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An Interview with Saskwatch

Tuesday, 23 September, 2014

Words by Melanie Basta

From studying music at university, to peppering the world map with gigs at Glastonbury and Splendour in the Grass, Saskwatch are clearly fixated on their music. “We’re just a really passionate band,” Liam explains.“We love making music.” I spoke to Liam, Saskwatch’s trumpeter and guitarist over the phone last week.

“I play trumpet and guitar,” he says. “We do tend to swap around a bit though, mainly with drums and bass.”  It sounds like Liam can’t think of a better way to spend his time. “Our first big gig was at Golden Plains. It was probably my favourite, because I got to perform and see my favourite bands as well.”

Liam sounds relaxed and friendly over the phone, but frazzled. He answers my questions but remains evasive throughout the interview. I come to realise it is unintentional, due to the band’s rising popularity and increasingly busy schedule, including an upcoming gig at Monash University this Thursday, September 25.

“At the moment we’re rehearsing at the John Curtin Hotel,” he explains, as the band prepares for their performance at The Alexander Theatre. Saskwatch will be headlining The Alexander Technique, a new event that combines arts, entertainment and nightlife in Clayton. “It’ll be really interesting. Something a little bit different.”

I tell Liam that I saw Saskwatch perform on the Heineken Live Stage at the Australian Open earlier this year, which is when I developed an interest in the band. “It was a great atmosphere,” he says, “quite relaxed.”

But relaxation is not really something on the Saskwatch agenda at the moment. “Olaf, who plays keys, is studying law at Monash,” Liam explains, “and Nkechi (lead singer) is studying part time at uni as well.” With study and daily rehearsals in a nine-piece band, I ask Liam if things get chaotic. “It’s pretty democratic,” he laughs. “It’s majority rules when it comes down to decision making.”

Saskwatch are preparing to go on the road in the coming months, with a handful of shows planned in the United States. Can we expect the sequel to Nose Dive soon after their adventure in the US? “We’ll probably begin working on some new stuff after that.”

Saskwatch will perform at the Alexander Theatre on 25/9. Tickets here.