With songs such as ‘The City’ and ‘You’re A Casino’, their inspirations have helped them achieve local success, playing live gigs at venues such as The Governor Hindmarsh and The Wheatsheaf hotel. Their eclectic sound brings forward raw emotion in their music, something that is hard to come across in most music pieces in the current world. Being a part of Triple J Unearthed, they have played at venues to sell out crowds at The Exeter Hotel in East Rundle and The Gov. Front man and lead singer; Richard Sallis talks about the origins of Stock Exchange and what the band sees for 2013.
Where did the name ‘Stock Exchange’ come from?
Initially a lot of people thought it was a reference to the Occupy Wall Street movement that was going on at the time, but honestly we’re not that clever. Truth is one of us just got it off the spine of a book lying around my Dad’s place. At least, I think that’s what happened. We decided to just pick Stock Exchange and be done with it. I remember liking it because it sounded grown-up. Something we’re most definitely not (laughs).
How long have you been together?
Well, Aaron has been in the band for almost six weeks now. That’s a band in-joke. Stock Exchange wasn’t officially christened until late twenty-ten, and we didn’t settle on this current line-up until early twenty-eleven. We’ve all been playing together in different groups and incarnations for years now. Oscar (the bassist) and I have a musical partnership that goes back almost ten years.
Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
It is the combination of my current life situation, the people and places I’m surrounded by and the type of music I’m listening to or discovering. It’s good to write when you’re feeling emotional, be it fuelled by positive emotions or negative ones. It can be therapeutic, and is slightly less annoying than just bragging or moping at your friends all the time. What I aim to do above everything else is to write songs people can relate to. If just one person discovers our song and applies it to their own life, then I’m happy.
Where do you see Stock Exchange heading in the future?
To be honest, we have ludicrously high ambitions. My philosophy is that you always fall just short of your targets, so if you set them ridiculously high it’s still damn impressive if you fall short. I am completely amazed of what we have accomplished already. If we can keep that momentum going, who knows where we’ll end up?
What do you like about living and working in Adelaide?
Adelaide is a place vital to my song writing and our eclectic sound. Adelaide is a small town comparatively, cut off from the rest of the world in a sense. Everybody knows everybody, and after a while there isn’t much to do – yet you keep on discovering. It’s an incredible source for inspiration. I was initially planning on having every single song of ours link to a different place in Adelaide. We have a song called “Table 41” about the Stanford Grand Hotel on the beach, a song called “Yesteryear” about Thorndon Park, “The Castle” is what I called the Adelaide Uni campus, etc. Admittedly it was a concept I didn’t really stick to. Yet people like to say that we don’t sound like an Australian band, we sound like a British band or whatever. But in my mind, we’re uniquely Adelaidian. Had we been living in Sydney, New York, London or whatever, we would be completely different.
When did you start to play music?
I can’t speak for the others unfortunately, but I’ve been musical pretty much since I left the womb. I started properly learning guitar when I was 6, but had been bashing it out on tennis rackets and toy keyboards for years before that. I remember I had a band in preschool named Rock’n’Roll 2000. We were as good as the name suggested.
Where do you play most of your gigs?
At the moment we’re just trying to get inside every suitable room possible. Get the name out there, you know? But we are planning an Australian tour for early next year. I know we’re definitely hitting Melbourne and possibly some rural towns. I don’t know all the details just yet. It’s quite exciting; this will be a new experience for me.
We’ve had a bit of a weird approach to recording. The trick is to try and write slightly normal-ish pop songs, but play them in an unconventional way. We’ve just gone completely nuts – saxophones, trumpets, mandolins, guitar played with a bow, bass played with a drumstick, 100 year old pianos, tribal double drumming, violas and cellos, weird time signatures etc. I’m actually learning how to play violin at the moment. We’re slowly working on trying to incorporate these things into future live sets too. A lot of that is actually present in our upcoming debut single ‘Feels’, which some have described as a modern version of ‘Take Five’. It’s like a dark jazzy folky indie rock sandwich.
What can we expect from you in the future?
We’re working on an EP named “Mr. Hollywood” which will be released this year. The songs are being professionally recorded, mixed and mastered. It’s been really exciting hearing it develop so far, the songs have taken on a completely new life. We’ve also been recording and rehearsing a bunch of new songs. I’ve counted twenty-six tracks all up so far, so hopefully everyone will get to hear most of those eventually; live or recorded. Also, we’ll soon be losing our music video virginity too so it’ll be interesting to see how that turns out.