By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
Geordie Stafford has spent years playing guitar in Brisbane bands from punk vets Dick Nasty to hardcore upstarts Teargas and Last Chaos. Two years ago he moved to Townsville for work, which has accelerated his descent into the sonic maelstrom known as Golden Bats, his slow, heavy and kinda scary solo project.
While Teargas just played a one-off show with Death Side/Pisschrist last weekend, and Dick Nasty is slowly working on new stuff, due to sheer ease Geordie mostly works on Golden Bats stuff right now, and his discography is always expanding.
The latest release is the Falling Sparrows cassette, out through Haemorrhage Records, which contains three new sluggish brooders and a cover of Jesus Lizard’s “Zachariah” that strides into some shitty township and is abducted by aliens.
Geordie tells UB all about it…
What made you wanna change tack from playing in punk / hardcore bands to doing something like Golden Bats just on your own?
It was largely designed to use a bunch of gear I’d acquired and didn’t use in my punk bands. I’d always listened to slower heavier stuff as well and thought I’d try something different. I had aimed to just use the drum machine for the first thing and use it as a demo to lure in a human drummer, but I found I enjoyed the speed at which I could move without others/second opinions. Punk remains my first love but there’s so many great styles of music to have a crack at ruining for others.
How do you describe Golden Bats’ sound to dumb idiots? Has the sound changed from what you were doing when you first started playing solo, due to experience, new gear, evolving influences…?
I’ve avoided describing Golden Bats where possible as I don’t really know where it fits. A friend has told me that Golden Bats sounds like my other bands’ records on the wrong speed, so possibly it’s just slow punk masquerading as sludge. The sound has changed, but these things I think are usually easier for people to pinpoint from an external viewpoint. I got a more versatile drum machine after the first two EPs and I would like to think I’ve gotten better at programming and recording. I didn’t really have a clear set of musical touchstones at the start, aside from the Melvins, but these days I aim for the imaginary point where Harvey Milk, Autopsy and Funkadelic meet. Golden Bats has not gotten there yet.
What can you tell us about making Falling Sparrows? Was the approach or methodology any different from what you’d normally do?
It was recorded at home here in Townsville. Everything else I’ve recorded was done at Tym Guitars in Brisbane using gear I cannot afford, so this was an experiment in using some different equipment. Like all recordings there’s things that went well, and looking back things that you’d do differently. It is four songs, two originals and two covers. I have a finished album that I’m trying to find a home for, and the next three releases in varying stages of finished. Hoping to record the next album mid-year. Idle hands are the devil’s playthings, or something like that.
Got any gigs planned?
Unfortunately nothing at the moment. Would love to play some more shows. Hopefully once I get the album out I can do a small tour at least. Other commitments make it difficult, plus a major downside of a one-man ‘band’ is paying for everything yourself.
Hear the title track from Falling Sparrows cassette, out through Haemorrhage Records: