In the sixties, British TV giant David Frost coined the phrase ‘the Global Village’ to describe the way that twentieth century telecommunications developments had effectively shrunk the size of our shining, iridescent orb to such an extent as to render the whole place as little more than a small hamlet in terms of information gathering and dissemination. The internet of course has taken this process countless steps further. Not so much further, however that, on speaking about Deprivation’s splendid new album Amalgam our reviewer Micky Strong felt bound to remark that, for an Englishman like him, Orange (New South Wales, from whence our heroes hail) is very much the middle of nowhere. How hard is it, I thought, even in this age of ‘the global village’, for a band from a small place like Orange to get themselves noticed. Is it easier to get their music out via the internet than it is to the local scene? Is there much of a scene in Orange anyway? Luckily my tortured musings didn’t fall on deaf ears, as the bands own, guitarist Lachlan Harrison, was on hand to cool my fevered brow with the lowdown on what it means to a band to form in a country town.
"Orange is a country town, but not really in the middle of nowhere in comparison to a lot of Australian towns. Everyone pictures Orange as being this incest filled bogan town haha! You still have to drive half hour out of town before you get to that stuff! We’ve got about 4 hours to drive to either Sydney or Canberra which are both major capital cities. Although I must say, the live music scene in Sydney and Canberra are very unpredictable. I don’t really think living in Orange has been a disadvantage to us at all. The internet has been great for us. So much porn, illegal movies etc… It’s also been really good for us as a band. There is a limited scene in Orange obviously – it only has a population of 40,000 people - however, most touring Aussie metal bands that have played here have had a fucking pearler of a time. We have a very dedicated, passionate scene here. Bands are extremely surprised when they get here”.
So not so bad at all then. What is it they say in the advert? City moshing with country benefits? Something like that. Anyways, they’re there, we’re here, and Deprivation has some music it wants us to hear. How best to get the message out? A lot of people we speak to in bands these days are coming to the conclusion that CDs are an expense best avoided. Why did you decide to go ahead with a physical release when surely, as a first album it would have been cheaper for you to go for a digital-only option?
"Recording this album and putting it out on CD is the best thing we’ve ever done as a band. I think it’s ignorant to believe that compact discs are irrelevant. Sure, itunes and their like are massive these days and that avenue works out cheaper than getting albums printed. But if you’re an independent touring band and don’t have CDs on sale at your shows, yet you have recorded a full length album, how are you going to tell that to the drunk punter that wants a copy after seeing you play?
Ah yes, the drunk punter. He doesn’t figure in many marketing strategies, but he’s a key player nonetheless. It’s this sort of gimlet-eyed shrewdness that’ll see Deprivation go far, mark our words and mark them buggers good.
On listening to Amalgam, it strikes MaF that Deprivation has a remarkably varied sound for a band working within its chosen parameters – who are the big influences on the band, soundwise?
"I don’t think we intentionally write something to sound like something else. Obviously, every band is influenced by what they listen to at the time. We all listen to different stuff but it changes quite frequently. Maybe, because some of these songs are actually as much as 5 years old, and some were finished literally a couple of weeks before we recorded them there is a varied sound”.
What’s coming up next for the band in the second half of the year?
"We have booked our Australian East coast tour for the album release. We tried to hook up with as many friends as possible to play with so we’re playing with great bands and drinking partners like Recoil V.O.R., Double Dragon and Lynchmada. I can’t wait to get out there! We are hoping to score some international supports in the very near future too”.
And what are your long term plans/goals for Deprivation?
"Once we have toured most of the country by the end of 2011, we’re going to see if we can go overseas to Asia, New Zealand and Tasmania ... We want to give this everything we’ve got”.
Tasmania, overseas? The man has a mischievous sense of humour obviously. Anything else you’d like the world to know about your band?
"I may as well plug the album. Amalgam is for sale at all our live shows and via our online store http://deprivation.bigcartel.com See you at the bar!”
Now there’s an offer we find hard to turn down.