This month, the Philadelphia Grand Jury officially made their return, releasing their sophomore album, Summer of Doom. An album that almost wasn't even made but spurred on following the overwhelmingly positive response to their small run of shows around Australia in 2014, the record arguably has the trio at their refreshed best. It would seem that time away does help heal. Ahead of the album's release, MC Bad Genius and Dan W Sweat dropped by AU HQ in Sydney to chat about getting back together, working out of Berkfinger's studio in Berlin and their upcoming national tour.
"It officially started happening late last year after we did a small little tour of Australia," MC Bad Genius says of the trio's initial work on the record. "We saved up all our money from that to buy flights to Berlin and then yeah, we got on said flights and went to Berlin."
"I didn't think it was going to actually happen until it had happened already," Dan adds. "We went to Berlin with nothing really prepared and it was all a bit ramshackle, which is true to our style. We were just going there with open minds and to have a good time and I think we were all shocked when the record actually happened."
"We only had ten days for it and we were hoping to get a day per song," MC Bad Genius remembers of the process. "We ended up having 15 or 16 songs by the end of the time that we'd been there.
Time spent away from each other has seemed to have brought the group closer together in a dynamic they weren't striking back when they had been approaching a new record in previous years. With Berkfinger having based himself in Berlin and MC Bad Genius (Joel Beeson) and Dan W Sweat (Dan Williams) each exploring other projects and just life in general back in Australia, the room to breathe was expansive yes, but not a hindrance.
"There was a freshness to it," MC Bad Genius says. "That was what was it for me, having that space apart. When we tried recording the second album back in the day when all the crap was going on, the songs felt a bit laboured, you know? We really had to work on it, whereas with this, we just got back together and there was so much excitement and momentum. We just pumped the songs out and it came very naturally, it was cool."
The Philly Jays kick off their Summer of Doom album tour this month, starting with a date at The Brightside in Brisbane, before a hometown show at the Oxford Art Factory on October 24th. A highly anticipated run of shows no doubt, the guys are keen to get back on the stage.
"We have the luxury of, I think, about a full five days or something before the tour starts," Dan says. "It's just unheard of for rehearsal time for the Philly Jays. Berkfinger lands a week before and we're shacked up in his soon-to-be studio in Marrickville, which is cool."
The Philly Jays' new album, Summer of Doom, is out now. Check them out on the road through October and November!
PHILADELPHIA GRAND JURY AUSTRALIAN TOUR DATES
October 23rd - The Brightside, Brisbane | With: STEVIE | www.oztix.com.au
October 24th - Oxford Art Factory, Sydney | With: ADKOB | www.moshtix.com.au
October 29th - Jive, Adelaide | With: West Thebarton Brothel Party | www.moshtix.com.au
October 31st - Howler, Melbourne | With: Little Shock | www.moshtix.com.au
November 6th - The Waratah, Hobart | With: The White Rose Project | www.oztix.com.au
November 7th - Amplifier, Perth | With: Childsaint | www.oztix.com.au