press > rave 10/01/2006
Local trio The Tonights have just completed their self-titled debut
album, and it’s a corker. The album’s sound walks
a knife-edge between strident, hooky guitar riffs and atmospheric,
piano-led shadows, the two extremes bridged with aplomb by the sultry,
melodic vocals of frontwoman/pianist/bassist EVA FRITZ. Eva
and her drummer husband CHRISTIAN PAUL SARGEANT tell BRETT
COLLINGWOOD about the joys of keeping it in the family (the
band is completed by Eva’s brother, guitarist/bassist HENRY).
Does a band made up of husband/wife and brother sister make for an easy
Eva: It’s an incredibly fortunate situation
to be in. I used to be a real nag about Christian’s
other band commitments before The Tonights; now I can nag him
about other things! Aside from the practical benefits of
organising rehearsals and managing the band from home, a family
partnership definitely makes for ease of communication and less
issues of musical egos.
Christian: To be honest I’m still
pinching myself – I never thought a situation like this
possible. My obsession for music usually has in the past
been a major factor in relationship breakdown, but this way we
can’t not spend enough time together!
There’s a really warm, sultry, almost dreamlike vibe to many of
the songs on the album – is this what you set out to achieve?
Eva: It certainly wasn’t intentional, and I really didn’t
know how my vocals would turn out in the recording. Our main concern
was recording an album that wouldn’t make us cringe in another years’ time. There
are some heavy moments in the lyrical content of the songs and I guess I wanted
that conveyed in an ethereal, rather than a dark, sense.
Christian: I think that vibe is influenced by Eva’s
beautiful voice – she blew me away when I heard her finally recorded
properly! That said, we basically treated each song individually but
were very conscious of ending up with a record that felt whole and journey-like,
rather than just a bunch of songs slapped together on disc. Those qualities
you described were certainly in our frame of reference- but as informed by
the intent of the songs and Eva’s lyrics.
The songs’ arrangements are very detailed. How will you
translate them live at the launch show – will the band be augmented by
Christian: That would depend on what the performance
fee is! Seriously,
one thing that has delayed our ability to play a lot of shows until
now has been tackling that issue. While fundamentally the record
is the product of the three of us, we are very aware of the magic that
our friends have added to the recorded material. The live line-up
will be fleshed out for the launch with many of the guests that played
on the album – horn section,
percussion etc. But the generic lie band will be us three plus
Col McIntyre on the reeds/bass/keys, and Simo Calandra from Italy
You’ve developed a very distinctive sound
given that this in only your first album; how might you guild on that
next time you record?
Christian: There’s little doubt this first album will
turn out to be our most straight-ahead work – kind of like the first
cab off the rank. From here on, we are all very excited about what we
can create. For instance, Henry is n absolutely wicked dub and hip-hop
bass player, and we have a number of works in progress reflecting that. Eva
seems to have an endless supply of piano-based material that we are keen to
come at with different ears, while I’m familiarising myself with the
programming side of things (I used to put out experimental electronica cassettes
around 10 years ago.) I’m not saying we’ll ‘do a Radiohead’ with
the next album, but we all see no boundaries stylistically or artistically.
[RAVE Magazine, Brisbane, Australia 10-01-2006]