Forged in the fires of Canberra, sordid electronic trio COOL WEAPON - comprising lovable scallywags Josh Chaffey, Luke McGrath and Matt Sanderson - are at once as uninhibited and potent as their namesake suggests. Behind the scenes, nonchalance has no place in their working mantra. October 15 saw the release of long (long, long) awaited debut The Lay of the Land; a culmination of a year, and a career, of hard work with everything completed in-house. Originally slated as a 2007 EP release, a combination of new ideas, relocated band members (McGrath is currently enjoying the perpetual summer of the top end) and securing a hard-fought ACT Government Arts Grant saw the project lovingly balloon into a long-player, albeit it a super tight 23 minute one ("The shorter the better," says McGrath, "length is what remixes are for."). Bass-twanger Chaffey is understandably chuffed, and chaffed, after such a wonderful ordeal.
"Goddamn it feels good! This whole thing has been like tantric sex and the build-up has been going on for years! And now, 'aaaaaargh,' the release really feels like a release!" quivers Chaffey.
Despite inevitable life distractions, the past few years have seen the trio list an increasing number of achievements. Scoring well in the UncharTED online music competition, winning a Sony BMG A&R Hottest Pick, a Guest Artist's Pick from Canberra Unearthed winners The Bumblebeez and going on to finish fourth overall are but a few. On record, they layer sexy lyrics atop a swirl of toe-tapping pop rock. Live, they are outrageous, with Chaffey slapping the bass like a seasoned gigolo, Sanderson tilting the keyboards at a frankly alarming angle and vocalist McGrath megaphoning his purr 'n' sex performance in. In both endeavours, they seem in their natural environment. Was such chemistry instant?
"Yeah, the chemistry did come along pretty quickly. It was like a musical think-tank - the pop hack, the metal dude and the electronic tinkerer," says Chaffey. "We butted heads a bit, but only ever in the pursuit of the best sound, the truest expression of our musical urges," adds McGrath.
Although McGrath's absence meant no live launch show, Hush Lounge threw a free night to mark the release. "Well, Luke was going to come down from his tropical hideaway for the launch, but we couldn't meet his rider demands. I mean, where were we going to find ten bonobo monkeys in Canberra?" Chaffey says. "So Hush Lounge has come to the party, and we couldn't be happier; it's going to be a very debauched evening."
And whilst the tuneful triumvirate may currently be scattered far and wide across this great brown land of ours, we can still expect great things from 2010 onwards. "Oh yeah, this ain't the end. It's taken us a while but we're just warming up," says McGrath, before Chaffey adds, "like I said baby, we're tantric!"