in the Category: music

Sharing family-sized pizzas and basketball breakups

Picture this. You’re in your early teens living in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne. Summers are hot. You play basketball with your friends at the local club, the Eltham Wildcats. Today is the last day of basketball season and, as tradition dictates, you and your team celebrate down at the Italian diner. The evening is bathed in a golden glow. This is the basketball breakup, and these are the salad days that indie darlings Good Morning harken back to in their latest album, ‘a musical equivalent of sharing a few family-sized pizzas at your local Italian restaurant’. We had a chat with co-frontman Liam about Australian politics, being young… and what Pink Floyd getting fed through a meat grinder would sound like.

Interview by Anna Lancry
Photos by Carson Brown, shot in Garden Grove

What’s the story behind Good Morning?

Stefan and I met in film class in high school. We figured we liked the same stuff, so we started playing music together. Our first gig was when we were 16 and 17, where we played an acoustic cover of ‘Teenage Dream’ by Katy Perry, ha-ha. We were lucky to be growing up just as LimeWire was becoming a thing, allowing us to explore new stuff and download entire discographies – basically fucking over artists to widen your own musical background and consume whatever you want, whenever you want. You could say these were our salad days.

So what were these musical influences and what have they developed into? You’re often likened to Mac Demarco, HOMESHAKE, Pavement… what do you think of these analogies?

Pavement definitely influenced how I play guitar, but beyond that I wouldn’t say those analogies are very accurate – at the time when we were starting off, they became an easy catch-all point of reference. We definitely share the same classic rock influences though: Harry Nilsson, The Beatles, Yellow Magic Orchestra… Someone once said we sound like Pink Floyd getting fed through a meat grinder – not sure what that entails but I like it. But above all we like to explore. We saw Thundercat last night, which was a super intense two hours of shredding. I also like the new Lil Uzi Vert and Nicolas Jaar’s latest Against All Logic release.

Apart from music, what did you want to do when you were younger?

I always wanted to be a paramedic. I like driving and the idea of running red lights. And helping people. Or a music journalist but that clearly didn’t work out.

You arguably came out on the better side of that! One piece of advice you’d give your younger self?

I wouldn’t have taken the advice. But I’d say work a little harder. Listen to people, especially people you’re making music with. Don’t be so selfish.

Your artwork is sick. What’s the story behind it?

Almost all our artwork is done by me or Stefan. We like to have a DIY, multidisciplinary approach to our projects and keep engaged with what we’re doing. Actually, the Basketball Breakups cover is a blind portrait of the four of us by our friend Nimi on a night out after a long day of recording in Japan. Likewise, all videos and recordings are usually just us and our friends – it’s fun to have creative control, but mostly it comes down to us getting bored. We like to dabble and fuck around on our laptops a bit.

Australia is inherently rotten to its core, built on thievery 

How do you feel about the current state of politics in Australia, and does it influence your music at all?

Australia is inherently rotten to its core, built on thievery like so much of the so-called Western world but with so little attempt to reconcile with the real owners of the land. Climate change plays into this too: on a federal level there’s no plan except rolling out the development of new coal mines. Now the whole Pacific area, which we’ve pillaged for centuries, building prisons on island nations and making dodgy trade deals with them to essentially steal their resources, is existentially threatened. But we offer them no climate change adaptation assistance whatsoever. Fiji was sending us aid for the bushfires – absurd! Times are desperate and the clock is ticking. So it’s fair enough that young people are disillusioned with party politics and feel like we don’t have anywhere to go, with our two unshakeable centre-left and centre-right parties that have locked up the political game pretty much since the foundation of Australia. It’s like the perception of Australia as chill, sunny and laid-back overrides any international concern for the atrocities our government commits. Or maybe people are just numb to the way the world works now. Our music sort of responds to this. Nothing is explicit, but the existential dread and desperation, being young at the end of the world… this pervades all our songwriting and I don’t understand how anyone making music can avoid this.

To end on a completely different note… what food item is indispensable for a good salad?

Tomato. The best salad is that classic Italian salad. Soft cheese, basil, tomato and bread… you can’t get better than a humble tomato.

***This event has been cancelled/postponed***
Good Morning
16 Apr - Botanique, Brussels
free for members