Seven years is a long time in music, especially in terms of public expectation, but when a band plays rock as well as New Zealand outfit The Datsuns seven years is just a prolonged gap between one slab of rock goodness and the next.
At the turn of the century, The Datsuns were seemingly everywhere, on both the local and national touring circuit, with overseas festival slots at places like Ozzfest part of a days work for their rising rock star.
Although not fading from the scene altogether, changing climates grabbed hold of the juggernaut, reeling them back into a pack that was growing by the day and forcing them to almost re-establish themselves in a market they once dominated.
Now, after the release of their latest album Eye To Eye, The Datsuns have picked up from the same rockpool they left seven years ago, with the same swagger and intensity they left us with.
Guitarist Phil Somervell joined HEAVY to talk about the new release earlier this week.
“So far the reception has been real positive,” he enthused, “real supportive which has been great. It’s only been four or five days but that’s nice. The process of it took us a while – it’s been seven years since our last record – and the writing took a while to complete but now that is out it doesn’t seem like it’s been that long! Even though it’s been a gap of seven years there was moments when we thought we would never finish it”
After leaving fans waiting so long for new material, Somervell stresses the band didn’t approach Eye To Eye with a set game plan, more so their only point of attack was to keep the songs and music true to their musical soul.
“The only focus was to finish ideas really,” he shrugged. “We just made all of the songs and made sure all of us were happy with them. Whoever came up with the original idea for it we made sure they achieved what they wanted. We didn’t really put too much thought into how it was gonna go down or how other people might perceive it. I guess we’ve always been like that, trying to make records for ourselves and then if it goes well, it goes well but if not we are still happy with the product.”
In the full interview, Phil talks more about the musical direction of Eye To Eye, the comparisons being bandied around to classic bands, the album cover, what happened to bring them back to the pack earlier this century, playing music from the sou and more.
Watch “Brain To Brain” below: