Aussie Featured Artists For October
October 14, 2016
We have been busy interviewing our bands, so we've decided to compile a bunch of them under one roof. So here are our Aussie featured artists for October.
We caught up with Royal Parade off the back of their new EP Never Walk Away. We had a chat about their favourite gigs, the secret to staying together as a band and what the future holds.
You've just released your debut EP 'Never Walk Away' - congratulations! Tell us about the EP and what the music is about.
This is the latest instalment of Royal Parade Music and it is a bigger sound than usual for us, although it does still have the quieter moments. The title track “Never walk away” is an old school rock Aussie rock song. It is about dealing with people that only want to use you for their own benefit and how you can always rely on yourself even if you can’t rely on others. Dance (With me tonight) is a coldplay-esque inspired track that walks you through a couple’s relationship and how sometimes even in a world that feels like a whirlwind you should always find time to stop and dance with the ones you love. The Mask is a duet that explores the idea of people seeming as though they are okay on the outside when they are dealing with internal struggles. The song is a haunting duet featuring the amazing Fely Irvine that captures the desperation of a friend trying to help another in need. The One For Me is a little bit country and a little bit "Boy and Bear" but tells the story of longing for a loved one who is far far away. Hard Woman to Love is a heartbreaking ballad that tells the story of someone falling out of love. It’s a raw and emotional song that was actually a secret track on an earlier release and those who found it on that release loved it so much they asked us to release it properly, so we did.
Which artists do you identify with and love at the moment?
The boys in Royal Parade have a varied set of influences. From Coldplay to Cold Chisel, from Everclear to Every Time I Die and from Pavement to Paul Simon. We are currently loving the new Bon Iver album as well as DMA’s stuff and our Bass player Adam is really digging some of the new Bieber jams. .
What has been your favourite moment playing live and why?
We’ve had some really great shows over the time and it’s hard to nail it down to just one. We have had some great shows playing at the Royal Melbourne Show because the people there are really appreciative and playing on the big stage as the sunset makes you feel as though you are playing a big festival. We also had a great experience opening for The Angels in Ferntree Gully a few years back it was a wild crowd but we won them over early and they went nuts! It was very rock and roll.
Do you have any plans to tour/play in the next few months?
Yes we will be launching on October 15 at the Workers Club in Melbourne. We also hope to be playing in Melbourne and Victoria across the summer. Also, if anyone reading this would like to fund it we are more than happy to tour Europe or the States in their Summer.
You guys have been playing together for 10 years - how do you get along so well for so long! What's the secret to staying together as a band?
For us the key has always been that we are mates. We would very easily go out for a beer together and have plenty to talk about (and often do). We love music and we love playing together, we laugh a lot and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We are all professionals in other fields so the band has always been a release; a place to be creative and that really keeps us inspired. We also love playing together, seeing where one another can take a song by adding their own bit to it sometimes the songs our lead singer comes to the band with will completely change depending on the parts added by the rest of us. The key to staying together we think is: Play for yourselves. If you love it and you are into it, the crowd will be into it to. If you can keep that formula then you will always enjoy it. The final ingredient would also have to be “Don’t take yourself too seriously”. If you do then you are too prone to having your ego damaged, and that causes friction you don’t need.
Get to know Dreamcoats, four mates from exceptionally diverse music backgrounds, coming together to make strikingly beautiful music. We had a chat with the groups front man Kieran to talk about the band, their music and the EP ‘Sleeping Through Tempests’, coming out the 1st of October.
Congratulations on the release of Winter, it's great! Can listeners expect similar tracks on your forthcoming EP?
Thanks! It's been a really long process and we're glad it's finally happening, we're so pumped. The EP does have similar songs to Winter yes, most of the other songs from "Sleeping Through Tempests" are riddled with the types of intricacies heard in Winter. However Ghost Legs and Lunarbloom fall closer to the umbrella of the pop idiom than the other do.
What’s the story behind Dreamcoat - how did the band come together?
I had written 4-5 songs I wanted to flesh out further, so I rounded up some of the best musos I knew. We all had great respect for one another and what we do so it worked well. I also knew they could take the music in a direction I was hoping but also give it a dimension I could never be capable of without them.
Dreamcoat has a very unique sound - what is your songwriting process?
It generally starts with an idea I've created, more often than not in solitude, then taken to the band where we discuss where it can be taken and if they like it or not. They can be very brutal in their responses and often dismiss ideas completely. We have a very good understanding of each others tastes so I've learned what to bring in and what ideas to pretend like I never came up with..... There are so many 'in jokes' in the band, it's actually kind of unhealthy....most of which are parts to songs I've written that I love and the others laugh uncontrollably at. We have so much fun being around each other it's great.
Who (which artist) would you say has had the biggest influence on shaping the band?
I have 3-4 albums I'll always go back to for ideas and inspiration, but if I'm speaking for all of us, I think we each have a myriad of influences that help in shaping the music. Brayden is a massive metal head, Costa is a jazz nerd, Jon just loves absolutely everything and I'm similar to him in that respect. However the albums I can always find something new in are; Yellow House by Grizzly Bear, Hummingbird by Local Natives and Soil Creatures by Grand Salvo, whether that shines brightly in the song writing on "Sleeping Through Tempests" or not I don't know. If my song writing is a even a fraction as good as heard on those albums, I'd be a happy man.
Your EP launch is coming up! What can fans expect from your live shows?
We're actually in the process of reshaping the live show, we're trying to make it more exciting and memorable. The EP show will be the first step in that, inviting Dani a wonderful female vocalist who sings like a bell to do harmonies. We also have a killer line up, some of our local favourites Frida and James Teague, both amazing artists.
It seems Acolyte had a rather large 2016 so far, with a fair amount of media coverage, local and international radio play, as well as a tonne of live shows and festival appearances.
What did you take out of 2016 so far and how has that changed things for the rest of the year?
It's been a truly amazing year so far and we are beyond grateful for all the success that we've received. It almost feels like after working in a bubble for as long as we did on the album that the wheels have finally stopped spinning in place and we've got some traction and momentum and we have been blown away by how well our hard work has been received and embraced home and abroad.
Thinking back to where we were at the start of the year and seeing where we are now the main thing that we will be taking away from 2016 is the people we have met, worked with who have become part of our family. The face of the band itself has changed with new members and fresh ideas which has only served to enhance the musicality of the band. We are very excited to go forward and evolve our sound through writing and performing together and are even more driven now than we've ever been.
You just released your debut album, ‘Shades of Black’, tell us what we can expect from the album?
We wanted to get back to the idea of the album as a complete listening experience. Not necessarily a concept album per se, but something that had a unique and cohesive feel that flows and has its own beginning, middle and end and ebbs and flows in its dynamics, much in the same way that the individual songs do within the greater body of the work.
Sonically having the production allow for the light and shade to come through was very important to us. We wanted to have the instrumentation and arrangements feel natural and real so things aren't overly compressed or quantized which lets it breathe and allows it to feel more alive and present.
The songs themselves are quite distinct from each other as we experimented with our writing and continued to evolve it and explore a range of textures and grooves. It retains an air of unpredictability as you listen through it and the package artwork and live show stylistically tie into that ethos as well.
Live performances seem to be large focus for Acolyte, what’s change from when you first started gigging to now?
We've had a history of developing material through live performances. I would say very few compositions have debuted fully actualized as we like to take the live application into consideration for when it comes time to record in the studio. The original 4 members of our first completed lineup, being Morgan-Leigh Brown (vocals), Frank Perna (guitar), Peter McDonald (drums) and myself (bass) began to develop an aesthetic for the interplay between visuals and music in a live setting. As the music continued to take shape, the performance styles and energy on stage followed suit along with the approach to lighting and use of sound from both the music and tonality composition aspect as well as the audio mix.
With the addition of Chris Cameron (drums), David Van Pelt (keys) and Pete Borzęta (guitar) over the space of 12 months from mid 2015 to mid 2016 we have seen the most cohesive and dynamic live shows to date. All of us are huge fans of live music and intrinsically understand the nature of reinterpreting works from a recorded medium to a live application, and how the flow of energy in between the members on stage and the audience has a life of its own.
The album that you've heard is definitely on display at our shows but there is definitely an enhancement that works for this setting that we are able to achieve. There's certainly a much greater level of trust and confidence between ourselves that comes with playing together over time and is something that you really can't cultivate in any other way.
What would be your advice for any other up and coming acts trying to break into the scene?
Be different and also stay true to what originally motivated you to play in the first place. Following a trend or a scene may get you some short term notoriety but you will end up boxing yourself in. The focus should be in bringing the art back to the music so be an artist and treat your music as such. Building on this foundation you need to be easy to work with (seriously, no one will want to work with a jerk for a second time so being difficult and egotistical only winds up closing doors on you) and to that end make as many great industry relationships as you can!
Now that the album is out what’s next?
We've been touring the album since it came out and hope to continue to reach new people in and outside of Australia. To capitalize on our energy and drive and the new facets to our line up we are also writing quite heavily as well, as we explore ways to develop upon Shades of Black and evolve our sound, which is something Acolyte plan to do as an ongoing endeavor to let us be fully in charge of our creative future. I'm as keen as anyone to hear where our musical direction will expand into next and I like that we are able to work that out as we go.
Your music video for Blue Moon has just been released. The video was shot by Alper Kasap and self-directed. What was your vision for the music video?
‘Blue Moon’ music video is a powerful, tantalising and enigmatic audio-visual experience. When conceptualising this video I really wanted to create something unique, inspiring and wondrous. My aim was to visually lead the viewer through my unique musical journey by introducing unique characters, costumes and lighting techniques. I am very inspired by artists such as David bowie and Lady Gaga who push the boundaries of performance art through the use of costume, choreography and imagery so when conceptualising the video I drew on some of my inspiration’s for makeup, costume ideas etc.
How would you describe your sound?
Soulful, emotional and ambiguous.
You embrace the idea of personal expression, how does this contribute to your music?
My personal expression through the use of costume, makeup and lighting helps me to convey the emotions, feelings as well as the mood of a certain song. As well as conveying feelings and emotions to the viewer I use my expression to channel my individuality as well.
If you could have written any song, what would it be and why?
If I could choose a song to write it would be mine. Because that’s why I like to write music.
2016 is drawing to a close, what have you got planned for the future?
I am jumping in the studio next month to record my debut EP so you'll be seeing a whole lot more of me in the next year!
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