With both the release of new single ‘T-Rex’ and an upcoming EP, from which the track is drawn, Melbourne locals Castilles have had their feet firmly affixed to the accelerator in 2019. With a sound entrenched in rock that dips its toes into a melange of post-punk, psych and grunge, the 3-piece discuss their unifying appreciation of each other’s musical philosophies and creativity.
Born from drunken ramblings between school mates Jules Valentine (guitar) and Josh Dawes (bass and vocals), the pair initially bonded over insights that went far beyond their favourite bands; “One night we were at a house party and realised we had similarities in the way we liked music and the way that we listened to music.” However, it wasn’t until 2016 that Sam Dawes (drums), brother and former bandmate of Josh’s from Flyying Colours, rounded out the trio. “When we finally ended up all in the same kind of area, we just started noodling”.
Collectively attributing their humble high school in Wagga, NSW with cultivating their careers in music, the band describe a thriving scene to rival any. “We went through a school that was pretty heavy on the performing arts side of things. A lot of people were playing, it wasn’t particularly an outsider kind of thing to play”, describes Sam. “There was this lagoon there and its kind of like an amphitheater and there was this one school holidays where they had a band there every day of the week. 2 bands would play and over 100 14-year-old kids would be there. Your band would play and every day you could come back to see a gig”. This period would go onto produce some notable indie-bands that would later grace venues across Melbourne. “What was now The Ocean Party, Hightails, Eastbound Buzz. We were all friends with those guys”. With aspirations for wider audiences and opportunities, mass emigration from Wagga left a vacuum of departed artists; “It was just this little pocket when we were there growing up when everyone from that time turned 18 and moved away, it just sorta fizzled out.”
Castilles’ latest offering ‘T-Rex’ is their 5th single release and continues to build on the progressive rock ‘n’ roll grunge the group have crafted since their 2016 debut ‘Scared’. “It’s a riff man, it’s just a fun riff. We’ve always jammed on bluesy kinds of things like that”. Divulging on their song writing process, Josh identifies instinct as a crucial key; “I think the best songs are those that pretty much work first or second time. ‘T-Rex’ was one of those. By the time I showed it to the band it was a song by the end of the night”.
The release of their forthcoming EP, however, has elicited more carefully intentioned motives than the band lead on; “The EP were gonna put out now are the first songs we’ve wrote and recorded for a 3-piece that all came from the same period of writing”. There’s a distinct motive to harness their live energy without over embellishing; “We are one guitar, one bass and drums. That space you get, the air between instruments, I think, is important to capture.” Similarly, practicality is at the forefront of their minds; “Instead of layering guitars and keys on everything we’ve tried to make it sound like 3 people were doing it, rather than needing 6 people and not being able to do that live”.
All in all, there’s a sense that Castilles are a collective that clamour for methodical madness. Teetering between considered musings and reckless abandon along with a glint of mischievous charm, there’s an organised chaos that serves as a driving force for the tight knit trio. It’s epitomised in one final tale regarding their most recent recording process; “We did drums in one studio, bass and guitars in another studio with a different producer and then vocals and mixing with another producer. We’re almost adequately trying to remove everyone from the system. We got what we wanted because nobody really knew what was happening”.
Castilles’ new single ‘T-Rex’ is out now with a forthcoming EP scheduled for May. Catch them for their first Sydney show at the Chippo Hotel on Friday 22nd March and then at The Retreat the following day with Spiral Perm.