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The Collapse Board interview – Samuel Miers (School Girl Report)

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Samuel Miers was making tapes under the name Abortion Eve by scratching bits and pieces like bottle tops and nails on his guitar as he played, and recording it. The result was some experimental, crackly music described by Negative Guestlist as a “lone turd in the Melbourne river”.

Despite the less than flattering review, the problem for Sam was different. It was very hard to recreate the songs – so there was no real hope of playing them live. The sounds were accidental, and therefore far too inconsistent to ‘learn’ and repeat.

In the process of attempting to recreate the sounds, he was jamming with Daniel Oakman and Tess Milani, and Chimney Curler was born – affording him the chance to play guitar in a similar style, but with the view to making songs that would work well live. It was during this time that they wrote a bunch of songs and recorded a not-yet-released seven inch. From this original recording comes one song they still play  ‘Sister Smooth’ – about a nun who doesn’t clean the clocks in order to be scolded by the priest so she can seduce him. This particular one, written by Daniel Oakman (who plays drums) is a perfect example of the way Oak writes stories and songs. His drumming is as unexpected and compelling as his use of imagery and humour.

Then Tess went overseas and Sam and Oak moved back from Melbourne to the south coast of New South Wales. With Tess, the original singer gone, and no real desire to add someone new into the mix, Sam and Oak decided to force themselves to sing. They changed their band name to School Girl Report – a name they’ve also been DJing under for three years now.

“Neither of us had ever sung before. We just sang in all these different voices. We just tried and tried until we found a voice that sounded like us and that felt right,” says Sam.

“Now we sing equally.”

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