we got there in the end.

DAVE: If we have a motto it would have to be “bung”. It’s our word that keeps us anchored around the intention of the music. We’re not going for polish or perfection but a total commitment to the moment, the pocket and a little bit of danger.

SOREN: Celebrate the bung!

Sweet Talk

HAPPY: Massive congrats on the release of Superman. What’s the story behind the tune?

SOREN: It was written during the first hard lockdown in Melbourne, just sort of lamenting on after-dark adventures in town and how much — even then — we missed them. It chronicles a wild night out on the streets of Fitzroy, Melbourne. Our hero stumbles from barroom to barroom prolonging the night at all costs and longing to be taken to “The Old Bar again”. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, today is the day I believe a great many of us Melbournites will be re-engaging in exactly this kind of behaviour once more!

HAPPY: How would you describe your sound? Do you think the Melbourne lockdowns have changed the direction you want to take your music?

DAVE: Part Stones, part Feat, part Faces, all Sweet Talk! We live for pocket groove, twin lead guitars and soulful vocals and harmonies so those are the elements we try to inject into every tune.

SOREN: — and don’t forget that danger! I’ve always felt our favourite bands sound like they could fall apart at any moment playing live or on record; that they’re on the edge of a familiar abyss but they’re not even worried. They’ve been there before. They like it there. Sweet Talk is edging closer every day I hope. I wouldn’t say the Melbourne lockdowns have changed our musical direction much at all. Above all else, we just love this kind of music, and will be making it regardless of lockdowns or whether people are listening or not.

HAPPY: You also have a doco set for release! Did you make a conscious decision to spread Sweet Talk over different mediums or was it a natural progression for the group?

DAVE: It was a conscious choice. Things have changed for music and the model that worked once just doesn’t anymore. We want to try some new things and see what sticks. A big part of our ethos as a band is to be as live as possible always. We don’t use modern methods like multiple overdubs, editing, drop-ins, sequencing or corrective tools like Auto-Tune. What we do is live and a big part of our audience and what we like is access to seeing this done.

SOREN: The documentary also harks back to our desire to capture “the moment”. When the music relies so heavily on the interplay between band members, I think it’s helpful to put the audience in the room with us in as many ways as possible. The documentary helps in that sense.

HAPPY: What can we expect for the future of Sweet Talk?

DAVE: We’re releasing the rest of the tunes off of the I’d Rather Listen To Sweet Talk EP. We’re planning to record another bunch of tunes in the same manner in February and we’re planning to tour extensively through 2022.

SOREN: One of the few silver linings of being locked up for so long is the amount of material we’ve been able to write. Whenever we got to come up for air between lockdowns, we’d get the band together and rehearse what we’d written. So even now we’ve already got a whole new swag of tunes ready to record.

HAPPY: Where can we catch the documentary?

DAVE: Hit up our Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube channels to watch the documentary and for all our updates.