Singer-lyricist Justin (Hap) Hayward, guitarist Chris Morris and drummer Lawrence Nulty are well respected in Ballarat, coming from a particularly rich period of the town’s musical history.
Underminers formed in 2002 after Hayward took long service with cult band The Dead Salesmen. Hap and Chris had collaborated on various side projects but finally recorded Let's Get T-Shirts Made in 2002, working with Black Cab’s Andrew Coates.
On the strength of those songs, Mushroom Publishing signed them in early 2003. In 2005 new demos found their way to Croxton Records label bosses Mick Thomas and Nick Corr who fell in love with Underminers’ song craft, releasing Beyond The Stars.
Beyond The Stars, the second album from these pop craftsmen, also included the addition of Lawrence Nulty. “Lawrence has been drumming behind Chris and I on and off for the past twenty years” says Hayward. The three first met each other at the bar of the infamous Bridge Mall Inn and promptly formed rock band The Nulty Grips.
”Chris and I loved the Ed Kuepper album Electrical Storm and we found ourselves trying to write our first songs together in that literate but loose and kind of dangerous way. We have mellowed somewhat since then for our own sanity!”
Working with producer Dave Beattie ('The Hard Word', Snog), gun mixer Andy Stewart and friends like J Walker (Machine Translations), Hayward, Morris and Nulty made an assured and satisfying sophomore effort in Beyond The Stars. Sadly, Croxton shut up shop as a record label, no longer releasing new works, not long after.
“We were lucky to get a release when we did” states Hayward, “And Mick and the crew at Croxton were fantastic to us –for them it was all about the songs.”
And now in 2010, Underminers have something new to offer. Tentatively titled: “Heart Part Of Your Mind”, the new album is the band’s most assured and sonically adventurous album yet.
“I know they all say it,” says Hayward, “But this new album is the most satisfying of the lot. The last two albums were a learning curve and the rewards for our trials and tribulations and the lessons learnt are here in this one!”
Recorded and mixed and Mastered By Graeme Hodge in RedwoodRecording Studios Ballarat (who also played bass, arranged strings and has promised to play at their launches), “Heart Part Of Your Mind” has just been released on the bands new home Popboomerang Records www.myspace.com/underminers