Items filtered by date: August 2013
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 15:24

Alison Wonderland: Get Ready

Alison Wonderland wants the dancefloor dwellers of Quensland to injure themselves — but not in a bad way.

The classically trained DJ has dropped her first original track, 'Get Ready', and she expects the  accompanying national tour to be a sweaty affair.

“I just want it to be fun and crazy and for everyone to jump around, injure themselves and have a good time”, declares the genre-bending darling of Australian dance music, recovering in bed after an “overwhelmingly cool” weekend tearing up the Mix-Up Tent at Splendour In The Grass – the first of 20 wondrous pit-stops across the country.

“As always, I love Splendour, the happy vibes, people who are there to enjoy the music and no Southern Cross tattoos, if you know what I mean!”

The tour will see Alison playing from Bendigo to Wagga and everywhere in between, leaving no state across Australia without a party.

“It's going to be tracks that I love playing at the moment, but I don't want to plan it too much.”

'Get Ready' marks her transition from DJ to EDM producer, her ability unsurprising considering her experiences studying cello in Europe and at Sydney's Conservatorium of Music.

“I was learning how to write classical music and analyse compositions, which is always in the back of my mind... even for 'Get Ready', although it's quite heavy, it's still in the song format of verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus.”

The track also sees her laying down her own top-notes for the first time, lending her vocals purely because it made sense to do so.

“I said ‘Screw it, it’s my music, I wrote the lyrics, so I might as well just try and sing it’.”

Mercifully for lovers of a natural ditty, Alison ditched auto-tune in favour of her own sweet intonations.

“When writing the demo, I just made sure the feel was right and it was written for where my voice sits, and in the end it just worked.”

The track sees her collaborate with home-grown electro/ indie duo Fishing, who wowed Wonderland with their rapping skills when they met backstage at Groovin The Moo last May.

“It reminded me of old Beastie Boys... I thought it was sick, sent them the track and two days later they sent a rap back and I knew it was the right thing and that I had higher powers looking over me for that one.”

Two mammoth years have seen Alison play sets at the official Grammy and Brit Awards after parties, impress veteran Annie Mac with “the best party set I've heard in a long time” and sign with EMI.

“I've always been scared that a major label would be really controlling, but I've been really, really lucky with EMI, who give me so much freedom and treat artists like artists. It's rad and I've pretty much recorded everything in my bedroom.”

From bedrooms to major festivals, Alison is proud of the waves being made by Australian producers in the international scene.

“There's a real resurgence for Australian music at the moment. It’s just mindblowing seeing the artists that are coming out and it just makes me happy.”

Alison’s currently writing her debut album and assures that her dexterous craftmanship will come from the heart.

“Everything I make comes from a really honest place. I'm not really afraid of doing that, it's just how I write. I can smell bullshit when things are contrived and I think other people can too... it's not that I'm making music to make money, I just do it to keep myself sane.”

Alison Wonderland plays Oh Hello! August 14 And Elsewhere September 21.

Published in Electronic
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 15:20

Noah Slee: Top Five Fried Chicken Places

1. Sylvia’s Restaurant (Harlem NYC). I legitimately understood why it’s called soul food after this experience. The fried chicken melted against my taste buds.... oh lord.

2. KFC. You can't go wrong with the Colonel — he’s been helping obesity internationally for many years, and those secret flavours are finger lickin’ good.

3. Maylings (West Auckland). Chinese takeaway that have pieced together a magnificent fried chicken with garlic as the flavour base.

4. Sushi Station Buffet (West End). The sushi buffet has offered unlimited fried chicken nibbles that leaves your mouth drenched in grease!

5. Sita’s Fried Chicken (A mate! Will not reveal her address). Homemade fried chicken swag!!! Say no more.

Noah Slee supports Dubmarine at The Hi-Fi this Friday, August 7.

Published in Electronic

1. Jandamarra (‘Jandamarra’s War’). Patriot and freedom fighter. From the Bunubu in Western Australia, he fought colonial invading forces; had amazing skill and powers, surviving bullet wounds which would have killed a normal man. For three years he led a guerrilla war against European invaders who could not capture him or defeat him. They had to bring in a highly skilled indigenous tracker to stop him. Many other indigenous warriors to choose from, but no movie or series depicting their lives yet in Australia.

2. Huey Freeman (‘Boondocks’). Young revolutionary from the cartoon series. Always on point, dope politics and he's adept in martial arts. Once ran a play depicting the true origins of Christmas. Also drops the illest quotes.

3. Phoolan Devi (‘Bandit Queen’). Modern day Robin Hood. Robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. Also brought men to justice who had committed crimes against her, when no justice was given. Incredible story. Mad determination and courage.

4. Cloud (‘Final Fantasy VII’). A mercenary who destroyed the evil corporation Shinra who was sucking the life-force out of the planet. One of the coolest video game characters ever.

5. Fudge (‘Higher Learning’). If anything, included for his intro scene which presented an analysis of the power global financial institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF hold over the world. In 1995 when the internet was in its infancy, this was important information. Ice Cube post-NWA, pre- ‘Are We There Yet’.

Pataphysics performs as part of Bigsound September 10-13. qmusic.com.au/bigsound/2013

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 15:09

Urthboy: Politically Minded

Five years ago Urthboy was beginning to worry about the future of the music business.

At Elefant Traks, the Sydney-based independent hip hop record label he helped co-found, the internet was beginning to bite and sales of physical product were losing traction. Life on the indie frontline looked bleak.

But cut to 2013 and everything’s changed. Elefant Traks are coming off one of the most successful years in the label’s history. 2012 delivered a breakthrough for Hermitude, the DJ project of Luke ‘Dubs’ Dubber and Angus ‘El Gusto’ Stuart — their fourth album ‘HyperParadise’ crossing over into the mainstream media – as well as the release of Urthboy’s own LP, ‘Smokey’s Haunt’, which itself went on to rack up the critical plaudits.

“2012 was a combination of lots of hard work and a few things going our way,” explains Urthboy, who in label guise is better known as Tim Levinson. “You’re working alongside artists like Hermitude for ten years before they really start to shake up a more mainstream audience, [and] when it finally does happen and you’re working behind the scenes alongside them, it’s really invigorating and just gives you that reassurance that, first of all, what we’re doing is worthwhile, and secondly, nice guys do finish first sometimes.”

Particularly satisfying was the AIR award for Best Label. Essentially, it meant other labels had been voting for Elefant Traks, acknowledging their achievements.

“That other labels think we’re doing a good job – that makes us all have a little bit more of a spring in our step when we’re working. But you reflect on those things and use it as a way of reinforcing your own belief in what you’re doing … I think the fact that we’re all invested in it and believe in what Elefant Traks is trying to do is a far greater incentive than all those things.”

And compared to the gloomy days half a decade ago? A lot of labels slipped under the waters, but Elefant Traks adapted and have since grown their business.

“Our digital ratio of sales is far higher than our physical now,” Urthboy explains. “So it seems that the audiences who embrace Elefant Traks have long since discarded physical product. So we’ve been close to those changes that have affected the industry and sometimes in a negative way. We have more staff rather than less, we have more projects to work on and we feel like there are more things out there that we haven‘t tried out yet. And our overheads – despite the fact that we’ve got more staff – are so low that we can move and adapt.”

As Elefant Traks’ stock has risen, so has Urthboy’s – but not just as an artist or businessman. His label’s thoughtful approach to rap music continues to draw followers, even when the smart money would be on the enlivening, widescreen hip hop of acts such as Hilltop Hoods, Bliss N Eso and 360. Elefant Traks artists aren’t afraid to sign their name to a cause, and as label head, Urthboy is often called upon to do the talking. So you have his appearance on ABC Television’s popular talk show ‘Q&A’ earlier this year — something he describes in encouraging tones as a learning experience.

“I’m all about getting involved and I feel sad for people who pull themselves out of a dialogue,” he says. “Each to their own: people can do what they like, but I’m just a personality that likes to get involved. I’m an empathetic person; I share the concerns I’ve had with my own career with my artists and the artists that I look after. I always come from that angle and want to get involved. And politics is no different: naturally we’re going to be a little rough around the edges and not be polished media players, but that’s OK. You’ve just got to keep that option open.”

[Ed’s note: This article first appeared in Scene February 27, 2013]

Urthboy Headlines Sprung Festival alongside 360 and Drapht Saturday September 21. Sprunghiphop.com.au

Published in Urban
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:33

We Came As Romans: Upgrading the Empire

We Came As Romans have shifted things up a gear on their latest record, ‘Tracing Back Roots’.

While the album retains the sextet's amiable fusion of chaotic distortion and club-inspired keys, it also finds the band shining a brighter spotlight on melody.
“As a band, on every CD you're always hoping to grow and mature and change your style a little bit,” guitarist Josh Moore explains. “It's really about finding that perfect balance to keep your existing fans happy and still make new ones. But for us it was a natural progression.”

As one of the group’s primary songwriters, it seems Josh had some unlikely influences when it came to crafting the record.

“When I write music I try to not listen to [heavy] bands. I feel like when I listen to other bands I get way too over-influenced; so, I write songs that sound exactly like theirs. When I'm in that mode of writing songs, I'll listen to [artists] like Brand New or Ed Sheeran – [artists] that have no relevance to my genre of music.”

Perhaps Josh's left-of-centre approach to writing heavy tunes rubbed off on some of the other band members. You see, this is the first LP in which frontman David Stephens has upped the ante by singing as well as belting out his trademark screams.

“It's one of the talents that he has, and we were just waiting for the right point for our band when we could really showcase that. It's definitely not something that I think we could have done in the past.”

'Tracing Back Roots' is also WCAR's first release on which they didn't work with long-time producer Joey Sturgis. Instead, the band enlisted Goldfinger singer and guitarist John Feldmann to oversee its recording.

“In the fall of last year we did 'Hope' with John, and we knew then he was the one to work with and the one that really brought out the best in our band. We had this idea of where we wanted to go and John was the right person to help us achieve that.

“I could talk about him longer than we have for this interview. His work ethic was unreal and he just really cares about the band.”

We Came As Romans play The Vans Warped Tour at RNA Showgrounds Friday November 29. vanswarpedtouraustralia.com

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:30

Scat: Top Five Reasons We Love Old Cinema

1. Jerry Lewis makes Jim Carey's gags seem like dad jokes. Now 87 and still gigging, Jerry is the original Nutty Professor (literally). I grew up with his comic riffing, fearless slapstick and impeccable timing.

2. Gene Kelly’s face makes you believe in God. This golden era ‘triple threat’ (singer/ dancer/ actor) is the iconic ‘singer’ from ‘Singing In The Rain’ and the American from ‘American In Paris’. Aside from his ridiculously athletic dance sequences, his disarming smile and wide-eyed sincerity, he emanated an almost angelic charm.

3. Dean Martin’s romantic crooning can make the hardest of cowboy-lawman smile like a smitten girl, specifically John Wayne in ‘Rio Bravo’. Aside from the odd western cameo, I knew him best as Jerry Lewis’s straight man. He became mates with iconic crooner Frank Sinatra and his buttery baritone is unmistakable.

4. Fred Astaire does not 'move like Jagger'. Fiery syncopations, extended tap sequences and trademark walking cane were his weapons of choice. He insisted that dance sequences were captured in one continuous shot – no mean feat if you are familiar with the hybrid dance-percussion scenes from ‘Drum Crazy’ and ‘Damsel In Distress’. Hip, skinny genius who was a prolific influence in his genre.

5. Charlton Heston shook my hand at Garden City. Yeah that’s right – I met Ben Hur at a book launch. Not a moral hero of mine (gun lobbyist etc) but one seriously bad dude of biblical proportions.

Scat play the Brisbane Jazz Club Aug 10, previewing tunes from their new album which features golden era cinema classics.

Published in Jazz/ Fusion
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:24

4zzz Radiothon: Subscribe Today

Ahead of 4ZZZ’s annual membership drive, co-station manager Michelle Brown reveals some of the exciting prizes up for grabs, and promises the station will be there for you if the end of the world was to eventuate.

“I think the scooter's pretty awesome,” Michelle says when asked to name her favourite prizes. “And one that would be really great to win is the Golden Plains Wicked camper holiday – that's two weeks with the Wicked camper, to drive down to Golden Plains and back!”

But it's not just about winning.

“In the early days when we started, [community radio] was how you tuned in to get cutting-edge information, alternative news, cutting-edge music, and new and local support for music and arts and culture. It's really important that we're still part of that, even with the online, digital age.”

Last year, 4ZZZ beat its $65,000 target by about a grand. This year, the station's target is $75,000.

For over 36 years, 4ZZZ has operated on community subscriptions due to its relevance, independence, credibility and respect for its listeners. While 4ZZZ receives some funding from  Community Broadcast Foundation grants, Michelle says it's really the help of subscribers during the Radiothon that keeps the station alive.

“The Radiothon theme this year is 'Survival',” Michelle says. “We're talking the apocalypse and zombies and viruses, and things that could happen to cause the end of the world. We're also talking about the survival of radio and that people always use radios in end-of-the-world movies and TV shows. And we're promoting that, you know, 4ZZZ would still be there for you if the end of the world was to come.”

And what are some of the Radiothon activities to look out for?

“We've got a good couple of things planned. We've got cut-out masks for people to take selfie photos and tag our social networks with themselves joining the Z Army and fighting the apocalypse. Yeah, so we're pretty excited about it.”

4ZZZ’s Radiothon takes place August 24 until September 2. Support your local community. 4zzzfm.org.au

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:15

Live Review: 4 Walls Festival

Billed as being ‘for young people by young people’, Youth Music Industries’ fourth annual all-ages 4 Walls Festival at QACI boasted quite a line-up this year.

Before a hoard of baby-faced and expensively attired onlookers, local alt-rock quartet Twin Haus provide an early highlight on the rooftop stage with a tidy racket of a set, before English-Australian four-piece Tourism unleash a new batch of Arctic Monkeys-esque tunes with some heavy moments on the main stage in the darkness of QUT's lecture theatre. During a previous Brisbane gig guitarist Adrian Brown puked on his guitar mid-song, but everyone is clearly under instruction to be on their best behaviour today, which is helped by the lack of a bar at the venue.

The biggest draw of the day so far is Brisbane's Go Violets, who almost send a swelling crowd into spasms with their cheeky brand of all-girl indie, with more than a hint of the '1-2-3-4' aesthetic of J-Pop and near-perfect depiction of adolescent angst. With lines like “I really like you, I like your hair”, they could be any teenager here today, and after eliciting proposals of marriage from male members of the crowd, they finish with the Powerpuff Girls theme song. Once they master stagecraft, this band could be huge.

Meanwhile, Surfer Cats were making a boneheaded yet strangely charming mess of noise on the rooftop stage with a set of songs about – yes, you guessed it – surfing and cats, including tunes with names like 'Vampire Cat', 'Catch A Wave With Me', and 'Schizophrenic Cat'.

Baseball cap-sporting Jeremy Neale takes to the main stage to thunderous applause, and proceeds to provide the throat-shredding vocal performance of the day, with 'Winter Was The Time', 'Merry Go Round', and 'Darlin', before being joined by Go Violets and members of Major Leagues to finish with a raucous ensemble version of 'In Stranger Times'.
Having just driven from Newcastle to make the gig, Pigeon proceed to up the quality tenfold and steal the show with a high-energy blast of electronica, including a ten-minute Daft Punk medley which fuses 'One More Time', 'Around The World', 'Robot Rock', and 'Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger' into a single pulsating jam.

Late additions to the bill Cub Scouts headlined the main stage with their usual collection of well-crafted indie-pop tunes and send the kids of Brisbane home tired but happy, while the rest of us retire to the nearest bar for a well overdue drink.

Before a hoard of baby-faced and expensively attired onlookers, local alt-rock quartet Twin Haus provide an early highlight on the rooftop stage with a tidy racket of a set, before English-Australian four-piece Tourism unleash a new batch of Arctic Monkeys-esque tunes with some heavy moments on the main stage in the darkness of QUT's lecture theatre.

During a previous Brisbane gig guitarist Adrian Brown puked on his guitar mid-song, but everyone is clearly under instruction to be on their best behaviour today, which is helped by the lack of a bar at the venue.

The biggest draw of the day so far is Brisbane's Go Violets, who almost send a swelling crowd into spasms with their cheeky brand of all-girl indie, with more than a hint of the '1-2-3-4' aesthetic of J-Pop and near-perfect depiction of adolescent angst. With lines like “I really like you, I like your hair”, they could be any teenager here today, and after eliciting proposals of marriage from male members of the crowd, they finish with the Powerpuff Girls theme song. Once they master stagecraft, this band could be huge.

Meanwhile, Surfer Cats were making a boneheaded yet strangely charming mess of noise on the rooftop stage with a set of songs about – yes, you guessed it – surfing and cats, including tunes with names like 'Vampire Cat', 'Catch A Wave With Me', and 'Schizophrenic Cat'.

Baseball cap-sporting Jeremy Neale takes to the main stage to thunderous applause, and proceeds to provide the throat-shredding vocal performance of the day, with 'Winter Was The Time', 'Merry Go Round', and 'Darlin', before being joined by Go Violets and members of Major Leagues to finish with a raucous ensemble version of 'In Stranger Times'.
Having just driven from Newcastle to make the gig, Pigeon proceed to up the quality tenfold and steal the show with a high-energy blast of electronica, including a ten-minute Daft Punk medley which fuses 'One More Time', 'Around The World', 'Robot Rock', and 'Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger' into a single pulsating jam.

Late additions to the bill Cub Scouts headlined the main stage with their usual collection of well-crafted indie-pop tunes and send the kids of Brisbane home tired but happy, while the rest of us retire to the nearest bar for a well overdue drink.

To view more photos go to Scenestr

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:10

Amanda Palmer: Ask Me

Earlier this year, Amanda Palmer delivered the performance that her entire career had been building towards. No, it wasn't her attack on The Daily Mail (but we'll get to that), and it certainly wasn't her poem for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (but we'll get to that, too) — it was her TED talk.

Palmer's presentation for the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) Conference spanned her life's work, from her time spent busking as a living statue to her game-changing, record-breaking Kickstarter project, and it succinctly explained how these seemingly disparate things related to each other.

“The big thing that inspired the TED talk,” Palmer says, “was a need to really deeply explain myself after feeling that I'd been heavily misunderstood when I came under fire for crowdsourcing things.

“In my community, that's such a natural way of doing stuff,” she continues, “and I was so caught off guard when I was criticised for it. I really felt like I was standing up, not just for me, but for all the artists I know who do a lot of crowdsourcing and exchange a lot, creatively, with their fans and their friends. The culture is shifting, especially in America right now, and a lot of artists are coming under fire for how they do things. I felt like it was an important talk to give, to remind people that it really is the artist's prerogative how they want to interact and exchange with their fans and their friends.”

Followers of Palmer (and keen observers of internet shitstorms) will be aware that when Palmer talks about “coming under fire”, she's mostly referring to the criticism she received when she attempted to 'crowdsource' musicians to play with her Grand Theft Orchestra last year. She eventually caved to public pressure and agreed to pay the volunteers; I ask her why she relented and if she regrets not standing her ground.

“It was the easiest way to get back to work,” she counters. “That's the easiest answer. It wasn't like I reversed my principles. My principles stayed steady. But with so many people screaming, and with a job to do — this was literally happening during the first few weeks of our tour, while we were driving from show to show and working with these musicians every night — I didn't really feel like it was the correct time for a political battle. It was time to play music for people.”

That wasn't the only controversy Palmer found herself embroiled in over the past 12 months. She also wrote 'A Poem For Dzhokhar', a stream-of-consciousness work that appeared to take a sympathetic view of alleged Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

“My views about this are probably continually controversial,” she shrugs, “but I think human beings should feel empathy towards everybody. When I say 'everybody', I mean absolutely everybody. It doesn't work if it's selective. That means young, old, violent, non-violent, black, white, you name it. If we're selectively empathetic, we're just not doing it right. That being said, it's a lot easier to feel empathy for a five-year-old than it is for a 37-year-old suicide bomber, but that doesn't mean it's not possible.”

Most recently, Palmer attracted more positive press when she skewered The Daily Mail. The British tabloid wrote a bizarre review of Palmer's Glastonbury performance that made no mention of her music, focussing instead on a minor “wardrobe malfunction”; in response, Palmer threw off her kimono and performed a new song, 'Dear Daily Mail', entirely nude.

“When I saw that Daily Mail article,” she remembers, “my first reaction was to laugh. I really thought it was so fucking funny that The Daily Mail thought I would be embarrassed someone could see a quarter centimetre of my nipple. Someone at The Daily Mail obviously didn't Google my name. I just thought that was so funny, but also so telling about how culture is built, because they're functioning on a planet where a female artist is fundamentally supposed to be embarrassed by something like that.

“As a female performance artist, nudity is definitely a powerful tool... especially if you use it with humour. That can be a really powerful statement because often, female performance art and nudity gets stuck in a box of ultra serious, highly academic feminist bullshit. Sometimes it's just really funny to rip your clothes off and do something hilarious.”

Amanda Palmer will speak at the Bigsound Conference (September 11-13) and perform at The Tivoli on Thursday September 12.

Published in Rock
Wednesday, 07 August 2013 14:06

Boy & Bear: Home Under A Southern Sun

Dave Hosking is a relieved man. At the time of our interview, it’s the first chance he’s had to discuss Boy & Bear’s second album, ‘Harlequin Dream’, outside his inner circle – label reps, family and flatmates – but at last the date has arrived to release another record unto an eager and ever-growing audience.

“If it was up to me I’d just want to release it yesterday and get on with it,” Hosking says cheerily, in spite of the recent bout of tonsillitis that’s temporarily rendered his voice husky and timid. “I love recording and I like writing, so the quicker this is out, the quicker I can emotionally move on and do something else.”

Still, there’s a touch of apprehension – “probably healthy,” admits Hosking – over how ‘Harlequin Dream’ might match the immense critical and popular goodwill afforded ‘Moonfire’ in 2011.

“There’s a minor shock factor [to ‘Harlequin Dream’] in that it’s a little bit different, probably not as high-energy as the last record; the production values are quite different,” says the singer and founding member of the Sydney five-piece. “But I think once people are getting their head around that and starting to understand what the record’s about, they seem to be really warming to it.”

‘Warm’ is the word for it, too: on ‘Harlequin Dream’, Boy & Bear present a comforting, upright brand of throwback pop, sketched around guitar, banjo and even saxophone. Lead single ‘Southern Sun’ is the perfect gateway into the album – a rock-solid slice of hook and melody that revisits the sounds of the ’60s and ’70s; of Fleetwood Mac or Creedence.

“I started listening to a lot of old pop music again,” explains Hosking. “I had this realisation that so much of the groove on those old records and the accessibility of those songs is really fantastic, and it’s really great quality pop music – and at least personally I felt like there wasn’t a lot of people at the moment doing pop like that.

“I got a little bit fed up of turning on the radio and hearing indulgent, moody music, and I had a really strong urge to just go back and write stories in classic structures; in verse/ chorus. And knowing what those structures generally were, [to] have fun with that – do things that were musical and had grooves and hooks, just completely embrace that without any fear of what’s cool and what’s not.”

Hosking’s first musical memory – apart from his father playing guitar around the house – is “James Taylor, on repeat through my entire childhood,” he laughs. But it was to Nashville, where Taylor joined Neil Young in 1971 to record the latter’s ‘Harvest’, that Boy & Bear travelled to cut ‘Moonfire’ – the debut that went on to net five ARIA awards including Album Of The Year. Soon afterwards – amid an avalanche of tour dates and widespread praise for that record – Hosking started work on new material.

“Nashville was an interesting experience and at times was quite challenging… I think that in itself acted as motivation to make sure that next time we did it, we could really do it the way we wanted to do it. I figured the earlier I could start working on that, the better the record would be.”

‘Stranger’ was the first of these tunes that made it to ‘Harlequin Dream’; a lilting ballad built on simple guitar arpeggios and vocal harmony. ‘Three Headed Woman’ came next – the rhythm section taking charge this time, boosted by the addition of new bassist David Symes. Crucially, at no stage did the band feel undue pressure to reproduce ‘Moonfire’, successful though it was.

“We were asked the same question off the back of the [‘With Emperor Antarctica’] EP, going into the [first] record, and I think you want to just take that in your stride. If you’re going to do this as a career, that’s just part and parcel of the job, that there’s always pressure. This is our livelihood and this is what we do … if pressure is based upon the fact that your last record was successful, that’s a fairly good problem to have [laughs].”

Put together in a number of sessions over eight months at Sydney’s Alberts Studio, ‘Harlequin Dream’ was as much about getting back to normality as anything else.

“There was a lot of collaborative discussion around all this, and as a band we hit a great point where it all made sense to do it at home. But on a personal level, one of the things I realised was: working overseas and working with an international producer is fantastic, [but] the danger is, you don’t want to lose the personality of the band,” says Hosking.

“This time ‘round, there was an urge to drive this ourselves, and in doing that, let’s remove all romanticism from this process and just get in there … enjoy recording, and do it in a way where we didn’t feel pressured, do it in a place – don’t get me wrong, Alberts Studio is amazing, it’s a fantastic space, but it’s not ostentatious, it’s not intimidating and I think that was a really healthy step for us going into this record.”

‘Harlequin Dream’ is released Friday August 16. Boy & Bear play the Beach Hotel November 7, the Cooly November 8 and the Tivoli November 9.

Published in Rock

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