Andrew Chats with The Money War

Andrew Chats with The Money War


Andrew and Perth, Australia-based outfit The Money War go way back: they were the first band to follow him on Twitter, and he gave their song “Stars” its first spin on US radio. They finally linked up in Austin, where they sat down for a beer and chatted about road trips, dance crazes, and lots of music. Here’s how it went down:

Andrew: So! How are you guys doing?

Dylan Ollivierre: Doing good! Have you had a good SXSW?

Andrew: It’s been…how do you say, a hell of a week?

D: It’s the first time we’ve been to Austin, it’s a whole other world.

A: Is there nothing like this in Perth?

D: Well, we have the nightclub district, and a couple of smaller festivals, but the nightclub district is kind of aggressive…bright lights, pounding EDM, that sort of thing. A festival on this scale that’s not just like a Coachella-type fest? Very rare.

Andrew: My friend from Perth taught me a bit about Perth culture, are you guys familiar with the dance craze “rinsing?”

Carmen Pepper: I’ve heard of rinsing, but I don’t know what that is.”

D: Me neither. Is that just like that phrase ”tearing the carpet?”

C: It’s just some dance move…but it can’t be that popular if we don’t know what it is!

A: Well I guess that myth’s debunked!

D: Yep, we’re Mythbusters.

A: So you guys formed the band on a road trip through the U.S?

D: That’s true.

A: Where in the country were you when the idea first formed?

D: Well we say we formed the band on the road trip, but really the firstsongs were written on that road trip in California. We didn’t start playing until a year after that, but during that trip was when we thought, “let’s get a band together.”

C: We went on a holiday thinking, “let’s not do music for a while.” We were disillusioned with the whole industry, and we were both in bands that had just broken up, so we took a break from writing music…so when it did happen, it was a surprise.

D: The main thing for me was that trip was so amazing. I had a romantic image of California from Jack Kerouac, books like On the Road and Big Sur, ya know–so on that trip I felt some sort of obligation to write a Dylan-esque road anthem, or pretend we were The Eagles. When we road tripped from LA to Austin, I said to Carmen, “how many tour buses do you think came through this route?”

C: Yeah, I kept thinking that when we were driving on Route 66.

D: Totally, i felt like every major pop artist had driven down that road. It made me feel like I was in the movie Almost Famous.

A: One of my favorite movies of all time!

D: Same. We actually went to the place where the “Golden God” party scene was filmed somewhere along our trip, possibly in LA.

A: Amazing! Did you stop by Albuquerque?

C: Yeah, we went to Walter White’s house!

D: It had a fence around it and a sign that basically said, “just take your pictures and go.”

A: The Full House house in San Francisco has a similar sign. So you said you’d been bopping around the music industry for a while pre-Money War. How did you get into music?

D: Just playing in local bands and doing shows, it kind of all progressed to the Money War. Triple J Unearthed were instrumental in each of our previous bands, my Rainy Day Women and Carmen’s Warning Birds.

C: I actually sung on one of Dyl’s band’s tracks, which is how we started together.

A: What about personally? When you started getting into music, did you have moments along the journey of listening to other artists where you thought:  “I have to do this?”

C: Oh yeah.

D: Still happens.

C: That’s why i still make myself go to live shows, so I don’t lose that. I’ll go see an artist I really like and it really inspires me– I miss that feeling.

D: Yeah, there’s those songs you listen to when you’re coming of age that you’re forever chasing in your own music.

A: What are some of those for you?

D: One of the first artists I connected with was Red Hot Chili Peppers, I loved “Under the Bridge.” Later on, I got into Fleetwood Mac–once listened to Rumours start to finish there was something that resonated. I think there’s something about that album that you don’t get til’ you’ve been through a breakup, so once I got a bit older is when I could really understand it…it’s one of those albums where listening to it says way more than you can say by talking about it.

C: I went to a James Taylor concert when I was 13 or so, it one of the first big concerts I’d been to. He was my dad’s hero, So I grew up listening to JT, Carole King, Jackson Browne…yacht rock kind of stuff.

D: Carmen’s dad is the yacht rock expert! A real smooth fm dude.

A: Like Sade, Bertie Higgins, Christopher Cross?

D: Yeah. Yacht rock is more of a thing in the US, but it’s kind of exotic in Australia.

C: I didn’t know what yacht rock was until my friend threw a yacht rock themed party, and I spent that entire time thinking “wow, my dad would love this song”

A: Are there any Aussie artists that touch on yacht rock or is it something that hasn’t been explored do you think?

D: Remember #1 Dads? I think they called it #1 Dads because it’s basically dad rock. Little River Band, also.

A: OF COURSE! LRB, that’s the definition of yacht rock. Ever seen The Other Guys? That was my introduction to LRB. Man, do they know how to write a pop tune. How do you go about your writing? Music first, melody first? Whatever comes naturally?

D: I don’t think i’ve ever successfully written a song where I wrote lyrics first, then tried to work out a melody. I think it’s the case for most people who write pop music, because pop is mostly focused around the melody.

C: Like, you start out with a melody, and fit words around that melody, and put chords under that melody…

D: The best ones are when the words emerge with the melody at the same time, even if it’s just the chorus. With “Right Kind of Love,” I had the idea for the chorus melody, and just built the song out around that. Some songs start with a riff or a groove…I’d say melody foremost in our group over lyrics.

A: Do you remember a band called Manic Street Preachers?

D: Of course!

A: Well what Manics would do is James and Nicky would write the lyrics, then pass them on to James and Sean, who would do the melodies.

C: That’s amazing.

D: That’s so foreign to how we do it, but they write great songs! So there’s no one way.

A: And that’s the beauty of music. Guys, thanks so much for talking to me!

D + C: Of course!


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The Money War’s Triple J Unearthed page can be found here, and their debut album is in the mixing process as we speak.

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