Interview with Poison Oak

Divine Magazine
Divine Magazine 4 Min Read

Poison Oak are a five-piece indie rock band from Townsville, Australia made up of five members – James Balthes, Russell West, Ray Pearson, Lachlan Gleadhill and Chris Reiterer.

Poison Oak, fresh out of North Queensland bring out a sound that combines both melancholy and uplifting Australian rock n roll, with lyrics that match the common misgivings of life. With catchy melodies, hard hitting riffs and sombre ballads, Poison Oak is a fresh sound bound to get stuck in your ears.

Getting to know Poison Oak

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If you could be a superhero, what would your superpower be and your superhero name?

Well I’m not sure if Pirot counts… but I’d like to be him. Also I’d like to be able to stop time. 

What would be a good theme song for your life?

James Bond theme…. There is no connection to my life, but I’d just like to walk onto a set with that song going.

How would you describe the music that you typically create?

I guess it’s indie rock with touches of punk etc. However, it changes as the more we develop and work on music. The music we write now sounds a fair bit different to the music we put out when we first started.

What is your creative process like?

There is no set process, I might come in with an idea or song, and Ray might come in with an idea or a song and we go from there.

Are you finding the isolation of the pandemic conducive to your writing or is it hindering the experiences you can write about?

To be frankly honest the pandemic has not really affected us. Last year we were in lock down for about five weeks. But other than that, we are not effected by it, in North Queensland Australia.

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Poison Oak

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

Both positive and negative… The internet has given access to all kinds of music to all people. There are so much more bands out there putting out music and having the ability to do. But due to the internet the art form of physical records and vinyls are slowly dying.

Have you got a ritual of sorts when writing and thinking about your music?

Nope… But that’s the beauty of it, when you have an idea just go with it and write it down.

In your opinion, how do artists in this industry stay on top of the game when faced with so much competition? What’s the secret to making yourself noticed?

Don’t care about, do you own thing and make yourself happy with the music you make. As soon as your veer from this perspective, you lose.

What’s next for you?

We have a gig coming up and we just released our new EP “1996” on the 19th of March. However, we are going back into the studio to record some new music. Pretty keen for this.

Has your musical journey had a deliberate direction or did it simply gradually evolve in whatever direction it found?

Pretty much, we are just riding a wave and at the moment that wave has not really been slowing down. So we are just going with it!

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