Take a ride with An Horse!
Tue 27th May, 2008 in Features
Side projects don’t come much better than An Horse. Iron On ’s Kate Cooper, and Damon Cox from Brisbane staples Intercooler and Mary Trembles have a natural affinity on stage that translates into great music. Their Not Really Scared EP set critics’ hearts aflutter, and they’re about to head off on tour with I Heart Hiroshima. Fasterlouder spoke to Cooper about her writing process, and the advantages of having celebrity fans.
How busy is Kate Cooper? She’s so busy that she just recently landed in Brisbane after a mammoth tour of the US, and she’s doing this interview on the phone, while driving. It’s okay though, she’s on the hands-free. “Yeah, this thing is extremely wanky, but it’s helpful!”
Cooper and Cox just returned from a mammoth tour in the U.S. in support of Tegan and Sara, who invited them to come out and play. “Yeah, noone really knew us, except for a few diehard fans, but we were really blown away by the reception. It just kept snowballing, after the first few shows. We were just shocked – we knew beforehand what we were getting into, but it was truly overwhelming.”
Cooper puts the reception down to international stylings. “I think that they just weren’t afraid to tell you how much they like you, and they come up afterwards and ask you to sign stuff. In Australia, people tend to watch quietly, if they don’t know you. But then, maybe its a Tegan-and-Sara-fan thing.”
And the Tegan and Sara adventures aren’t quite over yet – An Horse be whipping over to the United Kingdom at the end of June to play support for just two shows – one at the iconic Shephards Bush in London, and another at ABC in Scotland. “Yeah, it’s a bit wierd to go over there for just the two shows, but that’s what they asked us to do, and it’s Tegan and Sara – it’s hard to say no to them.”
An Horse was born in the depths of the musical dungeon that is, or rather was, Skinny’s Music. And Cooper isn’t above admitting she might have contributed to the downfall of the legendary Brisbane store. “Yeah, when you’re working in a music store, noone really works a lot, so maybe we’re a little to blame.” Co-workers at the store, and friends outside of it, Cox and Cooper gave birth to An Horse fairly generically. “Yeah, we were going to see a lot of the same bands, and Mary Trembles asked me to play solo, and I knew there was going to be a drum kit already on stage, so I asked Damon to play with me. We rehearsed once, and then played – it was all kinda accidental.”
So when writing a song, how does Cooper decide if it’s an Iron On song, or an An Horse song? “I get asked that a lot, and I don’t think there’s really an answer. I guess the thing is, it’s still me writing, so it’s not that different to anything else I’ve written. I wish I could say I write differently, but it’s not really. Whoever hears it first, or wants it, that’s where it ends up. A lot of the early An Horse songs were ones not worked on by Iron On.”
After a little more thought, though, Cooper reaches a fairly logical conclusion. “Well, I guess, with Iron On, we have two guitars and bass. So if I write a song for just one guitar, it’s an An Horse song, but if it’s got multiple guitars, then it goes to Iron On. Yeah, that’s the difference.”
An Horse are about to embark on an east coast tour with fellow Bris-band I Heart Hiroshima, and Cooper is eager to get going. “Yeah, it’s going to be really exciting, we’ve toured with them before.”
And the future for An Horse? Any more recordings on the horizon? “I think we’re going to be touring this EP for the rest of the year. We hope to get into the studio, maybe before the end of the year, but we probably won’t have anything to release until next year.”
Catch An Horse and I Heart Hiroshima on their east coast tour in June.
Thursday 5 June – Jive (Adelaide)
Friday 6 June – East Brunswick Club (Melbourne)
Thursday 12 June – Great Northern Hotel (Byron Bay)
Friday 13 June – The Zoo (Brisbane)
Saturday 14 June – Swell Tavern (Burleigh Heads)
Saturday 28 June – Hopetoun (Sydney)
Sunday 29 June – Bondi Beach Hotel (Sydney)
And, if you happen to be in the neighbourhood, don’t miss them supporting Tegan and Sara:
Monday 23 June – Shephards Bush (London)
Tuesday 24 June – ABC (Glasgow)
Not Really Scared is out now through Valve