The guys from Cherrywood are heading out on their national tour in support of their debut album, Book of Matches. The tour kicks off this week so we, along with our mate Tony Proudfoot, caught up with Rob, Tim, Chris and Josh to chat about the album tour, what it’s like playing in country towns and how to play dice. A few jugs of beer later and we were discussing the need for a designated irony font, the horrors of stuffed crust and the perils of doing radio interviews on acid.

We have never done interviews before, so we weren’t really sure where to start. The 7 of us just started chatting about things with no real purpose until we started discussing our website. Thinking we were professionals, I though it was fair to let them know straight away what they were in for.

Wes: We’re interview virgins…

Josh: I’m an actual virgin.
Chris: You just got married!
Josh: That’s right, I’ve been saving myself!
Rob: He’s married to my sister and he’s still a virgin.
Josh: Good start to your first interview then! Maybe we could interview you?

Wes: This could work! You interview us!
Tony: It could be like Tom Lyngcoln interviewed Gareth Liddiard…

Josh: Well Dan Kelly and Gareth Liddiard did the same thing for Rolling Stone, interviewed each other. The worst one I saw was Bonnie Prince Billy and Matt Sweeney and they just ended up talking about how what if you ejaculated and it turned into powder and maybe that’s what the smog over LA is. It’s like ‘Well! Glad I bought the magazine for that fuckin’ interview!’

Wes: Tell us about the new album – well, the first album.

Tim: Yes long time coming we recorded like two years ago and it’s only just coming out.
Josh: We had a single launch a year ago
Chris: Yeah, almost to the day. We’ve put out about three singles.
Josh: We’re the first band that’s gonna put out a debut album and a box set.
Chris: Two years ago we did 16 songs in a day and a half and it took two years to get it out.

Wes: Sixteen songs in a day and a half?

Chris: My parents have got this property in Trentham, near Daylesford, and it was freezing cold and we just pushed record and stood in the same room and smashed it out.
Josh: If you stopped playing it got cold.
Chris: Then we got Josh from Graveyard Train to play some slide and Erica from Harmony to sing for some of them. Everything was done pretty much in that room.

Wes: So you’re about to head out on tour?

Chris: We’re heading pretty everywhere. We start on Wednesday at the Karova Lounge with a guy called Cory Branan from the states.We’re doing obviously Victoria, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and then Tassy and Darwin.
Josh: We thought it be a good idea to go up [to Darwin] during the wet season.

Wes: Do you guys do lots of rural touring?

Chris: Yeah we play heaps of rural towns, they’ve always kind of been the funnest shows. Tiny little towns and weird pubs that a kind of more for our amusement sometimes. All those country pubs kind of make touring worthwhile I mean instead of just going to Sydney we’ll play 5 shows in NSW.
Josh: Maitland is great.
Chris: Yeah, The Junkyard in Maitland, is just this rickety old tumbling down pub that the whole town goes to to watch bands play, and have a great time. There’s weird pubs like the first time we played in Goodna in Queensland we rocked up and there’s just motorbikes out the front and they have topless barmaids until 1pm.
Tim: Topless barmaids for breakfast.
Chris: We get there and think “aw man these guys are going to hate us” and then it turns into this massive party and they loved it and we’ve been there like three times.
Tim: We’re not allowed back there though because I used some cuss words. I think I said “CAN’T”.
Chris: And suddenly it was like “woah woah woah”
Tim: You can have topless barmaids but you can’t say the c word.
Chris: And they had this guy who has these cardboard signs that he makes at home and he brings them in for every band and holds up a score card.
Tim: What did we get?
Rob: “Gee, wasn’t that good.”

Wes: Do you follow the rule ‘What happens on tour stays on tour”?

Chris: We’re happy to tell everybody that one…
Tim: We were bored. We were hungover. That’s what happened on tour.
Rob: We played dice.
Chris: Apparently at BigSound everyone was playing dice! Toots (Twin Beasts) and Damn Terran were just teaching everybody how to play dice.
Rob: The problem with dice is that, although it’s completely based on luck, you have to abuse people for being bad at it, even though there’s no way at actually being bad at it.
Josh: I manage to be quite bad at it, the only time I won we missed a flight. So for the communal good I continue to be bad at it.
Rob: Josh won about $3, we had to spend a few hundred dollars on flights.

Wes: So who’s the mandolin player?

Josh: That’s me.

Wes: How did you pick that up?

Josh: Actually, [Rob’s] uncle lives in London, he’s a traditional Irish mandolinist. I went to stay with him, first time I went to Europe, I stayed at his house and he had a mandolin and we started playing it and he gave me one, said it’s easy to travel with … Started playing it, realised it was like an upside down guitar and not many other people played it. These guys already had a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer so I just edged ever closer with my mandolin… It worked. Struck a chord with me so to speak.
Chris: Weren’t you supporting us at one gig?
Josh: Yeah I supported Cherrywood a few times before i was in the band…
Chris: …Then you just got up and started singing…
Josh: …and after a while they gave me a microphone, gave me a lead.
Rob: We’ve had quite a few people who’ve turned up to different gigs with different instruments and got up on stage with us and Josh is the only one whose actually stayed.
Tim: It wasn’t really a serious endeavour to start with.
Chris: I was only filling in for a couple of weeks, that was three years ago.

Wes: So you shot a video for “Could Wash No Devil From My Bones”

Chris: Yeah we got this guy, Chris Matthews, who did the Batpiss video for “Drag Your Body”. Me and Tim drove around looking for boxing rings and we were very out of place in these gyms with these massive burly dudes and we were like “Hi, we’re in a band can we use your boxing ring?” and we found this one that had not been changed for 50 years, and it stank, in Richmond. We did that and then we just filmed us getting drunk in Fitzroy. Most of our videos involve us getting drunk.

Tony: Just like the Broken Heart for Christmas video, I saw you guys at the Old Bar after you had filmed it and you guys were just smashed.

Chris: We just invited a bunch of mates down for this video, bought heaps of booze and just said to everybody just have fun and get drunk and we’ll film it because the whole song is about getting drunk the night before Christmas.
Rob: It’s a song about fucking up.
Chris: But every time there was a camera on anyone, my dad who shot it, he directs videos, he was like “have another sip of your drink, hey light another cigarette” and so everyone was just constantly drinking. And people who don’t even smoke were like “oh okay”.
Tim: Smoking makes you look cool, it’s just a fact.
Rob: You know, irony doesn’t really come across in print.

Wes: There really needs to be an irony font. Sarcasm font is just comic sans suddenly.

Chris: Use the ironic font, for this whole conversation… 5000 words in comic sans.
Rob: I’ve got a question, people seem to have an issue with comic sans, why do people have such a strong opinion on fonts? Why is that a thing? Members of Cherrywood tend to have really strong opinions on things that don’t really matter that much. Chris really really really hates when a pizza crust is stuffed with hotdogs or cheese.
Josh: I love it, even though it makes me sick.
Rob: I really really really hate comic sans.
Josh: I don’t like pinstripes being too serious a thing. on my suits are fine, on a truck…
Tim: I don’t have a strong dislike for anything.
Josh: oh yeah you do…being told that you have a strong opinion about things.
Tim: Because I fucking don’t!

Chris: We’re going to go on PBS breakfast 8AM on Wednesday.
Rob: Sleepover!

Tony: Speaking of radio show, I remember hearing you guys on Triple R a while ago.

Tim: Oh yeah, Josh had been up all night taking drugs. Many, many drugs.
Josh: The worst thing was the last drug I took was acid, at like 5 in the morning.
Chris: He had a great time at Triple R and then it all sort of crumbled and he managed to tell everybody on air that he just had acid that morning.
Josh: I think someone else said it and I just had to roll with it, I couldn’t be sheepish once it was out.
Chris: You went on this rant about Cambodian architecture.
Josh: There’s some great French architecture in Cambodia and it’s really been let go.
Chris: But it’s probably the best show I heard, it’s the most nonsensical show.

Wes: So, what’s next, after the tour?

Chris: Well, Josh was recently overseas for a few months getting married and while he was away we kinda snuck off and did Hardwood which is like a punk rock version of Cherrywood. We played all our songs really heavy and it was heaps of fun and we did one show and we recorded it so we’ll probably put out that recording sometime next year.
Tim: And another album as soon as possible, instead of waiting two years.
Chris: We’ve sort of got about 5 songs that are pretty close to being done … it’s a totally different sound. we’re aiming to go to the states next year as well, we’ve done a lot of touring with American bands over here and they’ve shown interest in us going over there and we want to go to America. There’s probably about three or four bands who are keen to have us play with them, so do a tour with one and then go back and tour with another. Same way we’ve done it here, hit the same places again and again.

Cherrywood’s debut album, Book of Matches, is out now. They kick start their album tour this Wednesday supporting Cory Branan at the Karova Lounge, Ballarat before playing at the Northcote Social Club Friday the 20th. Tickets available here.

Photos by Tony Proudfoot.

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