It’s been a couple of years between drinks, but the long wait is nearly over, with the powerful Party Dozen set to release the majestic second album, Pray For Party Dozen this Friday.
The product of saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan Boulet, Party Dozen are a rare breed of group; one that provides eclectic, immersive compositions and backs them up with one of the most intense performance styles you’ll see anywhere.
Needless to say, when they returned last year with the new single ‘Party Dozen’ (their first since 2018, and first album single since 2017’s The Living Man), it was clear that it was time for things to amp up once again.
Following the release of a number of singles, Party Dozen are gearing up to officially release their second record this Friday. A stunning album which has found fans in musical luminaries such as Henry Rollins, the group had been on track to pair its release with a run of tour dates this June.
Unfortunately, a global pandemic has pushed these plans back to November, however, Party Dozen have been kind enough to open up about their newest record, tiding us over until its release by giving us a track-by-track run through of all the exceptional tunes that make up their forthcoming record.
Check out Party Dozen’s ‘The Great Ape’:
Party Dozen talk us through Pray For Party Dozen
The first track we recorded was the quietest on this record (‘Shit Faced’). The second was ‘World Prayer’. We wanted to start the record strong. As if someone slugged you in the guts mid-sip of a nice herbal tea. And if not strong, loud. The track is abrasive, confusing and the least palatable on Pray For Party Dozen.
When we finished tracking, we were both shaking, sweaty and completely out of breath. It was by far the most physically demanding track during the recording process.
Fun fact: The loop for this track was made by plugging the output of a mixer back into its input creating a no input feedback loop.
‘The Great Ape’
This song uses a couple of bendy guitar chords. The guitar seems to be a reoccurring component on this record. Sometime’s people ask if we have ever thought of adding a third member to play those parts; yes, we have, and no, we won’t. It’s too expensive to tour and all guitarists are twats.
‘Party Dozen’ felt like the perfect title for this song as we felt it embodied our whole thing pretty well. It’s funny to self title a song. It means either we’re huge wankers or we’re huge wankers with a sense of humour.
The first time this was played was at a very intimate gig of about 80 people in Sydney, and we knew straight away we needed to record it. So we did and filmed the recording to make the video clip.
‘Auto Loser’ is about the person that’s already lost. They lost before they began. Everything sucks, everybody stinks. They’ve tried nothing and they’re all out of ideas.
he loop for this song came about whilst playing with a little sequencer. It felt like it had some legs. The perfect walking pace song we could groove to. For the record, we were trying to find directions to pursue that weren’t always just shit tonnes of noise, this direction seemed like a good flavour to add to the mix.
As one of our more “down” songs, it helps not only as a breather in the set for us but a chance for the audience to talk amongst themselves and seek out more drinks.
‘Dead Friends’ was inspired by a conversation we had about how, comparatively, our close friend group had not experienced a great amount of untimely deaths. The inevitability of loss in life has seemingly held back on us and that’s something that very much scares us both.
It’s like life is pinching a hose and when it lets go, we’re going to get drenched in a flood of heartache and pain. This song is a preemptive sigh knowing that, one day, there will only be one of us left to remember the others.
We wanted a song that didn’t rely on a loop so we could focus on playing it and playing it hard. The song is a tribute to a time when Australia needed to change and somehow policy and private interest gave way to public safety.
The snare used on this one was an old rack tom I converted into a piccolo snare. It gave the sound a nice sharp crack. The pedal setup on the sax was two octaves down and a metric shit tonne of fuzz.
‘Play The Truth’
This one’s Kirsty’s favourite. It’s slower, more groove driven and, when it drops, it really pops off. It’s so satisfying to play. When we first recorded it, we over shot it and recorded it for 10 minutes because it had such a strong feel.
We knew we’d eventually cut it down into the best bits. At the time, I think we’d both been listening to a lot of music from the ’60s and ’70s.
‘Schiesse Kunst’ is more of an exercise in restraint. Less was more and it felt like the more space we left, the more tension we’d build. Usually all of our jams explode into a sonic cluster fuck but if we got too loud on this one, all the little gestures would shrink and become redundant.
This one incorporates Kirsty’s voice as she sings into the bell of her saxophone. The same technique is used on ‘Dead Friends’ and ‘Gun Control’.
‘The PDD’ is a rocking guitar loop. We wanted something with a bit more pace on it. The original jam went for close to seven minutes which was way too long. It was already annoying enough to listen to that loop for three minutes so we had to trim it down.
The story behind the title goes like this: If you follow the trajectory of our fictional cult, the PDD is the point after we became less friendly and started to enforce our values. This time was known as the reign of The PDD.
We take a lot of inspiration from Warren Ellis’ work in Grinderman and Dirty Three and, in hindsight, ‘Shit Faced’ really does dip its toes into the world of Dirty Three. This was the first track we recorded but in the end seemed to fit as a nice record closer.
It’s 2’30” of calm after a very intense storm. A moment to relax and reflect on what you’ve just put your ears through.
Party Dozen’s Pray For Party Dozen is out on Friday, May 22nd, with pre-orders available now.
Check out Party Dozen’s ‘The PDD’:
Party Dozen Tour Dates
Thursday, November 19th
The Lansdowne, Sydney, NSW
Friday, November 20th
The Grace Darling, Melbourne VIC
Saturday, November 21st
The Bearded Lady, Brisbane QLD