A Taste Of... FourPlay - an introduction to the band, compiled especially for vinyl.
FourPlay started before the internet had really taken off. In late 1994, brothers Tim & Peter Hollo teamed up with two friends from the Australian Youth Orchestra - Pip Allan and Chris Emerson - to try their hand at playing rock music, rock-band-style. We entered the UNSW band competition covering Metallica's "Enter Sandman", and somehow ended up winning. Out of that came public gigs and a nightly high-visibility spot at the Byron Bay Music Festival (RIP) in early 1996. By then, Pip had left to pursue her classical career, and Lara Goodridge joined, bringing her vocal talents and experience playing with indie rock & pop bands.
Our first album got rotation on Australia’s youth station Triple J in 1998 with that Metallica cover. At that stage all we had was a PO Box as a contact. If you can imagine, this PO Box address was read out on the radio, and so Peter opened the stuffed PO box daily with letters pouring out requesting the CD of Catgut Ya' Tongue?. It was a hit. We built up our own database and eventually we created our own distribution database for stores. We played at festivals to crowds who moshed up the front of the stage to our versions of The Beastie Boys, Jeff Buckley, Metallica, The Cure and more.
We had two further line-up changes. The original other violist (besides Tim), Chris Emerson, moved to London to follow his own classical career, then Sydney-based Veren Grigorov joined us for about 7 years, and then finally Brisbane-based Shenzo Gregorio joined. Each of those players brought their own flavour with them and we learned a lot together, finding what FourPlay was with them at each stage.
Shenzo brought with him a virtuosic, improvisational expertise that took us in very new directions. With a love of jazz, international folk musics and rock, we found that writing together as a band was a fruitful and rewarding experience. While the covers were our bread and butter in many ways, and what brought audiences to us, we found more and more that writing our own songs, together as a band, was as fruitful and deeply satisfying for us. It also became more difficult for us, somehow, to decide on cover songs. And so, we put our focus increasingly on the original pieces. As a band, we write very improvisationally, with one person maybe just jamming on a riff, an idea, a melody, a pedal-effect, a mood, and then one by one, we join in and see where it goes. It can be challenging, but ultimately, always rewarding.
A band that improvises, eats cheese and jokes together, stays together.
The ‘new guy’, Shenzo, has now been with us for over 18 years to date. In that time, we have toured and released albums with UK author Neil Gaiman, and played Carnegie Hall (NY), The Barbican (UK), as well as our own shows at Sydney Festival, Melbourne Festival, Adelaide Festival Centre, the Sydney Opera House and so much more. We have collaborated with bands, written soundtracks, and generally had a colourful and eventful almost 3 decades as a band. Throughout this entire time, our mainstay has been our illustrious manager and great friend, Jordan Verzar. We are a 5-person team, plus all at Top Shelf Productions, including our friend Steve Griffiths. Our families and friends have taken the journey with us, and we are thrilled to still be making music and eating cheese as a band to this day.
This collection we have compiled, especially for the vinyl medium, takes pieces we wrote and recorded with Shenzo on board. We’ve included two covers along with the rest: a mix of our favourite instrumentals and songs that have continued to be audience pleasers over the years. So here is A Taste Of… FourPlay.
released July 14, 2023
All tracks mastered for vinyl by Steve Smart at Studios 301
All song publishing control Goodridge, Gregory, Hollo, Hollo
except 2+2=5 (Radiohead) and Reptilia (The Strokes) published by Warner/Chappell Music Publishing Ltd.