If playing in Sydney’s psychedelic trio The Vines wasn’t enough, original coastie and SOMETHING WITH NUMBERS drummer LAUCHIE WEST has kept himself busy with both outfits, and both in and out of the studio. PEARL DAVIES caught up with West to discuss the unintentional 3 year break between albums, growing up, moving on and learning how to juggle.
It was around 2009 that former members Lauchlan Scott (guitarist) and Dave McBeth (drummer) chose to pursue other dreams and retire themselves from Something With Numbers. This then made way for West and Central Coast guitarist Trent Crawford. Being no strangers to the music scene, both West and Crawford took to the band like ducks to water. “I think the hiatus was on its way anyway but people grow up in different ways and some musos just don’t feel the need to come back to it. They move on to other parts of their lives, they want to experience other things that don’t involve the band and that’s ok. It’s all still very friendly though and we’re all still good mates,” said West.
Since their initial break in 2009, the boys have managed to keep themselves musically active and entertained. Lead vox, songwriter and (now) guitarist Jake Grigg called LA home for a while and during this time doing a collaboration with Shawn Harris of Californian pop punks The Matches. It was this side project, Manic, that saw West fly over to play for them, making him the obvious choice for the band when McBeth called it quits. “Yeah, I flew over and did some stuff with them, everyone’s been pretty busy during the break. Tim (guitarist and founding member) is writing a lot, Scott does a fair bit of surfing and bike riding, and Trent’s playing with anyone and everyone.”
Like West, Trent Crawford himself was backed by an impressive resume of talent, playing over a mix of genres and having being part of projects and gigs alongside some of the nation’s most influencing artists. Coming together to form the missing links to Something With Numbers is just one more achievement to add to their lists. “We’ve actually come to be a part of it from opposite ends, Something With Numbers had supported another band of Trent’s, One Dollar Short, so they’d toured a lot together. Trent owns his own guitar shop on the coast and has been a big part of it’s (the band’s) growth. Me, I’ve come in on it from the opposite end of the spectrum. I’ve supported Something With Numbers on occasion and I guess we just met in the middle. Although there’s a bit of an age gap between us, it all comes to be quite natural when we’re together,” said West.
On the band’s long break between albums, West states, “It was an unintentional hiatus. You stop doing it for a while, then when the timings right you come back and get back into it.” And got back into it they did. Having recently released their forth studio album, Eleven Eleven, it’s been nothing but go for the boys. Opting to stay with their former producer of previously released 2004 debut album, Etiquette, producer/engineer Lachlan Mitchell (The Jezabels, The Whitlams) has once again wowed the boys with his production skills, and even more so then before.
Since the new addition of West and Crawford, it was asked what elements, if any had changed the sound of Eleven Eleven. “I think that there was more time being spent working on the songs as a whole instead of each individual component. Our producer Lachlan Mitchell really helped us out with that,” said West. So impressed with Mitchell’s work ethics was West that he introduced him to The Vines front man, Craig Nicholls.
June of 2012 saw West join popular psychedelic outfit, The Vines. On questioning whether there are conflictions with touring between the two bands, West explains: “It’s not that difficult I guess, there’s a lot of emails and text messaging between managers making sure the dates are alright and things like that. You’ll never hear me complaining about being busy though, I’ve been able to join two bands I’ve been a fan of for so long so I’m pretty happy about that.” On asking if there has been any tour conflictions, West continues, “No not at the moment, things have actually gone pretty well, but it doesn’t mean that there won’t be any issues further down the track.”
Something with Numbers perform at The Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle, on Friday June 28, 2013.