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Psychedelic Porn Crumpets in Q&A Corner: Enter The DI Realm

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets in Q&A Corner: Enter The DI Realm

And Now for the Whatchamacallit…

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are part of the wave of psychedelic rock currently emerging from Australia’s burgeoning rock scene. Combine hard riffing, spaced-out vocals and a variety of sounds, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are an acid trip for your ears, all lush sounds and spiralling space. As per a lot of the bands on the Australian scene, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have so far taken a DIY approach to their recording, allowing them to create their own inimitable sound.

Their latest record, ‘And Now for the Whatchamacallit’ was recorded between guitarist/vocalist Jack McEwan’s bedroom and Tone City Studios in Perth and has been well-received by the music press, garnering praise for a unique sound that’s both progressive yet accessible. We caught up with Jack McEwan, guitarist and vocalist ahead of their forthcoming UK tour to get the low down on the album and the gear used to make it.

Keen for Kick Ons?

Hey Jack, thanks for taking the time out to do this Q&A, how are we doing today?

Jack – Very well thank you, although it’s raining in Perth today.

Your album ‘And Now for the Whatchamacallit’ released last month and it’s an absolute banger with some fantastic riffing and instrumentation on it, we’re loving it the Dawsons office! How has the reception been from your perspective?

Jack – Yeah, it’s been great, quite overwhelming having so many ears listen to it. This release was a lot more daunting than the others as HVpt1&2 were released primarily to an Australian audience. This new record felt like we were venturing out into the world a bit more, so everything felt brand new, the band, our instruments, our style of songs, it was fun and I’m glad it’s been received well.

You’ve got Truck and Y Not festivals coming up soon, can we get a quick rundown of the guitars you’ll be using on these dates?

Jack – 2 x Fender Jazzmaster, Fender Telecaster, Fender Powercaster

PPC Guitars

Marmalade March

Let’s talk gear! What were your first guitars?

Jack – I played bass for the first 10 years of my musical life. Dad had one in the loft that he dusted off and gave me when I was 8, it was pretty much double the size of me, so I learnt to play up the neck a lot.. Was a K Bass which I think is German? Then I got myself a cheap old Washburn from K-Mart which I used on some of the first album until it died. Luke [Guitar] will tell you he’s always had some vintage stuff.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets are known for fuzzed out, dirty guitar sounds, what are you go to pedals for noisemaking?

Jack – Blues Driver and a Swollen Pickle are the go-to pedals for me, mix that in with some echo delay and you’re throwing shakkas. Luke uses a Prince of Tone which emulates that 60’s crunch nicely, there’s a few others but when I’m at home I love building sounds on Guitar Rig, I’ve been converted to the DI realm.

The new album is also home to some rather pleasant clean tones, what reverbs and delays are you using to add texture to the music?

Jack – It’s pretty much all DI, I’ve had Guitar Rig for a while and there’s some really unique sounds that you can spend hours customising. The digital amps on there are pretty ‘how ya going’ but when you turn them off, you’re left with the guitar signal going straight into the compressors and it has this electric, broken distorted tone that is near enough impossible to replicate live. The delays and reverbs are again from guitar rig but for ‘And Now For The Whatchamacallit’ I started pitch shifting a lot of the clean signals and warping them to sound like an organ, or a violin, or a flute, then drench them in reverb and reverse the parts and you get some really interesting sounds.

PPC Guitars 2

Cubensis Lenses

Can you talk us through the backline for the festival/tour dates? What amps are you bringing?

Jack – We’ve been lucky enough to get sponsored by Fender who have looked after us amazingly throughout Europe. Previously I was a hooked AC30 man and Rish loved his Silvertone. Now Rish [Luke – Guitarist] plays through a Deluxe Reverb as he likes to build his tone from the cleanest start possible, I prefer a Deville or a Hot Rod with that meatier crunch, so my clean tone is always a bit more driven.

There’s some really interesting instrumentation on the opening to Digital Hunger from the latest album, is it all guitar FX or were you using other instruments for it?

Jack – That’s a good example of the pitch shifted guitars, if you transpose the riff up an octave or two Ableton tries to spit out it’s best interpretation of what’s going on and you’re left with a real digitally manipulated, jarred contortion of a jazz track. Once you add Guitar Rig on top of that you can go anywhere.

There’s a wide variety of sounds on ‘And Now for the Whatchamacallit’, what instruments did you use aside from your guitars during the recording?

Jack – I used my 3 stringed Sitar that’s in dire need of a setup, it’s meant to have a lot more but all the strings kept popping off when I tried to tune it so I had to digitally pitch shift most of the notes. The mandolin got a feature this album. We all fell in love with the mellotron while we were tracking drums and that was the crux of the album really.

PPC Bass

Hymn for a Droid

You’re in the process of building your own studio, how’s that going?

Jack – It just got too expensive to build it the way we wanted. For now, we’re still working from our bedrooms until we can afford some decent pre-amps and a good console.

You can only pick one compressor for your studio. Do you go for the LA-2A or the 1176?

Jack – I think we’ve only ever used the LA-2A so has to be that one!

Which DAW are you planning to use once everything is up and running?

Jack – We’ve been using Ableton for so long now that it’s become second nature. I know Pro Tools is preferred in a lot of studios but as the three of us can shoot ideas across so easy to each other and build a project that way we haven’t ever considered changing. There’s probably a lot of reasons to use other software but if we don’t know about it then we’ll stay blissfully unaware of what we’re missing out on.

PPC Drums

Social Candy

You’ve released a lot of music in a short amount of time, is the next release going to be done in your own studio or will you be going back to Tone City?

Jack – We’re heading to Tone City next week to work on a few new tracks. We’ve never recorded guitars in a studio before and I feel like that’s where we can improve the most on. We just want our records to keep developing in sound and texture, so this seems like a good progression to strengthen our sound.

A few of us at Dawsons will be seeing you later in the year in Manchester, can you let our readers (and us) know what they’ll be in for when they come along to a Psychedelic Porn Crumpets show?

Jack – We’ll hopefully have the visuals with us this time round, we’ve stepped everything up in Australia, so we want to continue with that production throughout Europe. We’ve been working on some new tracks so could be a good crowd to test them out! Manchester is such a good vibe, we always look forward to that leg of the tour as it seems to be booming with bands right now, feels a bit like Melbourne.

Really appreciate you taking the time to answer these questions, I’ve just one left, have you ever been to a Dawsons Music store before? If not, do you fancy popping in to see us next time you’re in the UK?

Jack – No we haven’t unfortunately! We’ll definitely pop in when we’re back. Thanks’ for the interview!

PPC Live

Bill’s Mandolin

You can check out Psychedelic Porn Crumpets latest release, ‘And Now For The Whatchamacallit’ on Spotify and iTunes. Catch them at Leopallooza, Truck and Y Not Festivals next week, as well as on their UK tour in October – tickets here.

If you liked that then you might like this

Know your FX! Check out Jon’s Blog on Echo, Delay and Reverb.

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Improve your bass playing with our guide to Bass Improvisation.

Get the Gear

1. Fender Telecaster
2. Fender Jazzmaster
3. Fender Powercaster
4. BOSS Blues Driver
5. Fender Amplifiers
6. Ableton Live

About The Author

Matt McCracken

Matt is a multi-instrumentalist, music geek and current Content Creator at Dawsons Music. He composes, records and produces out of his home studio in Manchester as well as playing in two bands, China Moon and Sawbones.