These guys have been on our radar since Matt got on the Mosman Alder wagon early. The Brisbane 6 piece have been busy recording over the last few months at Airlock Studios in Samford Valley with Sean Cook, Yanto Browning and Tony Espie on mixing duties. The guys are about to release their debut EP Burn Bright and are heading out on a string of tour dates – presented by yours truly.
I had a chat to Kat from the band about playing Splendour, the new EP and getting acquainted with secateurs for studio time.
How long have you guys been playing together?
We formed in January 2010 and instead of actually playing gigs straight away we tried to do a lot of writing to begin with. We tried to get some demos out there first but our first show was around August 2010.
You’re all playing Splendour again in Byron this year, but what was it like playing at Woodford for the first time last year?
We were the first band on the Sunday. I could never afford to go to Splendour so it was amazing. The vibe was great! Huge adrenaline rush. Playing in that amphitheater was just incredible.
It was intimidating, there’s massive foldback from the stage and I’m just not used to hearing myself that loud. But it was pretty amazing, it all happened very quickly!
Were you all in different bands before?
I moved to Brisbane in 2009 and before that I played in a folk rock band for a short amount of time on the Gold Coast. Jackson, Liam and Damo were also in a prog punk band together.
With Valdis reading Kafka and using ideas of mythology as an influences, was it instinctual for you all to follow that up with a moodier sound? Were you guys averse to making a lighter record with those themes?
No not at all. We never really thought of what direction we were taking it, it just happened.‘Raisin Heart’ was written when Valdis was travelling through Germany and reading Kafka and those kind of authors. We didn’t do anything purposely, it sort of just fell into place.
Is it chaotic trying to get everyone together, with six of you in the band?
It can be chaotic with communication between six of us, comprising between work schedules and such. The songwriting process can differ – it might be Valdis and Jackson having a skeleton of a song, then having the rest of the band piece it off. But there’s been other times where we’ve been jamming and we’ll just experiment and improvise.
I was reading in your presser that you guys were offered free studio time for yard work?
Yeah! Ian Haug’s been really wonderful to us and very helpful. So that’s what we did in exchange for studio time, a lot of gardening. We still need to do a little bit more I think, but yeah that was a really awesome deal and we didn’t think twice about it.
Apart from pulling out weeds, what was the most challenging thing about recording the EP?
We were trying to get the EP done in 15 days but it stemmed over a 6 month period.
It’s all a blur for me because it was so all over the place! There were a few months were we had to reschedule because of other people’s schedules and renovations happening at Airlock Studios. We wanted to release it last year but we’re really happy now that it’s finally coming out.
The clip for ‘Raisin Heart’ is quite cinematic…
We worked with Dylan Wiehahn, he was great. When you can see us performing in the video we went out to a lovely property and we were doing some shooting out there. But Dylan had to do another day of shooting and Jackson and Valdis went out to the Wivenhoe Dam. I think the guy who acting in the time lapse video spent about 10 hours in the water to get the right shot.
People have described your tunes as dark and brooding and I’m reading some of the titles on the EP – ‘Mr Pickney and the Beast’ and ‘Ice Queen’ etc. You all seem like a real serious bunch.
We’re serious when we need to be. But really, not at all.
‘Burn Bright’ is released May 25 through Dew Process/Universal. Catch the guys playing Splendour In The Grass 2012 or at one of the dates below:
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