When did the band originally get together?
Formed in the later months of 2009, Dukes Veda began like many other bands; in a garage. We were a two-piece back then (Callum & Jamie) just trying to find our sound. Later on, there was a dude we knew from a band called Storming Vegas, a real dinky die Aussie bloke who was playing the axe and singing. We cracked a few beers with him and a week later he was our new bass player, we call him Willow. Soon after, we wanted to see how a second guitarist would sound so we invited Anthony to one of our gigs and played a 40 minute improvised set. The punters jumped up on stage and started singing on the fly. The feeling after that gig cemented the new formation as a four piece early this year.
Where did the band name come from?
The band name was inspired by Jamie’s love of the four canonical collections of hymns, prayers and liturgical formulas that comprise the earliest Hindu sacred writings. These are known as Vedas. Veda is Sanskrit for knowledge so really the band’s name means The Dukes Knowledge.
What kind of sound are you aiming for?
We can’t really say we are going for a direct sound. We all come from different backgrounds of music. There are elements of blues and psychedelia. But then there is also just pure rock and roll. So you could say that we are going for a hybrid of all our influences to find that sweet spot in the music we create as a band.
What are your main musical influences? What are your non-musical influences?
The Dukes have a variety of influences that we all take a piece from when we are all the room creating. It ranges from Jamie and his Muddy Waters, Callum and Led Zeppelin, Willow and The Angels and Anthony’s Soundgarden. As different as all our tastes are it makes for some interesting tracks.
When was your first success, however minor, as a group?
Probably when Anthony was trying out for the guitarist spot and we all did an intense improvised set that drove some audience members to jump up on the stage and sing freely to the sounds we were making. Never before had we played songs that could be screamed, whispered, and rapped or even softly spoken. It was truly an experience to see people react this way to music that we were creating – with passion and completely on the fly.
Would you say you have a decent fan base?
We frequently play at a place we like to call our home ground called the Sound Bar in Hoppers Crossing. The punters there are martyrs for the local music scene and owner Dean Fisher has been nothing but supportive of us. We find that a lot of great people we have met there have come out to our city shows and for that we are grateful. As far as a steady fan base goes, it fluctuates. When we play at pubs like The Espy, the crowd just seem to pop out of the cracks.
Has a fan ever done anything particularly over-enthusiastic or strange?
Callum was worshipped by two female punters when they jumped up on stage and started bowing down to him in one of his solos. Usually we’re the ones up to no good!
Tell us about your next shows and why we should be there.
We’re playing 5 September at the Barwon club Geelong and 6 September at the Golden Vine in Bendigo. Be there because we’ve got something hardly any bands have these days… We improvise like crazy and love to jam on stage; no two gigs are ever the same.
Written by Purdy Scuderi
Photographer: Lola Alberts