Dave Graney'n'the Coral Snakes THE SOFT'N'SEXY SOUND CD released June 1995 on ID/Mercury. Now available on Universal
This record was started and completed at the same
rehearsal studio, the same recording studio at the same time of the year
as the previous. The only real difference was that we used Victor Van
Vugt in the production chair this time.
Victor was an old friend of ours, as a teenager he had been the live sound
engineer for the Moodists. He had gone to Britain with us and stayed
there, building a strong career as a studio engineer and occasionally
working live with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. We caught him at a strange
time, he had just come back to Australia after completing Beth Ortons
"trailer park" album and he was back in familiar surroundings after a
long time away. He was, of course, a much different person.
Everything went right on this record. Tony
Mahony did a stunning hand drawn and coloured cover.
The whole package was sent out in a mock seventies Holden muscle car colour
promo folder set up by our A&R man, Adam Yazxhi, and the music was totally
focussed, planned and executed.
Clare and I had been amusing ourselves on all our touring by collecting
exotic vinyl everywhere we could. We were entranced by the sounds of "Martin
Denny" and "Les Baxter". Latin music was big for us
and making another rock record was not on our agenda. I had the feeling
that I could now go back to my own interests and conceits and forget
about making sense to "the industry" or make music that suited
the pub environment we were playing in. It was a tough recording session
as I don't think we communicated our ideas or intentions at all well and
everybody else thought we were to pick up from where we left off at the
"Unbuttoned" sessions. (the extra disc that came out with "you wanna bet
there...")Strangely, it was the record with the most compositions not
by myself. Robin wrote a song called "Salty Girls" and everybody else
co-wrote a song with me
The cd was emblazoned with our new genre imprint, AO Art. The whole
sleeve was awash with sly slogans, "whiskey fast'n'honey slow",
"woe is you" and of course, "music for colourful racing identities".
The back of the sleeve featured the words "tenez le droit , baby" which
was a reference to the motto of the Victorian police who had been involved
in a spate of murderous shooting that year. At the time, it had quite
a Clint Eastwood ring about it for me.
As we waited for the album to come out, Clare began playing with Astrid
Munday, Rosie Westbrook and Pennie Ikinger in "Blush". "I'm not afraid to be heavy" was our choice as the first single.
We really wanted to get the flavour of the whole album across. We thought
we could bypass rock radio and go straight for the adult scenes. Sadly,
none existed in Australia that we could approach. Eventually, "Rock'n'roll
is where I hide", the only song with really predominant guitar
on the record, was released as a single and drove the album to our widest
ever audience through extensive airplay.
We played about 63 gigs around Australia through the second half
of the year. The album kept its legs all through the next year
as well, eventually
going gold. (In Australia, 35, 000 copies). All our records seem to
get to people slowly and none have been deleted.
In October 1995, Clare and I flew to the UK to meet with This Way Up who
were expressing interest in putting out our stuff in the UK. We went
through a series of job interview situations with their
parent distributor, Island. Dave Bedford at This way up had worked
at Fire records.
The biggest act in the UK at the time was Pulp, who had spent much
of the same time as we did, at Fire before finding greener pastures.
the signs looked cool to us.
In 1996 we continued to play "Soft'n'sexy" shows around Australia. "I'm
gonna live in my own big world" was released as a single with a scratch'n'sniff sleeve".
(The lyric featured the lines "I wear New West man, eau de toilette....".
We contacted the people at New West who let us have some scent but did
not want to sponsor us as we seemed a bit weird. Megan Short at Mercury
had to personally spray every copy, she stank out the building and came
out in hives.) We did 65 shows in 1996, about twenty of them in the UK
and Europe where we went to tour and promote "Night of the Wolverine"
in April, May and "the soft'n'sexy sound" in October.
Produced by Victor Van Vugt, Dave
Graney'n'the Coral Snakes.
Recorded and mixed at Metropolis in Melbourne. Cover designed by Tony Mahony.
Video for "I'm not afraid to be heavy" devised and directed by Tony Mahony
"The birds and the goats"
"I'm gonna live in my own big world"
"I'm not afraid to be heavy"
"Deep inside a song"
"The pre revolutionary scene"
"Rock'n'roll is where I hide"
"Scorched earth love affair"
"Dandies are never unbuttoned"
This also came with an extra disc for the first couple of thousand copies.
This was called, "Music for colourful racing identities".
The track listing was:
"What kind of fool are you?"
"the expatriate trip"
"you ain't no country song"
"we're here to go"
"I've got to have you"
"world full of daughters"
(These last three were live semi acoustic recordings from the 1992 "soft'n'sexy"
There was also a limited release box edition which came with a sample disc
of songs from our other cds. This was called, "Simply the Best"
Dave Graney'n'the Coral Snakes THE DEVIL DRIVES CD released June 1997. Available on Universal Music Australia.
In January 1996, Clare Moore and myself
demoed songs for this album with Simon Grounds at his Collingwood
studios. About eight of the songs ended up being used, the rest were written
I had an idea that what people mistook as "production" was mainly all
the stuff that happened before you entered a studio. In that time the
whole approach as to what constituted a "song" and how long or fast or
tight those songs were was determined. I wanted to produce the
record and my first thought was to keep the songs as close to the original
germ of an idea as possible. I didn't want to play any of the songs live.
I especially didn't want to rehearse the songs too much as I thought the
songs should have each players first reaction within it rather than all
the usual objectivity of recording. I wanted that objectivity to belong
to someone else, someone who wasn't even there at the recording and didn't
know any of the performer or bands history. I wanted to take it to London
and have David Ruffy mix it from his perspective.
He was to provide another fresh and fast response. We had three rehearsals
and spent 14 days in July recording the album. In September,
I won an ARIA (Australian record industry association) award for
best male artist. (I made a speech pointing out that I wasn't really
a solo artist and gave due credit to Clare and the Coral Snakes) and thanked
Christ we had the album in the can as so much more attention became focussed
on us by the record industry.
The day after the ARIA awards we flew to London with the
tapes to mix the album. We came back to Australia in November and resumed
playing around the "Soft'n'Sexy" album. The crowds and venues were our
biggest ever. We still weren't playing any new numbers.
We delivered the record to Mercury and the angst of what was to be a single
began. The worst of it was that our A&R champion, Adam Yazxhi, had left
and the album landed on an empty desk. Several people came in to
pick it up and, after several meetings , an idea was suggested that we
"record a song for radio".
We weighed up the options and thought, "why not!". In January we went
into Kiss and put down "feelin Kinda Sporty". To keep it in line
with the rest of the album aesthetic we gave the tapes to Andrew Duffield
and Phil Kenihan to mix. They came up with a dynamite, stomping glam
sound and it got the nod as the single. Unfortunately, it had little
to do with the dreamy, exotic nature of the rest of the
record and overshadowed it completely.
In the meantime we toured right from the start of the year with the national
Big Day out festival. We did two national tours of our own during the
year, doing about 50 shows.
During the year I also put out a book about my songwriting called
"It is written, baby", through Random House, made a
two episode appearance on the soap opera, "Neighbours" and tried,
with Clare and Tony Mahony, to get an adult tv show off the ground.
Dave Graney'n'the Coral Snakes did their
last shows at the Continental cafe in Prahran, Melbourne on the
20th and 21st of December. It had been a long trip that started
in London in 1987 . It was great to finish up on such an artistic high
point as "the Devil Drives".
Produced by Dave Graney and Clare Moore.
Recorded at Kiss studios in Melbourne. Mixed at Matrix Maison Rouge, London
by David Ruffy. Cover designed by Tony Mahony.
Video for "Feelin' kinda sporty" devised and directed by Tony Mahony.
"The oblivion seekers"
"My only regret (I opened my mouth)"
"I don't know you exist"
"Rackin' up some zeds"
"Everybody loves a mass killer"
"I dig the pioneers"
"The sheriff of hell"
"land of the giants"
"I love your gravity"
"Biker in business class"
"A man on the make"
"Pascal et Caroline"
"The devil drives"
"Feelin' kinda sporty"
Extra tracks recorded for B-sides,
"Don't puddle up on me, china"
"Theme from the quim hunters!"
October 1999 a compilation of Dave Graney 'n' the Coral Snakes material
was issued by Universal Music Australia. It is called "the Baddest" The track listingwas
The sheriff of hell (hang 'em high
mix) - unreleased Morricone style treatment from late 1997 Showbusiness - An also unreleased AC/DC cover A million dollars in a red velvet suit
You're just too hip, baby
Night of the wolverine
You wanna be love
I'm gonna release your soul
The stars, baby, the stars
The confessions of Serge Gainsbourg
I'm not afraid to be heavy
Rock'n'roll is where I hide
The devil drives
Feelin kinda sporty
I dig the pioneers
released a 4 disc set of recordings June 2013. Now deleted. There were a few hundred copies in a warehouse but according to music business practice, these were destroyed even though we offered to purchase them.