Schvendes

Schvendes

BandAlternativeRock

"As Ted Bundy would testify, the most outrageous carnage comes in softly spoken invitations... in this sense Schvendes are killers through and through" - DRUM MEDIA

Biography

SCHVENDES are Rachael Dease (bass/vox), Tristen Parr (cello), Matthew MAguire (drums), Tara John (keys/ vox/ percussion) and Ant Gray (guitar/ vox).

It started, suitably, as art. Before Schvendes was the Schvendes we’ve come to know and love they were the Schvendes Ensemble, a gothy musical wing of the 2002 Artrage Festival. They were pretty much the same thing they are now except in more of an incubator phase, performing under the auspices of performance art within art festivals. In this mode they recorded their first release, the hand-packaged live album “The Scoundrel is Made an Outcast”. Eventually demand for the band drew them into a more conventional live context and they hit Perth’s live road test circuit – the Hyde Park Hotel, the Rosemount Hotel, Mojo’s Bar, the Amplifier Bar – where, again, they flourished.

Flourish is perhaps an understatement. Like most great Australian bands – we’re talking You Am I, the Scientists, the Drones, not to mention the many others – live performance is where Schvendes eat their breakfast. Given a stage to stand on and a throng to impress, Schvendes feel at home. At their early gigs people gaped in disbelief at the thick layers of musical talent present in any given bar of a Schvendes song. Here was a town known mainly for its contributions to pop, punk and metal, and Schvendes were busting out slow-cooking soundtracks to Lizzie Borden murder scenes that erupted into strings, Rhodes and guitar-laced climaxes. It was catharsis in the Greek tragedy sense of the word: terrible, beautiful, all-encompassing drama. Early on Schvendes mastered this art, and it is on this that they have built their now-considerable empire.

Schvendes have won a bunch of WA Music Industry Awards, been flogged on Perth radio RTR fm, had support from Triple J in various forms, and have performed in Toronto and New York, at the Perth Big Day out and the Perth International Arts Festivals. They’ve also supported a bunch of their heroes and friends in the last couple of years including Augie March, Ed Kuepper, The Dirty Three, The Drones, Baseball, The Panics, The Kill Devil Hills, The Go Betweens, 67 Special, Kim Salmon, Brian Hooper, Tucker Bs, Tim Rogers and Tex Perkins with WASO, Low, Art of Fighting, The Devoted Few, Decoder Ring, New Buffalo, Holly Throsby and Youth Group.

Following “The Scoundrel is Made an Outcast” and a period of steady gigging, Schvendes released their first studio CD, the “Turn Out Your Lights” EP in 2005. This was followed later that year by the “Twice the Man” EP, then a year later a single taster from their album sessions emerged, “Small Mercies, Sweet Graves”. In July 2008 their long awaited debut studio album "Sweet Talk Your Enemies" was released to critical acclaim, and marked the end of one journey and the beginning of another. Already preparing for their second LP, the musical growth for this band of troubadours seems limitless.

Their new single "Lay The Noose" will be released in March 2010.

Matt Giles, music writer- the West Australian.

Lyrics

Small Mercies, Sweet Graves

Written By: Dease/ Schvendes

Small mercies, sweet graves
Youre alone and afraid
You're bloodied and broken up
You're mind half deranged
You're with the now
and they said
Small mercies, sweet graves

Small Mercies, Sweet Graves
Oh your skin's turning grey
The dirt's a little warmer now
down when you lay
If you see my lover
Just say
Small mercies, sweet graves

Small mercies, sweet graves
I know we'll never part
Can I crawl inside you
and rest my head on your heart?
and with the dust as our chorus
we'll say
Small mercies, sweet graves.

repeat

Small mercies, sweet graves

Mockingbird

Written By: Rachael Dease

Run rabbit – run, run, run
The fox is on its way
The wolf is right behind him
And the woodcutter’s gone to play

Granny’s just a sweet old man
“oh what big thighs you have my dear”
The willow trees whisper sweet, sweet nothings
In my pitch forgotten ear

They say –
“hide beneath our shadows, our leaves will fall to cover you –
the wind will cover footsteps, and we’ll whistle through and through…”

Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…
Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…today

And if that mockingbird don’t sing –
He’s gonna make it.

Sweet Jesus, give me light
To find my way back through -
The fox is on my tail
And there is nothing you can do.

The bluebirds take their prized possessions
To throw down at my feet.
There’s panic in their eyes they’re high enough
To find out what I’ll meet

They say –
“hide beneath our shadows, our wings will fall to cover you –
the wind will cover footsteps, and we’ll whistle through and through…”

Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…
Daddy’s gonna buy you a mockingbird…today

St Rita's Home

Written By: Rachael Dease

I'm trying to find my flock,
I don't know which way to hide.
All I got is the clothes on my back
and the will that I'll survive.

My mamma's caught in the grey old home,
and she calls me on the phone -
"I'll come and get you mamma, when I can,
You'll be safe in that old home."

I'll come and get you on a Monday,
I'll come and get you on a Tuesday,
I'll come and get you on a Wednesday,
I'll come and get you on a Thursday.

The water's peaked at 5 to 6ft,
now it's resting at about 4.
I'll take the wood from the floating pews,
and build a boat that I can moor.

I think of mamma in that attic,
with her useless mind distressed.
I wave down guards outside the church,
and I tell them her address -

They'll go and get her on a Monday,
They'll go and get her on a Tuesday,
They'll go and get her on a Wednesday,
They'll go and get her on a Thursday.

I saw two men in a rowboat,
Iranians that owned a nearby store.
They said "Father take it with you, and keep it safe -
we can't use it anymore."

I left my church with the bibles and hymnbooks
sailing like holy ships in the night.
It's the fourth day mamma called "Get me!"
I'm praying she's alright.

I'll go and get her on a Monday,
I'll go and get her on a Tuesday,
I'll go and get her on a Wednesday,
I'll go and get her on a Thursday.

I got to higher ground today,
I gathered 'round my soggy sheep.
The lambs that lost their way last night,
they were lying in a heap.

Guards were talking next to me,
I overheard what was being said -
"The elderly were drowned at St Rita's Home,
My mamma she was dead!"

I'll said I'd get her on a Monday,
I'll said I'd get her on a Tuesday,
I'll said I'd get her on a Wednesday,
I'll said I'd get her on a Thursday.

I'll said I'd get her on a Tuesday,
I'll said I'd get her on a Wednesday,
I'll said I'd get her on a Thursday,
but Friday she's gone...

Oh Marlon

Written By: Rachael Dease

Oh, Marlon...

Now this is a story,
of a man I hold dear.
My soulmate and lover,
but something I feared.

My neighbours started going
away for ever more,
and my Marlon's disappearing
to his shed out the door.

And I know something's up,
I can feel it.
My lover's not quite the straight road type.
He comes to our bed slightly bloodstained,
and he whispers "Darling - goodnight."

One day he never came back,
my Marlon I loved so.
He left me a message,
and this he did wrote -
he said "take a match to the back shed,
and burn it to the ground.
I'll return when I can dear,
I hope you keep safe and sound."

So I walked to that shed,
and I saw them.
My neighbours were hangin upside down.
Their blood was all split, and their heads gone,
their feet and their hands were bound.

So I walked to that shed,
and I saw them.
My neighbours were hangin upside down.
Their blood was all split, and their heads gone,
Marlon - they're not safe and sound.

So Marlon I will write you
to your prison cell today.
You know I'll never love another
the same in any other way.
But Marlon, can you tell me?
you never said you were sorry -
you just turned and you said dear
"Every man needs a hobby..."

Twice The Man

Written By: Rachael Dease

My body's broken, my eyes pale blue.
My skin's a shade of green, you can look right on through.
My lips are red and my head you could crack,
my heart is many different shades of black.

Cos I'm a cold and angry young lady,
and I got nothing left inside me, you see.
I'm half the girl you see down before you,
but I'm twice the man that you'll ever be.

Sit beside me on this silent stone chair,
and stop the birds from sweeping down on my hair.
Be a gentleman, put your shirt in the mud,
and watch the wine run silky through my blood...

Cos I'm a cold and angry young lady,
and I got nothing left inside me, you see.
I'm half the girl you see down before you,
but I'm twice the man that you'll ever be.

GIRLY MAN! GIRLY MAN! GIRLY MAN!

My father sits on a porch with a gun,
he's got two daughters and he don't want a son.
And if you slight him I'll be running for you,
you can't imagine all the things I would do -

Cos I'm a cold and angry young lady,
and I got nothing left inside me, you see.
I'm half the girl you see down before you,
but I'm twice the man that you'll ever be.

Bring Out Your Dead

Written By: Rachael Dease

I collect these things,
shiny objects on the verge at night.
Pieces of history, old hanging baskets and a stanley knife - to build a ship.

I'll build my ship, from rotten couches and a rusty bike.
I'll make my sails from quilts, and steer my ship into the afterlife - I'll pick you up.

Cos I will sail around the ocean,
with my lady of the junk to guide me home.
And though she looks not quite seaworthy,
she is built from hope and history and life -
her nest will break your fall.

A button lost and found, ties us together through the yesteryear.
The kind of thread I use, that ties us to the things that people lose.
A sadness falls around a childs playground with a rusty hinge.
I'm not a bird of prey, I'm just a bower bird of useless things.

So I will sail around the ocean,
with my lady of the junk to guide me home.
And though she looks not quite seaworthy,
she is built from hope and history and life -
my nest will break your fall.

So I will ask you now, what's your favourite time of year?
Is it birthdays, or a little bit of christmas cheer?
Mine falls every March, when the first rain of the seasons come.
It's like a change of heart, like somehow I become someone - It's Bring Out Your Dead.

Shades of Grey

Written By: Dease/Parr/Grey/John/Maguire

Little do you know that we’re all hypocrites at heart
And little do you know that I would finish what you start
So maybe we’ll just lie together, lying to ourselves
And hope to god the lies stay neatly stacked upon the shelf
I got no qualms here, no I got no qualms
And we’ve got a place to go

Find my hand in darkness as we lie upon the grass
Cos Alice wouldn’t have a story without her looking glass
And I don’t have the will to make up stories anymore
So take a breath and follow me down onto the floor
I’ll make you big babe, and you’ll make me small
And we’ve got a place to go

Oh babe it’s a long way to fall down
Oh babe it’s a long way to fall
Oh babe it’s a long way to fall down
Don’t you think that maybe you have
Finally found your shade of grey

My burdened head is resting on your burdened chest tonight
There’s nothing quite like burdens to make half strangers unite
So fuck the goddamn gossip mill within their house of glass
There’s nothing here to see but burdens lying on the grass
But goddamn they’re sexy, but goddamn they’re sexy
And they’ve found a place to go

Oh babe it’s a long way to fall down
Oh babe it’s a long way to fall
Oh babe it’s a long way to fall down
Don’t you think that maybe you have
Finally found your shade of grey

Lay The Noose

Written By: Dease/Parr/Grey/John/Maguire

You know those best-laid plans
They form a rocky road
That leads us to towns in a better place
Where the dock girls moan

You know you can’t be so believing
And you can’t be so untrue
You can’t be pissing on those best-laid plans
Before you’ve paid your dues

You’d think a man of honour
You’d think a man of taste
Would harbour more than a little anger
For other men taking his place

You’d think a girl of secrets
You ‘d think a girl of lies
Would know that secrets are the hopes that liars
Believe in as faith

If you’re gonna lay the noose around the old mans neck…

I’ve got a back up plan
I’ll find a stand up man
And tear him down to the bones of insanity
With my slight of hand

I don’t think that I’m believing
I don’t think that I’m untrue
I’m only pissing on those best laid plans
Just between me and you

If you’re gonna lay the noose around the old mans neck…

Scene From a Window

Written By: Rachael Dease

Scene From A Window -

Written for Live String Quartet, Pre recorded String Quartet, and Manipulated Soundscape

Anxious Little Town

Written By: Rachael Dease

Anxious Little Town -

Written for Live String Quartet, Pre recorded String Quartet, and Manipulated Soundscape

Discography

2008 "Sweet Talk Your Enemies" Debut Studio LP

2007 "Repent and Repeat" single
airplay- national
streaming www.schvendes.com, www.wam.asn.au, www.myspace.com/schvendesschvendes

2006 "Small Mercies, Sweet Graves" 3 track single
airplay- national

2005 "Twice the Man" EP
rotation Triple J national radio Aust.
airplay- local stations
streaming www.schvendes.com, www.wam.asn.au, www.myspace.com/schvendesschvendes

2005 "Turn Out Your Lights" EP
rotation on community radio
streaming www.schvendes.com, www.myspace.com/schvendesschvendes

2003 "The Scoundrel Was Made and Outcast" Live LP
Sold Out

Set List

Lay the Noose
Mockingbird
Bring Out Your Dead
Small Mercies Sweet Graves
Shades of Grey
Heavy Heart
St Ritas Home
Don't Wake Me Up

Typical Set is 45 mins- 1 hour