On Brisbane’s indie music radar for the better part of two years now, The Belligerents are progressing to a stage in their career where they need to take the ‘next step’. They hope that step is their second EP, ‘She Calls The Shots’.
One-fifth of the band, Konstantin Kersting, placed himself in front of a computer before typing out his responses to the following questions.
Tell us about the new EP, ‘She Calls The Shots’. How does it showcase the band? It's a completely new sound for us. More produced, more thought-out, denser and better (we think).
Were you wanting to present a particular sound or vibe across the five tracks? Not really. They are kind of a representation of the songs we've written over the past couple of months. I guess it’s still a fairly upbeat and energetic release, but it's not just four-to-the-floor beats like on our first EP. We also wanted to make sure the production was more expansive than on our first release.
Yanto Browning handled the production duties at Airlock Studios. What influence did he have on the recording? Yanto shaped the overall sound of the record. He told us what to add and what to leave out which was super important for us I think, because we tend to go overboard with all these different sounds that might not actually work very well together. He also mixed the songs, so I would say he had a pretty big influence overall!
Recording at Airlock, which has such a great roll call of local bands who’ve used the Samford studio in the past, did you get a sense of that history? It's an amazing location out there and it definitely helps to know that you're recording in the same space as The Ten Tenors and Pete Murray. Hopefully we can be as famous as those guys someday.
This is the group’s second EP release; is an album-proper in the works? We've definitely talked about an album, but we all need to be ready for it I think. The first album needs to be a banger, it can't just be some kind of half-arsed job with a mediocre collection of songs. Fortunately we don't have anybody rushing us for an album, so we're going to take our time and make it fucking awesome. We don't tour all that much, so I think the next couple of months are going to be spent refining our live show and writing badass songs.
The video clip for first single ‘Steal Money’ features a hitman taking the band out one by one. It’s a really well-produced clip ... is that an important factor for the band, to present videos in such a stimulating way? I get the whole lo-fi thing that people are into at the moment, but at the end of the day I think all of us in the band like well-produced, nice-looking videos. Breeder did an awesome job at capturing the video the way they did, and Tim the producer had a clear idea of how he wanted it to look from the start.
The Belligerents on the road: is it one madcap adventure after another or herbal teas, early nights and knitted sweatshirts? Things always get pretty out of hand. All of us like to party and going on tour is pretty much the best excuse we get. I also don't have my driver’s licence so I get to do whatever I want all day long which is fantastic.
The tours you’ve had recently with Metronomy and Neon Indian ... how much of an education was it playing alongside those bands? It's always awesome to see bands play live who are at that stage in their careers. It's inspiring and it makes you want to get better at playing live and making music in general. It's also awesome that those guys are so easygoing even though they're on extremely tight schedules every day.
The early work of the band; rigorous rehearsals and ceaseless touring. Getting such a solid grounding must’ve been important? I think we're still getting our grounding. We've never been a hype band or anything and we've never had people telling us how amazing we are, so we've continually improved on every level over the past couple of years and we're hopefully going to keep improving. Doing the first EP and playing a fuckload of shows definitely helped us grow as a band too.
The Belligerents play Coniston Lane Friday July 6, Elsewhere July 13 and Sol Bar, Coolum, July 20. ‘She Calls The Shot’ is available now.