Anyone with a brother or two might cringe at the idea of forming a family band. But for the boys in Loon Lake, music and brotherly love are a perfect match. Guitarist Sime Nolan shares with us the ups and downs of having three bros in one band ahead of their March 29 gig at the Republic bar.
Nic, Sam, and Sime are first and foremost a band of brothers. Joined by their good mates Tim Lowe and Dan Bull, the siblings share a unique bond that allows for free flowing musical ideas (and the occasional family tiff).
“It’s really good – most of the time,” Sime jokes.
“You can say what you want more, though I think the conflicts can blow up easier too. We’re pretty open with each other and we get things done quickly, and that’s how it is. In other situations, you mightn’t say what you really feel all the time, but we can.”
When asked about how he balances his family and professional relationships, Sime says “it can get tricky, but it’s always fine – we’re brothers forever.”
With a big age difference between the siblings, Sime says they grew up rarely in the same place at the same time. But once they all moved down to Melbourne, the brothers recruited Nic’s best mate Tim on bass, and guitarist Dan who had met Sam while travelling in Turkey.
Though last year’s hit single ‘Cherry Lips’ reached number 29 on the Triple J Hottest 100, the boys had just been taking life as it comes, with Sime admitting, “we really did not intend to start a band.”
“We were just playing for fun, having a couple of Thursday night get-togethers and jams. Then we started making a few of our own tracks, put them on the internet and realised they started to get a bit of interest, so we pushed a lot harder and that was four years ago, now.”
Although the band didn’t anticipate their current levels of success, they’re working as hard as they can to balance their commitments to music with their full time jobs.
“Music is a bit of a juggling act. Things have got a lot more intense with the band and we all have to fit in our day jobs around it.”
A full time school teacher himself, Sime doesn’t waste a minute and even snuck in some composition for their debut album Gloamer at his work.
“I wrote two of the songs on this album in my classroom in the lunch break – you don’t know when they’re going to strike.”
The album came about as all members of the band were experiencing big life changes as well as working – Sam and Dan each suffered from big break ups, and Sime was graced with a new baby boy, Lenny.
“I hope he plays an instrument – but I’m not going to make him. I hope he enjoys it because it’s a good past time. When I play guitar he seems to really like it.”
Hobart audiences can expect to enjoy it too when Loon Lake hits up the Republic – and Sime says he’s equally looking forward to making it down to the island.
“The only time we’ve been down to Tassie is for Falls, and we had a ball. We thought Tassie was really beautiful so we’re stoked to come down there again.”
Loon Lake will bring their Good Times Tour to the Republic Bar on March 29 and the gig will also feature special guests The Middle Names. Tickets are available via http://www.loonlake.com.au.
By Stephanie Eslake
This article featured in Warp Magazine, March 2014
Image: Warp Magazine