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Just A Gent is having a Birthday Party & The Whole Country Is Invited

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Jacob Grant is better known by his musical moniker Just A Gent. Having just turned 18, Grant is just about to set off on a bunch of tour dates across the country (including Groovin the Moo) to celebrate his birthday. He’s already tasted incredible success with all the music he has shared online (gaining millions of views on Soundcloud), so this week we caught up with Just A Gent to chat to him about touring, being underage at concerts, and the challenges that producers face when they’re pigeon-holed into a genre label.

Well… happy birthday for today? Yeah?
Nailed it.

Your first headline tour kicks off this week in Canberra on Friday. Tell us about it what’s happening?
It’s basically just a bunch of my birthday parties.

What’s it been like preparing for a huge nation-wide tour, what’s been the process behind it?
I try to leave most of it to the agents but for me personally, I basically just have to go out and buy a bunch of lollies and earplugs for the road, it’s what you need to keep you going. I’ve basically just spent three weeks going over the songs I want in my sets, I’ve been trying to finish off heaps and heaps of ideas I’ve had. What I’m really aiming to do is have 50% of my sets on this tour be unreleased stuff, which I’ve never done before. So I’m really hoping people are going to like it.

Is it mostly going to be your own stuff?
Probably around 80%. I still like to play a lot of over people’s edits because there’s so much good music out there. It would be a shame to let it go to waste.

Tell us about how you ended up on the line-up for Groovin The Moo.
I actually played a gig for a showcase during EMC (Electronic Music Conference) in Sydney and the guy that runs some part of Groovin was there. He came up to me and introduced who he was, and I was like; “damn, I’ve wanted to play Groovin Maitland my whole life because I’m from Maitland. Do you reckon you could get me a spot?” And he said, “Yeah sure”.

So I guess that will be super exciting going back up near your home city?
It actually is my home town! I’m actually from Maitland even though I say I’m from Newcastle because Maitland is irrelevant in the world.

“I used to only be able to go into a club for my set and then leave straight away.”

What are you most looking forward to as an 18 year-old, what do you think that being over age will change for yourself as a musician?
The main thing definitely is to be able to go and watch acts that I’ve always wanted to see, in the clubs. I used to only be able to go into a club for my set and then leave straight away. So now I can hang out with fans and friends. If Porter Robinson came I’d actually be able to go, instead of just sitting at home and watching it on YouTube.

Who have you always wanted to see live?
Definitely Skrillex and Porter Robinson. They are two people that I’ve really wanted to see live. Even though I’ve seen a lot of artists live, luckily I’ve stayed at festivals after I’ve played a gig.

What sort of music did you like listening to as a kid? How have your tastes changed over time as you’ve become an artist yourself?
I used to listen to a lot of ’80s music because my dad was stuck in the ’80s his entire live until he discovered Triple J and electronic music. The ’80s was a huge thing, and then when I was 10 I discovered Ministry Of Sound, which was a lucky thing for me because I wouldn’t have made electronic music. So I guess that’s where it all kicked off for me in the electronic world.

From Warlock Masquerade to Limelight to Dusty, the stuff you’ve done is pretty diverse. Does it frustrate you at all when people try and pin down your style to a couple of adjectives or a genre label?
It doesn’t annoy me when they put a specific song into a genre but when they tie me down personally as an artist, to a genre. It does suck because I really try to be diverse enough to be an artist, not just a genre-producing-person. A lot of artists do get stuck in that genre-specific group and I try to avoid that as much as I can but it still happens…

So I guess I shouldn’t ask you what Lovetrap is…
Oh you can ask me what Lovetrap is. I made Lovetrap, I made that up myself. Lovetrap is actually something that I’m happy if people say it about me. It’s my own thing but at the same time I don’t want to just be known for that.

Limelight was such a huge track last year, and the video that you put out for it was just as impressive. Tell us about the idea behind it and how it was made.
It’s actually a crazy story. I was at the barbershop one day and an old man was telling this story about how he used to dance a lot with his wife and they were really good dancers. So he told me that she was now in a wheelchair so he used to dance around the room with a mop and she would just laugh at him.

He was just a local Maitland dude, so I thought that’s actually a great idea for a music video. I hope he hasn’t seen the video, he might try and claim some stuff on that. But it got picked up by a major record label so I got a good budget, contacted some friends of ours in Canberra, gave them my brief, and they just went with it. I didn’t really have to do anything.

Name three producers/bands/musicians that are killing it at the moment and tell us why?
Slumberjack are absolutely killing it, they’re a duo from Perth. They’re great dudes and they’re going to go far. They have a unique sound and they’re just great at networking and everything.

A producer/duo from the States called Louis The Child, they’re friends of mine. They’re killing it at the moment. They’ve racked up interviews and tracks, and they have this really new sound, which I think has inspired Flume on his new songs. They’ve actually inspired big, big artists.

Feki from Australia, he’s a friend of mine. He’s up-and-coming but he’s killing it too. Hes making some awesome beats, so shout out to Feki I guess!

Any new collabs in the works that we can look forward to hearing at your upcoming shows?
Well there’s just going to be so much material that no one’s ever heard before. There’ll be a lot of collabs in there as well; I’m not going to say names because I probably can’t say names. I’m hoping people are going to think ‘this actually sounds like this artist’.

For tickets and more information jump on over to Just A Gent’s Facebook or Soundcloud.

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Nickelback On Penis Size, Sex & The City And Being “The Most Hated Band In The World”

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Whether you love them or hate them it’s hard to deny that Nickelback are one of the most talked about bands in the entire world. The Canadians have been making music for nearly two decades and in that time they have endured both hits and hate. Nickelback are not a band we’ve featured often on this site, if at all, but we jumped at the opportunity to sit down and address the elephant in the room: why are they one of the most hated bands in the world? Of course, that also led to questions about how big their penises are.

We had a candid conversation with keyboardist Ryan Peake and were surprisingly charmed. For best results, listen to the Soundcloud audio. Full interview below.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/theinterns_net/nickelback-interview[/soundcloud]

 

Rei: You probably get asked the same questions a lot. What do you never get asked? What have you always really wanted to talk about?

Ryan: I never get asked: If I was to write a TV show about the future, what would I do. What have you got? Give me something. What do you think I’ve never been asked?

How big’s your dick?

Hahaha! Funnily enough, I’ve been asked that many times before you know. You can go back on old interviews and you’ll be able to tell exactly how big it is.

Fuck! How boring.

You’ll be happy to know, everybody will be happy to know, it hasn’t gotten any smaller since the last time I said.

I hoped you’d never been asked that before but I guess you’ve been doing this for a while.

We have been doing it for a while but it never gets old.

If you were going to write a TV show about the future, what would it be about? Give me a 30 second synopsis.

Oh, geez…let me think. It would be about finally discovering where the universe came from and Nickelback were the cause of the Big Bang. It would be something about that.

“The NickelBang Theory”.

*laughs* I’ll give you credit for that, I like that.

“We never got into this to be the most hated band in the world, trust me, we never tried to aspire to that.”

Thanks, man. I want to take it right back. Obviously Nickelback are very commercially successful. You guys get a lot of hate, as well as a lot of love.

Sure.

For example, Rolling Stone did a ‘Worst Band of the 90s’ thing and you guys got second behind Creed. Were you just like, “Oh man, we were hoping for number one” or was it like “We don’t really give a shit, we’ve got heaps of money.”

It’s like a sports team. If you’re going to be one of the worst bands, you might as well be the worst. It is what it is and we’ve kind of grown some thick skin and we play for our fans but we definitely get our fair share of people that love to tell us how much they don’t like the band and that’s fine.

If people are fair about it and they don’t like the music for certain reasons, that’s fine. I have absolutely no problem with it. Not everybody likes all types of music. Just when people are blatantly being mean, it’s kind of lame. If you’re clever and funny, I’ll give that to you. I like a joke as much as the next guy.

It gets very easy to tell people how much you hate things. With the internet today, you can hear what everybody thinks. It’s not like you have to be a select journalist or have any qualifications, you can hear from everybody on what they are angry about. And that, in itself, that sentiment itself, is so ubiquitous these days. Twitter’s just poison. People get so angry and upset on that thing. I take it with a grain of salt because I don’t think a lot of these people would do that to people‘s faces.

Truly! I don’t mean that as a threat, if these people are angry at something, “Oh, I hate this person and they’re such a douchebag on TV” or whatever it is and then they meet that person and they’d be like, “er…er…” and they wouldn’t be so courageous in their objections about a certain talent in person because it’s a whole different thing. Online, they just let ‘em have it. I just take it for what it is.

“Twitter’s just poison.” 

I guess it’s one of those bands, like Creed who got number one in the ‘90s thing, or Justin Bieber, where it’s like plucking low-hanging fruit in a sense. Everyone does it. If you say, “Fuck, I hate this band,” no one’s going to get angry at you for it.

You’re totally right. If somebody told me, “Oh god I hate this band”, no one would care. If you’re trying to pick somebody that’s got a point of reference for people, people are gonna be like, “Oh yeah, I totally get it.” I think we’ve become part of the low-hanging fruit thing. It’s not really clever anymore. If it’s funny, hey man, funny’s funny. And I love comedy stuff. If you want to take the piss out of me, that’s totally fine. Again, if it’s meant to be, if it’s just for the comedy sense of the thing, it’s fine. But if somebody’s being a dick…at least be a real clever dick, don’t just be copying the same stuff. It’s been done. It’s old hat. It’s not new.

What’s the most clever or funny diss that you personally, or Nickelback, have ever got?

You know what, I haven’t seen a ton lately. There’s one, it’s not so clever necessarily, though I did laugh when I read it because I wasn’t expecting it. Billboard magazine that did an article when we signed a touring deal with Live Nation and they made a deal of it. They were like, “Nickelback’s signed with Live Nation for a touring deal” and someone made a comment under that saying, “I wish Nickelback would sign a deal to leave the planet.” I was like…eh. That’s pretty good. That’s fair enough. You hate us so much, you want to shoot us into space. I don’t collect all the clever ones, but when I do burst out laughing, when I haven’t heard it before and it makes me chuckle, I like that. Most of them I’ve heard before.

I’m not particularly a big fan of Nickelback but I’m more just, I don’t care. I can’t be bothered hating shit for the sake of it, I’ve got better things to do.

Well, exactly. I’m a fan of music and I’ve got the bands I like, the bands I don’t like, and I just don’t typically waste my time on that. Especially a journalist. You nailed it right there when you said it’s low-hanging fruit, it seems easy. If you were the first guy then that’s totally fine, I’ll give you kudos for that. But at this point, it seems like such an easy target, it feels like I’ve read this article six thousand times before and I would think people would skip past it. You know, it is what it is.

Yeah. Well, when I got this interview, I was like, what do I do? Do I try to be funny? Do I take the piss?

*laughs*

I’d rather just see what it’s like, you know. That’s not clever to do that, that’s just boring. And it’s like, oh okay, yeah. Some pissfart journalist from Australia thought that he was clever and, I do think I’m clever, but not in that way.

Most journalists do. I’m totally fine with that. I totally don’t expect everyone to like us, you’re a bit delusional if you expect everyone to like you. You can’t please everybody all the time. But, like I said, just be fair. If you just don’t like the band because of A, B and C, that’s totally cool.

People don’t realise that this band is made up of four people all lumped into one entity. And there’s four different personalities of actual people in this band and some are portrayed louder than others and that’s the band. We never got into this to be the most hated band in the world, trust me, we never tried to aspire to that.

“If somebody’s being a dick, at least be a clever dick.”

Which one are you? Which Ninja Turtle are you?

What do you mean? *laughs* They’re a little bit past my time. Who else could I compare us to?

It’s like the four personality types: Ninja Turtles, Sex and the City, Entourage…the four temperaments, you know?

Exactly. That I get. And you’ve just listed three things…that would be a trap for me to answer, to compare me to which Sex and the City girl I’m like…

Everyone thinks they’re Carrie, but they’re not, y’know?

Exactly, everyone wants to be the Carrie.

I don’t know, maybe Chad’s Carrie. He seems like he might be a bit of a Carrie.

I would say he’s the…who’s the one who’s always getting laid all the time?

Samantha!

She seems like she’d be a fun match. We all have our moments but I think I’m the Switzerland of the band in a sense. I never got into the fame…fame is a very strange thing in that it comes part and parcel with what we do. I like to play music and I like to hear people sing along and that’s what makes me happy.

Is Avril Lavigne cool?

Is she cool? Yeah, she’s great.

Because I guess everyone was like, “What the fuck? (Chad and Avril) are getting married?” Like, you know?

Yeah, I know. I know.

I actually did hear a pretty cool stripped-back piano cover she did of How You Remind Me and it’s pretty good. I actually really liked that.

Yeah. I was surprised to hear that, they showed me when she recorded and I thought it was better than our version! *laughs*

Yeah, me too! It was definitely not what I expected. Sk8er Boi is a Karaoke song that I go to sometimes but I was like, okay yeah, sick. This is cool. It was well done.

Absolutely. And I think it’s very brave of anybody to cover a Nickelback song. You really put yourself out there. *laughs*

Was that pre-relationship? Or during?

You know what? I would totally be guessing. I remember him showing it to me and I don’t recall. I think it was early relationship.

It would be so cool if it was pre-relationship and he got in touch like, “Thanks. That song is dope.” And then they got together from that. That’d be sick.

*Laughs* I’d like to think they’d meet us first. I don’t know anyone who was brave enough to cover without meeting us first. Like I said, they really put themselves out there in that way.

Last question: What’s your least favourite band ever?

Oh geez. I don’t really know if I have one. I’d be slinging mud. I’ll be doing to them what people have been doing to us, I’m not going to do it.

C’mon. 

Ok, Habits.

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Nickelback embark on their Australian ‘No Fixed Address’ tour this May. For ticket information, head here.  

ROD LAVER ARENA, MELBOURNE

FRIDAY MAY 15

SATURDAY MAY 16

ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, ADELAIDE

MONDAY MAY 18

ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, BRISBANE

WEDNESDAY MAY 20

ALLPHONES ARENA, SYDNEY

FRIDAY MAY 22

ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE, NEWCASTLE

SATURDAY MAY 23

PERTH ARENA, PERTH

TUESDAY MAY 26

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Milwaukee Banks: “Trying New Things Is What’s Driving Me”

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What happens when you pair a graphic designer and a business analyst and former librarian? Milwaukee Banks, that’s what.

Consisting of Melbourne based producer Adrian Rafter aka “Edo” and rapper Dyl Thomas, MB have had a pretty massive 2014 after their debut in late 2013. 2015 opened with the duo touring with Laneway Festival, as well as supporting Raury for his Sydney and Melbourne shows.

the interns caught up with the boys before their Raury show in Sydney, and amongst laughter and an impromptu “rap squat” photo shoot and history session, we learnt about their motivations, inspirations and even some family history.

First of all – what is the interview question you hate most, so I won’t ask you it?

Edo: I don’t mind, really. But we do get asked which one of you is Milwaukee and which one is Banks? (laughs)

Where did your name come from?

Dyl: it’s a long story, but when me and Edo were working on music at the start, and we got a little bit serious with it, we thought “man, we might need a name for this shit”, and he’s like “look, you look after the name ‘cause I know you’re a rapper and you write vocals and stuff, and you like coming up with names for shit.” I was like “sweet, leave it in my court, I got this”.

So I came up with a name that he only liked half of, and then he was like “what about we chuck Milwaukee in front of the Banks”, and I was like “fucking sick”, ‘cause you go for the Milwaukee Bucks, (basketball team). We were going to have another name, but yeah.

What was the original idea?

Dyl: Tyra Banks (laughs). That’s why I don’t like to say it. I had this big concept behind it, but if someone just heard that name and didn’t know the story and concept behind it, they would most probably go WTF. So it was probably a good idea that Edo chimed in.

How did you guys meet, start off making music?

Edo: We met through his girlfriend’s sister, 12 years ago or something. We were just mates back then. I used to do a lot of DJ’ing around town, did a lot of stuff in Melbourne with a group called Opulent. We used to run a club night, play international supports, do remixes, festivals, but I always wanted to just do production.

Dyl was also rapping and DJ’ing around then. I was just sending him my stuff to check out, and then 3 or 4 years ago now, I started sending him some beats that were in this electronic project I was doing called “Flight Tonight”. Dyl was like “I wanna rap on this”, and that ‘s sorta how we started. So I was just sending him demo beats and he was just rapping on them. It wasn’t until we got a little bit of a collection together that we thought maybe we should put these out.

What is the creative process, and do you both produce?

Dyl: Anyone who knows me knows I was making beats before I was rapping. I suppose it’s always been grounded in hip-hop. With Milwaukee, it started out with Edo making beats and sending them over to me. That’s sort of how I’d like to keep it as well, Edo is an awesome producer, I love the sound that he has. My sound is different to that as well, me wholly producing a song wouldn’t work as well. So he’ll send me stuff, I’ll work on it, I’ll give him feedback on a beat he’ll give me feedback on lyrics, and we work like that. The process is quite collaborative and fun. It’s always creative criticism.

We get where each other’s coming from – if Edo send sends me a beat, even if it’s a skeleton, I know if it’s going to work because I know where he can take it and what he can do with it.

How did you guys get the Raury support?

Through our booking agent. They (Raury’s team) got sent a couple of acts on their roster, and they picked us, which is really flattering. So we’re doing the Sydney and Melbourne show.

You’ve had a pretty massive year for a band just “casually” making music!

Yeah. Pluto and Sweater were 2 of the first tracks we did and we were just sorta sitting on them for a while, and around Nov/Dec 2013, we put those out just to see whether there was any interest. That’s when we decided to get involved with a few people to do it as a proper project.

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You’ve done what seems like a steady stream of shows this past year. What would be your dream show/festival to play, and artists to support?

Edo: So many!

Dyl: Golden Plains is one of my dream festivals, and I get to play there soon.

Edo: I’ve already played there under a different name. It’s a pretty magical place, playing Meredith. Golden Plains is a big tick for me.

Any international ones?

Edo: Heaps.

Dyl: Fuji Rock

Edo: Yeah Fuji Rock is sick.

Dyl: I’d love to play Coachella, but yeah, Fuji Rock is sick.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”250″]https://soundcloud.com/milwaukeebanks/sets/van-gogh-monitor[/soundcloud]

What are you favourite tracks from the EP?

Dyl: As a song, my favourite is Hazy. That’s a real good one for me. Also Van Gogh – I love that song. It’s a bit different but I love it, and love performing it.

Edo: Off the EP, either Hazy or Sweater. I think Sweater was the point it all came together, and I was like, “we can do something different, we can push ourselves in a new direction here”. As someone that’s making beats, after a while it can just become making beats. But when something comes together like that, yeah. We cross over and borrow from different influences.

All the genres are breaking down, the borders are breaking down. That’s what makes it so exciting, things move so quickly.

So you’re writing your debut album: how is that going? How many tracks?

Dyl: We don’t actually know how many yet, it’s not finalized.

Edo: We’ve written a lot of material. The writing process really started in Oct, and then in Nov I just worked on beats for like a month, and that’s when it really started.

Dyl: There’s one track that we’ve done that we perform at the moment, FADED. That’s the only really finished track that we’re happy to perform.

“Trying new things is what’s driving me.”

When are you releasing it?

Edo: We don’t actually know when it’s coming out, maybe like, April.

Do you do all your own production?

Yeah we collab a little bit, with a friend of ours Cameron, and a guy from Melb Andrei Eremin, who does all our mixing and mastering. We do all the production, but we open it up to a bit of a team.

Do you guys have any features on the album?

Yeahhh. We kinda keep them pretty quite for now. Just because some of them we aren’t sure are gonna happen.

What are your influences? What inspires you?

Edo: What inspires me is just trying to push ourselves a little further. We have a lot of friends and family in our environments that push us. Andrei’s a good example of a young guy, that just gets better everyday. The whole thing is like trying new things, and pushing the envelope a bit. Trying new things is what’s driving me.

Dyl: I second that.

Do you guys come from musical families?

Dyl: Both my brothers are musical, and my old man. I grew up with him playing guitar everyday but I never learnt to play guitar. I was more interested in drums and beats and shit. Every time I visited my aunty and uncle it was always in a band shed. Every time we’d be there the band would be jamming every weekend. I’d say relatively musical.

Edo: Probably just my mum ,“shout-out to my mum”. My mum is a singer, and has always been in choirs and musical theatre. She made me do a lot of that stuff from a young age, cracked the whip on me. She tried to make me do piano – I quit pretty early on.

Dyl: I loved it (piano), but I had this teacher who was friends with my nan. Her name was Mrs Foster and she was fucking lethal, like she was so fucking hardcore man. Aw it was intense, it’s bringing back bad memories.

Do you have day jobs and what are they?

Dyl: I’m a graphic designer by day.

Do you do MB stuff?

Dyl: No I don’t. I do some of the stuff. We collab with different artists, we’ve got another guy who keeps it all tight, and it means I don’t have to work on all the graphic stuff and just focus on the music.

Edo: I’m a business analyst. People would not recognise me during the day. I used to be a librarian for 2 or 3 years in a private corporate environment. I’ve also taught English in Japan.

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Years & Years On The Pressure Of Being The World’s Most Hyped Band

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When you’re names being mentioned amongst Adele, Sam Smith and 50 Cent, you know you’re doing something right. They are all past winners of the BBC Sound of Award which was awarded this year to British trio Years & Years.

With a sound that borrows elements of RnB, pop and deep-house, Years & Years exemplify the world’s current musical palette. Driven by lead-vocalist Olly Alexander’s impossibly smooth vocal the band have concocted some of the biggest melodies of the past year. Their latest single King is the band bringing together everything that makes them so great and delivering it in one mighty pop songs, a track that has a good chance at topping the charts in the UK next week. If that happens, you can have no doubt that it will flood Australian radio soon after.

We spoke to bassist Mikey Goldsworthy about the pressures that come with receiving the BBC award, what to expect from their debut album and casually signing autographs in Paris.

the interns: The last few months must have felt pretty crazy for you guys?
Mikey: Yeah, it’s been the most intense year so far and it’s only February.

So the BBC Sound prize was decided in January and since then it’s all been go, go, go I’m guessing?
Yeah, exactly.

Has that award changed your perspective on anything or is it all just business as usual?
It’s very flattering but we try not to let it get to our heads. We’ve got this far doing what we do, making our own decision so we just thought we’re going to keep on doing that.

What about releasing an album. Does it put pressure on you to get that out?
Kind of, yeah. You’ve got to ride the wave a bit. We have finished the album and we’re probably going to release it in June. That will be announced quite soon I think.

It feels like there’s been a trajectory with singles getting better with each release. Did you hold King back for a while on purpose?
Umm, we were actually going to hold it back longer. Like try and put one out, but then we thought we should put our best foot forward. We had written that quite a while ago, there had just been lots of different stages of it. It used to be a bit more mellower but yeah, it’s become that kind of massive song. 

King hits you right away as being a massive song. Did you feel good about it when it came to fruition?
When we recorded that version it felt really good. Hearing it on the producer’s speakers it was like “oh shit.”

What’s the recording process like, does it start with one of you guys on the demo and then the rest join in?
For the majority Olly will write on the piano all these chords and sing it almost like a ballad and Emre does a lot of laptop stuff and beats and he might have something at that tempo so we’ll replace the piano and I’ll come in and put a bass line under it and it kind of just builds from there.

Who is producing the album?
It’s a producer called Mark Ralph. He does Hot Chip and Jagwar Ma. He did a few Clean Bandit songs also. We just work with him. We kind of keep it in house when we write all our songs.

Are there any surprises to look out for on the album?
I did like a theramin solo on one of the songs that made it in there (laughs).

How’d you end up deciding to sign with Polydor? I imagine you would have had a few offers.
It was mostly the personnel. We met Ben Mortimer who takes care of Florence and the Machine and HAIM and Tourist and we got along really well with him and we felt most comfortable with him so that’s why we chose Polydor and they also have an amazing roster. He also works with Shura by the way. 

Do you feel weird looking back on previous winners like Adele and Sam Smith?
It’s really freaky. And 50 Cent don’t forget.

Oh never. I guess the plan for you guys is to follow in 50 Cent’s career?
Eminem’s going to be on the next album. But yeah it’s crazy. If we could even have a little bit of their success then…it’s crazy how well they’ve all done.

How are the live shows going at the moment now you have songs people know?
We played a show in Brooklyn, New York a few weeks ago and they were all singing along. We’ve only released a few singles and it’s just crazy that they know all the words. They even know some of the other songs so they must just be on the internet somewhere.

It must feel like you’re really getting through when people are Youtubing the band to find songs that haven’t even been released yet?
Yeah it’s crazy. We actually just had a really weird experience. We just got to Paris and outside the hotel there were people waiting to take photos of us and get our autograph and stuff. How do they know we’re staying at the hotel.

“We just got to Paris and outside the hotel there were people waiting to take photos of us and get our autograph”

When do you think this all clicked? When did people start remembering your name?
What I’m quite proud of is I think we did it kind of the right way where each single did a little bit better than the last. It’s been building up quite slowly. I can imagine if you had this crazy big number one song you could be thrown into this world. It feels progressively like we’re getting better. It makes more sense that way. The BBC was a huge boost. People did start taking notice of us.

Do you still feel like you’re sitting on some gold after King?
I think so, I don’t want to speak too soon.

The bar’s quite high now.
Ah, I think we shot too soon. Damn. Nah, the album sounds great.

Are all the songs written and in their final stages now?
We’ve got maybe one song left to fix up and then it’s done.

What sort of stuff should we expect. The electro-pop style that’s been going on?
Yeah but there will be some slower moments. There’s one with just piano and then there will be some strings on one. There’s a really epic one and there’s a really industrial sounding one so we’ve tried to change it up a bit because we’re quite…I still love albums. I know some people just buy singles these days but I’m still quite a big fan of an album being a body of work.

In that way have you guys really worked on the tracklist and created sonically a story?
Yeah, it’s not a concept album but there’s a carefully selected tracklisting.

Do you guys get to work on the artwork as well?
Yeah we have a big hand in everything like videos, artwork and the photos. We’re kind of doing that process now trying to find the right artwork for the album.

It seems you guys have come from being a blog-buzz band to crossing over to the mainstream. Does that feel good that you’re appealing to two audiences now?
Yeah I think it’s quite important and it’s really good that people like that sort of stuff. I like the DIY aspect of it because all the bands we admire like Little Dragon, even Radiohead, they write their own stuff and do everything that’s the best way to go about it.

Do you feel now with a big label that they’ve seen you can do cool stuff by yourself so there’s a certain amount of creative control they can give you?
Yeah, it feels like that. We did everything up to a point like wrote all these songs and they’re doing really well so they do trust us to write a good song. Like the theremin solo.

How long after you moved to London did it all kick off with Years and Years?
I literally started it the second day I came. I met a guy in a pub and we started making music and then I met Emery through him and we started making music and then I met Olly at, like I used to work in a restaurant, and met him through a friend.

I heard you first heard him singing in the shower. Is that right?
Yeah, true. He was having a house party and I went over and I stayed the night. The next morning he was singing in the shower and I was like oh, he’s pretty good.

“The next morning he was singing in the shower and I was like oh, he’s pretty good.”

He’s got quite an RnB vocal. Did that alter your sound at all when he first came on board?
He came in at quite an early stage so he fitted in quite well. We used to play folk music and I was really obsessed with like Beirut and Fleet Foxes and stuff so it sounded nothing like it does now. And then eventually Olly got more into RnB and house and stuff so I got into syunthesizers and Emery got into making beats and after five years it turned out.

What are some of the common influences that you guys agree on?
Talking Heads, Little Dragon, Flying Lotus, Caribou, stuff like that. Kind of like what we’re doing – band-style, electronic music.

Is there anything that somebody in the band really loves and nobody else can get their head around?
I like a lot of metal music like Nine Inch Nails, stuff like that.

Do any of those influences come through at all?
Probably not.

I read that you’re also quite influenced by one of Marilyn Manson’s album as well?
I love Marilyn Manson. That was me. Mechanical Animals is a great pop album. It’s got really good melodies in it. I don’t see it as a crazy anti-christ type album I just see it as a really good pop album. That kind of got me into synths. I think it was Last Day On Earth has a really good synth line and I was like “Ah, what is that instrument?”

For me it feels like sometimes your melodies are so strong that you could place them into any genre.
Yeah, that’s what we like to explore. On the album we’re going to put an acoustic version of King on it because it works in many different ways.

Are you guys enjoying the live, acoustic promotional stuff you have to do in the UK?
Yeah, I’m kind of getting into it. When we go to Europe, Europeans seem to love acoustic versions. They love it! I find it less stressful and a little easier to play than those gigs with the big synths because it’s kind of like, what if the computer breaks?

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/yearsandyears/breathe[/soundcloud]

What are your plans in the next six months?
We’ve got America in March, I think three weeks, east coast and west coast. April is European shows and then the festival season starts and the album will come out. I’m not sure after that.

Any Aus plans?
Hopefully. That’s my dream to come back and play one of the festivals here. Especially in the summer.

UTRB

Until The Ribbon Breaks: “Your Brain Has A Bigger Hard Drive Than Your Phone”

UTRB

It’s already been a big few months for British band Until The Ribbon Breaks (UTRB). They’re fresh off tour with Run The Jewels and have been a support act for London Grammar, not to mention they’re about to play one of the biggest festivals in the world in a months time – Coachella. It’s a pretty impressive list of credentials for a band that only released their debut album last month.

Their debut A Lesson Unlearnt is a masterclass is dark, minimal RnB with their sound also incorporating a smorgasbord of other genres. As such, the record feels distinctly modern. It feels as if it could only have been born in the digital era where the internet facilitates flicking between different sounds in a matter of seconds.

the interns chatted with Pete Lawrie-Winfield of the band who went into great depths to explain the digital world, using mobiles at gigs, the death of genre-labelling and touring. It got real deep but if you’ve listened to the album, you’d expect nothing less.

Bianca: Where are you right now?

Pete: I’m in Los Angeles – sunny California!

I’m calling you from sunny Sydney!

Well, there you go! I’ve always wanted to go to Sydney. Well, hopefully we’ll come soon.

Plans for a tour here?

Right now we’re trying to make some plans to come. It’s a long way away but we’ve always wanted to come and do some shows. We’re trying to make it happen as best we can. We just finished a tour with London Grammar and they say that Australia is their favourite place to your and the shows you guys put on are amazing. So we’re desperate to come out, it’s just a case of when and how.

How did the tour go with London Grammar?

It was the best show. The best tour we’ve ever done. The reception was amazing, London Grammar were just…by the end it was like touring with your mates. They couldn’t have been better to us. It was in the dead of winter, it was a very snowy kind of tour. There were some hairy moments. We were in New York just as the blizzard hit. Some of the shows got moved around but in the end nothing got cancelled, everything went ahead. It was a real joy. For the first time, we felt like a proper live band. It’s taken a long time to get to that point but it really feels like it’s there now.

So you got together before supporting Lorde.

That’s right. Our first ever show was supporting Lorde.

And you were a solo project before that?

Yeah. I made the record and didn’t know how to do it live and then James and Elliot came on board and ever since it’s felt like a proper three-piece band.

How did James and Elliot come on board?

Elliot, I’ve known forever, since we were kids. He’s always played drums on any kind of musical project I’m working on- good and bad. And James came on board because I needed an engineer while I was making the record as I’m not technical-minded. My way of working is to just throw as many ideas at the wall as I can, and see what sticks but James is into the maths of music; how sound works. And sometimes you need a bit of both so he was recommended to me and then he was perfect. Ever since, it’s been the three of us.

“You get kind of bored of your own thoughts.”

Do you find it an easier creative process with three? Are you able to bounce ideas off each other?

Yeah, it’s a different process. I feel that this record is fairly introverted and when I listen to it now, which I rarely do, I find it definitely sums up a time in my life where I was…I’d made a little studio and I didn’t know what to do with my life. My kind of last-ditch effort in music was to make this record so it has this introversion and loneliness to it. It’s going to be a real beauty to make the next one because it’ll have three heads on it, three ways of thinking, rather than just me. You get kind of bored of your own thoughts.

Do you find that it brings more energy to the studio as well?

For sure. I’ve been working with James in the studio for a long time. Elliot doesn’t spend as much time in the studio, his thing is more the live. He’s a drummer so he just wants to hit stuff as hard as he can.

You said that your sound can be a bit introverted, a bit dark. Do you find it odd playing sets during the day because of that?

Yeah. In an ideal world, we would play at night because we have projections and a visual aspect to what we do. There’s a moodiness to what we do that you can’t replicate in the sun. Having said that, I’m never going to complain about a) doing a show and b) if there’s some sun. I come from Wales where it’s always raining, so you’ll never hear me complaining about the sun.

[soundcloud width=”750″ height=”200″]https://soundcloud.com/untiltheribbonbreaks/until-the-ribbon-breaks-a[/soundcloud]

How did you find growing up in Cardiff? Was there much of a music scene there?

No. We don’t really have access to any good music venus, I think that’s a big problem in Cardiff, so it’s hard to develop a scene. We got on with what we did. And for me that was to lock myself in the studio. I’ve lived in the States for two years now so I would like to think so. I hope so. I always think that you can hear the place where the music was made in music. And I think the reason why Brits make such good, moody music, like Portishead and Massive Attack… I think these bands come out of Britain because, to some degree, the climate and the temperature and the atmosphere of where they are. Equally with Bob Marley coming out of Jamaica. I think it really makes an impact on what music you make.

NPR stated that you’re situated somewhere between James Blake and Massive Attack and your genres traverse between being called pop, rock and hip-hop. Do you think that genre labelling is dead?

Yeah. I don’t pay any attention to that. Our name comes from the idea of, when they used to make cassette playlists, and you’d play them ‘til the ribbon breaks. You just loved the music and it didn’t matter what genre it was, it would just jump around. I would never be one to label what we do and I never know what to call it. We kind of do what we do on the day and hope that someone else will like it too.

You’re playing at Coachella for the first time. How does it feel to be included on the bill?

Oh, amazing! I was just saying to someone today how weird it was to work with El-P and Run The Jewels because El-P was one of the first rappers I ever listened to. With playing at Coachella, you have these life goals as a musician, with whatever you do, yo have these bucket lists and things you want to tick off. And Coachella’s always seemed like this far-away possibility. To play it is amazing.

Can we expect Run The Jewels to make a guest appearance in your Coachella set?

Weeellll… who knows. They are rappers, we’ll try to pin them down which is impossible. But I will be asking. I hope so.

“I feel it’s to the detriment of real human contact and communication.”

You’ve said that the LP was written almost at a time where everything felt close to falling apart. How did this desperation drive the record?

In the sense that I always didn’t know whether I wanted to do film or music. I’ve done music forever and I was at a point where, creatively, I hadn’t said anything I wanted to say and I compromised. I ended up making music for people I didn’t particularly like and I thought, “Christ. I either pack this all in or finally do something that I’d want to listen to.” And that’s where this album originally came from. There was no label or management attached to the record. Initially it was just me, desperate, as you say, desperate to make something that I believed in and desperate to give it one more shot.

It’s an interesting time for music because I feel like every record is everyone’s one last shot. There is no guaranteed career, everyone’s just hoping that the next thing will connect with people, which will allow you to do the next thing. I’m sure that’s the same in every industry but it’s definitely a good driving force in creativity.

How important is imagery in your projects?

Almost as important as our music itself, in terms of film. I did a university course in filmmaking and for a while that’s what I wanted to do. Until The Ribbon Breaks is my way of combining two things that I love. It’s been a really rewarding process.

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I read you write a lot of songs in front of a projector. What’s the creative process behind this?

Sometimes, when it comes to writing lyrics, you can get stuck in old familiarities and cliches of your own. So the addition of the projector means you can create a world of your own using images of nature or space. Wherever it is, on the wall or in front of you, all of a sudden your world becomes bigger. I think it allows you to think bigger. It’s a bigger version of having a candle. It creates sort of a false illusion, a mood.

You’ve previously spoken about our reliance on digital networks and how we’re losing our sense of apathy. How does your record touch on that?

I understand networks and social media to a degree; that’s the nature of how people communicate now. I’d be a lonely old man screaming into the void if I was complaining about that. But sometimes I feel it’s to the detriment of real human contact and communication. It just makes me a bit sad when I see a couple at a restaurant, both on their phone, or some kids walking down the street and they all have their headphones on. No one plays outside anymore! I think it’s made the world better, communication is always good, but there’s this old-fashioned, romantic idea that communication and human contact has been lost to some degree. I’m making observations rather than judgements. I’m on my mobile phone, checking emails as much as the next person.

I guess it’s also the same thing with concerts – watching people recording the entire gig on their phone instead of actually watching in real time.

Yeah, that  blows my mind! You go to a concert, why not look at it through your own eyes? They’re better quality than the camera in your hand! I always wonder what people do with that stuff. Your brain has a bigger hard drive than your phone will ever have. Why not store some memories in there?

If I’m in other people’s company, and at dinner, I make a real effort not to get my phone out. After a certain time of day, you should be comfortable with just turning your phone off. There’s always that worry: “But what if I get an email at 10 o’clock that I have to answer?” Like, fuck. Our generation’s going to die of heart attacks from stress!

A town in Wales holds the record for the longest name, coming up to 58 letters long. Can you pronounce it?

No! I wish! Elliot was just here, he can pronounce it. I know how it ends: “gogogoch”, that’s the most I can do.

For the record, the town’s name is llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.

Until The Ribbon Breaks debut album “A Lesson Unlearnt” is available here.

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

Nina Las Vegas & Swick: “We’re building a scene”

Kermit Cintron vs Walter Mathysse

Nina Las Vegas and Swick are becoming a force to be reckoned with within the Australian club scene. The pair released two collaborative tracks last year, Don’t Send and Flash Auto, and also teamed up for a national tour with some pretty special international guests. Together they are blurring the lines of what’s expected in Australian clubs, forging forwards with new, interesting sounds that traverse a number of genres. Both NLV and Swick are in the middle of an Australian club tour that, by all reports, is electric. We asked them a few questions on collaboration, the next big trend in electronic music and building the Aussie club scene.

Both of you are big fans of collaboration. What do you think makes collaboration so important within the electronic music sphere?

Swick: I think it’s a lot more fun than sitting by yourself for starters although sometimes by yourself is really fun too but anyway yeah working with someone else is really fun especially Nina. It’s also cool seeing how other people work and usually more people hear it when there are two people involved.

NLV: I learnt Ableton by watching other people work, so when I started to get serious with making music I thought the best way to get motivated would be to share the experience with someone. I have a (ultra uncool) band life behind me, so I know that working on music with other people is always more motivating that sitting solo. Even if you’re doing something on your own, even having someone else in the room with you is cool and more encouraging than trying to make all the decisions by yourself.  Plus you swap ideas and get to share sounds, samples, contacts… blah blah blah, it’s just cooler.

You both get along to plenty of shows. Who are some DJs that you think put on the most entertaining sets and what sets them apart from others?

Swick: I really like Brodinski .. i love how he mixes rap with techno. I like DJ EZ he is super cool he makes djing on cdjs fun and every track he plays is a classic also Eclair FIfi she is always playing the coolest music.

NLV: I agree with Swick on this, EZ is the best. So tight on the CDJs, it’s super impressive. I love seeing Jimmy Edgar play too. He’s so smooth, yet can play anything from a EDM fest to small club. Anyone that sings the words as they play too, like Anna Lunoe, Sam Tiba, Jubilee and RL Grime all seem to know every lyric to every song they play… I love that.

You both toured together in November. Where do you think Australia sits right now in terms of accepting electronic music that is different to the norm?

Swick: I think it’s getting a little bit better. It definitely helps a lot having people like Nina pushing cool music on the radio every week! I guess it’s probably cooler here than lots of America.

NLV: We’re building a scene… it’s exciting. We just need the nightclubs to stay busy… that’s when the cool stuff will really happen. We have no shortage of music makers now, and lovers, but we just need the whole community to embrace the culture a little more. Go see DJs because you’re intrigued about what they’re gunna play, not because you know what they’ll play.

Can we expect any more original collabs from you two?

Swick: Yep. We have an EP coming out later this year. We have lots of fun working together so i think we will do more stuff together help each other out with solo stuff etc.

NLV: What Swick said. And we’re both writing solo EPs… club stuff and pop stuff. Things we want to play out and at home.

The web seems to think that electronic music is heading in the direction of PC Music but what do you two think is the big new trend? We’re also hearing a lot about grime.

Swick: I don’t think anyone really knows what the next big trend is. Maybe Nina does? I am really into every kind of music so i don’t think the trend stuff effects me too much.

NLV: mmmm… I think people are stripping stuff back a bit. I mean, take the new Kanye and Rihanna songs with Sir Paul. About 3 sounds? That’s so tight. It’s always a cycle. PC Music is a derivative of K Pop, with more rave elements. So maybe more of that… and yeah, grime… because of the whole cycle thing. The UK top 40 sound (Disclosure, Duke Dumont, Gorgon City etc) shaped a lot of different producers work last year. Like wise Flume… they’re all writing second albums, so we’ll have to see.

Do you think the resurrected Pirate Bay is an FBI-run honeypot? 

Swick: Was thinking about this yesterday… I hope not!

NLV: I rarely use Pirate Bay anymore so I don’t care, aye.

Who do you think would kill it at Eurovision? 

Swick: Sacha Baron Cohen as any one of his aliases or maybe even himself.

NLV: I love seeing Jess Mauboy do anything so I wanna see her have another crack.

Nina Las Vegas and Swick’s tour kicked off in Brisbane last Saturday. You can catch the rest of their shows on the dates below.

NLV_S_Flier-Low_Res-1

Twerps

Twerps: “Am I like some weird, drug addict, anxious person?”

Twerps

We must admit that we may not have chosen the quote most appropriate for Twerps for our title but we think people like to read about drug-addicts and truth be told, we want people to click on this because we think Twerps are great. Melbourne band Twerps have just released their phenomenal sophomore album Range Anxiety – a gritty yet melodic and textured effort which harks back to the mid-90s.

For a band that still work part-time in a band, Twerps are receiving some great accolades. They have Pitchfork on side and are gearing up for a US tour which includes shows at SXSW. Then, they’re playing Britain’s version of SXSW, The Great Escape. Not bad for a hard working bunch of friends from Melbourne.

We spoke to Jules McFarlane from Twerps about the new album, what it’s like to tough it out as a small band and why she thinks the live experience is lot on larger bands. And in answer to the question – no, Jules is not some weird, drug addict, anxious person.

Are you in Melbourne?

Yeah I am. Marty and I have just moved. We were in Northcote but now we’re not. It feels a little bit like Sydney on the South side of the river. Obviously, it’s near the beach so there’s beach culture about it and it’s also a little bit more relaxed.

That’s a big few weeks for you then, getting ready to release the album and moving into a new house…

Yeah and being sick as well. I must have been stressed because I had a flu and then I had shingles. I was reading a book last night and it was about this woman who was adopting a baby and they looked at the birth mother’s medical history and she was judging her like “oh yeah, she’s been in for anxiety…shingles” and I was like “that’s what I’ve got!” Am I like some weird, drug addict, anxious person? It’s got that connotation. And when I told Marty that’s what I had he was like “you don’t have that, you have a good diet”. I don’t think it’s scurvy, it’s different to that. But yeah, it has been a big couple of weeks being sick and moving stuff.

For sure. It probably feels good to be sitting at the computer designing T-Shirts now?

Oh my god, totally. I’m feeling like a little bit of a bum but loving it- looking out the window, still in my pyjamas with a cup of tea.

Well you don’t have long now until you’re back out on the road for shows with Belle and Sebastian and then over to the US. How’s the prep going?

As far as prep goes we have two of our best friends, Ben and Guy, who run Chapter Music. Ben’s our manager but Guy does so much a well like Guy has organised all of our Visas which is a massive job. And that’s not just for us, that’s also for our friend Jack who’s coming with us to do sound and drive and tour manage. We do the preparation in the rehearsal room and the admin side of things is taken care of. I feel prepared but I’m broke so that’s probably not too prepared. Marty and I work in a bar and Marty has two jobs and I have just finished a degree. I’ve been a little bit like studying and working and then when studying finished I realised how little I’ve been working. It’s hard because we only have two months until we leave so do I find another job now before I go? I don’t know?

I feel like everyone has this glamourised idea of being a rock band and travelling overseas but it’s never quite as it seems.

No it’s not glamorous at all. We will all be in the same van everyday which will probably stink. Some shows will be really I’m sure but there will be some mid-week shows where we’ll be playing to a swaying, drunk crowd of ten. I kind of hope there will be shows like that. I really like shows like that sometimes. But yeah, you’re right. It definitely isn’t what people imagine.

But then there’s probably also great shows like SXSW?

I’m not too good at festivals in general. I’m sure it will be fun but I more look forward to our own shows.

I’ve heard that then vibe of SXSW is quite full on sometimes.

Yeah and so many people in Austin. If you like festivals it’s the best time. We’re actually taking it really easy this time. We’re doing maybe four shows which is really cruise compared to the last tours we did there which was like 14 shows in four days. It’s hard to know what to expect from touring. We’ve been so surprised by places in the past like Iowa and Minneapolis. The ones we think are not going to be okay are usually the highlights, you know?

You guys are being featured quite a lot on websites like The Fader and Pitchfork, do you find that translates into people coming to the shows?

Pitchfork has actually been quite kind to us over the years so I think it has. It must have. It’s hard to know.

I think it definitely does something to stir some international hype.

Yeah. They have such a revered voice in the music world so yeah. I think especially for young people it’s good to have. I remember when I was in high school I liked some good things but then I’d just go to the music store and I would think other stuff was good just because it was next to it in the rack. So I think for young people having a website which can generally direct you is pretty cool. Yeah! It definitely would’ve helped!

How are you feeling now the album has been streaming for a few days?

Umm, I didn’t even know that they whole thing is streaming. It probably is. Yeah. I actually don’t like to read reviews or anything like that. I can actually categorically say that it’s not a good way to move forward. I think maybe if somebody says “It’s really bad when you do that on stage and it makes the crowd feel weird”, I can listen to advice when it comes to things like that but with reviews it’s different. You can’t really listen to them.

I think the history of any band that’s started listening to reviews is that they usually go downhill, so I think that’s a good approach. What about new music? Do you listen to much new music?

I think we’ve always been a band who’s been pretty porous in terms of our influences. We’re not afraid of completely absorbing other things. Nah, there’s never any thoughts about not listening to things while we are recording. There’s a few of us in huge band who probably don’t listen to much contemporary music. I think it must be the same with people who read a lot, you get the same sense of there’s never going to be enough time to listen to the old amazing things so why do I need to enter the now. I’ve got a good handful of contemporary bands that I really love. White Fence from San Francisco are so great. We played with them last time we were in the States and that kind of cemented it for me. I love the tape manipulation and the songwriting and stuff. But seeing them live we were all flawed. I was like, “This is the best band in the world. This is so good”. The live show is incredible. I really want them to come over here. As far as other contemporary bands go, I think we have a lot of good bands here in Australia. I listen to a lot of stuff between the ’60s and the mid-90s and then local contemporary stuff. It’s important to get your context. I don’t think I’d ever be in a situation where it would be helpful to shut my ears and eyes to everything. Heaps of our friends are awesome like The Students and The Shifters, Fab Diamonds and Constant Mongrel.

Do you think it’s inspiring to grow up as a band in Melbourne?

Yeah! I think so. If we all happened to be from quite an isolated place it would be a bit different. I don’t really like going to see big bands live. I feel like it’s a mirage and we’re being brain-washed to tell our friends that it’s really awesome but it’s not. There’s no intimacy or there’s no immediacy. The live format is for local, small bands. And for mega-bands. As soon as you get to a certain size you can’t connect to it. I get to a certain point sometimes being a musicians where it’s like “Fuck I need to go see some local bands”. It’s so exciting and it makes you think about what you do. As soon as you get stuff running through a big desk the sensory aspect gets a little washy.

Yeah I think it takes a really incredible band to be able to make a venue of thousands of people feel intimate.

Totally and I’m sure there are heaps of those bands. I’m probably a little stubborn and I’ve not gone to them. I feel like I trust myself enough to know it’s not for me. I like to go see little bands play. That’s the most inspiring thing.

With the second album, did you change the way you did things or were you pretty happy with your methods?

We recorded in the same studio with our friend Jack Farley. But we had a different member in the band, Alex who’s from The Stevens, instead of our old drummer Pat, who’s still a dear friend of ours. It felt more different song-writing before going into the studio. We really had to knuckle out how we all fitted together again because the way Alex played made me okay differently and that made Marty play differently. It’s so easy to underestimate how much impact a different member can have. We weren’t going to say “play like Pat”. The pre-studio process shifted dramatically having somebody who’s a real creative force. Alex has heaps of say in regards to structure and what happens in a song so that felt really different and it was really awesome having a fourth creative voice (along with Vic, our bass player). It feels normal now and it feels awesome, the songs we’re writing I’m so psyched about.

Twerps’ second album, Range Anxiety, is out now via Chapter Music. You can catch them live in support of Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks on Friday, 27th February at Melbourne Zoo. 

the2bears3

The 2 Bears on Sugar Mountain, HP Sauce & Butt Tattoos

The2Bears2
Founded in 2009, The 2 Bears are a London-Based outfit, comprised of Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and DJ/producer Raf Rundell. Combining the stylings of hip-hop, house and soul, these two released their groove-infused second album, The Night Is Young, at the end of last year. We had a tête-à-tête with the Brits ahead of their upcoming Australian tour.
How do you know when it’s time to go back to a side project?
When my head is full of steam and my belly full of wine.
Did you imagine there would be a second album?
When we started mucking about in the studio at the beginning I had no idea. At the point where we started making it I had to imagine it pretty clearly.
How will you deal with wearing your costumes in the Australian heat? Is there a Summer bear version?
We haven’t actually worn those suits for about 5 years. We gave one of them away as a prize at a pub quiz we had in London to launch our album. They’re so hot and disgusting that they can stand up on their own nowadays. We send them to do the gigs we don’t want to do.
[soundcloud]https://soundcloud.com/the2bears/sets/the-2-bears-the-night-is[/soundcloud]
What English artists influenced you when growing up?
All the usuals. The Beatles, The Kinks, Robert Wyatt + DJ’s like Coldcut, Weatherall, Dave Angel and Billy Nasty. Also Eno, The Orb, Orbital, Underworld. I loved Super Furry Animals too. Basement Jaxx parties in London were very formative for both of us too.
And what artists influence you now? Do you still get out and watch new artists?
The list is fairly similar, I’m slowly working my way through all of Bowie’s classic albums. New artists? I really love the Bludd Relations album from last year. That new Floating Points record is amazing too. The last band I went to see was Fumaca Preta from Amsterdam. I still get along to things but nowhere near as much as I used to.
What can you do in 2 Bears that you feel you can’t do in other projects?
Everything and nothing. There’s no rules, dude.
What can we expect from your Sugar Mountain set?
I had a dream last week about being in a big crowd and jumping up and down on the spot shouting Kan Ga Roo. Eventually the whole crowd were doing it along with me. I’m going to try and make my dream come true with the help of the Sugar Mountain crowd. We’ll probably play some music too.
Do you prefer festival sets or would you rather your own solo shows?
Both ways are good. The right moment at a festival can be magic but there’s a lot more things that are out of your control on the day.
What’s the idea behind the video for Not This Time? 
It’s mostly to showcase the incredible vibes of our friends from Sink The Pink and my Sinead O’Connor impression
Who’s your favourite famous bear?
Yogi, that bear got game.
When you count, do you start with your thumb or first finger?
First finger.
Favourite word in the English language?
Bollocks.
Describe the flavour of HP sauce to someone without tastebuds.
I don’t like HP. How do you describe flavour to someone without tastebuds? Do they have a sense of smell? I’d say it tastes like stale fruit and washing that hasn’t dried properly.
If you had to get a tattoo on your butt cheek, what would you choose?
The symbol that’s on the front of The Night Is Young.
Artist’s Impression of tattoo (not to scale): 
artistsimpression_the2bears
The2Bears
Darude

Text Message Interview with Rei Barker, the Legend Bringing Darude to Future Music Festival

Darude

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or simply don’t have a taste for the finer things in life, you would have noticed the glorious resurrection of Finnish DJ, Darude‘s 1999 hit, Sandstorm. What some of you may not know, however, is the story, and the man, behind the entire movement. Hailing from Melbourne and self-classified as an interviewer, DJ, entertainer, writer and hypeman, Rei Barker is a man with a vision. Earlier in the year, driven by his undying passion for both Sandstorm and its creator, the “most influential and important musician alive”, he created a Pozible campaign, requesting the good faith of the community to collectively fund the costs to bring the man, the myth, the legend, Darude, to Australia for the very first time.

Soon enough, the campaign went viral with articles popping up all over the internet appealing for donations. Despite the story gaining publicity and serious momentum, and Sandstorm even making it back into 18th place in the Australian charts, only $3,282 of the required $200,000 fee was raised. With the campaign’s expiration date nigh, things were looking dire, with the possibility of gaining the necessary $196,718 looking almost impossible.

Then, just last Thursday, Rei’s prayers were answered when it was announced that Future Music Festival would be bringing the man himself to Australian shores in 2015, alongside Drake, The Prodigy and Kiesza. We thought we’d have a chat with Rei on this momentous occasion to discuss the inspiration behind his successful campaign, his plans for the future and Toadie from Neighbours.

And yes, we were also deeply concerned about our 17% battery power. We can assure you, the phone has now been charged and life resumes as normal.

ReiBarker

And, just for good measure:

You can see Darude along with DrakeThe Prodigy, Kiesza, Avicii2 Chainz and many more at Future Music Festival on the following dates:

Tickets are still available here

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