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press > rave 10/01/2006

Today, Tonights

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 working relationship?
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 guest musicians?

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 on guitar. 

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.

Brett Collingwood
[RAVE Magazine, Brisbane, Australia 10-01-2006]



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