After more than a decade together, Brisbane rock and rollers Halfway are still aiming to move onwards and upwards with their upcoming fourth album.
“The concept of the album as an entity is very strong and this album is in fact moving on even more coherently, it’s almost a concept album,” says guitarist John Wilsteed. “There's a core of songs which are about the dissolution of a marriage. These songs being at the conceptual centre have really coloured how we’re recording. It’s a really thoughtful process, and this one in particular I have felt a very pleasing and satisfying feeling in making it.”
Aided by former Go-Betweens member Robert Forster on the production side of things, Halfway have benefited greatly from the Brisbane icon’s extensive experience.
“He's a great music lover and a great thinker as well. Working with Robert has been fantastic. He takes the craft of arranging very seriously and helps us to whittle and carve the best song out of the stuff we have.”
With eight members comprising the band, newest (but oldest) member John says the band’s size was the most attractive prospect about the group.
“I was drawn to this band; not only because of the size but the sound they could create. I had seen them a few times and I’m really drawn to the big, thundering nature of it. But it was also about the lyrical quality – the band comes from Rocky, and there’s something about the highway and the country that still lingers in the songwriting. It’s open but also quite dark.”
On first listen, Halfway may seem to sit in your realm of classic or ‘vintage’ rock & roll with tinges of country, but John begs to differ – noting that belonging to a particular genre isn’t pertinent to the band.
“We have acoustic instruments and electric instruments – we're not a dance band, it’s a song band. It sits in the world where country music and indie rock meets – alt-country and indie rock perhaps. I hate to try and genre-fy this band.
“The influences are quite wide and some of the others are quite veracious music consumers but I don't think you can ever know everything about music or a genre. People will constantly do something simple and show you something new about it.”
Halfway play The Zoo May 3.