By Rod Whitfield
The Helix Nebula and Plini are two of the truly emerging names in Australian progressive instrumental music. Both have released EPs in the last two to three years that have garnered them much national and international attention, and now they are touring the eastern seaboard of Australia together on one pretty damn awesome double bill. Bassist for both bands bassist Simon Grove, speaking from his studio in Sydney, cannot wait.
“Yeah, feeling pretty good about it,” he enthuses, “it’s only a small tour of four shows, but two of them are already sold out, which is always good. That would be Sydney and Melbourne. We played Melbourne last year and that was just an absolute blast, so we can’t wait to get back down there and get into it.”
The fact that he plays the bass in both The Helix Nebula and Plini’s band makes it all rather convenient, not to mention a lot of fun.
“It keeps me nice and busy,” he states, “we just got back from doing Tech-Fest over in England, so that was a lot of fun. Apart from that, it should be pretty good, we’ve always wanted to do a tour together. We share the same fan base and stuff like that, so we thought there’s no better way to do it.”
The band promises an in your face, but at the same time, fun show for the punters coming out to see them on this tour: “For Helix, what we like to do is to be very intense but at the same time, we’re not really playing the most frantic and nerve wracking notes,” he describes, “we try to make pretty notes, and it’s kind of got a technical death metal approach to it, very aggressive all the time, but without all the tension and dissonance you usually get from that type of music.
“We just try to get up there and have a bit of a jam on it, and that’s about it.”
Technical heavy music is in a pretty healthy place around the world at the moment, there are plenty of excellent bands out there doing their thing, and a large audience hungry for new sounds, and both bands have put themselves in a position to ride that wave.
“It’s pretty unexpected,” he admits, “Plini just keeps on going from strength to strength, with all these unexpected announcements he keeps having, with guys like Marco Minnemman on drums for his new EP. That was kinda funny when I was tracking bass for that EP, I was just sitting at home in my studio doing the work, I was tracking along to some rough mixes to some programmed drums, and then we just got the news. And it was like ‘Okay! Well I better get these bass tracks nailed properly!’”
“And with Helix, we’re really just stoked with how everything’s been received, we’ve got an album in the works at the moment, so we’re just going to really push forward with that.”
In fact, the debut THN album is actually very close to completion. “The other two guys have written an entire album, it’s all done,” he informs us, “it’s a good 50 minutes of music.
When do you expect it to be ready to release? “Well we’ve got a couple of tours lined up, and I will be going to Japan with Plini in September, which will be a bunch of fun, but again, less time to be doing album work. I hope that when I get back from there, around October, we’ll get in and just start pushing through it. So I’m just going to absolutely hammer it through to about February next year.”
PLINI & The Helix Nebula
“The End Of Everything” Australian Tour