Sam Rasmussen of The Paper Kites talks Midnight tour and life at home

Picture: Sara Hannagan

Picture: Sara Hannagan

Originally posted on Music Insight:

If you were under the assumption Melbourne’s dream folksters The Paper Kites were hardcore party animals on the road, you’d be wrong – in fact they’re quite the opposite. The band is currently living the dream though, as a result of their successful critically acclaimed LP twelvefour and that calls for a little celebration.

Just last year, the record earned them places on the ARIA charts, placing within the top 10 in one category and number one in another.We now find them smack bang in the middle of their Australian Midnight tour before they head off to North America where the quintet has previously shared the stage with the likes of City and Colour and Bombay Bicycle Club.

Bassist Sam Rasmussen took some time out to have a chat with Music Insight about life on tour, past, present and future.

“Across the board everyone’s been great, we’ve been lucky enough to tour with some great acts and perhaps the first meeting we might’ve been awestruck but we always move past that,” said Rasmussen.

Despite the excitement, Rasmussen revealed his heart can be pulled in two different directions when it comes to his family.

“We all have our partners, families and lives at home and going out on tour can be hard in that respect because we’re leaving everyone at home and sometimes for quite a long time.”

When the band isn’t playing sold-out shows Rasmussen said he can be found doing pretty ordinary things – almost like living a double life.

“At home I have kids and work, it’s just another house on the block and I love that and then we go on tour and it’s so different,” he said.

The indie rock quintet’s recent efforts with current album twelvefour ensure the band will remain in the foreminds of many fans for sometime yet. The record, which features popular tracks Electric IndigoRevelator Eyes and Renegade,was written entirely as a concept album.

“The other Sam [Bentley] did all the writing, and he is a bit of a night owl. He doesn’t normally make a habit of staying up between midnight and 4am, however for writing this album he did do that intentionally,” Rasmussen said.

The decision to move away from their original sound was a conscious one and has proved a resounding triumph for the fivesome.

“We decided after looking back at our previous records that we wanted to add a bit more fullness to the sound and the songs Sam was writing were working towards that,” he said.

When asked if he could stay up as late as his fellow band member did during the writing process, Rasmussen had one thing to say:

“I’m personally not a night owl, I fall asleep pretty early usually, I’ve got a few kids and they tend to wear me out. It’s kind of funny because that’s my life at home and then we go on tour and it’s a very different life.”

To accompany the LP, the group made another excellent judgement call to create a trilogy of distinct storytelling clips all happening around the same time of night. Working alongside Dan Huiting (Bon Iver) and his team for all three music videos, Rasmussen revealed the band was lucky to have had him on board.

“We had the idea to tell three different stories, which took place at that time of night. A lot of the inspiration and creativity came from Sam – he worked very hard on those videos collaborating with different directors and we’re very happy with how it turned out.”

Having just wrapped up their Australian tour, the Paper Kites will spend the next few months touring North America and Europe.

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Ladyhawke on ‘Wild Things’ and the full spectrum of Pip Brown

Originally posted on Chattr:

It’s been three years since Pip Brown – better known as her stage name Ladyhawke – has visited Australian shores, but after some soul searching she’s finally ready to bring fresh new tunes to Aussie fans with a new record in tow.

Her forthcoming third studio album Wild Things is the follow-up to her 2012 release Anxiety and is slated to be released on June 3.

Speaking with Music Insight earlier in the week, Brown said her journey had been a long and sometimes tiring one but she’s finally satisfied with the outcome.

“I’m trying to be a lot more excited – I’ve definitely always struggled with the touring. I mean I enjoy touring and seeing different countries and cities, but I have struggled with the live shows,” Brown said.

The New Zealand native has spoken openly about her battle with alcohol and social anxiety, which often caused her music career to take a hit.

“I suffered from depression and anxiety and I was sick of feeling like that – I needed to make some drastic changes in my life,” she said.

I suffered from depression and anxiety and I was sick of feeling like that – I needed to make some drastic changes in my life.

“I wasn’t being creative at all, I was really struggling and I think this entire album came after I got healthy and started feeling good about myself and enjoying my life,” Brown said.

The singer-songwriter’s new record is the result of an unexpected collaboration with American producer Tommy English (TiëstoDark Waves and Børns).

“Our meeting was by chance,” said Brown.

“We met through a friend. She was making a record and asked if I wanted to do some vocals on it and I said yes. I turned up at the address she gave me and it was Tommy English’s house.”

Brown eventually asked him if he was interested in working on her album and Wild Thingswas born. The pair worked on and off over the course of a year producing songs like A Love SongSweet Fascination and Dangerous. 

With a career spanning 15 years, you’d think Brown would have trouble keeping her mind buzzing with new ideas and concepts for songs.

Well, you’d be wrong.

“The things I get inspired by aren’t really your traditional music things. My music is quite often inspired by watching something as simple as a movie.”

“I find that I sometimes get that excited desperation to make a song after I’ve watched a movie that’s really inspiring. I don’t really get that anywhere else – it’s weird.”

“There were a few key things in my life that happened which made it possible for this album to come to life. I got healthy and stopped drinking and just tried to be happy.”

There were a few key things in my life that happened which made it possible for this album to come to life. I got healthy and stopped drinking and just tried to be happy.

“From my first album, second and third you’ve really got the full spectrum of Pip Brown. This one is definitely happier and more upbeat, which I think shows a maturity in myself. I’m definitely more confident as a songwriter and I feel more confident in the studio.”

You can catch Ladyhawke live on her Wild Things tour this July. Tickets are available from Ladyhawke’s website.

TOUR DATES

Thursday 14th July – The Zoo, Brisbane

Friday 15th July – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Saturday 16th July – Howler, Melbourne

Lonely The Brave Talk Brand New Sound, Ross Orton and Deftones

Originally posted on Chattr:

UK alt-rockers Lonely The Brave have emerged re-energised after some much needed time away with new album Things Will Matter in tow. Fans’ first taste of the quintet’s new material was hit single Black Mire and it’s creating a massive buzz in the lads’ native hometown.

The band’s guitarist Mark Trotter told Chattr they’re overwhelmed and humbled by the level of excitement around their sophomore effort – not only from their loyal fan-base but the likes of BBC Radio 1.

“You just never know what will happen when you put a new track out there, especially when it is a departure from the sound that you have become known for,” said Trotter.

“We are lucky to have a great fan-base here who support us and let us grow as a band.”

Their first album The Day’s War is filled with optimistic and heartfelt rock anthems, each track cohesively working together to make one major sound production. Trotter was quick to point out they’re in quite a different place now to when they wrote the first record, which is unmistakably reflected in their music today.

“There have been so many highs and lows on the journey so far and it’s fair to say that the last year has been a difficult one for us for a few reasons, so this has definitely had an effect on the songs and our writing.”

Lonely The Brave’s newest endeavour sees them in a much darker place. There’s an intense and authentic vibe they’ve been building towards that has us keen. Black Mire is filled with emotionally charged lyrics, giving way to an honest and profound performance.

“Dave writes all lyrics and melodies for our songs. It’s fair to say he has drawn on experiences over the last few years from his private life and as such the songs really do give a brutally honest account of the things he has been through,” said Trotter.

“It’s a definite progression from the first record which I think is extremely important. The idea of writing the same record twice scares the hell out of me.”

Working closely alongside producer Ross Orton (Arctic MonkeysM.I.A and Drenge) the band was pushed to their limits, which often meant getting out of their comfort zones. The gents at times found themselves on the verge of individual meltdowns, but Trotter says they’re truly grateful for the opportunity.

“Ross is an amazing guy. He has produced some incredible records and to work with him was a no brainer for us.”

Orton is just one of many well-known faces the fivesome have worked with over the years – Wolf AliceBruce Springsteen, but it’s American rock band Deftones that holds a special place in their hearts.

“One of the first shows we did after signing our first record deal was to support the Deftones in Paris. There aren’t many bands or artists that we all agree on as a group, but one of those few is the Deftones.”

Aussies might be able to catch the band live. Trotter says he’s hopeful they’ll get to pay a visit to our shores once the tour kicks off and the album has been dropped.

“Australia is close to the band’s hearts as Dave & Mo have both spent a good amount of time there and I have quite a few family members there too,” said Trotter.

“To be able to get out to Australia would be a huge tick off my bucket list.”

Lonely The Brave’s new album will be available for purchase mid 2016, keep up-to-date with the latest news by liking their Facebook page.

Polaris Break Through ARIA Charts with Sophomore Effort

Originally posted on Chattr:

If you haven’t heard of Sydney metalcore five-piece outfit Polaris, read on because these gents bring true meaning to the words ‘ones to watch.’

The lads have had a killer start to the year with the release of their sophomore EP The Guilt and The Grief, which raced up the iTunes metal and rock charts debuting at number one. As if that wasn’t enough excitement, the band has officially been added to the Legion Music Festival lineup for 2017 – playing alongside acts like Aversion’s CrownDevil You Know and Finland’s Lordi.

The group’s bassist, Jake Steinhauser, told Chattr he was stoked to be hitting up the celebrated event.

“It’s cool to think that eventually it could take the place of something like Soundwave and that they’re keeping it going with new artists and more still to come soon,” said Steinhauser.

SOURCE: sgcmedia.com
SOURCE: sgcmedia.com

Their fellow festival performers mightn’t have the same musical style, but Steinhauser believed it would be a great occasion to mingle with other bands and broaden their own fan-base.

“They do come from a slightly different genre, but it’s interesting to play with some different listener based acts. I imagine that people who would listen to Lordi may not have checked out our stuff before and hopefully it’ll be an opportunity to get our music out to some listeners there.”

The quick rise on iTunes meant an astounding shot at the ARIA charts – one they well and truly hit. The band’s subsequent EP debuted at #34 on the ARIA Album charts and #11 on the Australian Artists charts, a dream come true for the quintet.

“It’s still just an independent sophomore EP and to kind of crack the ARIA charts with it is a fun little bragging right to have I think,” said Steinhauser.

The Guilt and The Grief is a six-track compilation full of emphatic and exciting tunes. Single Hold You Under in particular features Northlane’s Marcus Bridge – a truly sensational collaboration.

“Majority of our concepts and lyrics come from our drummer Dan. Basically it comes from a guilt and responsibility of seeing the world move forward. Songs like Regress talk about the damage done by people who stick to ideals that aren’t necessarily based on fact or what’s good for humanity,” said Steinhauser.

“Some of the other songs just deal with personal issues, guilt from negligence of family members to depression.”

Polaris celebrated their EP release with Sydney’s Stories on their Youth To Become tour, but it wasn’t the first time they’ve joined them on stage.

“Our drummer, Dan, had the honour of filling in for their drummer, Roscoe, at the UNIFYconcert – not totally last minute mind you, he had some time to prepare a whole set, so that was pretty cool.”

So what else is on the cards for Polaris in 2016?

“At this stage we’ll be writing in between jaunts, working to continue on with our music and make sure we’re prepared for the record,” said Steinhauser.

The Guilt and The Grief is available on iTunes and Bandcamp now. For tour dates, check out their Facebook page.

Georgi Kay on her American getaway and new EP Origins

040A1132-colour

Originally posted on Music Insight:

After spending months away shacked up in a cabin writing songs somewhere in the USA, Perth’s Georgi Kay is back with her latest EP Origins. 

The indie pop sensation first hit the scene when she began playing lead guitar for rock group The Vains. In 2009, she made the decision to go it alone and has been turning heads with her music ever since.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the 22-year-old has two EPs to her name, plenty of accolades and is enjoying life to the fullest. Her recent trip to LA saw her stuck in a blizzard in New York City during a performance for G’Day USA, hiking around the LA mountains – getting lost in the process without phone service (yikes!) and putting words to paper. Despite all the excitement, Kay said she enjoyed visiting the Californian city any chance she gets.

“L.A is one of my favourite places in the world,” she said.

“There’s so much there to explore and so many incredible opportunities to make the most of. In terms of making music, it’s a very inspiring place and I know a lot of lovely souls there too.”

Being inspired to write songs after watching and reading classic horror stories Frankensteinand Carrie, the singer-songwriter’s new record is an homage to who she is as an artist and human being.

“Despite previous releases I’ve had, this EP feels like the true first, so I’m very, very excited about it. It’s my soul in listenable form. It’s where I’ve come from and it’s a taster that pushes towards the direction I’m going musically.”

Despite previous releases I’ve had, this EP feels like the true first, so I’m very, very excited about it. It’s my soul in listenable form. It’s where I’ve come from, and it’s a taster that pushes towards the direction I’m going musically.

Kay’s previous EP In My Mind, released in 2013, steered clear of a soul-searching concept but the ARIA award-winning musician felt she was more than ready to reflect back on her current journey.

“I wrote how I felt. Like a boxer hitting the bag or a biker hitting the open road, songwriting is my kind of therapy,” Kay said.

Tracks God of a Girl and More Than This were our first samples from the new EP – both of which were indicators of a sombre transition from her earlier material.

“They were written during times in which I felt raw, unpolished emotions. They also pay homage to my loves and inspirations for horror films, dark electronic synths and descriptive, emotive writing style,” Kay said.

Her accompanying music video for More Than This delves deep into symbolic territory, depicting a restrained Kay who as the clip progresses frees herself from confinement – all the while visually shrouded in darkness and shadow.

You’d think after so many hits, famous collaborations and innovative concepts her creativity would start to wane but lucky for us, she’s a gift that keeps on giving.

“I guess it’s something that comes very naturally to me, or maybe I just see things differently. Either way, I really enjoy it and it inspires me for new ideas in the future,” Kay said.

In its entirety Origins is a strong effort from the singer-songwriter – a synth pop gem that has us all hooked. We won’t have to wait long for more material though, as she has a few feature releases in the works throughout the year.

Check out Georgi Kay’s latest single More Than This below and tell us what you think.

Hein Cooper comes home to practise Art of Escape

heincooper_photo

Originally posted on Music Insight:

Hein Cooper has been on one heck of a ride these past 12 months, collecting some impressive achievements like spins on the BBC, a slot at Falls Festival, two hit singles on Triple J and spending time in Canada for his debut album The Art of Escape.

Now the indie-folk musician is back home in Australia awaiting the release of his record and embarking on a 13-date tour, which began in Byron Bay on February 18. Cooper told Music Insight he’s been looking forward to getting onstage this month.

“I’m really happy to be here doing my thing,”

“This is my home town and I love playing to Australians because it’s where my songs come from.”

Working closely alongside producer Marcus Paquin, the LP will have Cooper’s innate soulful vocals and folksy self-contained assertiveness that we’ve come to love from his previously released EP of the same title.

“I went to Montreal last year for two months to record the album,” said Cooper.

“We spent the first week or so laying down some final changes to the songs – a couple tweaks of bridge sections and then we spent the remainder of the time between the two of us and a drummer laying down everything else.”

The record will feature his current track Rusty – a breezy slice of summer that will have you in high spirits after a single play. The acoustic pop tune is one of ten yet to be released songs Cooper has written over a period of time.

“It was a collection of songs that I’d written over the last five or six years and when I was writing the album escape, transformation and change were the main themes in my life as a young adult.”

The initial decision to release an EP before a fully completed album was one that Cooper used to his advantage. It was both a teaser for fans and an opportunity for him to shape his artistic talents.

“It gave me the time to give people an idea of who I am as an artist and nail the record before its release.”

Playing all those bars really helped me with my song-writing prior to being able to tour my own music, because I had an unbiased audience every night of the week, who didn’t know who I was and didn’t really care.

His introduction to Paquin was a brief one – a 45-minute Skype chat to be exact – but that was all it took for Cooper to get on a plane and head to Montreal.

“It just turned out to be an awesome collaboration, I loved working with him and the artists he has worked with – the vibes he’s created are amazing.”

His partnership with Paquin turned out so well that Cooper recruited his good friend Dan Jamieson to help him out with a music video for Rusty. The footage was shot only a short 30 minutes away from Cooper’s hometown of Milton.

“He worked with me on the concept, we were originally going to shoot it in Sydney, but we wanted it to look like a deserted place from a timeless era.”

Fans of Sydney-based singer-songwriter Patrick James will be happy to note that he will be joining Cooper on the road for a few of his shows. His natural flair for soft acoustics and stirring harmonies caught the attention of his fellow songsmith.

“I’m a fan of his music, he came along to one of my shows at the Oxford Art Factory last year and we made a decision there and then to have him on tour,” said Cooper.

“We don’t actually know each other that well so it’ll be an interesting time.”

The Art of Escape is available March 4. You can pre-order it on iTunes now.

For tickets, visit Cooper’s website.

TOUR DATES

Thursday, February 18 – Byron Bay Brewery, Byron Bay NSW

Friday, February 19 – The Foundry, Brisbane QLD
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, February 20 – Sol Bar, Maroochydore QLD

Thursday, February 25 – Workers Club, Geelong VIC
**With Patrick James**

Friday, February 26 – Howler, Melbourne VIC
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, February 27 – Anita’s Theatre (foyer), Wollongong NSW
**With Patrick James**

Friday, March 4 – The Basement, Sydney NSW
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, March 5 – Transit Bar, Canberra ACT
**With Patrick James**

Sunday/Monday, March 6/7 – Nannup Festival, Nannup WA

Saturday, March 12 – Lizottes, Newcastle
**With Patrick James**

Friday, March 18 – Pirie & Co Social Club, Adelaide SA
**With Patrick James**

Saturday, March 19 – Jimmy’s Den, Perth WA
**With Patrick James**

The Maine Upbeat Ahead of Aussie Visit

TheMaine_2

Originally posted on Music Insight:

American rockers The Maine will return to Australian shores this month for their first headline tour in support of new album American Candy, and they couldn’t be happier about it.

The Arizona natives were last here in 2013 supporting fellow American rock outfit Anberlin.

Guitarist Kennedy Brock told Music Insight having local bands like Sydney-based With Confidence join them for their Australian leg added a sense of camaraderie that tied everything together nicely.

“It’s always going to be cool to have people who know what to do in the cities and bring some people, who wouldn’t have listened to us prior to that, to the shows. Overall, we are excited to have some locals,” Brock said.

We’ve been super busy the past few years, so the opportunities we’ve had to get to Australia have been limited. Anytime we’ve been able to open up space we’ve been thinking about it and this just finally worked well.

We’ve been super busy the past few years, so the opportunities we’ve had to get to Australia have been limited. Anytime we’ve been able to open up space we’ve been thinking about it and this just finally worked well.

Brisbane’s Set The Record, Sydney’s Far Away Stables and Melbourne’s Maefire will also be joining them in their respective cities.

The band’s fifth studio album American Candy is the highly anticipated follow-up to their 2014 release Forever Halloween, and continues to push their sound to extreme new heights.

“We wanted to make a more uplifting, upbeat record than our past release. We like to keep things fresh with our recordings and not do the same thing over and over again,” Brock said.

The band set out to Joshua Tree in the US to record the album, a move Brock said helped breathe new life and energy into the production.

“Forever Halloween we recorded live, and we didn’t really have the means to be able to do that on this record,” he said.

“We recorded on our own gear in a house that we had moved to.

“These past three records we’ve done have a mindset of doing exactly what we want to do with the music and not focusing too hard on how that’s going to be perceived.”

Brock revealed that frontman John O’Callaghan is the mastermind behind majority of their songwriting hits.

“It’s always kind of similar – John typically has an idea that we work off of, whether it be a vocal melody or some sort of guitar or piano riff that he’s fooling around with.”

To keep themselves from getting too attached to particular tracks, the band recorded the bare minimum before hitting the studio.

“We like to record real crappy demos, we set up one microphone in the middle of the room so that it can barely catch anything and imagine what certain things should be,” Brock said.

With only a few days before they rock out live on stage, we can safely assume the boys will give an unforgettable performance.

“Australia’s always treated us well so we’re excited to be back,” Brock said.

Tickets can be purchased at the Destroy All Lines website.

TOUR DATES:

Monday 30 November – The Brightside, Brisbane (18+)
Tuesday 1 December – The Factory Theatre, Sydney (Licensed all ages)
Wednesday 2 December – The Corner Hotel, Melbourne (18+)