Posted by Aphra Magazine on 18/5/15.
Infinity Broke is a rock band from Sydney, Australia, formed as a result of their participation in Jamie Hutchings’ last solo album, Avalon Cassettes. As their creations started acquiring a noisier and more experimental vibe, they began to build a group platform for their new band, Infinity Broke. They recorded over seventy minutes of music in January 2013, and then decided to divide the songs into two albums: River Mirrors, and their newest album Before Before. Aphra had a chat with Scott Hutchings, guitarist and percussionist, about Before Before, and how it was simultaneously recorded with its predecessor.
Scott elaborates on how the songs were all separated into two groups, and how it’s been two years since they recorded Before Before. River Mirrors was released a year after it was recorded, and having listened to both albums, I observed that Infinity Broke’s sound has evolved significantly; it has attained a smoother feel and Scott agrees, ‘it’s interesting when you separate songs and regroup them [since] you can definitely tell there is a different feeling, a different personality that surfaces from those groups.’
The albums certainly do have two different personalities, and Before Beforedoesn’t fail to awe its listeners with a unique and edgy vibe. Scott says that the songs of Before Before ‘aren’t as convoluted or as drawn out, or as jammy’ as the ones they had incorporated into the first record. He expands upon Before Before by mentioning that ‘it has a darker, more experimental kind of feeling’ and that it was inspired through their listeners’ admiration of the two drum kits in juxtaposition with each other, which added a different feeling and perspective to the first album. Before Before also has more of a twin guitar contribution, rather than twin percussion.
This dark evolution of Infinity Broke’s musical nature causes me to ruminate over the concept behind their intriguing band name. Scott proves that the band’s name is just as experimental as its sound, stating how ‘it’s a concept of time and thinking about the impossibility of forever coming to an end.’ He then continues to discuss the mechanics of space and time, how ‘it just carries on regardless of what humanity does, and you have no control over it. But just to imagine that it suddenly does come to an abrupt end; it’s just a bizarre concept.’
If Scott could sum up Infinity Broke in three words, he would use ‘loud’, ‘convoluted’, and ‘layered’. I then ask about the use of desert as the main setting in ‘Only the Desert Grows’, and Scott concludes that it is based on the problematic expansion of desert lands, since they are taking over fertile parts of the earth. While he thinks that they are ‘something that inspires, and has their own incredible beauty’, they also inspire feelings of isolation and despair, and he encourages me to explore these ideas: ‘What better sort of landscape to choose than the desert? To be in the middle of the deser,t where no matter where you look you can’t see anything apart from a never-ending sandy floor, with rocky crags and dry riverbeds, and that sort of thing.’
Scott also reveals that ‘Only the Desert Grows’ is a relationship based song, mentioning how Jamie wrote it, inspired by a novel he read regarding a couple who became estranged in a desert setting. He states that it is ‘kind of chirpy, but it’s got a bit of a darker backbone to it.’ This song certainly seems to combine both light and dark elements together, and Scott reminisces over their attempt to capture the feeling of being out in the desert via rickety old trains; their video clip accentuates the endlessness that is conveyed in the song’s lyricism.
Apparently the train that is featured within the clip operated for twenty-two hours, and Scott expands upon the context of this setting by saying that he was in Mehama at the time. He had been taking photos of the landscape view from the train windows, capturing this ‘desert-y feeling going off way into the distance, until the horizon sort of appeared and that was it, when it was visible.’ He refers back to the feelings of isolation and despair, saying: ‘I’m sure you’ve been in a situation where you’re really in the middle of nowhere, and you realise that: if you were just dumped somewhere, what would you do? Which way would you go?’
Scott finds it interesting to hear different perspectives of the song; he discusses how music and lyrics don’t have any necessary rules and this encourages varied interpretations of their meanings. He uses an analogy to expand upon his view, stating that music and lyrics are ‘like visual art; you can walk in and get a completely different reaction from one person over another.’
Infinity Broke have toured both France and Australia, but Scott thinks the Binic Blues and Folk Festival is the band’s favourite place to play at. Scott described it as a seaside town with a village feel. The annual festival hosts to an estimated amount of 20,000 people over three days, and Scott and Jamie have both been there a few times in the past during Jamie’s solo career. When the two of them were there, their bass player Reuben joined them, and that was one of the ways that Infinity Broke was formed.
Scott discusses the positive feedback they have received from their tours, saying: ‘People really appreciate what you do in terms of making the effort to go there to start with, and they are willing to do so many things to help out.’ He also highlights the differences in their experiences between France and Australia, stating that: ‘Here you’ll get a six pack of VB, but there they’ll wine you and dine you and you’re not even necessarily a well known band; they just appreciate and they can tell whether you know what you’re doing, and as long as you’ve got that interaction and emotional connection to what you’re doing, they’re so appreciative.’
The most random fact about Scott is that he is known to talk and laugh in his sleep. He explains that when he’s on tour, Jamie and him often get relegated to the double bed if there’s only one double and two singles, and Jamie will always update him in the morning of what he was rambling about in his sleep. ‘He never knows what I’ve been laughing about,’ Scott continues. ‘My mind is nonstop; there’s audible proof that there’s all sorts of things going on while I’m in la la land.’
When Scott lists his favourite artists and bands, he ruminates over how his brother and he used to listen to musics in their late teens and early twenties, and how he can listen to the same bands now and gain just as much stimulation out of them. He saw Australian bands such as the Celibate Rifles and the Church a lot, and American bands such as Afghan Wiggs, Rein Sanction and Polvo. In the last five years, he has enjoyed seeing bands such as the Hot Snakes and Obits, but Mike Patton seems to be one of his favourites. ‘I really like Mike Patton; he’s a very creative guy. I admire his ability to constantly come up with something new and wacky and melodic; he can just hit any note without messing it up.’
‘More recently, he just keeps opening all sorts of new projects that continue to inspire and I think well done, there’s no such thing in fading away in his creative career, since he keeps on reworking something different,’ he continues. It is truly inspiring that some music artists can evolve by creating new content; they don’t allow themselves to be constrained by their previous creations.’
Scott would like to tour America someday, and he describes it as similar to Australia, in a way. America, however, he found ‘a little bit more dreamy’ in its structured organisation; ‘everything is big and the roads are wide and the cars are longer, it’s just different.’ It is certainly a vast place, as Scott elaborates: ‘Whenever I’m there, even the way the houses look and the way they’ve got their flags, you feel like you’re a midget in a giant sort of toy world.’
Infinity Broke’s goals for the future are yet to be determined, as Scott says that ‘the future is uncertain. The truth is, we don’t really know whether we’re all going to be in the same country next year, Jamie’s got other projects that he’s working on for the latter part of this year, and we all are involved in other little things, musically so.’ Some of the band members also play for a friend of theirs who has a Tom Weights and Neil Young style of music. They play as part of his band and they’re currently working on new projects.
Infinity Broke is touring Australia with their new album Before Before, so be sure to witness their raw and authentic talent as they rock it onstage. They’ve already toured Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide, so Brisbane and Sydney – you’re next!
Fri 22nd May – The Bearded Lady, Brisbane
Sat 30th May – The Factory Floor, Sydney