With their eclectic mixture of original tracks and classic pub rock, the Bounty Hunters are thrilling audiences near and far …
> Tell us a little about how the original Bounty Hunters was formed.
Lyn: Back in 2006 David and I had written a bunch of songs that we wanted to record and release, so we approached David’s old bandmate from the Rabbi days, Mark Tinson, to co-produce and organise the recording. We booked some studio time in Newcastle and contacted Chris Haigh to play bass on the album.
David had worked with Chris in the past and his track record is amazing, having recorded and toured with a ‘Who’s Who’ of Australian music, including Tommy and Phil Emmanuel, Renee Geyer, Tim Finn, Kasey Chambers, Troy Cassar Daly, Lee Kernaghan, Graeme Connors … the list goes on! Chris’ most recent session and performance gigs were with Jimmy Barnes and Joe Robinson – he is somewhat of a legend on the music scene!
Mark suggested top session drummer Steve Sowerby, formerly from the Eurogliders, to play drums, so we flew him up from Tasmania for the sessions. That combination clicked beautifully, and we got some great rhythm section tracks down in Newcastle at Impromptu Studios before finishing off the guitar and vocal tracks and mixing the album at our studio in Port.
The album was mastered by Don Bartley, another ‘legend’, and we secured a distribution deal with MGM Distribution, the major distributor of independent music in Australia.
> And the debut CD from the Bounty Hunters went on to receive some very positive acclaim?
David: Yeah, we were stoked with the reaction! We got very favourable reviews in the Newcastle Herald and Australian Guitar Magazine, and Birdland Records in Sydney stocked the album and gave it a great rap on their website.
Probably the most exciting thing for us was receiving a great review and Editor’s Pick Award in the prestigious US publication, Guitar Player Magazine, which is regarded worldwide as the ‘guitar players’ bible’.
CD sales and downloads from iTunes have been moving steadily since the album was released. You can hear tracks and catch up with Bounty Hunters news on our MySpace page: www.myspace.com/bountyhuntersmusic
> After 4 years the band is back together. How did that come about?
Lyn: Well, Chris Haigh had been touring around the country with various artists and Steve Sowerby had returned home to Tasmania, so it was virtually geographically impossible for us to get together and do gigs.
But then, much to our delight, Chris decided to move back to the Macleay area, where he originally hails from, so it was a bit like the Blues Brothers … “We’re gettin’ the band back together!”
Chris suggested his old mate Chris Adey for the drum chair, so we had a rehearsal at his studio in Smithtown, and it was big smiles all round. Bounty Hunters was back in business!
> And you’ve attracted the attention of some major musical instrument companies as well?
David: That’s right. Lyn and I have endorsement deals with Godin and Seagull Guitars from Canada, for whom we are also clinicians, Mesa Boogie Amplifiers, GHS Strings, Dunlop guitar accessories and DSL Guitar Straps, which are made in Sydney. Chris Haigh plays Fender basses, and Chris Adey plays DW drums and Zildjian cymbals.
> You’ve just written a few new songs. What’s the feedback been like so far?
Lyn: Well, we haven’t really had a chance to ‘road test’ them yet, as they are so new, and some of them are still in embryonic stages, but we are really happy with the way the writing is progressing.
One of the tracks we have partially down, waiting for the two Chrises’ to put their parts on, is a song called ‘Been Down That Road Before’.
We got our fiddle player, George Jackson from the Garth Brooks Tribute Show that we also play in, to play some fiddle on it, which is a first for us. It’s a kind of country/blues song, and it gives the track a really great flavour. It’s always good to experiment with new sounds.
> Are you planning a new Bounty Hunters CD in the future?
David: Absolutely! The new album is going to be very much a Bounty Hunters band album, with everyone contributing to the writing, arranging and production.
Whereas the first album was written solely by Lyn and myself, this time around it’s going to be the four of us throwing ideas around and getting things down.
It’s a very exciting time coming up! Because we have the luxury of being able to use Chris Adey’s studio as well as our own, we will be able to work at a pace that suits us and get the best possible tracks down. We foresee the new album having a very cohesive Bounty Hunters vibe about it.
We are very busy with live work at the moment, but we are aiming to have the album finished and released by early in the new year – maybe earlier if we can manage it around our other commitments.
Plus you have a have a stack of local gigs lined up?
Lyn: Yes! We’re really looking forward to doing these local shows! We’ve already done gigs in Sydney, Coffs Harbour, Laurieton, Willawarrin and Smithtown.
We’ve got some exciting gigs coming up locally, starting with the Masquerade Ball at Rydges Port Macquarie on Saturday 14 August – that should be a fun night! Then we’re at Laurieton Hotel on Saturday 28 August and Finnian’s Irish Tavern on Saturday 4 September, which will both be great pub rock gigs!
In the ensuing months we have gigs at Lismore, South West Rocks, Sawtell, and we are doing New Year’s Eve at the Willawarrin Hotel, which will be a big night!
> What can audiences expect from your upcoming performances?
David: To have their ears blown off! No, seriously, we aren’t THAT loud! We will be playing some originals off our album of course, and also ‘road testing’ some of the new stuff, but the majority of the material I suppose you would call ‘classic pub rock’.
We have the classic rock band lineup of guitar, bass and drums with lead singer up the front, but Lyn also plays rhythm guitar in some songs and percussion in others. Chris Haigh and I provide backing vocals and give Lyn’s voice an occasional rest by taking lead vocal in a few numbers, so we also have that versatility happening, and we love using dynamics, both within a song and in the choice and placement of material.
In the ‘classic rock, blues and funk’ department we do songs by bands such as the Pretenders, Divinyls, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Beck, Cream era Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Rolling Stones, Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Blondie, Motels, Angels and AC/DC, among others.
In the ‘modern rock’ department we do songs by John Mayer, KT Tunstall, Primal Scream, Natalie Imbruglia, Lifehouse, Vanessa Amorosi, Dandy Warhols and Amy Winehouse, among others.
Basically, if you’re coming to a Bounty Hunters gig, be prepared to dance your legs off and have the best time, because that’s what we’re all about.
And also be prepared to be blown away by the powerhouse rhythm section of Chris Haigh and Chris Adey, who do some truly AMAZING stuff together, and Lyn’s incredible vocals riding on top of everything. Oh, and I’ll be there too, havin’ a bit of fun on the ol’ guitar!
> What does the future hold for the Bounty Hunters?
Lyn: Now that we finally have the dream lineup together, we see this as a long term partnership. The vibe in the band is just so positive, and we are looking forward to years of writing, recording and performing together. Bounty Hunters are going to be around for a long time!
David: We’ll rock ‘til we drop!
> Thank you David and Lyn.