Tame Impala

TAME IMPALA make psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music. You know the type. The Perth three-piece can be heard rocking the airwaves with summery and dream-like ‘Sundown Syndrome’, and their own cover of Bluebell’s ‘Remember Me’. BBM spoke to bassist Dom Simper about twiddling retro knobs, having a drink with Mighty Boosh star Noel Fielding and our secret longing to grow our hair long.

BBM: Hello Dom, what’s happening in Tame Impala’s world? So are you in the studio today?
Yeah we’re in a place about four hours outside of Perth.

How’s the recording going?
We’re about 80 per cent done and it’s sounding really good. We just can’t wait to play it to people. It’ll be another few weeks before it’s mastered. It probably won’t come out until February.

We read that you record mostly on 8-track at the start. Is that still the case?
A lot of the early songs are recorded on 8-track.

A while ago, Jack White made quite a big deal of saying that he records everything on analogue. Is it the same for you? Do you like using the retro gear? The Orange amps and so on…
We use a Vox amp and the DG from the 60s. We went to Toerag studios in London and there the stuff is so old. Some of the equipment was so temperamental that the room temperature had to be just right.

‘Sundown Syndrome’ is getting some heavy play on Triple J. It’s an interesting track title – what exactly does it mean? Or is it a real syndrome and have we just shown our ignorance?
Is it [being played]? It’s Kevin’s title, it’s a condition that people get from the sun and, eh…well it’s Kevin’s title so you would have to ask him.

Listening to your stuff makes us think of Woodstock, flower-power, the Sixties and all kinds of other stuff that happened way before we were born. We also think of big fat doobies. Are you guys in love with the 60s?
To an extent we definitely love the music of Jimi Hendrix so you do get that vibe. But we’re not exclusively into that.

Your website says: “Tame Impala is the movement in Orion’s nebula and the slime from a snail journeying across a footpath.”
So, er, with that in mind, do you guys use any other ‘creative aids’ in the recording process?

No, no. I think that was our label guy who wrote that. Maybe he was on something?

It must be good to be the bassist in Tame Impala. To use a really non-technical term, you music is quite, er, bass-y.
There’s probably no other instrument that I would like to play.

Do you feel like you’re being pigeon-holed as a revivalist band?
On the whole retro thing yeah. Some of those songs are so old, like five years old. The album sounds quite a lot different to that stuff.

What type of fans do you have? Are they young kids who might not be aware of bands like Cream, say?
Well, I think a lot of people check out our influences on MySpace and they can get into them that way.

Where does the name come from? Isn’t an Impala a type of deer?
It’s because we didn’t want it to be quite epic. A lot of band names now imply that they are this great, huge thing. We’d rather just let people hear the music.

We hear you met Noel Fielding recently?
He came to our London show. We had a few beers with him. And he was pretty much Vinny from the Mighty Boosh, which is totally what you want.

We’ve looked at your pictures. And I must say, you guys know how to grow the fuck out of your hair. How should we go about it?
It’s all completely natural, Kev’s got a beard and I’m going to try and get him to keep it.