2011 is going to be busy for self-described “gyspy-hardcore” band THE BARONS OF TANG . They set sail on their Over Sea and Sand tour earlier this month and are embarking on their first tour to the US in May, travelling up the east and west coasts, only to come back to Australia in July in time for the festival season. Their dedication to getting their sound out is clear from the relentless touring they have undertaken over the past few years.
According to double bassist/vocalist Julian Cue, the touring life has its ups and downs. “Being on the road, your personality is under a microscope,” he explains. “It can be a real sort of test of self and you have to kind of compromise everything. It’s fun though. I really enjoy the travel and the romance of it all, playing in a different town each night and sleeping wherever. It’s a fun way to live.”
The Barons of Tang’s jaunty tunes are like those nostalgic, old days of Europe and Latin America you were never actually around for and have made sweet, violent love to a punk-hardcore fusion. Instruments having a nervous breakdown have never sounded so good, with each member of the seven piece band bringing their own sensibilities to the table. A band that finds effective use of the accordion: need I say more?
Since the release of their second EP Knots and Tangles – described by one reviewer as “spec-fucking-tacular” – the band feel that they have finally established their sound. “We can now elaborate on that and focus a little bit more,” Julian says. “So can we actually write a catchy song, can we write the most complicated, break-neck song possible. We are taking it to each extreme but deliberately.”
The Barons of Tang hope to have their debut album, which is already half written, out by next year though due to their hectic schedule, this may be a bit optimistic. “We’re really trying to come up with the best material possible for our debut album. It becomes very scary having your life sort of itinerated so far ahead; it’s like ‘wow, I know what I’m going to be doing in the winter of 2012.’”
With live reviews offering nothing but praise for the manic band, what can BMA readers expect from the tour? “I think we’re playing better than we’ve ever played before, which is awesome. We’ve got a whole bunch of new material and loving playing new songs and it’s just high energy. We’re really looking forward to getting to the National and playing to some Canberra audiences.”
Catch The Barons of Tang live at the National Folk Festival, held at Exhibition Park over Easter, Thursday-Monday April 21-25. Tickets can be purchased via the festival’s website.