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With Melbourne Music Week launching this Friday, next week the North Melbourne Town Hall Hotel hosts a free night of phych, scuzz, punk and noise, headlined by dual-bass slinging shoegazers Lowtide and also featuring A Dead Forest Index, The Process, Repairs, Spinning Rooms, Deep Heat and The Emergency.

Milk Bar recently spoke to Lowtide guitarist and noise-maker Gabe Lewis about the band and what he uses to get create those blissed-out sounds.

Milk Bar: Could you tell us a bit about the back-story to Lowtide? You started years ago as Three Month Sunset, how’d you get to where you are now?

Gabe Lewis: Three Month Sunset was my solo ambient/shoegaze project. I first started playing live in 2005 but after a few years it started wearing me down. It was pretty lonely and not having a license to get five amps and other gear around made it feel like too much work and no fun.

In early 2009 I got a couple of people together to play some songs that were a bit more upbeat and didn’t work as well in the solo format.

Anton Jakovljevic had returned from the US after leaving The Morning After Girls as their drummer. I also got another friend of mine, Nick Hoare, in on bass. In this state it was still instrumental.

From here we had a few changes swapping in and out a few members including Maryke Custers and Lucy Buckeridge singing and eventually Giles on bass.

The final line-up consisted of what Lowtide is now, which is myself on guitar, Anton on drums, and Lucy and Giles, each on bass and vocals.

The dual bass thing was something I’d wanted to do for a while. The idea is that one bass plays the lower register root notes and the other plays more melodic parts up the neck to bridge the first bass and my guitar.

MB: Why the separation from the Three Month Sunset moniker?

GL: I guess after some time things settled into place and everyone’s roles became clearer. Creativity was being shared more and more, with Giles and Lucy writing bass and vocal parts – there needed to be a distinction, or division, between the old and new project.

It needed to be something we could all share equally without any hangovers from the old solo project or worries about stepping on toes, so in 2010 we changed the name and Three Month Sunset went back to being my occasional solo project.

MB: You’ve released an EP and a 7″ in the last couple of years, is there a debut album on the way?

GL: There actually is! The almost mythological album that we’ve been talking about recording for years is now halfway through being recorded. We’re hoping it’ll be out early next year, but I suppose given our track record, saying that will probably delay it somewhat.

MB: I know you’re a bit of a gear nut. Can you tell me what your setup involves at the moment?

GL: Haha, yeah… It’s a problem I have. But I doubt I’m alone in that.

I had recently expanded my old pedal boards onto a Pedaltrain Pro. I finally dropped my old Alesis Nanoverbs (which were great, but pretty noisy and not such great fidelity) for a bunch of TC Toneprint pedals that I am quite happy with.

I bought a little touch screen tablet that runs XP to run the editor on and plug the pedals into via USB/MIDI so I can edit/tweak/create patches on the go in rehearsals, etc.

This new setup is really compact compared to the others. I’m using a couple of enclosure fuzz pedals made by Mooer which sure save some space.

I guess the setup is always in a constant state of flux, as I search for better/simpler way of doing things. And this can lead to some superfluous gear. Anyone want to buy seven Nanoverbs?

Check out Lowtide’s stuff on Bandcamp.

Lowtide play the North Melbourne Town Hall Hotel on Thursday 22nd Nov. Free entry.
Melbourne Music Week runs from Nov 16-24 across various venues around Melbourne.

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