Interview – Driving South

Driving South are an amazing country rock band – their EP, Dog Trap Road, was released at the end of March and I loved it so much I decided to do a review! Later, I sat down to have a chat with the band – read on to see what happened!

By Jane Howkins

What is the writing and recording process like for you?

The writing comes sporadically, often when just messing around on a guitar and finding a riff I like. At other times, I hear or think of a phrase that leads to a song idea. So for writing, there’s no real set process, just letting ideas come and then trying to remember them until I can get to a guitar!

With recording though, we do have a process which is to record as live as possible. It’s not easy to get the live sound, but I think we’ve managed this on our new EP (Dog Trap Road). There’s a real temptation these days to add layers, fix errors and overproduce and process tracks as it’s all easy to do with software. But we really wanted to keep the live sound which focuses us as a band when recording.

So the process is play the song live, with one or two takes, and then add the vocals and to keep overdubs to a minimum if we use them.

Have you started writing for a future EP/album yet?

We do have around a dozen songs that could be used for a future EP or album. Some are new and some have been around for a couple of years – we’re starting to look at different ideas and arrangements for theses songs which hopefully will lead to more recordings in the future.

Do you plan to release any singles in the near future?

We’d like to, and as mentioned already, we’ve got the material so it’s probably just something we need to plan and arrange.

What/who influences you most as artists? What have you been listening to recently?

As a band, we all have different influences going back a long time. Two of our members (Cam and Shannon) grew up in Australia so have an Australian influence, and Jurgen grew up in London and experienced the impact new wave had on music during the 70s. These influences range a lot as you can imagine from Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, The Clouds, Stray Cats, Ryan Adams, The Go-Betweens, Wilco, Elvis Costello… As you can see, more old school than new!

Whereabouts are you based and what is the music scene like in your part of the world?

We’re in Sydney, Australia, a great place to live but not so great for emerging bands. There used to be a lot of smaller venues and a lot of live music played in pubs, but that has sadly diminished over the years and Covid hasn’t helped things at all.

Do you have any tour dates lined up? What can people expect from one of your shows and why should people come and see you perform live?

We’ll hopefully be playing more gigs again now that Covid restrictions have been removed but nothing has been planned yet as we were focusing on our recording and releasing our EP.

If anyone likes our EP they’ll enjoy us live as we’re pretty much the same live as on the recordings. We’re a three piece and that has a lot of restrictions, but it also means there’s a lot of space for us all to be heard and try things when we play live.

Any last words for the fans?

We really appreciate anyone listening to our songs, it takes effort and time for the songs to take shape and as with other bands and artists, we really appreciate it when people give us a listen and hopefully enjoy our songs.