For Sydney band The Preatures, it’s full steam ahead, with the recent release of their new EP, various tours, festivals and more songwriting before the year is out. the AU review had a chat with guitarist Jack from the band, about what’s currently on the band’s busy agenda.
How has the spelling change of the band name been received? Has there been much confusion, or have you gotten any feedback?
Actually, it’s funny, we got billed on the Oxford Art Factory Birthday poster, which went out in the Drum Media and the Brag as well, and somebody put a picture up of it on Facebook and there were people commenting, saying “yea nice one, people don’t know how to spell any more, what a bunch of retards”, but yea that was about it. Somebody in passing mentioned they thought it was a bit naff, but I can’t remember who it was, so obviously didn’t them much at all, but on the whole it’s been pretty positive, as much as no one’s really whinged about it and everyone’s kind of gone ‘Well that’s just the way it is now’ and moved on.
The band’s second EP Shaking Hands has just been released. How does it feel now that it’s out there?
It feels good; it’s been a little bit too long.
The whole EP has your signature distinct sound, that harks back to 50's style music, but the EP does have quite a bit of variety on it. 'Take a Card' is your boppy upbeat first single, 'Threat' has a very different, darker feel to it and the song also alternates between the lead vocalists. How does the band create the songs? What’s the song writing process like?
Well it starts with song writing. Izzy and Gideon are both very distinctive voices as far as song writing styles go, and then you know I bring my own thing on another level. So I guess it’s different either side of that form. Isabelle’s songs normally come to the band with a really firm vision and what the band’s job is, is to take that vision and interpret it as a band, which I think is really evident on a song like ‘Threat' which is, I think it’s such a beautiful form and I really love the simplicity of all of the parts. But then you throw that against something like Gideon’s ‘Young Brave Me’ or even ‘The Sleeping Serial’ which is a much more narrative driven song and that’s really indicative of the way the band interprets his style of writing. The process is always stemming from the writers, they bring the songs and we sit down together in pairs or together as a three piece, between Isabelle, Gideon and I, and we flesh the song out in terms of arrangement and it’s really broad strokes. And then we hit the band and the band’s another forum and we throw ideas out and we get to the next layer, cut the parts apart, give certain parts of the song to other instruments, maybe introduce or cut out sections as a whole. It’s just whatever the song needs, that’s what we do.
How did you decide which songs went on the EP and which ones didn’t?
We went over to LA with ten songs that we could do and we recorded seven and from that, taking a look at what we thought was the most compelling combination of songs that explained who we are as a band went onto the EP. ‘Take a Card’ was the newest and that was first, and ‘Threat’ was a real moment when we felt like as a band we had a voice that felt like it was totally ours and newer still, though the song was a little bit older… I dunno it was just taking a look at what was there, deciding what said most about everything that we felt like we are, or feel like we are and committing to that.
Did any song not go on that you wish could have? Did any of your favourites miss the mark?
There’s one song that I really wish had gone on the EP but now that I think about it, I actually feel really, I dunno. I feel like there’s some great stuff that’s been stuff held back that we can maybe surprise people with a bit later with or you know as time goes by and we move away from, as time goes away from the EP, those songs will find their way out somewhere and people will have that record of us at that time.
What are you most looking forward to about the upcoming tour?
Being out of Sydney I guess, being on the road.
Now you recently played a gig at the new Top Shop store in Sydney. What is the weirdest or strangest place the band has played in the past?
That’s probably not the weirdest. We played on a wharf for a showcase for this company called Mood Media and it’s down across the road from the Star Casino and the gig was on the end of a wharf. The sound was atrocious and the guys doing the sound were, you know, less than helpful. It was just comical, we were out there and kind of I felt like I was on a stick or something. So we were kind of just laughing and fumbling our way through it.
You’re playing Gorgeous Festival and Peats Ridge Festival later this year, how does playing a festival compare to your own gigs?
Festivals are cool because you get to hang out with people from other bands who you know may be doing more work than you or are more recognised than you are and you get to kind of be in their world for a little bit. Not as a fan, but as somebody on the other side of the coin. That always fascinated me going to festivals when I was young. The first festival I ever went to was the Come Together Festival I think, that they have at Luna Park. It was the first ever one and Gerling were playing, [as well as]Rocket Science and Little Birdy and I was just over the moon. As a fan you get to watch all these people that you just hear on records and see in photographs and they’re there and you know you won’t get to talk to them unless you’re the kind of fan that will make it's way backstage. And then now being in a band and going and doing those festivals, you kind of feel reserved a little bit reserved about fandom, where you’re not quite sure if you’re allowed to go and approach them. Like Missy Higgins is on the Gorgeous Festival line-up and my sister used to listen to her a lot and I think my mum bought the record, so I know a lot of the early stuff but I dunno how I’ll respond. So that’s the fun thing about festivals, meeting all the artists.
And what else does the rest of the year bring for The Preatures?
Well we’ve got the tour for our EP, which pushes into November, when we go on tour with Deep Sea Arcade for the Granite City Launch, which is going to be awesome. We’re going on tour with San Cisco in December which was just announced recently, which is going to be really awesome. And then late December, just prior Christmas, we’re going to do a little bit of demoing for our new EP, that’ll push us into January when hopefully we’ll record that new EP and get that out as soon as we can. So it’s going to be busy, I’m not going to know myself at the end of the year!
The Preatures' second EP ‘Shaking Hands’ is available for purchase now. The tour of the EP begins on Friday 19 October in Melbourne and will continue along the East Coast, finishing in Newcastle on Saturday 3 November.