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An Unnatural Obsession with All The Weathers
Words by Imogen Elliot
Wednesday 27th February, 2019
Tasmanian art-punk trio All the Weathers left the island state earlier this month for the first time to tour their raucous third album ...For The Worms. Imogen Elliot was there when they made the album.
The setting was a garden bed of flourishing artists. All the Weathers needed a beaut album cover for their album. I was recruited by the trio to pile worms on to a wooden board with holes cut out for three human heads. Georgia Lucy, Gigi Lynn and Callum Cusick were amusingly immobilised, neck deep in the dirt. Their naked bodies shivered under the raised garden box. Their hair mixed with dirt and slug slime and rotting vegetables. It became my job to rush around the box applying lipstick to their furrowed faces.

“Fuck, Imo, quick, there’s some fucking shit in my eye and I can’t see, quick, can you get something and get it out? Fuck,” Gigi pleaded.

“Fuck. Oh fuck, toilet paper! I’ll go get some,” I said, frantically.

I ran to the nearest bathroom and checked both cubicles before finding half a roll of toilet paper behind a door. I had been foolish to think assisting with a DIY photoshoot wouldn’t be demanding.

I dabbed at the corner of Gigi’s eye as she wriggled like a worm in the compost. I managed to safely remove grit from her lower eyelid.

Taking the picture was rock-climbing/ photo-snapping superhuman Kim Walls. The band had hoisted him to the arts hall rafters and he was swinging about in an attempt to get a perfectly centered photograph from between his dangling legs.

“Maybe some more fake smoke?” Kim requested. I was in charge of that part, also. “And could you send me a memory card by maybe tying a bag to the rope?”

Behind the Scenes of the …For the Worms cover art photo shoot in Fern Tree
It had been a classic case of All the Weathers aiming higher than seemed realistic, then heroically pulling it off. Since meeting the band I have often thought, ‘gee whizz...All the Weathers sure are all the time and all over the place but they never seem to be over it’.

The band’s third album …For the Worms, has turned years of personal pain, shitty state politics and collaborative perseverance into a compost to nourish the Hobart music scene.

The 10-track album was recorded in Tasmania’s far south, in a bush cottage that has equal space for musical instruments as it does furniture.

I feel that the fatigue, time pressure and consequential delusion of making a record emerged as snappy one-liners on the album.

How many dickheads must it take to change the way a light bulb can illuminate? - All the Weathers, ‘Air Shampoo’
I don’t know how Georgia Lucy does it but she seems to naturally talk in rhymes and riddles. We share a common interest in alliteration and puns, but I lack the ability to craft such wit and candour into succinct sentences.

In my view, the song ‘Jobs for Dogs’ has the best lyrics. It makes a political statement with the tone of a wholesome cartoon.

“He makes me chase the rabbit and for lunch I eat my blanket. When I lose he can’t hack it. There are many shades of grey in the shady doggy trade.” - All the Weathers, ‘Jobs for Dogs’
On …For the Worms, Gigi, Georgia and Callum interchange between playing the drums, bass and guitar. Vinyl copies of the album include a slip of paper with a reference grid for each song.

People may look at Georgia, Gigi and Callum and think they’re just young bohemians with the spare time to jam. Sure, Georgia once suggested using teabags as a DIY deodorant, but she knows more about tax, ABNs and welfare agencies than most people I know.

At times it seems like the trio’s ability to make good music is completely uncanny. Really, it’s the result of hours and hours of genius craftwork, collaboration and patience.

Georgia made time to write and record the album in between shifts at two bars. Callum would make it in-between practicing with numerous other bands and regular work, and Gigi would likely have had to wrench her eyes open to play, despite having woken up at dawn to start work at her job.

Amid the challenges, I heard a lot of effort went into stitching together multiple movements in the song ‘Sick’. Gigi said tears were shed over a drum part someone just couldn’t get right. It was up to Melbourne-based artist Simon Maish, who mastered the record, to iron out any kinks. When I first heard the song it was before the track had been mastered by Simon. I loved how the song had three distinct sections, but it did seem like a pain in the ass to remember and perfect.

“I’m sick but that’s not the half of it,” – All the Weathers, ‘Sick’
All the Weathers perform at a house show in Hobart in 2018.
When All the Weathers performed at Hobart’s Brisbane Hotel in November last year, ‘Sick’ was among the songs they tried out on the live audience.

Personally, I was worried the audience would feel the rhythm changes were jarring, and the bass wouldn’t be loud enough. I knew the last thing the band would want is people feeling like their songs were too tricky to jump about to.

Fortunately, everyone seemed to love it. The show was on during Dark Mofo but despite the allure of the festival the Brisbane Hotel d-floor was swarming with bodies.

The song ‘Cool’ was performed during a summer Dark Mofo festival at the start of that year. All the Weathers had an actual performance slot out at MONA, and Georgia and Callum created a giant inflatable structure out of party whistles and garbage bags to erect on the Tyrell stage.

David Walsh came along to watch the show, and he bopped about in the front rows while most of the mainlanders sat up the back, trying to subtly record videos on their iPhone.

“You’re so cool your face should be on a coin,” - All the Weathers, ‘Cool’
It was such an empowering moment. Most of the people there had no idea the song was about the superficiality of people consuming, but not participating in, art, then capitalising on the culture.

Somehow, halfway through the set, the inflatable structure got a hole in it. Sometime around then the paper mache hats the band were wearing blew off. They had been weather-themed (complete with tin foil lightning strikes and clouds) so it was kind of ironic.

If it were any other band suffering live stage malfunctions, you may be inclined to have a sardonic chuckle at their misfortune. With All the Weathers things are different. Failures offer more stories to tell. The inflatable structure was supported by friends of the band in the audience. It was a virtuous display of camaraderieship and creativity.

I don’t feel a need to describe the way All the Weathers sound, or what makes each track exceptional. It’s up to the listener’s interpretation.

The sound relies on a strong connection between the members and an ability to write songs around the strengths of each person. The songs are self-referential, witty, wellcrafted and they cut through all pretension with structured distortion and abrasive percussion.

I love it when Gigi whips out her saxophone in tracks where she also plays the bass. The sax can be squeaky like Georgia’s spoken-word, or it can complement a slow bass riff with long drones.

Georgia’s vocals have an effortless cry/scream feel and her ability to write hilarious puns and sharp in-jokes shows she’s misunderstood.

Callum’s guitar playing can’t be measured by any criteria I know of. He once had a screwdriver rammed into the bridge of his guitar. At a gig it flung out and nearly hit an audience member in the eye amid a rabid guitar breakdown. Needless to say, he gets pretty into it.

All the Weathers are all my friends and I wish them all the best with their new album.

When I was told All the Weathers started working on a new record, I wanted to be the first to review it. I helped the band produce their album art, I saw them the day they decided on the album name. I was among the first to hear the band’s new songs. I knew how much each track meant to each member.

So they say their new album is called ...For the Worms. I guess that makes me a maggot happily eating their shit.
...For the Worms was released through Hobart-based independent label Rough Skies Records on January 27.

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