Sand Pebbles

The Dwarf's Jarred Keane spoke with Chris Hollow, a founding member and bassist of the Sand Pebbles, amidst their relaxed national tour to promote ‘Dark Magic'. This is the sixth album from the Melbourne Flower-Punks in just nine years of existence.


Hey Chris, how's your morning been?


Ah, good. Yeah, we just got back from a show in Sydney late last night. So, a bit tired and emotional.


What would you say is your ideal environment to play in?


Um, a crowded one. How does that go? I mean we... ah, can I just say that? Yeah some of our best shows have been ones where ah, there's no stage really. Just at parties or warehouses y'know.


Where there's a sense of engagement with what's going on?


Yes, definitely.


How about the cover art for this album. Did you have much involvement there, and how do you feel it sits, if we're talking about engagement?


Yeah I had a little bit to do with that... No one's actually asked us about the artwork, which is very interesting because, we think it's pretty bold. The reason I guess, that it's bold is that whether it's a little thumbnail above a review or in iTunes or something, or when you see it in the rack at the store. It kinda draws you in because it's so, fuck-off bold. That way, if you've heard of the band, or the album or even just the single, you should be more keen to check it out.


Right, it's the same basic artwork for the single ‘Occupied Europe'?


Yea, just in blue instead of pinky/purple.


Did you write that song or was it collaborative? What would you say it's ultimately in reference to?


I wrote most of it, but as with everything we do, every song is credited to the band y'know, everyone generally pitches in. But ah, what is it a reference to? Actually it just started off as a pun, "... She occupies Europe!" I wish I could say it was more deep than that, but it just started off as a pun. And I thought it was a good one at that.


So, kind of a song about love and silly relationships?


I wouldn't say it's a "love song". One time I was reading Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums and that starts off with him on a train, then he ends up on a beach. He cooks sausages on a beach fire and looks up at the universe, and he talks about how, there's a grain of sand... For every star in the sky, there's a grain of sand on a beach. It's just obviously infinite and it's just a beautiful image; for every grain of sand there's a star.


Is there something in the fact that for ‘Occupied Europe's film clip, every band member is always in their own shot, and never together?


Hahaa, are you saying there might be drama and conflict in the band?


Not necessarily, but maybe something more in line with what you're saying there. There's a poem by D.H. Lawrence that explores how fish seem "together" in their uniform schools, but they are completely trapped within themselves. Side by side, but always individual/alone.


Yea yeah, Individuals bound by similarity I suppose. And it also just looks cool, haha.


How do you feel about the focus heaped upon the age gap between everyone in Sand Pebbles?


Ah, it's good, y'know it comes in waves with our fans, and the cool thing is that, for all of the history of Rock n Roll, you're going to get something from this band.


In journalistic terms, it's a hook, or something of a gimmick, but if that has to be the lazy framing, would you prefer it to the "gimmick" that you and Ben (Michael) wrote for Neighbours?


Ha! Good question, I don't know, I think you have to be proud of both, or find both just as funny... Interesting talking points I suppose.


So I guess with those elements in mind, how does the writing process for the band work out? How much of the music is intellectual and how much is more spiritual?


Um, for me personally, I kind of wish that I kept it a bit more up in my head. I like the intellectual approach. But there's other guys in the band too, the total musicians in there, I guess we're all spiritual in a way, so there's a mutual goal of tapping into something musically, which is more spiritual by definition.


As a band that is at least partly Psychedelic, do you strive for greater messages, religious or philosophical debates?


There's a lot of political debates. But as for religious things, there's not as much uncertainty. A couple of the guys sort of grew up with religion. Andrew's father, and Wes' father were ministers, preachers, so they had ah... They're not religious, not church-goers, but it's something that's instilled in them on some level which is somewhat solid.

Follow The Dwarf on Facebook

Comments ()