2018 marks 10 years of The Teskey Brothers, Melbourne’s indispensable figures in soul and blues. The band from Warrandyte made a name for themselves playing gigs throughout Melbourne for the past decade, steadily building a consistent audience and their own reputation, whether it was their intention or not.
“We’re just best friends, really, if we weren’t playing music we’d probably still being hanging out with each other,” bassist Brendon Love said, discussing the key to The Teskey Brothers’ longevity in an industry built on one-hit wonders and overnight superstars.
Last year saw The Teskey Brothers release their debut album, Half Mile Harvest, nine years into their music career together.
The mates then went on tour to support their album, the first time they had ever toured together outside of Victoria. While many bands in their infancy rush to release EPs and jump on tours, The Teskey Brothers have not rushed their path, instead, letting these things develop organically.
Brendon mused the idea that perhaps the band wasn’t motivated earlier in their career, but this patience has reaped rewards.
“I can’t imagine this happening 10 years ago, I think we would have been probably quite overwhelmed.”
Their consistent and reliable support from audiences is a sign of both their talent and perseverance.
“As the audience grew they sort of started demanding…” Brendon explained.
With an audience literally begging for an album, it seemed time to deliver.
The band is grateful that it has worked out this way, “To go from our hobby when we didn’t have work, to then becoming our full-time job,” Brendon explained the absolute joy it was for them.
“Music’s my job… basically, you’ve got to squeeze every drop out of it,” he added, having worked in a number of roles across the industry.
And this network is a powerful tool for any musician, “access to opportunity and resources flows over… it’s pretty handy being in a band that a lot of people know.”
In terms of the album, Brendon reiterated the hard work and commitment that went into getting it out to their audience, “we were really proud of the accomplishment…”
Earlier this year, The Teskey Brothers ventured over to North America for the renowned SXSW Festival.
“… The thing that was crazy was that there’d be people coming and singing along to the songs, and you know a band from Warrandyte… I actually couldn’t believe that people knew the songs.
“But I think that’s kind of the age we’re in with digital music and streaming.”
Releasing their album didn’t only please The Teskey Brothers’ long-term fans, it grew their audience exponentially.
The accessibility of music to international audience courtesy of the Internet has changed the game, and for The Teskey Brothers, it’s helping to propel them into an international career.
“An incredible experience and a real help for us… getting contact to again take it to the next level… approach the world touring and distribution.”
“This is next level crazy…there’s just so much going on,” Brendon reminisced on the trip.
To go from playing Melbourne’s local pubs to appearing on stage at SXSW is a rapid change, especially for an independent, DIY band.
“As independent artists, I think you can definitely do it and make a really good go at it,” said Brendon before adding, “It definitely outgrew our abilities.”
“We released the album ourselves, booked our shows ourselves, basically did everything ourselves. But as it grew it kind of got to the point…you can’t manage both things, you don’t have time and also you don’t have the knowledge.”
Now backed by what Brendon calls the A-team of management, their first offering is a re-release of Half Mile Harvest with two bonus tracks.
“Both those songs were written while we were touring the album, so it kind of made sense… to include those songs on that album, as I guess they all felt a part of that body of work.”
Before heading overseas next year touring the UK and Europe, the band has a host of Melbourne and NSW shows lined up, including Berry’s Fairgrounds Festival – a slot which they missed last year due to some exceptional flight difficulties (i.e. not enough rows on the replacement flight).
“We’ll have to make it twice as special this year.”
I recommend you make it there to see The Teskey Brothers make good on that promise.