The past week has signaled a changing of the seasons, and having recently dropped their debut album Spring Forever the Brisbane trio are certainly a part of it.
It’s an almost tangible feeling for frontman Alex Moses, who’s instantly taken back to chill hangs in the sun as he reflects “I really like Spring because it’s quite melancholic for me but also really positive. There’s lots of references to the weather and seasons in the record that reflect emotions and stuff like that, but Spring is one of my favourite times of year. When we wrote ‘Spring Forever’, we really thought the idea resonated with us and it was something that we wanted as the name of our album.”
The group will be taking the nostalgic vibes across the country with Radelaide indie rockers Horror My Friend and Byron boys PLTS. Considering what it’s been like to watch both bands grow, Moses admits that he’d “never heard of” one of the acts on the tour.
“I remember Dan (Seymour) our drummer showing me PLTS before we booked the tour like six or seven months ago, and I was like ‘Wow this band’s sick!’ After booking them, I’ve been listening to them and getting more into the band, and it makes me excited to have the chance to see them play every night all over Australia. I guess we’re pretty stoked to be able to bring two really cool bands with us. I can’t wait to hang out, have a few beers and play some shows.”
One gig the singer-songwriter is particularly pumped for is Brissy’s BIGSOUND kicking off on Wednesday, our premier hotspot for music professionals and artists alike. This year is no exception, with the lineup brimming with local talent including guitar maestro Harts, Melbourne punk rockers CERES and the blossoming Alex Lahey.
“We’re super excited,” Moses gushes. “We’ve never had the chance to play BIGSOUND before, and obviously for a Brisbane event, we’re pretty stoked to be on the lineup this year. We play a nice, late slot on Wednesday night, which gives us a chance to have a bit of a party on Thursday and see a bunch of other good bands. We can’t wait.”
Here the trio will get the chance to give punters a taste of fresh cuts from Spring Forever, an album produced by someone who Moses knows “has worked with so many different bands from a range of genres”.
“It was great to have someone with that wealth of experience work with us,” the vocalist said as he considered Jay Maas (Defeater, Title Fight). “This being our debut record, we didn’t know what to expect going into the studio for almost a month. It was such a long time compared to the EPs we’ve done in the past, but Jay made it very comfortable for us, as non-suggestive as that is (chuckles).
“He was a great person to work with, came up with loads of ideas, and I couldn’t have imagined doing it with anyone else actually. We got along great, in and outside the studio, and he was a great guy to have beers with too. I think for us that’s the kind of people we want to work with, you know those who are able to switch on but also off, have a few drinks and relax.”
Moses agrees that being in the studio can be both grueling and therapeutic, yet he explains that in recording Spring Forever, the band “fell into it quite nicely, and it was a real routine after a while.”
“20 days was enough time for us to wake up two weeks in and go ‘It’s another day in the studio, this is our job’, and we got a few days off in the middle which was nice. We were staying at a mate’s place in Bondi, and it was a pretty nice area so we were very lucky. I got up a bunch of mornings, went for runs around the headlands in Bondi, went for swims… It was real nice. Then we’d head into the studio from like 10am – 6pm every day with Jay and make the best songs we could.”
“We were stressed, but once we started planning things out we were like ‘Shit, we’re going to get everything done on time’, and we did it. At the end, we had a few days where pretty much all the tracking was done and we could add little things or take them away. We could think about the songs as complete, and also about what we could do to make them better, which was really great.”
A defining character trait of Moses is that he prefers solitude while songwriting, particularly in his bedroom where nearly the whole record was written. Considering creative spaces outside this safe haven, the vocalist drops a funny anecdote involving a lack of sleep, and an acoustic track that was “too long”.
“I wrote ‘Nervous Wreck’ and we recorded it, and it was too long, so we were like ‘Okay, maybe we’ll try again tomorrow and I’ll rewrite it’. So I went home and spent that night trying to rewrite it and came up with nothing, and I woke up early in the morning and started to do the same thing.
“Then I had a few ideas, and we went into the studio and we were doing some little bass parts. I went into one of the other rooms and was just writing down words, strumming stuff, and then I pretty much finished the song an hour to thirty minutes before recording it. That was kind of cool, because it was like ‘Okay it’s done, it’s going on the album’, and it was done thirty minutes beforehand (chuckles).
“It’s a funny contrast to have that compared to some of the songs that we wrote eight to nine months before the record, and to have that one literally be in the studio at the time from start to finish. It’s one of my favourite songs for that reason, I think.”
The reminder of a six-year-old Moses in a power stance, pictured next to a much older version of himself (and in the exact same pose on the band’s Facebook page) brings out a lot of laughter from the singer. Yet it’s this memory which leads to the musician’s wise conclusion that “I think lot of us are kind of the same as we were as children.”
“I initially didn’t want them to put that on the Facebook page, because it’s just funny and I look really weird because I’m like six (laughs). But I had an interest in music from a very young age… Me and my dad would go to pubs or a restaurant and if there was music, I’d want to dance around and I’d bring a fake guitar so I could play along with the band and stuff… you know those cute little childhood things.”
“Getting a little bit older and into my teens, when I started writing songs… They might not have been good but that age cultivated an interest in music for me that I hope I’ll have for my entire life. Those little childhood quirks I still probably have a lot of, I think because of a simple love for music that I had as a child. It’s easy to get bogged down in a lot of other things when you play in a band, like organising and marketing… all those types of stuff.”
“But at the end of the day you just want to play music, and I guess that’s why we started and that’s why we’re still here.”
Catch the good vibes when the Brissy trio bring their punk rock-infused Spring Forever to the BIGSOUND stage tonight at The Woolly Mammoth at 11:30, before they tour across the country late next month. Spring Forever is available for purchase here.