ONCE YOUVE DONE IT WITH MADONNA, THERES NO STEPPING OUT OF THE SPOTLIGHT OR GENTLY SLIPPING BACK INTO OBSCURITY, IS THERE?
HELL NO! AND THE ANDROIDS WOULDNT HAVE IT ANY OTHER WAY...
There was no wiping the grins off their faces at the end of last year, when "Do It With Madonna" reached #4 on the national charts, topped the radio airplay stats and got them a platinum plaque for the wall. Now, The Androids are out to show what other tricks they have up their sleeves. No, were not talking onstage high jinxs and pyrotechnics, but give them time! Exhibit one: the delivery of a powerhouse follow-up single - "Here She Comes", followed in quick succession by a debut album (exhibit two) chock full of hooks and melody. This is one band that dont ever forget the tunes in the rush to the marshall stacks.
And theres been nothing leisurely about the rise and rise of The Androids. The band was less than a year old when "Do It With Madonna" hit the stores and started everyone talking. The pieces were tumbling into place like part of some celestial masterplan, but lets not wheel out that hackneyed phrase overnight success.
"Ive been planning this my whole life" says Tim Henwood, The Androids lead singer and guitarist. Matt, Marty and Tim are old friends who played in various bands together over the years. "We wanted to start up a band that we all wished wed always been in" Tim explains. Forget that shoe gazing, navel searching stuff, this band has a serious commitment to having a good time.
So what do three young men with a stack of songs (click here for info about the songs), some cool ideas and a desire to hang out and play great music do from here? Slog it out on a pub circuit grind that they had been on for years? Or head straight into the studio. The studio it is. The next epiphany? The trio needed another member. Enter Sam Grayson, stage right. "Sam and I had met when his band supported a band I was in at a gig in Warrnambool" said Tim. "When we were looking for an extra person, a mutual friend suggested Sam". Sam drove to Melbourne for a jam in July last year. "As soon as we finished playing, I shook his hand and said thanks for the best birthday present" said Tim.
The line up fell into place on Tims birthday. And so The Androids were born. Well, not quite. The line up might have been there, but when youve got a hit record to record, you dont sweat the small details. Self-financed, with no name and no record deal, the four boys went into the studios with producers Pete Dacy and Adrian Hannan. "We just wanted to record an album - we thought the rest would fall into place, and it did" explains Tim. Right from the start the session was cooking. "On the album you can feel the energy" says Tim. "Everyone loved making the record and they were doing it for the right reasons". (click here for more info on recording the album)
Hear that noise? Thats the sound of another planet lining up. By halfway through the record, Pete Dacys partner Keith Ridgway was on board. Without leaving the studio, the boys found themselves with a management team headed by Pete and Keith, and a deal with their label Zinn Records. Now they needed a partner to release the album. On the strength of a five song tape, Zinn had FMR sign on to the team.
Meanwhile, back in the studio, the boys kept their heads down, convinced they were onto something. The band played like a rock band, but one that wasnt afraid to use the trademark tools of pop - strong melodies, story-line lyrics, soaring harmonies as well as taking on the cut n paste, samples and loops of hip hop. They might have started with the age old maxim its about the songs, but this record was smelling fresh as a daisy! (click here for info on some of the album tracks)
Talk about fresh! Two weeks after finishing recording, The Androids were filming the video for
"Do It With Madonna". The single was at radio in September, on sale in October, in the Top 10 by November and platinum by December. 2003 rolls around, with a new single in the stores in February and the debut album out on April 7th. And of course, theres that small matter of an LA station picking up the "Madonna" single before a US release was even in place, hastening the international deal with Republic/Universal.
So there it is. How to record and release your debut album and have it all work out just so. Dont get hung up on hating The Androids coz its just been all too easy. Theres been a lifetime of learning and a lot of hard work go into making it look this simple. Can you remember jumping on your bed, singing into your hairbrush while "My Sharona" crackled through the tinny speakers of the transistor radio in the corner? Go on, tell me youve never done anything like that. You know what? The Androids have - and theyre out and proud about it. Its a teenage rock fantasy at work. Blind faith, dumb luck, total belief - call it what you like. Whatever it is, The Androids have it, which is why theyve got a world wide release deal, a hit single, another one coming up fast and absolutely no qualms about admitting to The Knack bedroom tribute act.
"This is the album of my life" says Tim. "Because its the best songs, and its the best Im singing and its the best bunch of guys".
The Androids. They want it all and theyll take it right now, thanks.
Smart ass rock - for the kids.