Brian El Dorado and The Tuesday People
ONE does not encounter a seven-piece…
In music but, when you do, it is always an experience! I speak to Brian El Dorado and The Tuesday People’s leader about music in Melbourne and how he got the band together. He speaks about the new album, Wildfire, and inspiration behind some of the songs; the artists the band are compelled by – and whether the band members all grew up in musical households.
I learn more about a unique musical force and one that is preparing to take the music world by storm! El Dorado tells me about future gig plans; whether the guys are coming to the U.K. – each member chooses a song that is especially personal to them.
Hi, Brian. How are you? How has your week been?
Fantastic! I’m on an airplane, now, flying home after a great pre-tour holiday on the Sunshine Coast (Australia).
Been fishing, boating; swimming and chilling - even practising a little for the tour; singing in the shower.
For those new to your work; can you introduce yourself, please?
I am Brian El Dorado; band-leader of The Tuesday People. I am the main songwriter, rhythm guitarist and singer. I organise the band; do all the nitty-gritty and bring the show together.
Before we go on; I have to ask about the name ‘Brian El Dorado and The Tuesday People’. It has a bit of a cult vibe to it. Who came up with the name and is there any special meaning behind it?
I came up with it - or it came up with me.
I am hoping we can also get a bit of a cult following. My wife grew up in a cult so, yeah, maybe I am the cult leader - although; one wife is enough for me. L.o.L.!
‘El Dorado’ is a reflection on the city-of-gold-myth. ‘The Tuesday People’ stems from a book I read once. It’s about making the most of every moment and living your life aligned with your highest calling.
The band is a seven-piece. How did you all get together? How long did it take to get that bond and brotherhood cemented?
The band started as a four -piece on the first album but we hired some horn players on a few tracks. I really dug the vibe with the brass, so for this album, Wildfire, we got the horns in on every song. We also got Adam Rudegeair in on the keys - which has been fantastic as he is an extremely versatile virtuoso player. Having Adam and Kumar Shome on lead guitar is a real powerhouse solo section.
Pretty much everyone who plays in The Tuesday People is actually Jazz-trained and heavy-hitting on the Melbourne scene. It is a lot of work juggling seven players for rehearsals and gigs but we pull it off with our mutual love of music and performance. It’s not a real egotistical band. It’s more about the music and just having a good time.
Underneath that, of course, it is (just) pure expression. The best place to be: in the moment and on breath, sound and rhythm.
Melbourne is your base. How good and productive is the scene like there right now?
Melbourne is a buzzing music and art metropolis...
It is thriving and full of musical diversity. This can be seen and heard live any night of the week. For instance; two weeks ago, I went and saw a band perform in an African restaurant with about thirty punters. That band consisted of the keyboard player and bassist from Hiatus Kaiyote. The last time I saw these guys was at BluesFest with 15,000 people in front of them.
So, yeah, that is what I am talking about. It is crazy how much music there is here - that was a Sunday night!
Wildfire is your latest L.P. What does the title symbolise and what kind of subjects inspired the songs?
The title was based upon the fire that is in us all: the same fire that comes from the core of the Earth. It is about a hunger that is different than being hungry for food or desire: it is a soul hunger; a soul fire. Do not get me wrong…we are not arsonist! It also seems to have something to do with a reoccurring dream I have about wildfires burning - but that is another story!
The songs’ subject matter (on Wildfire) mainly deals with psychology, I guess, and the different states of mind people can be in. There is not a lot of storytelling on this record. It is a bit more introspective; however, there are exceptions. Freeway was written in homage to the daily work commute. Halloween was written about an argument with my wife at a Halloween party. I guess Money to Burn also reflects on the greed and individualism that seems to have plagued a lot of western society.
The album is your most diverse work and straddles genres. What was the reason for this cross-genre approach?
I think the genre-bending has to do with my writing approach. It is also not dissimilar to our first record, Eclectric, in that manner - a title that was based on being 'eclectic' and 'electric'. I do not ever write songs thinking I am going to write a Funk song or a Rock song…or Soul or Blues…
I just write with my instincts and let it come out the way it wants to. When I then take this to a group of highly capable Jazz musicians; you can come up with all kinds of things! Honestly, if you think this album is diverse, the next one will blow your mind! I have already written twenty-eight songs for it!
Going to have to start culling soon!
Do you have a love of all styles? How eclectic were your childhoods in terms of the music you discovered?
We are extremely eclectic...
I come from Ohio (in the U.S.A.), the home of old-school Funk; Kumar’s family comes from India; the rest of the band is Australian - and probably scattered with European heritage. Melbourne is a diverse place! Really, though, Kumar and I have done most of the work - and he is often the first person I show songs too. I have worked with him for nearly ten years.
He is a talented musician and capable of brilliance in any style and I mean that: Kumar is next-level world-class.
I believe you have a string of dates to promote the album. Where will you be headed?
We are doing a small East Coast run in N.S.W./A.C.T.; in Sydney and Canberra - as well as seven dates throughout Victoria in Warrnambool...Rye, Ballarat; Bendigo, Castlemaine; Melbourne and Geelong.
What is touring like for you guys? Do you get a kick out of it? What is the best bit about touring?
The best thing about touring is playing heaps of shows and having a good time: the hardest part is being away from home, family and friends.
Honestly, though, you cannot beat getting to do a lot of what you love the most. That’s what life is about - if you can create that for yourself, I reckon.
You coming to the U.K. soon and playing for us? Are you all fans of British music?
HA, are you kidding me?!
There is nothing I would like to do more than get on a plane with the band to London-town! It would be pure magic, the absolute best. The flights are not cheap, though. I reckon we will get there one day. You people will not know what hit you! One of our drummers has played Glastonbury a few times in another band – so, yeah, see you in a few years when we headline! It’s going to be a ripper show….
Seriously, though, we are also big fans of lots of 1960s/1970s British Rock music. It really led the way for the whole globe. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones; Queen, David Bowie; The Who and Pink Floyd etc…the list could be longer….
It is also no coincidence that massive artist like Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley did not really get massive global recognition until they came to London. It must be a cool place, indeed.
What are you chaps up to this Christmas? Do you visit family or have other plans?
We have a show at a local venue booked in just before New Year’s Eve. I imagine we will also be inundated with presents from fans - and busy opening Christmas cards filled with cash and pictures of nude humans. No really, I am joking. It’s hot round here come Christmas; so I imagine a beer or two will be had.
There are some fantastic beaches just out of Melbourne - so a bit of swimming will be in order, no doubt.
IN THIS PHOTO: City Calm Down/PHOTO CREDIT: Liam Thomson
Who are the new artists you suggest we check out?
There is a great band in Melbourne called Laneous I saw the other night. Our drummer from our first album plays in City Calm Down. They are kicking lots of goals and coming your way in November, I believe. I also really dig a band here called Curse Ov Dialect.
There is an awesome band supporting us on tour, from Melbourne, called China Beach. They are rad. Kind of like the Bee Gees-meets-Tame Impala. Also; I heard a great song the other day by a singer named BATTS.
Really, for new, though, you cannot go past US!
IN THIS PHOTO: BATTS/PHOTO CREDIT: Michelle Grace Hunder: Photographer
If you had to select the album that means the most to you; which would it be and why?
This is a hard question!
I guess it changes over time but I currently cannot really go past Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ double-album, Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus. For song-depth and intensity, it is really as good as it gets. Sonically, it blows my mind in the way the music was recorded and the level of musicianship. It crosses many genres.
It is purely about the music and the expression - and this, to me, is what music is about. It is the real deal, like all their records. Nick Cave is one of those artists - like Tom Waits or Leonard Cohen (or John Lennon): their music transcends time and space. It is not Pop.
It is real art and will be here forever.
What advice would you give to artists coming through right now?
Work your ass off - but have fun doing it!
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each name a song and I’ll play it here (not one of yours as I’ll do that).
Brian: Beastie Boys – Pass the Mic
Kumar: Van Halen – Hot for Teacher
Adam: Prince – Alphabet Street
Chris: Queen – The Prophets Song
Anthony: The Cat Empire – How to Explain
Lachie: Maceo Parker – Shake Everything You Got (Pt. 1)
Sean: The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
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