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MP3 Round Mountain Girls - One Step Closer

One Step Closer will make you smile, dance, laugh and cry in equal measure. It''s a roller coaster ride through a diverse array of genres using predominantly traditional instruments and the result is a joyous, uplifting, heartfelt outpouring of musicality.

10 MP3 Songs in this album (40:11) !
Related styles: Country: Alt-Country, Rock: Roots Rock, Mood: Fun

People who are interested in Mumford and Sons The Pogues should consider this download.

Taken from an interview with Mandy Nolan. (Byron Echo)

Tell me the story of how the Round Mountain Girls came to be and how they
came to be called Round Mountain Girls??
Originally our wives and partners were the band members.
Due to our prowess in the sack they all became pregnant and one by one had to quit the band, leaving a void, which due to our appalling home-making skills, we were forced to fill.
Actually, that story probably isn''t 100% accurate. You''ll have to check the legend on the website for the real story.

Do people ever turn up and get upset that you''re not actually girls?

Oh yes! One of our very earliest gigs was in Kingscliff where we played to a crowd composed mainly of dirty old men and lesbians.
They''d come expecting young girls wearing short skirts and cowboy boots and were confronted by six blokes of widening girth, dodgey facial hair and bad breath.
Fortunately we were able to win them over after a couple of songs with our musical skills and witty repartee, and avoided getting beaten up in the car park afterwards.
Even at Tamworth last year we had a group of punters leave before we''d even played a note, disgusted that they''d been duped by our poster.
Look at The Beautiful Girls though. They''re neither girls nor beautiful. At least we come from Round Mountain! And the Scissor Sisters use secateurs.

What''s your song writing process with RMG? Do you take the bones of a song
and jam, does it come from improv, or do you each get a shot at it?

The bulk of the material is penned by myself and Chris Brooker in terms of chord progressions and lyrics. We rehearse "old styley"- no amps or mics.
We just sit in a circle and play acoustically. Rabbit will throw one of his beautiful fiddle lines on top, whilst Rex (drums) and Willy B (bass) will add an addictive, melodic pulse and off we go.
We''re lucky to have Brad Hails who is like a musical Swiss army knife. He can suck, blow, pick, twang, slap or squeeze anything that''s put in front of him - which is entertainment in itself.
It''s a real group effort, and although it can take a long time to complete a song because there''s so many ideas knocking around, it''s almost always worth the wait.

How can you tell when a track is working and when it needs to hit the bin?

Grinning is a real giveaway. You can look around the practice room and see the smiles start to curl in the corners of the mouths of your musical peers. That''s when you know you''re on a winner.
We''ve had that with a lot of songs on this album.
We''ve had a few hit the bin as well. Death threats, hushed huddles in dark corners, tantrums, tears...that sort of thing usually tells you you should have left that one on the porta-studio at home.

Are you still as passionate now about drumming as you were 20 years ago? Do
you keep learning?

No...I''m the banjo player...which is sort of like a fancy drum, only with 2 G-strings. Drums are for losers and people who were bullied at school!
There''s no one in the band that isn''t still keen to get as good as they can possibly be either on their instrument and also collectively as a group. That''s probably where our strength is - the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts.
The live show is an extraordinarily energetic and joyous occasion, and we''re still learning how to cope with being paid for enjoying ourselves so much. It''s unnatural.

Tell me a little about recording One Step Closer -- what was the inspiration
for the album?

We we''re inspired by the prospect of being rich and famous and never having to work again. Actually not even famous, just rich will do. My toaster needs replacing, Rabbit hasn''t got any windows in his house and Willy B wants a gold plated zimmer frame for when he retires.

What did you set out to achieve?

I think we just wanted to produce the best music we were capable of at this place, in this time. We wanted an album we could be proud of.
We also wanted to get across the energy of the live show. You can''t see Rabbits passionate live performing on an album or Banjovi''s attempts to be the 5-string equivalent of Pete Townsend and it was important to bring that aspect of our musicality out.

How close did you get to your goals?
Chris Brooker''s come up with some extremely hooky tunes and mesmerising lyrics, so in terms of being famous things are looking good. His songs are very memorable after only one listen.
We employed the services of Anthony Lycenko to help us produce the album and I think between us we certainly achieved what we set out to do. We all agree, it''s the best work we''ve ever been associated with.
Anthony has worked with the likes of Xavier Rudd, The Waifs and was Aria nominated for his work with Pete Murray.
I think he was keen to work with us because of the instrumentation in the band and the challenges we presented to him.

What changed in the process?
Too many things changed during the recording to be listed. We recorded at 301 Studios in Byron, which has a great ambiance as well as a host of really interesting instruments lying around.
We we''re definitely inspired by some of the sounds available to us that we hadn''t considered using before.

How would you describe RMG''s sound on One Step Closer.....have you moved in
a new direction?
I think we''ve moved in several different directions all at once. One critic accused us of having "invented our own genre". The mandolin, banjo and fiddle are all still there, as are the four part harmonies, but there''s some real surprises on the album....such as the 96 tracks we took to record Mos Vos, a track on the album which starts with a Gregorian chant...not a typical start to a bluegrass song. There''s also a stack of different instruments that we employed- Hammond Organ, an accordion we found in a junk shop, a 12 string electric, a vibraphone, a cello. We had lots of fun experimenting and Anthony was always keen to run with any ideas we had as well a throwing in his own considerable knowledge bank into the mix.

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