Speaking of the new album ‘Everything is A-OK’, is it right that the old studio you had recorded a couple of albums in doesn’t exist anymore, so you had to completely move this recording somewhere else?
Yeah, the studio we worked in at home was called The Shed. Appropriately, it was like a shed in an industrial area as a lot of studios are. It kind of just got knocked over one day.
Like, literally knocked over?
Yeah, my friend was the owner and one day he sent me this text message and said ‘look what happened to my studio’ and he lived there. He was leasing it, and got 3 months notice and whatever but we just weren’t keeping in touch. He sent me a photo and there’s just a flat cement foundation for a new building. And I was like ‘what the f**k happened to the studio? It’s gone, the whole studio’s gone!’. Yeah it was pretty funny, sorry, it wasn’t funny, it was shocking.
So we thought let’s go record in a house. We found this studio called The Grove, it was built by the bass player from INXS – Garry Gary Beers. It was kind of lush surrounded by forest and there was a big house there so we could live together. We did it there and it ended up being awesome. We think this record is way more laid back, way more mature for us. There’s some slower songs on there and we’re stoked with it.
That slower, softer sound. Did you go into it with that mindset, or did it just appear through the process?
I feel like 'Hungry Ghost' and 'Waco' were more inspired by heavy bands like The Bronx or Title Fight or Basement. Those newer hardcore bands really pushed a lot of influence into our band. But this time once we started jamming the songs together, we were really happy with how naturally we could kind of emulate bands we were massive fans of. Bands like Built To Spill who we met when we toured America ten years before.
The way we work is I write the songs, then I demo crappy demos with electronic drums and stuff. And then we get together and play them, and really yay or nay whether they are decent. This was the first time that we actually felt like we could do it naturally and it was actually us. When we jammed it out, we were like ‘this is great, we’ve never been able to do this’. Every time we tried to do softer songs like Canada or Slow Down Sonic, it’s always been a bit of tug of war between how heavy do you push it. It just wasn’t a problem this time, we just knew where to take it. I think it comes with being in a band for 17 years, you just naturally grow into that.
Well you’ve all grown up over that time haven’t you…to a certain extent?!
Yeah exactly, definitely. You get that. With age you look back at the first record you’ve done and think…f**k I sound young, I sound juvenile, I sound angry. You know, I love those old records. But I definitely think this new record is obviously way more reflective of where we are now as people.