Words: Matt Innes
They say to ‘write what you know’, and Cameron Wilson of Gold Coast band The Daisycutters knows a thing or two about heartache.
“Stephen King has horror, James Ellroy has crime in LA – I have melancholic love songs and I’m never going to change,” Cameron says.
“Melancholic love songs are what I’ve always done. Like a true crime writer or a fantasy writer – it’s just what I do, it’s my default.”
It’s a fair indication of what Cameron and The Daisycutters are working on with their next record, what is expected to be a five-track EP that will be released via MADCAP Global Music.
“It’s a pretty heavy record, it’s a heavy bunch of new songs,” he explains.
“There’s a ten-minute epic in there, there’s the classic Daisycutters stuff; there’s hooks, there’s catchy pieces and there’s been a few things going on in the band over the past few years we’ve put down.
“It’s going to be a great piece of work. I think it will be five or six songs that link together with a common theme about relationships. It’s got the bittersweet, melancholic love song I like to write,” Cameron laughs.
Over the course of their discography, The Daisycutters have matured from their pop-punk roots into a far heavier songwriting unit, their last album ‘Come Sweet Bullets’ showing a decidedly darker and grittier side to the band.
“[The new record] is more aligned with ‘Come Sweet Bullets’,” Cameron says.
“It’s not heavy rock but it’s heavier thematically. There’s a lot of heartache in the songs and that’s where the heaviness comes from, not necessarily the music. It’s the logical extension of ‘Come Sweet Bullets’, the next step up from that, which is what we wanted it to be. We weren’t going to do it unless it stacked up to the past.
“That was always the yardstick – we’re not going to turn out some shit for the sake of having new things, it has to stack up against the back catalogue, and luckily we think these are some of the best songs we’ve ever written.”
Now in their second decade together as a band – and retaining the original line-up of Cameron, bassist Giles Hamwood, guitarist Kieran Clair and drummer Peter Nicholas – The Daisycutters have reached a rare place where they can write and play music for the pure enjoyment of the craft without the added entanglements of intervention from major labels.
“It’s all really organically flowed in the right way but we’re enjoying it more than we ever have because we’ve stopped playing the game as it were.”
“We’re loving each other’s company, loving creating again and just loving being in a band again. Once we stopped worrying about all the stupid things the music industry throws up at you, we just enjoyed it so much more.
“We lost that for a while, well I definitely did lose my way for a while, and it’s great to be back and creating music with these guys in that same band room where we’ve written all our big songs. We’ve had one rehearsal space on Southport on the Gold Coast since we started in 1997. All of our great moments have come though this room and now we’re back there doing new stuff.”
The fact The Daisycutters are still in the same band room in the town where they started speaks volumes about their status as a ‘Gold Coast band’. While other acts leave home to seek their fortunes in cities such as Sydney and Melbourne where opportunities for musicians are considered more lucrative, The Daisycutters remain South-East Queensland locals through-and-through.
Listen to more music by The Daisycutters at MADCAP Global Music
“Everyone has their own reasons, but we’ve never wanted to pick up and leave,” Cameron says.
“There’s always experts who say, ‘you better pack up and get down there, that’s where it’s all happening’, but that was never on the radar for us, never ever.
“Brisbane and the Gold Coast are part of who we are and it soaks into how we write songs, it soaks into our music and into our reference points, so we wouldn’t be the same band and I doubt we’d be together if we’d decided to move somewhere. It’s part of us, so we will stay here and continue to do our thing as long as we can.”
Just as The Go-Betweens are immediately associated with Brisbane, it’s suggested to Cameron that one day The Daisycutters will be just as synonymous with the Gold Coast.
“We feel that way,” Cam says. “There’s always that South-East Queensland connection. I love those parochial bands that relate to a town. I’ve always enjoyed seeing references to towns and places in songs.”