The Swing Of It All...

A little insight into how I felt and what I was thinking during the recording sessions of The Trapeze with Thick Line Thin Line

When I was first approached about the prospect of corralling the members of Thick Line Thin Line together for a podcast to discuss their history and recently-announced return, I dove in headfirst, agreeing on the spot to the proposal set out in front of me. I sat down to build the show’s structure, envisioning a reasonably straightforward and fairly casual conversation with some old friends. Having been around since the inception of the band, I felt that I knew a great deal about them as a unit, so it would be more about sharing the stories with folks who didn’t know the inner workings. I think that it was likely my inside knowledge that caused the band to choose me to chronicle their journey for the annals of history. I believe I was also the first to dedicate a patch of my skin to a tattoo of a lyric from their repertoire, so they may have thought me crazy enough to jump into it as willingly as I did.

Given that we convened while in the grip of the second wave coronavirus lockdown, the band was spread apart in the safety and confinement of their homes, one of which wasn’t even in Victoria. This meant that it would be tricky to navigate an interview, with six voices brought together through the wonders of online conference calling that has become commonplace in this virus-dictated climate. Shying away from the challenge wasn’t an option, though, as I had a stack of questions that had remained unanswered for the seven years since the band had parted ways. And this was my chance to ask them, so I wasn’t going to let it slip through my fingers.

Early on, the sessions transformed from the planned interview-style exchange into something remarkably deeper. While the core concept and framework remained intact, the discourse itself quickly became a form of catharsis for each of the gents on the other end of the line. I discovered that not only did I barely comprehend the surface layer of who the band was, but also that there were things that each member had to say that caught the others off guard. As I leant back in my chair, my microphone muted, sipping at the cold beer that had become a quiet tradition for each episode, I came to realise something – the podcast had turned from conference to group therapy, and I swear I could feel the weight being lifted off of each of them as they shared their truths.

As unexpected and unprompted as the shift was, it felt absolutely necessary. While several of the band members had stayed in touch over the years, there were still fractures and silences within the group, and addressing those became just as important as talking about how the band came to be in the first place. I’m glad that I took up the opportunity to chat to the lads, not so much for myself, but because it facilitated a dialogue that may have otherwise gone unsaid.

I love the feeling of being lost…

- That Red Guy