Whether they’re a gear nerd or a gear noob, the type of gear an artist uses has a huge impact on their signature sound. In this regular series called My Gear, Noisegate picks the brains of exciting and diverse artists for a behind-the-scenes scoop on their musical set-up…
In a city as musically fruitful as Melbourne, with new bands cropping up literally everywhere you look, it is an exciting thing when a new band really grabs you and won’t let go. Dark Water is exactly that kind of band. Their reverb-laden, synth-driven pop songs are captivating, with a sound that is darkly 80s, The Cure-esque in its delivery. Jack, V and Seb from the band ran the My Gear gauntlet to let us into their world of synth, reverb and Ableton backing tracks…
What kind of music are you making at the moment? Tell us a little bit about your projects.
Jack: I’m writing mostly 80s synthpop/darkwave/post-punk inspired songs.
V: I also play as a solo project called V. I am putting out a record next month and touring in March. Super excited about that!
Can you describe your current live set-up? What instruments do you have in your band?
Jack: Gibson guitar, a shit solid state guitar amp with reverb and a Roland keyboard with inbuilt synths sampled.
Seb: I use a Fender Jazz bass which I got last year. Actually, Geryon found a bargain online for me and helped me suss it out because I’d never played before and it’s sick! I use this and a BOSS multi-effects guitar pedal, which is actually V’s. Can you tell I haven’t played in a band before?
V: I use a pieced together Percussion Plus kit Jack leant me and bit and pieces from my housemate who is also a drummer. We use a Roland SP-404 Sampler to play our backing track.
How does your live set-up differ to your recorded music?
Jack and Seb: It doesn’t.
Jack: Our backing tracks are made in Ableton using software synths and instruments. We use a backing track live too.
Is your gear integral to your sound?
Seb: The brand isn’t important to me as long is it isn’t 5000kg.
Jack: I’d say the software I use is because that is more specific but in terms of live instruments, brands are not really integral.
V: Having a decent drum kit helps!
What was the first piece of musical equipment that you ever bought (or came into contact with)?
Seb: (laughs) My violin when I was 9.
Jack: My grandparents piano when I was a kid, probably about 6 or 7.
V: An acoustic guitar when I was 11.
What is a dream piece of gear that you would love to own?
Jack: I’d like to own some vintage synths and drum machines because I only use digital.
Seb: An amp and pedal so I can return the ones I’ve been borrowing. And a 1925 fiddle.
V: Full Pearl drum kit. And a double kick pedal.
What is coming up for you in the future that you are excited about?
V: Our EP release!
Seb: And touring! Especially excited to go back to Brisbane. And it would be cool to go to Europe. And America. And New Zealand.
Jack: Same. EP and touring. Also releasing our upcoming film clips and collaborating on new material.
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