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The AU Interview: Eddie Alexander of Love Migrate, formerly Goodnight Owl (MEL)

Melbourne based indie act Goodnight Owl have gained a new member and shed their name to embrace new beginnings as Love Migrate. The AUreview caught up with front man Eddie Alexander to find out what it's all about.

Hi Eddie how's your long weekend going?

It's been good thanks. I'm in Alice Springs at the moment, I've just been working up here. Which has been good. I did a big bush walk yesterday, which was fun, but pretty tiring. I'm just having a quiet one today before work tomorrow.

So let's talk about the music. When did Casey (Harnett of Sleep Decade) join Goodnight Owl?

Casey started playing with us a little bit last year and we wanted him to be a permanent member. We all went to Deniliquin, a small town in New South Wales, which is the home of our drum and bass players, Casey joined us playing there and we just worked really well together. He’s a great guitarist. He does lots of nice intricate things and offers something different. We’ve played a lot together in the past between our bands Goodnight Owl and Sleep Decade and he seemed like a nice guy to have around. He does a lot of National-esque floating guitar stuff, it’s really great. His own music is rather different to ours, it has a lot more space in it. He’s been busy recording their (Sleep Decade’s) debut record, which has taken a while but is nearly done hopefully. Casey is a good front man and he’s also great in our band as well.

What brought about the name change from Goodnight Owl to Love Migrate?

A few things. I think the big thing was making sure that everyone was a part of something from the start, so changing the name when the line-up changed seemed important to have everyone be included from the start of the new project. The other thing was the influx of animal band names on the local scene. When we started there didn’t seem to be many bands with Owl in their name, and now there’s lots. The name Love Migrate came from watching a lot of David Attenborough documentaries. We were inspired by nature and the emotions animals convey in their movement and relationships. Love and migrate are the two most primary positives I can think of when it comes to humans and animals and their relationships.

The new name heralds a new direction in your sound, what’s the reception to your single “Little Kid” been like?

It’s been good so far. We’ve had lots of positive responses. We were played on Home and Hosed and featured on Who the Hell. The hardest thing with the name change has been getting people to move over from our Goodnight Owl pages to the new Love Migrate sites, but that’s not really an issue. I think Little Kid is going to be good, it just needs a bit more time to be heard and for us to give it a bit more push, which we’ll start doing closer to the single launch.

Your music has progressed from folktronica to a darker melodramatic brand of pop. Is there anything in particular that brought about this change?

Yes. The bands I was listening to at the times the music was written has played a part. When the folktronic stuff from the EP was evolving I was listening to Whitley and the Postal service, which led to that. Also I wasn’t that experienced in being part of a band. It was just me and Joe doing that at the time. The addition of other members obviously was a huge part of it. Initially when we started we had Eric Moore on drums for a couple songs and it just became a natural progression to start doing songs with live percussion. Also my tastes have changed and I’ve started to appreciate more live drums and sounds they can produce. The bands I’ve been listening to lately have also changed. I’ve been enjoying a lot of Sigur Ros, Arcade Fire, Band of Horses and Cat Power. I also think my songwriting has improved a little bit and I’m trying to convey a bit more emotion. Not that I’m saying the songs from the Goodnight Owl EP didn’t contain emotion, I’m just attempting for a deeper level of emotional intensity, not necessarily through the lyrics but through the music itself. So those are a few things that have influenced our new sounds.

I’d say with the Goodnight Owl EP the music seems to have a youthful naivety to it and with your new music the sounds seems to come from a place that is deeper inside yourself, like you’ve become more sure of yourself as a person as you’ve progressed.

I wouldn’t say that I’m more sure of myself as a person, but in my writing I feel more sure of myself. The songs from that EP came from a more shallow emotional place. The new songs are generally more about heart break and not being a fan of living in the city and things like that.They are deeper and have some hidden messages and truly come from inside as opposed to being observations.

Your upcoming show at the Grace Darling will be the first time the band has played in Melbourne in awhile and your first official outing as Love Migrate, are you looking forward to getting back into the live circuit?

It’ll be really nice. I hope people come, it’s the only thing I’m worried about. I am really looking forward to it and hope to get a nice crowd there and work on building up our reputation as Love Migrate with our new direction. Hopefully we’ll be able to start supporting a few touring bands and fit a few shows in between our single launch in August and album launch in October. The show will be a mix of old and new material for the people who did enjoy the Goodnight Owl music and an introduction to Love Migrate. I’m really looking forward to getting back to Melbourne and playing with the band again.

In a city such as Melbourne where there are so many local artists trying to make a living, what do you find to be the most challenging aspect of being in an independent band in this city?

I think Melbourne is good for music with the number of venues available to play at. The number of bands makes it hard to stand out, but obviously it pushes you to work harder and do something different. What’s challenging about being in an independent band is building those contacts and having a good plan about releases and the audience you’re trying to target. Obviously it’s hard not making much money, which makes it hard to get out of Melbourne to do shows. If you’re not getting played on the radio it’s hard to pull in a crowd. But there’s nothing really to complain about. It’s hard work but we’re starting to make good contacts and constantly working on releasing new material. Things will happen when they happen.

Future plans for Love Migrate?

One thing we’ve learnt from Goodnight Owl is that we need to be constantly releasing new material. Our EP was recorded in 2008, but didn’t get released until much later, so our focus for the next 6 - 8 months is to be constantly writing and releasing and playing lots of shows. We got more serious about the band in March. We changed the name and started to work on new songs I’d written in Tassie. We have a good seven songs that are ready to go and will be launching our mini album in October. We’re looking at recording a new EP and a full length album by the end of the year to be released in 2012, which of course depends on funding, but we’ll work it out.

Catch the final Goodnight Owl show and live debut of Love Migrate at the Grace Darling on July 2nd in Melbourne.

Love Migrate's new single "Little Kid" is available as a live stream on SoundCloud.