Salacious Railway Hotel


SALACIOUS – causing or showing a strong interest in sexual matters.

So says the Cambridge dictionary, but although this may be true to a degree, the reasons behind the name of one Cairns’ best known original metal bands is far more complex. “We actually went through a list of about 50 names when we first started,” vocalist Euan Williams explained. “And when we couldn’t agree on one we decided to go through the lyrics to our songs and see if anything was catchy,” added bassist Phillip Capewell. “The first song we wrote together had the word Salacious in it so we decided to go with that.” Euan continued, “If we had an Eddie style character like Iron Maiden has, then that would be Sal. Sal is a character from one of our concept ideas. We have a couple of songs already that are concept based and ultimately down the track we want to put an album together that is all the concept songs.”“ When we were starting out Daniel (McMahon, guitars) and I were talking about trying to get government grants and what we could do to get these grants and that’s where the whole concept thing grew from. We thought it would be easier to apply for the grants if we were writing something that had a bit of artistic merit to it.” “I initially had the idea to do something a bit different, like back in the 60’s and 70’s where you had bands like Pink Floyd with ‘The Wall’,” Daniel said, “so I thought that if we could do something like that it would have a deeper meaning and be more interesting, and these days you don’t see many bands doing that.”

The band says that they are about half way through their completed goal with the conceptual album, with songs off each release coming together to realise the vision. “We want to make it so that if people want to take those songs collectively they would all flow together,” Daniel offered, “so that if they took the tracks off each album and put them together – because each song is labelled Part 1, Part 2 etc – they could do it themselves and have a lineage. Down the track we also want to do a film and DVD to go with it which will be pretty cool.” “Essentially the whole concept is set in an alternate reality,” Euan said “where there’s a kind of Jesus character (Sal) who doesn’t really know anything about why he is the saviour of the Kingdom, but he is. He is the potential saviour of everyone and everything, it’s really convolute. We have a song that’s the prelude and the story flows from there. We have another four or five songs to go before we complete the story.”

Since bursting onto the scene in late 2011, Salacious, rounded out by Peter Bullis (keyboard/guitar/vocals), Brett Howison (guitar) and Darren Janz (drums), have worked tirelessly and constantly, racking up more than 40 gigs in their first 18 months as a band. They have supported acts such as Dream On Dreamer, Bam Margera, Northlane, 12 Foot Ninja, Dreamkillers and King Parrot, and this week add Dead Letter Circus to the growing list.

While the band agree that they are flattered by their continuing success, they also acknowledge that competition for these supports is quite intense, particularly in a relatively isolated place like Cairns. “For the bigger gigs it is VERY competitive,” Phil agreed. “I know with Dead Letter Circus there was alot of interest in the slot.” “But in saying that there is that mutual respect thing within the local music industry. I’m sure, as with anything, that there are other bands going ‘damn it, we didn’t get it’ but it’s always respectful. I wouldn’t say all the bands were in fierce competition with each other, it’s just the nature of the industry,” Euan added. “To be quite honest,” Daniel said, “if we didn’t get something we went for we obviously would get disappointed but we would ultimately be happy for whoever did get it because we understand how happy we would be.”

When asked why they believe they have achieved success in a relatively short period of time, the band is happy to suggest reasons.
“We are a very pro – active band,” Daniel said. “One thing we do alot of is adding other bands on pages like Facebook, particularly touring bands. When you are friends with them you get to find out when they have tours coming up which helps.” “Staying on the pro – active thing,” Euan picked up, “you have to get out there and go for what you want. I mean, we’ll go and see venues and people, like the Railway, and Gus at the Jack, and Todd Macalpine and the Tanks. We put our feelers out in every facet of the music industry we can so our name is out there and we get integrated in the scene. It’s about networking and being seen and heard.” “And I think our strongest asset is that we all like each other in the band,” Phil stated. “We are all dedicated to the band and that is the string that holds us together. If one of us lags a bit then we all get together and talk and we delegate each other jobs, so, for example, Euan will do promotions, I handle merchandise, Daniel handles internet and Facebook and Daz, Brett and Peter contribute all round. It’s good to have that mentality with a band because if you don’t then things just don’t get done. It’s like catching a ball – if the ball is coming down someone has to call ‘mine’ otherwise everyone gets tangled and the catch goes down.”

Kris Peters