Sitting outside a Mexican themed restaurant in the heart of Sydney, with sweat slowly emerging on our foreheads from the summer heatwave, Northeast Party House is sharing the love.
The Melbourne-based sextet, with only three members being able to make the interview – Zach, Mitch and Jack – comment that they’ve only flown into Sydney a few hours ago, and they’ve set aside the whole day to do interviews.
The band, whose music is far too versatile to be limited to just one genre, has been making waves over their decade long career. From more recent developments, like being signed to Sony Music Entertainment, to dropping hits like ‘Calypso Beach,’ the sextet has been making a name for themselves – in Australia, and overseas.
With their upcoming album, SHELF LIFE, only a few weeks away from release, we chatted to Northeast Party House on the album, vulnerability, and knowing when to turn a dream into reality.
Tone Deaf: What made you want to start putting posters all around Sydney advertising a hotline for people to call?
Mitch: It’s a way of teasing the song ‘Shelf Life’ without giving everything away at once. We used these effects on Zach’s vocals over a guy talking who’s like, “welcome to the Shelf Life hotline.” It was just a fun way of giving people a little taste of the song and to help promote the album.
TD: Who came up with the idea for the hotline?
Mitch: Being completely honest, Rachel [Jones-Williams], our publicist did. She said the song seemed like it was in three different parts and it would be a really cool idea to cut things up. We like to try and do things with our fans and at our shows, to try and be inclusive. We thought doing the hotline would be something different.
Check out ‘Shelf Life’ by Northeast Party House:
TD: You’ve said in the past that this album will be much more open, what do you mean by that?
Zach: A lot of the lyrics which were mine, were coming from real experiences that were happening. In the past, when you’re writing for six people, I think it felt like I was writing for six people. This time it felt more open and cathartic for me rather than writing from the perspective of six people.
TD: I can imagine writing for six people would be difficult at times.
Zach: I think it is and it’s not. Maybe we didn’t identify it as an issue until later, and when you realise, “hey we can do this better.” It’s hard but in that initial period, you’re trying to make pieces fit together. At the end of the record, it was kind of in a good place and it was really flowing well, the writing was going really well – we found a way to work well together and it was awesome [laughs].
TD: What’s been the best part of writing this album?
Jack: For the first year or so, we each wrote different pieces for the album with no preconceived idea of where it would go or what it would be. We all had the freedom to make demos with whatever we were feeling, so when we got together a year later, we each had so many demos from all different genres.
Having the time to dedicate ourselves full time to writing music was great. In the past we all had side jobs but for this album, we dedicated ourselves full time.
TD: I’ve noticed that playing live is a big component of the band. You all seem to really enjoy playing live.
Jack: I get real down by current events in the world, and I can feel sad knowing that I am pursuing this career that is so self-indulgent. But, then I think what it gives to people; it’s a form of escapism, going to a concert. If our album is what can give people something to enjoy and forget about the shit in this world for some time, then I am happy.
Mitch: A lot of our tracks are inspired by us being at a festival or being at a club and enjoying what a certain sound and certain feeling does to a room. Playing live has always been one of my favorite elements of the band. We are there for that special hour or forty-five minutes and you can kind of let go and just connect with the room.
Zach: You create a body of work, and you go to play it live to give people something. But when we play, we also get something back. It feels good to play live.
TD: When did you as musicians feel like it was time to jump full time into your music career?
Mitch: You start playing bigger shows and you start feeling like it’s happening in a way.
Zach: We were able to start paying ourselves a wage. We started to play more shows, and had to take more time off work, and you’re starting to earn more money. It was a slow process but once you start paying yourselves, it’s hard to stop [laughs].
Northeast Party House will be releasing their album SHELF LIFE on February 28. They are also touring from February 9 at Coogee Pavilion, with their tour ending March 28 at Rockford Wines, in Victoria.
To preorder their new album SHELF LIFE ahead of release, head here.