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By Charlie David Page
4th December 2011

Guineafowl is both the name of a Sydney group who have done the hard yards this year, and the nickname of their lead singer, Sam Yeldham - the leading force behind the band's success. I spoke to Sam as the band was winding up its national tour for 2011.

There's much to be said about Guineafowl's ambitious attitude towards making music, having made a name for themselves over the past twelve months - though Sam would hardly call it a whirlwind transformation. "We've all worked very hard this year to get to where we are, the Australian industry is a tough market," he insists.

Guineafowl originally began as a project for Sam in a small apartment in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs in late 2009, where he began recording samples for what would later become the band's EP, 'Hello Anxiety'. From there, Sam put together a group, and they took to the studio, where the EP was recorded and mixed in just a few days.

Less than a year since the release of 'Hello Anxiety', Guineafowl have toured the country (and even embarked on their first U.S. trip), making a name for themselves - which was a learning process in itself. "I don't think I was totally ready at the beginning," Sam confessed. "Now I'm used to it and can pull it off - but it's taken most of the year touring to make the transformation."


Guineafowl's first overseas venture also opened Sam's eyes to a new market. On the three-week trip to the United States they played 13 gigs to enthusiastic audiences. "They [American audiences] get into things so easily. We could play in front of a crowd who'd never heard of us and win them over by the end of the set."

Apart from time dedicated to touring, the band's success has largely been attributed to their initial popularity online - which Sam is quick to acknowledge its power. "The internet has changed the music game - it's changed the way artists and fans interact. It's both frightening and wonderful at the same time - I can interact with fans online and have them be critical right to my face."

Guinafowl's video clip for the single 'Little Fingers' was released earlier this year, but the process of putting it together required a lot of patience. "We rehearsed it for three months, three times a week," Sam explained. "I learned to sing it backwards. Because of our budget, we could only shoot two takes - we could only afford to destroy two rooms, so on the second go, that was it."

The future looks bright for Guineafowl. Along with their recently launched single, 'The Lie Is', it's been announced the band will be supporting the international acts Portugal The Man and Givers on their visit to Australia, and Sam says there's the promise of an album in 2012. "That's the key priority at the moment. I'm starting to put together demos, then we'll record them next year once it's all done."

ARTIST: Guineafowl
AKA: Sam Yeldham
BEGAN: 2009
FROM: Sydney
SOUND: Electronica / Indie
FACEBOOK: Guineafowl
TWITTER: @GuineafowlMusic
INSTAGRAM: @Guineafowl
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