Sly Withers and Carla Geneve premiere Lately, interview each other
Two of West Australia's most defining names in indie-rock come together, and the results are incredible.
Header image by Shannan Stewart.
Alongside names including Stella Donnelly, it's hard to find acts that have been as defining for West Australian music over the last two years or so than Sly Withers and Carla Geneve. For much of the last three years, the former group have emerged as front-runners in hook-infused garage-rock, relaunching themselves into national attention with their 2019 return Sad Guy - the first taste of what's bound to be a big year for the group as they eye a national break-out in 2019; cemented with east-coast sold-out shows in support of the track's release. The latter, meanwhile, targets international acclaim with her self-titled debut EP back at the start of this month, encapsulating her growth and evolution as a star of Perth indie that we've been behind since her sensational 2018 debut Greg's Discount Chemist - record label signings, international shows, sold-out tours, festival slots and everything else included.
Today, in what must be some of the year's biggest news for local music, the two forces come together. Lately sees Sly Withers enlist Carla Geneve for a thundering punk-rock classic that brings Sly Wither's ruckus-inducing sound front-and-centre through its charging guitar riffs, hectic percussion layers, and strong, commanding vocals. Then, in comes Carla, whose vocal harmonies unite with that of Sly Withers' vocalist Jono Mata as the song opens up, channelling that anthemic sound that Sly Withers champion. "Working with Carla was a pretty easy process. Carla’s been a long-time friend and we love all of her work so it seemed like a natural choice. She fit the vibe really well and she was keen to do it," says Mata on the collaboration. "We were stoked that she said to be honest," continues guitarist and fellow co-vocalist Sam Blitvich. "She definitely did her thing and that’s what we wanted. We left it open to her and she got to do ‘the Carla thing’ on a Sly song and we got the best of both worlds. From a songwriting perspective, I find us and Carla quite similar, but in other aspects super different. A lot of people would never put us in the same kind of box."
In celebration of the single, which premieres on Pilerats today ahead of its full, national release tomorrow, we got Carla and the Sly Withers gang to interview each other, talking about pre-show rituals, touring the US with San Cisco and more. Dive into it all below:
Carla Geneve interview Sly Withers:
Carla Geneve: What's the story for Lately?
Sly Withers: Lately is about two people doing their best to keep up with what the other person wants them to be. The truth is they're both better off being honest with each other and this song was written during that realisation. It’s ok not to be ok.
CG: What is the pre-show ritual?
SW: Our pre-show ritual varies venue to venue, I think depending on how much free space is around. I’d say the only constants are a few loosen up beers and a lot of lip rolls. We usually end up finding our own space to chill out and then regroup just before we head on but we’re always around chatting with the other bands and all our lovely fans who we adore.
CG: If you could only listen to one song for your next tour what would it be?
SW: I’m currently obsessed with Boygenius so I’ll say Bite the Hand by them, everyone else reckons Wild Wild West by Will Smith. Gonna be a long drive.
CG: Fingers for toes or toes for fingers?
SW: Fingers for toes definitely. Imagine being able to lie flat on your back and play keys with your feet whilst playing the guitar with your hands. Also climbing.
Sly Withers interview Carla Geneve:
Sly Withers: How are you Carla? How was your day?
Carla Geneve: I'm great thanks guys, I'm currently in Minneapolis with San Cisco and its quite nice thanks!
SW: Congrats on the US tour with San Cisco, huge! Did you go to Disneyland?
CG: Nope, but we drove through Des Moines, which is the home town of Slipknot. Way cooler in my opinion.
SW: What's your favourite song from your (amazing) new EP to play live?
CG: Umm I think it would have to be the last track I Hate You For Making Me Not Want To Leave The City just because I don’t play it every show and it's always a nice quiet moment with the crowd. It's like I’m telling them a bedtime story or something haha.
SW: Would you rather be forever coated in an invisible layer of hot ramen soup, or always slightly too cold for your environment?
CG: If I can still eat it, fuck me up with the infinite ramen.
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