LOMM: Can you give a little biographical and historical info; who is involved in the band, and how did you guys meet up?
James: Originally Poison Oak, was just Russ, Ray and myself, (James). It was just a jam on a Saturday morning pretty casual and then it grew from there. Chris and Lachie, joined and now we have released a bunch of songs. Most of knew through teacher, as Russell, Lachie and myself are high school teachers. However, Russell and myself have been friends with Ray for quite a while before hand.
LOMM: Pandemic has taken an emotional toll on everyone yet the arts have been hit especially hard. The musicians are vulnerable to financial upheaval. How have you guys have been holding up?
James: We all work full time jobs, plus we weren’t affected that much as we will live in North Queensland. There was a month or two where we couldn’t meet up, however, after that we just continued on writing music.
LOMM: On the other hand you seem to have had a productive time. Is that right?
James: Yes, pretty much. We have had time to write a lot of songs, without the pressure of playing any shows.
LOMM: Tell us about your genre, what does it means to you, why did you choose this genre?
James: We didn’t really choose a genre, we just got together and started playing and it slowly evolved. I guess we have similar tastes in some regards, so that obviously starts come out in the playing.
LOMM: How did the initial musical and thematic elements evolve?
James: Just through playing together, and working on songs, and then after we slowly start to develop and get more use to everyone’s playing.
LOMM: How has the overall reception been?
James: It’s been pretty positive. We have had a lot of very positive reviews which is awesome. There has been some critical feedback as well. However, you have to expect that when you’re putting music out in the world. There is always improve and changes you want to make for your next record compared to the last.
LOMM: Have you ever been on a tour? Given live performances? Is it tough for you not to be able to do so now?
James Yes, not with Poison Oak, but with another band. But at the moment I’m pretty happy to not tour, and just to focus on writing songs.
LOMM: What is the next step for you? How is the future looking?
James: We have our EP 1996, coming out in March 19th, which we are looking forward to.
LOMM: Could you tell us about the lyrics / themes /concepts you focus on or plan to focus on? How did the ideas come about, and how do they influence the writing process? Who is writing the lyrics?
James: Just experiences in everyday life, work, relationships, it has to be real otherwise it’s meaningless. I do the majority of the lyric writing.
LOMM: Who is composing the songs?
James: Ray and myself bring most of the ideas, however, things changed when they come to band etc.
LOMM: What bands do you draw your inspiration from?
James: Violent Soho, Cure, Paul Kelly, Whitlams and The Strokes just to name a few
LOMM: If you weren’t musicians, what would you be doing?
James Teaching… because that’s what I’m doing now haha.
LOMM: If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
James: The internet.
LOMM: What’s more important to you? Catering to the audience or music for its own sake?
James: The music for sure. We do this to enjoy playing music together, and if the audience likes it, then that’s a bonus.
LOMM: If you could play any festival in the world, which one would you choose? Tell us why.
James: The Gympie Muster
LOMM: Name some of your all-time favorite albums? Include controversial ones.
James: I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning, Bright Eyes. Led Zeppelin 4
LOMM: What does your collection look like? Mostly Vinyl, Cassettes, CDs, Digital? A bit of everything? A total mess?
James: Vinly, digital, CD’s and cassettes a totally mess as you say.
LOMM: What Country/Region are you from and what is the Metal/Rock scene like there?
James: Townsville is starting to get a solid Rock scene. There are a lot of young bands that are starting to come out of the woodwork, which is really awesome to see.
LOMM: What is your weirdest memory in your music career?
James: Staying at a swingers’ house while on tour.
LOMM: If you had one message to your fans, what would it be?
James: Screw Flanders
LOMM: Anything else you think your fans should know?
James: March 19th “1996” comes out, check it out!!
LOMM: Thank you for taking the time.