Big Dead are from Brisbane. Moving listeners from chaos to catharsis through slow-burning jazz rock, their latest - Shell - is an "...engaging, eclectic and intelligent" mix that "...tackles big themes including gender stereotypes, violence and death, in an eerily picturesque, almost unsettling, way".

Supporting Tortoise at The Zoo on December 6 with Nature Trails, we talked with Cameron Bower from the band as part of our Two Minutes With series.

Describe your music in five words or less?

Bass clarinet/juno 106/drum.

What’s going on in the world of Big Dead?

At the moment, we are working on new music and preparing our next recording. Got plenty of new material waiting to be finished off. 

What motivates you to make music?

Many things motivate us. Mostly we just like hearing the sounds happen. Each of us has many different ideas about what our music can be and what we want to hear.

What have been the high and low points of your musical experiences so far?

Airport dramas are the lowest point so far. You can only spend so much time and money at an Airport pub. Fucking Tiger airlines, never again…never, ever again. 

High point so far for me was hearing the final masters from Shell coming back from Black Knoll Studios. We worked really hard on that recording and were very pleased with the results. This upcoming Tortoise show will also be a high point for sure. They were one of the most important early influences on us. 

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I’m listening to lots of The Books, Wilco’s new record, Eight Blackbird, MF Doom, Satie, Debussy and I just found all of my old Sage Francis records, so that has been sending me down memory lane. 

If you were stranded on a desert island, which member of the band would get eaten first? And why?

I’d say Nathan because of his high Ban Mi diet would be full of sugar and fat. So probably him. Either that or I’d take one for the team. 

Here’s an opportunity to bitch about something, whether music related or not. What really pisses you off?

Political rhetoric. I have so much sympathy for people like Patricia Karvelas on Radio National. The amount of dribble she has to wade through in order to get simple answers out of some of the political droids she interviews is incredible. Listening to drones like Dutton, Albanese, Burke and Tones fumble around flimsy points is a truly maddening past time. 

You’re putting together your perfect gig featuring Australian artists. Who would you get to play and where? Feel free to include acts/DJs/bands/venues that no longer exist.

At the old Hangar in Brisbane’s Red Hill circa 2010. Line up would be The Middle East, Transcription of Organ Music and The Dirty Three.


Tickets from, the venues and for all New Zealand shows.