friendships on Fishtank & giving themselves room to breathe
Debuting last year, The Cable Ties Ball was a night filled with such hugely immense music and community, the band have decided to do it all over again. Back for another stellar year, Melbourne ‘tiresome’ punk act CABLE TIES will be realising their second instalment this Saturday, February 23 at The Corner Hotel.
The night is more than just a gig, it’s a gathering to celebrate something entirely worth celebrating – community. Happening across both stages at The Corner, they’ve enlisted the help of some great friends and local legends to make this Cable Ties Ball a smashing one.
This year’s lineup will see audio-visual two piece FRIENDSHIPS perform a rare live set after spending the better part of the last year taking a break from the project, reconnecting and creating the follow up to their debut record Nullarbor 1988-1989.
Just last year, they remixed a Cables Ties track – ‘Choking To Choose’, and along with the remix, released an insane clip to accompany it, so their appearance at the Cable Ties Ball is an apt one.
Ahead of the event on Saturday, we caught up with Misha to chat their new project Fishtank, what they’ll be bringing to the Ball and what they’ve been up to this past year.
You’ll be recreating one of your works titled FISHTANK at the upcoming Cable Ties Ball. Can you tell us about the project and how you’ll be bringing this one to life?
M: Mmmmm idk I’d say it’s about all of us. You, me, acquaintances, enemys, strangers. Facing death and facing life. It’s friendships telling a story about the spiral down to the bottom and the climb back up. I’m pretty sure everyone can [for whatever reason] pinpoint a rough time, or several or maybe even right now in their lives, where you find yourself at the bottom, in the cold mud, in the silent dark… A situation in which you feel you have no control, no power, you’re exhausted and unseen. How do you regain control? How do you take your power back? How do you be seen? Nic and I have gone through times like that in our own personal ways. The fall, that climb. We mashed ours together and Fishtank happened.. Idk I don’t really see it as something that we are bringing to life, cuz it is life already. We’re just putting pictures in ur eyes and sounds in ur ears, vibrations in ur skin and thoughts in ur gut.
Your live shows are one of the most visceral and exciting experiences in the country. It’s been a hot minute since you’ve regularly performed, but what are you planning on bringing to your show at the Cable Ties Ball?
M: We’re going to bring strength, vulnerability, humour, sadness, happiness, honesty, confusion. There’ll be moments of dancing and moments of stillness. We’ll be bringing different kinds of sounds and different kinds of visuals, the whole structure has changed from what people are used to seeing from us. We’re not bringing you anywhere, we’re inviting you somewhere. If you choose to accept, you’ll step into a place we’ve re-created that you all exist in. You’ve all been here before, but never past this point, so if u would like to come, ur all invited.
You took some time out from regularly performing live last year to focus on writing your second record. How has the writing process for this record differed from your first?
M: We had done the Nullarbor8889 set and tour to death. The last time we played it was 2017/2018 New Wears, and we both felt pretty shit about it. We didn’t actually have a conversation like “Ok it’s time for us to take a break, lets focus on making a new album”. I think we just instinctually knew that it was time to put it to bed. We stepped away from the of structure of labels, managers, of due dates, those kind of outside pressures to ‘stay current’ in the industry. We didn’t feel the need to. So there was no actual focus on trying to make a new album, and we didn’t want to put pressure on ourselves to do so. Like, lol would you sit on a toilet if u don’t need to go? The thing is, the type of work we make together isn’t consumer driven, it’s just art that we make, when we choose to make it… So we didn’t feel like making it anymore. We separated ways for a while, gave ourselves a chance to breath, live our lives outside of friendships. So months later we had a catch up and sort of had a show and tell of what we had been up to creatively. To our astonishment, so much of Nic’s music and my videos were completely in sync, like unbelievably. Considering we were rarely conversing for quite a while, we were both pre t t t y gobsmacked tbh. I remember we showed Nic’s partner, and they were like “Wait what? Nic u haven’t seen these videos and Mish you haven’t heard these songs?! wtffff”. Fishtank came together in an incredibly organic way, and in turn our process developed into something very different from our last release. The concepts, themes and explorations have been considerably more collaborative than our first project, ways in which we hadn’t previously done.
Do you simultaneously work on the visual and sonic aspects of your art? Or do you tend to break it up?
M: Well we get together, few wines, few beans, have a mash on some MIDIs. Chat about concepts, the characters that are developing, definitely turn into some of them, few wines, few beans, yarn about the direction, stage composition you know all that yadda yadda few wines, few beans, then home time. Once there, we sit on our computers for hours on end, few wines, few beans. Then we get together, few wines, few beans, have a mash on some MIDIs. Chat about concepts, the characters that are developing, definitely turn into some of them, few wines few beans, yarn about the direction, stage composition you know all that yadda yadda few wines few beans then home time. Once there, we sit on our computers for hours on end, few wines few beans. After that, we get together, few wines few beans, have a mash on some midis. Chat about concepts, the characters that are developing, definitely turn into some of them, few wines few beans, yarn about the direction, stage composition you know all that yadda yadda few wines few beans then home time. Once there, we sit on our computers for hours on end, few wines few beans. Once thats all done Nic does 100% of the sound and I do 100% of the visuals.
What have you both been up to for the last little while outside of friendships?
M: Not much really. My epilepsy turned it up a few notches so I’ve been in and outta hospital in and outta seizures. An obstacle I’m tryna figure out how to pass. Haven’t quite figured it out yet so in the meantime I’ve been painting.
You’re going to be bringing the sonic fantasy land of the Yabba to life in Declan Greene’s adaptation of Wake in Fright. This is a mammoth task – how do you approach soundtracking a performance like this?
M: Nic played me a lil sample the other day and all i can say is it’s siiiiiiiiiccccccccccc and everyone go see it.
Interview by CAITLIN MEDCALF