West Oz musical duo The Money War, aka Dylan Ollivierre and Carmen Pepper, have had a huge year. They might only be two singles in but they’re in the running for a spot in the Triple J Hottest 100 and have place on this years coveted Southbound line-up. Jai has a chat with Dylan for Lost.
So you’ve got Southbound coming up next week- how are you feeling about it?
We’re really pumped for it. We’re a pretty new band, it’s an awesome opportunity. We’ve all loved Southbound when we’ve been, it should be great.
Sounds good. You were originally in Rainy Day Women, how was the transition from that to The Money War?
Well, I had a little bit of time off— a year or so— between bands. In Rainy Day Women I was still the main creative force, as I am in The Money War. They were two projects I was doing along the way, that sort of thing. I had some really different experiences between The Rainy Day women and The Money War, and also different band members. In a way it’s a continuation, but it’s also the next thing.
So do you feel you’ve been able to refine your creative process with The Money War?
Yeah, definitely. I think we’re more confident in what we’re doing, we have a better idea of who we are. When we started Rainy Day Women we were pretty much straight out of high school, we were really young, and I think you change a lot from that time to when you’re at uni in your early 20s. Now I think we have a really clear vision of who we are, what we want to get across.
How did you come to know Carmen and form the band?
Carmen and I actually played some shows together, Carmen was in a band called Warning Birds. They actually played with us at one of our EP launches, and we just started writing songs together, just mucking around. She actually sung a couple of parts on the Rainy Day Women’s album and then it kind of went from there and we started working on more songs together.
What inspired the name?
It was actually kind of a concept for some of the songs. A lot of the subjects in the songs were about struggles with money or reconciling what you want to achieve in your personal endeavours by having to balance money. I think it’s also one of those universal things everyone is aware of or experiences.
What were some of the hurdles you’ve faced working your way up the Perth music scene?
I guess we’ve still got a long way to go in that we released the first song in August of this year, but I’ve been writing songs for twelve years, we’ve been working on our craft for many, many years. In terms of the scene, I think the hardest thing to breakthrough is to get on the radio. We’ve been really fortunate with triple J and music scene playing our music, it kind of just helps you along.
What are the most rewarding things about being a musician?
Definitely not the money (laughs). The thing that I like the most when you have that high when you create something that you really love, and it becomes immortalised in a way. Like, there’s this idea that becomes a real thing— a recording. Then it’s like “that’s me, that’s something I’ve created”. It’s awesome having that recording, like “this is what I was going through, this is my story at that point in my life”.
Yeah, right. You recently released your single Recall, written while you were travelling throughout the USA. You’ve said that was about repetition. Is that a theme you’d like to (lyrically) explore further?
Yeah, actually the rest of the EP is kind of similar stuff about getting stuck in patterns and how to find your way out of them. It’s like an underdog kind of thing, what we’re trying to summarise on the EP. So a lot of the songs do have a similar theme, in that sense, which are going to be released on the EP early next year.
Sounds good. So, what’s next after Southbound?
We’re doing a festival called City Limits, which is in March. That’s at Badlands, in the carpark. So we’ve got Jebediah, Gyroscope, and that. So that’s in March. Then, we’re supporting The Lumineers in April, but between now and then the priority is getting back in the studio and working on some more new tunes. We’ve got a bit of time over the summer, so we’ll spend quite a lot of time between Southbound and (those events) doing that.
Is there a particular place where you find you’re in a really good zone for writing songs?
Anywhere. There are certain things that are inspiring, like watching great movies or going to the beach and that kind of thing, but songwriting just kind of happens when it happens. We tend to write in bursts and then kind of forget how to do it for ages and be like “shit! how did we ever write those songs?”. You just go with the flow.
You mentioned you’ll be playing with the likes of Jebediah and The Lumineers. Is it a bit of a surreal experience, playing with these big names in Australian music?
Definitely, especially with The Lumineers. It’s at Metropolis City, which is one of the bigger venues in Perth, and a place that we’ve always wanted to play, so that’s going to be nuts. Jebediah, Gyroscope and BodyJar; we’re massive fans of those bands in particular. I’m probably nostalgic; from when I was growing up looking at being in a band, they were the bands I looked up to, so it’s really cool to be playing with them.
Sounds great. Just to finish up, what advice would you give to other aspiring musicians?
Make sure you work on your craft, is number one for me, and stay true to what you like and what you believe, because faces come around and they do full circle. I think people can sense honesty, I think that’s what comes across in really good songs: a sense of honesty and purpose in what you’re doing.