FReeZA Presents: The Houses
Barwon indie band The Houses beat 278 bands across Victoria to take out the title of the FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands 2010. The judges said the four-piece band were clear winners, and were impressed by their onstage charisma, quirkiness, and unique sound.
Listening to The Houses' "genre-bending" music is an aural treat. Its various side-effects have included toe-tapping, dancing, clapping along and being mesmerised by their dynamic live performances.
Front-woman Blaise was kind enough to allow us to delve into the band's past, present and future.
Congratulations on winning the FReeZA Push Start Battle of the Bands 2010. What was it like playing onstage at Push Over?
Playing at Push Over was a lot of fun. We quite enjoyed ourselves and played fairly well. The sound on stage wasn't too bad so we were able to focus and be as precise and tight as we could. Besides being yelled at for jumping on the drum kit, it was a sweet day. We were overwhelmed with all the attention we got for winning and just really wanted to eat this cake we had found.
Please introduce us to the four members of The Houses.
Tim plays the drum kit, Stu plays lead guitar, Lucas plays bass and I play rhythm guitar and sing. But we all switch around. We're not restricted. We do what we want to do, and being on stage lets us be ourselves entirely.
The band members obviously work very well together. How long have the band members known each other, and how was The Houses formed?
Tim and Lucas have been next-door neighbours since forever and I met both of them in grade prep 1997. We met Stu probably two years ago – I can't really remember. Lucas and I were friends throughout primary school and then rediscovered our friendship and affinity with music in year 8. We knew we both played guitar and organised a jam session. The Houses in its embryonic stages was born.
You've been playing as The Houses for about five years now. What has it been like as a young band in the music scene?
Umm, well we started from the ultimate scratch. When we had about two songs Lucas and I decided we were good enough to busk. We made $40 at the Queenscliff Music Festival after roping in Tim to hit a djembe for us, and because of our success we decided to create a three-piece band.
With the help of the Courthouse Youth Arts Centre we got our first gig after they found us busking at a local night market, we were 14 and 13. As we progressed we were asked to play other gigs that lead to other gigs and so on. With help from people we discovered along the way, we are where we are now, going strong.
Being so young in the beginning was difficult in the sense that we needed to be driven everywhere and getting paid any kind of money was a challenge. But we were never deterred and pursued it most vigorously.
How have FReeZA and The Push helped you guys to get where you are now?
FReeZA gave us a few gigs at the Courthouse Youth Arts Centre, which helped us to get recognised and to play to wider audiences. And obviously with judging us as the winners of Push Start 2010 we have definitely been given a big boost and a lot of opportunities.
How has your music evolved since your formation in 2005? How do you think it will continue to evolve in the future?
We started off as very acoustic and light, boppy and happy-go-lucky, being quite young, which satisfied us. Now we have developed and our music is more powerful and passionate. As we discover new things about ourselves and endure different life experiences and inspirations our music will evolve still, how I don't know and that's the beauty of it.
What are your biggest musical influences, and how?
I can't speak for the boys but I know my main influences are my life experiences. Musically I'd say artists like Cat Power and the White Stripes influence my style. Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, and Karen O from the the Yeah Yeah Yeahs influence my performance. I express myself entirely and do whatever I want.
Looking back over the past five years, were there any favourite moments as a band that stood out for you?
Tim falling off the stage during a performance. Me falling into the drum kit and injuring myself. Stu and Lucas finally perfecting the piggy back.
What can we expect from The Houses in the near future?
I don't know, more music? 'Til we drop dead I suppose. Hopefully we will be playing huge gigs and inspiring others, maybe we'll invent a new genre (haha) I wish I knew.
Where can fans find more information about you guys and your upcoming shows? What's your website or myspace address?
www.myspace.com/thehousesmusic (new window). We're around.
What advice do you have for young bands?
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