After a number of EPs and well-received singles, Sydney rockers Food Court have finally released their debut album Good Luck. Since returning from tour with Tired Lion, Food Court are ready to do big things with the record and are sure that it is the best representation of their growth as a band and as individuals. We caught up with Cristian on a hot Tuesday afternoon, to flesh out the past year and what Good Luck means to them.
2017 has been a massive year for Food Court, with SXSW earlier in March, then their own tour, closely followed by Tired Lion, it’s safe to say the boys have been hard at work. In speaking of what they gained from the experience Cristian was filled with positivity. “It was good to start playing the new songs live, particularly when we were over in Austin we had ten shows in six days, it was a good opportunity learn how to play them and get some songs together. Build on a live performance and putting a set together. A lot of the bands we watched have really good connecting songs, and songs that lead into each other, and trying to build a full live set rather than just playing a bunch of songs.”
And this is something that seems to be becoming a common goal for most bands. We both agreed that while it’s great to have a bunch of eclectic tracks, a good show is marked on its cohesion and narrative, something Food Court seems to have nailed. Although only time will tell, as they head out on tour in November, these past months of supports and showcases are sure to have prepared them well for their own headlines.
They’ve been on the scene for a while, but it’s only relatively recently that Food Court have started making big waves in Sydney’s live scene. Cristian was eager to point out that it is not without slogging the live scene that bands we assume were an overnight success got to where they are.
“For younger bands you’ve just got to keep chipping away, like a lot of bands like Sticky Fingers and Violent Soho, they worked hard around the local pub scene and supported a lot of bands and didn’t just crack it straight away, a lot of people think they did but they were fucking slogging for ages. That’s why their live sound is so developed on stage and they are true professionals because they can do it with their eyes closed. Just play as many shit gigs as possible.”
So how does Food Court keep their sound fresh? They are one of many up and coming Aussie garage acts and while hard rock does have multiple points of differentiation, when it comes to putting out an album as these guys have done, it’s important to take some risks. Humming in agreement he offered his take on how they keep their sound original. “Not trying to hard, and not trying to write a song like another band. Especially listening to various people in the band they have different styles and different influences and you’ve got to be listening to different stuff. It’s good when you’ve got that dynamic of a lot of influences coming in, but as far as the resurgence of garage bands, bands like West Theb, they’ve got so many people on stage it just looks like such a good time.”
Food Court are heading out on tour in November, taking the album around Australia, and as we touched on earlier in the conversation, touring isn’t anything new to the band. It’s always great to hear stories about time on the road and if we are being honest, I reckon being on tour with Food Court would be an absolute riot. But they aren’t hyped up teens anymore and the realities of those long nights and the pressure of being away from home can take their toll.
“I think it’s good to make sure everyone has time to rest and stuff, I think if you’re 18 or 19 you could probably just keep going. But I think everyone needs their time out and their siestas, it’s good to have a bit of a balance of everything… Everywhere we were we were in some shit hostel somewhere, it’s like two bunk beds and we’d all get our instruments out and do a run through of the set acoustic style. It just gets us ready so we can feel comfortable when we get on stage after not rehearsing for a couple of weeks… I think we just know each other so well after four years that we can just give each other shit relentlessly until one of us cracks, and we don’t really crack because we know each other’s sore points. It’s gotten to the stage now like with any band, you go through times when things get tough and you just work through them and now we are all just best buddies going out on the road.”
Conversation then steered towards the record itself and where Food Court saw it in terms of their journey as musicians and as people. After taking a listen it’s clear that it has taken a few tough times and emotional breakthroughs to come up with an album like Good Luck. Tracks like Happy Birthday and Wrecked are weighed down by realisations and honesty, but beautifully mellowed out with that pop-infused garage that Food Court do so well.
“The first few EPs were about those happy fun times, but I guess we wanted to reflect on all of our lives and what we are going through as a band and there is shit that we all go through. Anxiety and depression… Those heavier songs feel more fun to play and get people more psyched and they get us more psyched. So we made sure when we were writing that we wanted to beef certain parts up… For example in Happy Birthday, it’s a bit mellow and the whole song could have just been that Aussie chill, but we wanted to add in that heavier guitar sound and Nick really slams hard and so we had parts where he was like, ‘I’m just going to go for gold and smash this out.’ We probably could have taken a softer approach but we recorded it that way.”
Good Luck has that perfect imperfection that so many rock outfits yearn for; it’s loud and messy in places but in the end a perfect reflection of where the band was headed with record and the short time they spent in the studio seems to have been a factor. “We did it in five days, essentially it was like, ‘Let’s just get in and rip in.’ We’d do a song maybe five or six times at the most, usually the first or second we got the right take and the right vibe. I think a lot of bands overdub too much and make it a bit too over produced. We wanted to sound the same live and we do recorded. Those little bits jump out, it’s like with Bleach by Nirvana, there are bits there make the album or the song because it’s not perfect and that’s something we’ve always tried to stick by. If it sounds good just roll with it.”
In coming to the end of Good Luck you are left with a sweet melancholy mixed with optimism. The record is endearing ambivalent, with multiple stories and sounds darting in between each other, Cristian describes the name as an indication of the sentiment. “I guess essentially it’s about no matter how you live you’ve got to work hard, to keep your head above water. There are a lot of songs lyrically which are about other peoples’ stories of struggling with relationship problems or mental issues. It’s kind of like choose your own adventure and you pave the way for how you live your live. It has a positive and negative connotation and I kind of like that.”
Food Court are gearing up for a big summer and LunchBox will be there up the front. They’re a band we anticipate are due for big things in Aussie music and something tells us that they don’t need luck to take this record to the next level.
4 November, Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
5 November, North Gong, Wollongong
10 November, Yah Yah’s, Melbourne
18 November, The Northern, Byron Bay
2 December, Cambridge Warehouse, Newcastle