With influences from Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine, Adelaide’s Horror My Friend have got listeners reminiscing in the 90’s. The band formed in 2016, and since then, have released two albums: their debut, Stay In, Do Nothing (2016), and Home Life (2018). HMF have toured internationally in the United Kingdom and Europe, and played at the Brighton festival – The Great Escape and the Belgium festival – Groezrock. Horror My Friend have also played at Australian Festivals – Groovin in the Moo, Yours and Owls and BIGSOUND.
Within their four year career, Horror My Friend have toured nationally with bands such as Hockey Dad and Gyroscope, and have locally supported Violent Soho and classic rock band, Cold Chisel. Some of Horror My Friend’s lyrics include themes of gender inequality and the social pressures of career roles being forced upon you. Tom Gordon, the guitarist of the band, joins us for their Savvy Seven.
What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
I guess the thing that inspires me to follow music as a career, especially with everything that’s going on, is that I feel like it’s the only thing that I really properly care about, other than a couple of other things. The only other things that I really care about is stuff like psychology and science and all that, but I just thought that this was way more fun, and if I get to spend everyday doing something that I love and get paid for it, that’s really a dream.
Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
I suppose when I first started playing music I also began managing my own band. So yeah, managing Horror My Friend. By doing that, I learnt a lot of the ins and outs of the music industry, which I actually found to be really interesting and really important in terms of getting the band where we are today, which has been pretty cool. So I suppose just talking to people and being friendly with people. I think the biggest thing was realising if you want something to happen for you, especially in music, you can’t just wait for it to happen to you, you have to go and make it happen yourself. That’s pretty much what I did.
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How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
In terms of timelines…I guess I’ve never really thought of it like that. In terms of like, I need to be doing this by this point or I need to be doing this by this point. I think the thing for me has always been that I’ll just keep trying to do the next thing, you know? It’s not a case of, you know, by 30 I want to be playing here, or by 30 I want to be doing this. It’s more just like, ok, where am I now, what’s the next step, how do I get there, and how do I start working towards it. Just trying to take as many opportunities as I can and seeing which ones work out.
What’s your advice on staying professionally active during COVID times?
I would say just be proactive and go out of your way to find things to do. I think it was easy enough, being there a lot recently, where it’s really easy to feel like it’s almost better to just tap out and not worry about it, because things are kind of dark at the moment. But I think if you try really hard and if you think outside the box, there are things you can do, you know, like there are things you can do to support yourself whilst things are like this. You can go and apply for grants, go and see good shows, whatever you can do. You may as well go try and do it. So I suppose as hard as it is, just keep moving forward with whatever you possibly can. That’s all you can really do because the only other option is giving up.
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What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
I would say this right now, for sure. I think this year for instance, I moved over to Wollongong. So, to take a job with Yours and Owls and obviously planning to go back and forth between Adelaide to play and do stuff for Horror My Friend and West Thebarton as well. Obviously about two weeks later, the pandemic hit and closed all the borders. So, I haven’t been able to go home, haven’t been able to go rehearse or play in my band and I haven’t been able to see family and friends as I’ve planned to. Obviously working within the music industry as well, things aren’t exactly what I thought they were going to be in terms of what my job is, but realising that the only other choice is to give up is kind of the only thing that made me go, well I don’t wanna do that, so I’m gonna keep moving forward. It’s definitely hard, as it has been for everybody, you know.
How should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
I think the only thing you can really do is just stay tapped in, go out of your way to talk to people. Subscribe to as many music media sites as you possibly can to keep yourself informed. Again, I think you do need to be proactive in terms of well, everything else that I have said. If you don’t know what’s going on, go talk to someone about it, you know, there are usually people around where you can ask them how something works. You just go and talk to people and be proactive in terms of keeping yourself informed, I guess.
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How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
I suppose it’s not really my wheelhouse, but I do have a lot of people, like a lot of really creative and technologically minded friends around me who are really creative in that sense. I suppose I just do that by calling upon friends who do have that mind and can help you out with that. Also, I feel like it’s good if you do have a gap in your knowledge in terms of stuff like that. It’s a good opportunity for independent designers and independent content creators and give them work, especially within this time. So, I suppose it’s not really my thing, but it’s also nice to have the opportunity to support other people, because I don’t know much about it.
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