The Teskey Brothers are a rare musical gem. Honouring that old school Motown sound and working it into something of their very own, the band have received widespread acclaim for their gorgeous debut album Half Mile Harvest. A raw combination of soul and blues, the record has warmed the hearts of listeners everywhere with it’s melancholic, analogue tones. Written by all four band members, the album was recorded in their own home studio, self-produced and released independently. Listening to the record you’d be forgiven for thinking it was the work of Stax Records alumni in Memphis circa ‘67 rather than a group of twenty-somethings from the Yarra Valley just outside Melbourne. The feeling is as old as the tape machine it was recorded on and it’s a true expression of love. Onstage singer Josh Teskey’s smoked whiskey voice defies expectation as the band around him hold an irresistible groove. Their undeniable live show has wowed audiences around the world, leaving them infected with soul and blues.
1: Energy can be neither created nor destroyed. The total energy of an isolated system does not change.
2: The entropy of any isolated system always increases.
3: The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches absolute zero.
1. What is the biggest inspiration for your music?
That’s a difficult question to answer. Inspiration is often linked to a specific song, album or sound. The romantic ideas that there is some sort of divine transference of creativity from one artist to another. I think inspiration is just a moment of motivation to express an idea or feeling creatively. In that sense, it’s very difficult to pinpoint the exact source and moment of inspiration. But I think we are all inspired by each other in the band mostly.
2. How and when did you get into making music?
I started playing music when I was 6 years old. The first time I wrote and recorded a song I was 7. My uncle was a mechanic and he was involved in an accident at his workshop and was hospitalized for a while. I wrote and recorded a song with my brother to cheer him up. I’ve been making music ever since.
3. What are 5 of your favourite albums of all time?
Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue
Marvin Gaye – Here My Dear
D’Angelo – Voodoo
Bjork – Verspetine
Count Basie – The Complete Count Basie
4. What do you associate with Berlin?
5. What’s your favourite place in your town?
I live in a town called Warrandyte in Victoria Australia.
I love walking my dog along the river and getting a coffee at my local café “now and not yet”.
6. If there was no music in the world, what would you do instead?
7. What was the last record/music you bought?
Billie Eilish – When we all fall asleep, were do we go?
8. Who would you most like to collaborate with?
9. What was your best gig (as performer or spectator)?
Seeing Richard Bona at the Melbourne Recital Center.
10. How important is technology to your creative process?
For me, songs need to be written on a live instrument such as a guitar or piano. They need to be strong enough that you can play them in their most stripped back form and still be good. From there a song can be enhanced in many ways using technology to record parts or create interesting sounds. The Teskey Brothers use a lot of ‘vintage’ technology such as Studer tape machine for recording and old amps and guitars. We love the sound of that old gear but are lucky enough to have some modern tricks at our disposal too. But in the end it all comes back to the quality of the song.
11. Do you have siblings and how do they feel about your career/art?
The Teskey Brothers’ second studio album ‘Run Home Slow‘ will be out on August 2nd!
Photo © Al Parkinson