By Andrew Geeves
“I’ve actually thought about this before, which is ridiculous,” says Russell Fitzgibbon, one half of Sydney’s Fishing – so I’m feeling a little better about asking him what form his instrumental band would take if reincarnated as an aquatic vertebrate. “I’d say it would be an Australian Bass because it’s really nice, natural, from the Australian bush and it’s probably my favourite fish. Bass is obviously (spelled) the same as bass, and Fishing is basically Australian bass, too”
Next to ‘So Hot Right Now’ in any current urban dictionary, you’re guaranteed to find a picture of Fitzgibbon and his electro-pop partner in crime Doug Wright beaming back at you. Playing their first gig just over a year ago, the boys have been as busy as they are popular, with 2010 seeing them tour with Jinja Safari and John Steel Singers, support Cloud Control (Doug’s brother Alister is the frontman), Jonathan Boulet and Dappled Cities, and play Peats Ridge festival. They’ll be sharing a stage with The Holidays and Jinja Safari at Bands Ahoy! this Friday night, the big night on Sydney Uni’s O-Week calendar.
Fishing have just released their infectiously catchy first single, ‘OOOO’, on 7-inch vinyl, accompanied by Sydney visual artist Bernadette Murray’s stop-motion video that made the rounds on the blogs last week. “I think so much of music works on the internet and MP3s these days,” Fitzgibbon explains. “Then you have the other extreme of having a nice physical product that you can listen to on your turntable. It’s a more aesthetically pleasing experience.” Keeping it real whilst making their music accessible is a high priority for Fishing. For the first half of 2011 they plan to release HOOKZ – a monthly series of EPs that can be downloaded for free. “We decided that because we make stuff fairly prolifically it would be really nice to keep the flow on, so people have something to come back to every month,” Fitzgibbon explains. “We’re going to release a whole bunch of this old stuff in the next couple of months plus some remixes that we’ve done of Cloud Control and (fellow Sydney artist) Guerre. After that, we’ll just keep doing some new little collections.” I tell Fitzgibbon that this strikes me as quite a generous gesture. “Well personally we always download a lot of free music, and so you like to give stuff away just so that people can listen to it. A lot of those things we wouldn’t necessarily be releasing on an actual physical product anyway. So it’s just a nice way to give people something to listen to. It’s cool that is comes from us instead of just coming from another source like a blog.”
Given their name and that the HOOKZ titles released so far include Salmo Trutta (the Latin name for Brown Trout) and Fishing In The Colo Wilderness, is it right to assume that Fishing have a certain penchant for nature? “Actually . . . yes” confirms Fitzgibbon “I love fishing, and Doug and I are very much into bushwalking and hiking. I think nature does inspire a lot of what we do. Rather than having to explain our feelings as we would in a pop song, writing instrumental music is more about just creating a vibe. You’re taking (inspiration) from places you’ve been and things you’ve done and hoping to create a little bit of a snapshot… Hopefully it transports the listener to a place. A really nice place”
Given that Fitzgibbon used to make music to avoid doing uni work (“it was pretty much procrastination”), playing at USYD’s O-Week may be something of a surreal experience for Fishing… Regardless, with a year on the horizon that includes supporting Cloud Control again in March, the release of an EP or album and a possible visit to the UK, Fitzgibbon and Wright seem destined to be transported to some deservedly nice places themselves in 2011.
What: Bands Ahoy! with The Holidays, Jinja Safari, The Eagle & The Worm, Idea Idea and the O-Week Battle of the Bands winner
Where: Hermann’s Bar
When: Friday February 25, from 1pm