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Pic by Brandon Matich. Doesn’t include the new member Ben Russell.

With his old band Seabellies doing nothing in particular for more than a year, bass player Eddie Garven decides to give the frontman thing a go with a new project, Twin Lakes. As he tells AM’s Greg Phillips, he likes what he sees.  

The last post on Newcastle indie rock band Seabellies’ Facebook page says ‘See the new year in with us @The lass’ (That’s the Lass O’Gowrie Hotel in Newcastle). That was at the end of 2012 and pretty much since that gig, the band has been on an indefinite hiatus. However, Seabellies’ bass player and backing vocalist Eddie Garven isn’t one to let his musical chops gather cobwebs. During 2014, Garven continued to tinker with some song ideas he’d been working on and is as surprised as anyone that he now fronts Twin Lakes, a five piece band playing his own music. Fast forward to Twin Lakes Facebook page in mid-January 2015 and you’ll discover a bunch of videos featuring this new band playing songs back at the Lass. It seems that this band has taken up the space vacated by Seabellies and is running with it enthusiastically. Twin Lakes’ sound carries some of the sonic elements of Seabellies too but certainly not enough to make any blatant comparisons. They have also been likened to The Shins, Silversun Pickups and Band of Horses.
“I’ve had these songs dancing around for a while,” explains Eddie of the new project. “I guess the whole band started with the down time of Seabellies. So I had these songs and thought … instead of sitting around and doing not much at all … I would get something together. It wasn’t totally planned. I got offered a gig and within a month we put it together and never looked back really. I thought if I don’t try it now and get out and do it, I’m probably never do it … so I jumped straight in. The sound is just a natural thing. I wasn’t over-thinking how the band would sound.”

Pic by Brandon Matich
Pic by Brandon Matich

For Garven, fronting and running a band has become one huge learning curve but a challenge he’s up for. “I definitely learned a lot about how to operate a band from Seabellies as far as promotion and setting things up,” he says. “It is different because we had a manager for Seabellies who pulled a  lot of the strings. With Twin Lakes, it’s me working out how to do things step by step. I’m always interested in trying different things to see what works best. It’s a tricky science.”

The approach Garven is taking with the development of Twin Lakes is different indeed. Rather than release a single or two and then frantically take that next blind leap into an album, the Twin Lakes way is considerably calculated, yet at the same time more creative. Single by single, they are building towards an April EP release but each new tune is given time to breathe and filter into their fanbase. Additionally they involve their wider musician community, asking friends to remix each new song. It’s a ploy which has which has their social media followers waiting in anticipation to see who has done what with their music and the results have been fascinating. “I always find that interesting, to hand your song to someone else to rethink it and it always produces interesting results,” says Garven. The band’s current single is Wolf Hall with the remix created by  Brisbane-based band Grand Pavilion. ““Wolf Hall is about the evil that can lie within us all,” says Garven of the single in the band’s bio. “Whether through our thoughts or actions, everyone is prone to some degree of evil or wicked behaviour. Wolf Hall is a metaphor for the place where this evil is brewed within our minds and either ignored or acted upon.”

More proof of Twin Lakes’ dedication to their fans is the heart and soul they put into the visual aspect of the band, both with their live show and the merchandise they make available. For many bands, both facets are afterthoughts but not Twin Lakes. “I’m always drawn to bands that when they put on a show, it’s not just them sitting up on a stage playing songs,” explains Eddie. “We always approach it from an experience point of view. We use live projections in our show. Obviously having the merch set up is another avenue of income too but we do all our own merch. We screen print the T-shirts and bags and make our own badges. I think it is important to do that early as part of your overall set up.”

The Twin Lakes musical personality is based around a multi-vocal, atmospheric, power pop formula and is created from a mixture of synth technology and old school guitars, amps and pedals. “We’re using a Roland 505 and we use that to MIDI into an old Casio keyboard. We also have a MicroKorg and a Roland module. There’s a lot of sounds in that little set up,” says Eddie. “I have a few different amps. The main one I am using is a Fender Blues Jnr, one of the relic re-issues and I use it with an 80s Telecaster. Pedal-wise, I have a pretty decent collection but I don’t use it much because I am mainly singing and playing accompanying guitar. We do swap during the set where the bass player will play my guitar and he’ll play a lot more lead stuff with my board. I have a Space Echo and a Digiverb, but it’s pretty basic really.”

At this point, a resurrection of Seabellies doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s radar, which leaves Garven free to explore his own musical ideas. “As far as I know, there is no real plan on what comes next,” he says of Seabellies. “It might be something down the track but at this point it is lying dormant for a while. I’m just focussing on this. I guess if it comes along again, we’ll start talking about it but at the moment there are no plans.”

The Garven plan is to keep releasing new songs, developing the band’s sound and having fun with it. “I just want to be travelling around playing music with people I want to spend time with and seeing where it takes us,” he says. “We are planning on getting to Canada again this year (Twin Lakes played Canadian Music Week last year). The  ultimate goal is to release an album in the next couple of years.”

Expect a Twin Lakes tour to follow the EP release, which they are hoping is in April. The next gig for the band is in Sydney on February 7 at Moonshine in Manly.


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