Post-emo outfit Propaine: “When you start a band and put your art into the world you’re always full of self-doubt”

Original photo @meandmimicry. Handmade collage by B.

We first came across Propaine when we were in Naarm/Melbourne earlier this year, we had gone to check out Gut Health play at The Retreat, on recommendation from Bryce from Laughing Gear, and Propaine were the opener. We appreciated their rousing post-emo sound that’s coloured by a dreamy combination of post-punk and indie rock. 

Today Gimmie are giving you a sneak peek of their debut EP The First Part.

Tell us a little bit about each of you? What might people be surprised to know about you?

PROPAINE: Our four-piece ensemble consists of Jack (TK), Jack (Poggo), Angus and Mia. Mia and Poggo worked together slinging beers at the Gasometer Hotel and TK and Angus met in the dusty warehouse of a local wine store. Sharing music with each other was a big part of all our friendships before we ever thought of making songs together. When we’re not huddled up in the shed making songs, Mia manages a bar and occasionally TikToks, Angus saves the world, and the two Jack’s do Jack things. 

How did you first discover music? Why are you drawn to making your own?

P: All of us grew up in the golden age of pop punk in the early 0000’s listening to My Chemical Romance and trying to be cool. It feels like that era of music and pop culture in general is having a bit of a renaissance, which is nice to see because it brings up a lot of memories of how music slapped as a 10-year-old. In a way, we are drawing on that period, but also the period that came before it, especially the 90’s hardcore scene. We really wanted to take bits and pieces of some really great guitar sounds from the 90s punk subcultures. 

What’s Propaine’s origin story?

P: The two Jack’s used to live with one another and had been making music together on and off for a few years. Like all good origin stories, a breakup happened and some music therapy was needed. A new direction of making cathartic, romantic, emo music ensued and the two Jack’s wrote a couple of songs. We knew straight away that there was only one person who was romantic and emo enough to send the songs to and it was Angus. Angus loved the tracks and agreed to smack the toms. The three of us played around for a bit but something was missing. The songs needed an injection of life from a powerful storyteller. We already knew Mia could sing, she’d done some backing vocals on another project. So, we invited her to join, and we all immediately felt that we were all going to work really well together. 

We’re premiering your debut EP The First Part; how long did it take it write? What’s your process?

P: The EP took a couple of months to write. The process for the songs that made it on to the EP usually start with TK, our guitarist, making little scratch demos and sending it to everyone. Angus, Poggo and TK then refine it and fill out the drums and bass whilst Mia sits on floor scribbling down lines and ideas for lyrics. The songs usually take form fairly quickly. 

Photo by Jhonny Russell.

What is your EP all about? Please give us an insight into each song on The First Part:

P: With the instrumentation side of things, when we first needed to describe our music to other people, we came up with the description of the music being romantically emo. Romantic doesn’t necessarily relate to the idea of love. But the heavy burden of the romantic feeling. Romance involves deep stress and confusion, as well as intense euphoria and viscous fluctuations between feeling joyous and feeling hopeless. We wanted to make music that captures the timeless, weightless effect of going through these romantic feelings. 

MIA: Lyrically, the EP is a combination of love, addiction, relationships, confusion, maturing and trauma. I like to think of this EP as relating to people who feel as though they are lost or hurting. 

‘Rotting’ was something I wrote as more of a poem which is how a lot of my writing begins. I was in I guess my “party phase” at the time doing lots of things I shouldn’t have been. Exploring avenues and dabbling in drugs whilst looking somewhat presentable on the surface- all the while rotting where I stand. 

‘idkwiw’ I feel is the anthem for 20-somethings who just have no idea what it is in life that they want! Questions with no answers, feeling lost and unsure. Why universe why?! Kinda like a why was I born lol vibe.

‘Shin Splints’ is similar to ‘idkwiw’. Just a general feeling of hopelessness when you can’t get out of bed or shake a depressive routine. 

‘Cut My Hair’ is my silly little love song, for someone who helped me through a really rough patch in my life. Who loved me and embraced me but still acknowledged that I was a little broken and that that’s okay.

‘Devoured’ is a song I wrote about the anxiety I feel as a woman in everyday life. The constant uneasy feeling you have even when doing everyday tasks. The line “undressing me mentally, sure feels like a felony” isn’t the most poetic, but I think it really paints a picture of how horrible even a glance can make someone feel. 

What aspect did you like the most about recording the EP?

P: The best part was finally hearing the songs not in a live context. The way that a song sounds when it’s recorded versus playing it live is so stark that it’s always a real treat to hear the ‘hi-fi’ version of what you wrote for the first time. We had an amazing audio engineer working with us- Julian Cue- who has loads of experience, so he was able to really bring out the most of what is essentially one guitar, one vocal, a bass and drums. 

What was the trickiest part of recording?

P: The flipside of hearing the ‘hi-fi’ version of your songs is feeling incredibly self-conscious about your parts and trying to resist the urge to change things all the time. The music we all listen to and currently connect with has a big influence on the music we make, so trying to stay true to our initial inspiration and not just change it because we suddenly loved the new Drake album is a tricky one.

Album art by Chloe Shao.

We love the EP artwork; who did it? How do you feel it complements the EP’s songs?

P: The EP artwork was done by Chloe Shao – a digital artist from Naarm/Melbourne. Choosing the artwork for the songs was almost harder than making the songs themselves. But one day, we walked into the home of some good friends of ours and Chloe’s work was up on their wall. When we asked who it was and checked out her stuff online, we knew we had found the one. Chloe had mentioned that she created the final piece we went with when she was struggling with alcohol, feeling rotten inside. Chloe’s inspiration and process mirrored Mia’s lyrical experience, capturing the turmoil of alcohol dependency and the mental havoc of her recently having quit drinking. 

How do you hope people feel when they listen to The First Part?

P: There wasn’t a particular feeling or cultural zeitgeist we were tapping into when making The First Part. Our aim really was to make powerfully emotive songs accessible for people who don’t listen to much emo/ punk, but also putting in enough there for the nerds. We hope the collection of songs can be played driving home when you’re feeling fresh or when you’re strolling the murky foggy streets of deep winter Naarm/Melbourne.  

What’s the best and worst shows you’ve played so far? What made them so?

P: We’re looking forward to playing our worst show. 

Our best one was probably our debut show at the Old Bar with Metdog and Spunk. When you start a band and put your art into the world you’re always full of self-doubt so it was amazing to play a sold out show with a couple of incredible local bands. We also have a played a few house parties and they are always great.

What’s your favourite way to wind down after a show?

P: Pint of diet coke, no ice. 

What’s the last song that you heard that was really, really amazing, that you think we should check out?

JACK: Garage Sale – ‘Shoes On’. 

ANGUS: Duster ‘Retrograde’.

MIA: Eat Your Makeup ‘Holy Bats’. 

JACK: Nuvolascura ‘Death As A Crown’

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

PROPAINE: Yeah! We’re launching the EP this Saturday the 2nd of July at the Old Bar. We also have a track coming out on compilation album for a new Melbourne label called sore horse, which we’re super excited about. And currently busy in the works making the next ep, so if you don’t like this one then we’ll hit you with another one till you do. 

Propaine’s EP The First Part EP out June 2 – find it HERE. Follow @propaine. Watch our live vid of Propane’s ‘idkwiw’ HERE.

Rotterdam’s Lewsberg: “Perfection is boring.”

Hailing from the Netherlands, four-piece rock band Lewsberg came to our attention while listening to an episode of 3RRR’s Teenage Hate radio show. Their latest release LP In This House is elegant, stripped down rock n roll with simple, eloquent storytelling. Gimmie spoke with vocalist-guitarist Arie Van Vliet and guitarist Michiel Klein.

Why is music important to you?

ARIE: Music makes things easier.

MICHIEL: Easier in the way that it can help you deal with the absurdity of life.

A: Yes, exactly.

What interests you about making your own music?

M: Why only listen to music? Or carefully try to reproduce old music? Why not make your own music?

A: Sometimes I am so bored of making music, of tuning my guitar, of singing our songs again and again, of the music industry, that I almost decide to quit playing and start doing something completely different. But in these occasions, I’ve always realised right in time that nothing else would give me satisfaction either. So I guess that’s the reason why I keep on making music.

M: And you still wonder why people call you a nihilist? I think it’s important to realise that you can make music without having to follow the ‘rules’ in the music industry or in society in general.

Lewsberg are from Rotterdam; what’s it like where you live? Can you describe your neighbourhood for us?

A: Rotterdam used to be a pretty rough city, unpolished, with a lot of concrete and with a lot of space for outsiders of all sorts. Until very recently. A couple of years ago Rotterdam started changing, and all the imperfect buildings and people had to pay the price. Rotterdam these days is a city where the streets are tidy, the flowers blossom and the people smile. But I miss the Rotterdam that welcomed anyone, the city where you could park on the sidewalk and pee against a bus shelter.

M: Rotterdam was not a city that welcomed you with open arms when I moved here around twelve years ago. You had to make an effort and have quite some stamina before it started to feel like home. But I think this is a good thing. Things shouldn’t come too easy.

I understand that the band’s name was inspired by writer Robert Loesberg and that reading his first novel Enige Defecten changed the way you looked at language and how it can be used completely; can you please elaborate on this a little and tell us how it changed the way you look at language?

A: I always thought pleasing people was the main goal of writing a book. Or maybe even the main goal of creating things in general. Until I read ‘Enige Defecten’, and I realised that you can use language in a completely different way. That you don’t have to take the reader into account. That you can decide to annoy a reader. With the way you use language, or with the stories you tell.

Another thing I found out while reading ‘Enige Defecten’, is that I have a preference for rather boring stories. Stories that don’t have a start or an end, everyday scenes, thoughts without morals.

Photo by Cheonghyeon Park.

We really love the Lewsberg sound: bare-boned and not hiding the mistakes; why was it important for you to not hide mistakes?

M: I’ve never understood people who say they want to write the perfect song. Perfection is boring. It suggests that there is nothing left to add or to change. It’s static. It leaves no space for alternatives. And I think alternatives are very important. There is not just one way, the right way. There are a lot of ways, all with mistakes. Why do people think it’s important to hide mistakes?

A: Now we’re talking about hiding mistakes… That’s the thing that really frustrates me about how Rotterdam, or the world, is changing. That most people think the world is a better place when all bumps have been eliminated, when all mistakes are erased. But they’ve never asked themselves why this would necessarily be a good thing.

I know that you don’t make your songs lyrically personal and that you write more from the perspective of an observer about everyday ordinary things; what inspired you to write this way?

A: To be honest, I think I am an observer. I have never really been a part of anything, I’ve always been the witness. I feel comfortable in this role, it makes me feel at ease in almost every situation. So actually, it just feels natural to write this way. This is just the way I experience things.

What was one of the most interesting things for you about writing or recording your latest album In This House?

A: We recorded our album during a heat wave. We never had such warm days before in the Netherlands. Most people stayed inside, because it was too warm outside. Henk’s studio, where we recorded, is a dark and cool place in a narrow alley in The Hague’s city centre. We forgot about the heat outside while we were working on our music. I’ll never forget the feeling I experienced each time I opened the front door of the studio, right before walking into a hot, bright, silent world.

What was the idea behind the minimalist cover art of the album?

A: I don’t think it’s really minimalist. There’s actually an entire world behind the black surface.

M: I see it as an invitation for people to fill in some of the blanks for themselves.

Being a native Dutch-speaker; how does your limited knowledge of the English language shape or contribute to your song writing process?

A: The boundaries of a language that I don’t fully have a grip on, make it easier for me to write. When I write things in Dutch, the words leave my pen too quickly. I like language when it’s compact, when it doesn’t say more than needed. When you write things in a language that isn’t your first language, that’s one of the things you get for free. Besides, writing in English makes it possible to write with the necessary distance from the subjects I want to depict.

I enjoy how you have different versions of the same song – single versions are different from the album versions and live versions are different from the recorded versions; what was the thought behind having the different versions?

M: I once read this great quote by Matt Valentine (MV & EE / Tower) in an interview: “It just seems ridiculous to play things the same way each time, I mean, you ever brush your teeth the same way?” And although Lewsberg is not a psychedelic improvisation outfit like Tower Recordings, this remark is just so relatable. He also talks about “making sure the emotion of the environment is captured”. I wouldn’t use these words exactly but obviously the environment is very important in relation to how songs are performed. The environment can be different things. Is a song placed on a single or an album? Where is it placed on the album? Where is it placed in a live set? Because a previous song will affect how the next song is being played. Where is the performance taking place? Is it a crowded place or almost empty? There are just so many factors that can and will influence a performance, both during recordings and live shows, and I think it’s good to be conscious about this and embrace it.

A: That’s one thing we really enjoyed about the recent shows. That we played in circumstances we had never played before. We never played shows for a seated audience before, we never played shows for only fifty people in a hall with a capacity of four thousand people before, we never played five shows in three hours before. Completely new circumstances, that allowed us to play our songs in a different way, both intentionally and unintentionally.

You played your first live shows in nine months; how did it feel?

A: At first I wasn’t really looking forward to it. I didn’t touch my guitar for almost six months and I hadn’t missed making music at all. Plus I didn’t feel the urge to be on a stage after six months of isolation. But looking back on these first live shows, I have to admit it was nice to be on the road again. Though it was exhausting to talk to people after the shows. After spending so much time without seeing too many people, I wasn’t used to talking to strangers anymore. Sometimes people were really emotional about the gig, because for many people it was the first gig they attended in 2020.

I’ve heard that you love to read! What was the last thing you read that you found really fascinating? What was it that piqued your interest?

M: Lately I’ve been reading some of the poetry by Hendrik de Vries, a Dutch poet and painter from Groningen, a town in the North of the Netherlands, also the town where I was born and grew up. He started his literary career around 100 years ago. He was something of an outsider, literal in a geographic way, but also because he was really traditionalist in the way he structured his poetry in an age where experimenting with free verse was the trend in avant-garde circles. The language itself is also kind of old-fashioned and archaic but very personal, wild, melancholic, scary and dreamlike. Surrealist in a way. It’s not poetry that I can understand or fathom, but the images and atmospheres it conjures are just so strong. Fascinating is the right word.

A: I didn’t read a proper book for ages, but thanks to the lockdown I discovered reading again. I read a lot of Dutch books, from dead writers like Gerard Reve to young writers like Marieke Lucas Rijneveld. And I loved reading the first two books of Danish writer Tove Ditlevsen’s Copenhagen Trilogy. Now I’m waiting for the third book to come out in Dutch. All these books have in common that nothing is really happening. If a writer can put that nothing into words, I’ll read the book. But if I had to pick one book that really left an impression this year, it’s Bell Hooks’ The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love, an explanation and denunciation of patriarchy. I read it in August, and I still think about it almost every day.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

A: We’ve started a label recently, called Soft Office. The first release came out today (on Friday, November 13th), it’s Austin-based band Chronophage’s second album The Pig Kissed Album. If you like Lewsberg, it could be interesting to keep an eye on these releases, since this is the music we like. You can find more info on Soft Office’s Bandcamp-page.

Please check out:; on bandcamp.

Brisbane dreampop shoegazers Ultra Material’s Matt Deasy: “The four of us have been working on our own gardens… we all live on main roads and it creates our own little sanctuaries.”

Original photo: courtesy of Ultra Material. Handmade mixed-media by B.

Meanjin/Brisbane dream pop shoegaze quartet Ultra Material are getting set to finally play live in support of their Ep 3 which was released in May this year. It’s both energetic and dreamy at the same time; a powerful and lovely release. Gimmie caught up with drummer Matt Deasy.  

How did you first find music?

MATT DEASY: My earliest memories of music are of listening to records on my Dad’s turntable stereo. I used to love sitting next to the player with headphones on listening to 7-inch singles. I guess it was my earliest exposure to the idea of DJ’ing as I was more taken by individual songs than listening to full length albums. I loved listening to the radio and watching The Rage Top 40 on a Saturday morning. I would attempt to tape songs from the Rage Top 40 onto my little portable cassette player, this of course resulted in a lot of shouts and breakfast table talk from family members in the background.

What was the first concert/gig you ever went to?

MD: My very first ‘live gig’ or more accurately ‘live band experience’ was on a trip to Bristol in the UK with with my Dad to when I was 14. My English cousin, (who I’d met for the very first time that trip and became the absolute coolest person in my world) took me to her boyfriend’s band rehearsal at a share house. They were a ska/skate punk band who went on to make a few waves locally and nationally. It was an inspiring first experience actually seeing how a band functions in their own environment. I also met them all afterwards and we were all both equally intrigued by each other geographically.

Who or what inspired you to make music yourself?

MD: I wanted to play drums from an early age. The only thing was that I didn’t have a drum kit, so I use to just tap on things and eventually started entertaining the other kids in my class by playing wipeout on the top of desktops or whatever other surface might create enough of a tone to get the class moving (this resulted in a lot of detention from memory). I’m not even sure how I learnt to play the wipe out, but I spent a lot of my childhood tapping out rhythms on any available surface I could find. The idea of making my own music came much later in high school when I bought an electric guitar from a friend and decided to start chipping away at that. I became fully engrossed in styles of music that were not popular with my peers at all, bands like Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth and the grittier side of the Seattle scene. Then after high school finished, I started making tapes of me just playing guitar. Slowly these formed the basis for the first songs I wrote which turned out to be the foundation of my first band.

What brought Ultra Material together?

MD: Sarah and I met Nick and Zuzana at a Do the Robot show (which was our previous band).

They were fans, so of course we immediately became friends. Nick and Zuz had been writing their own music under the name Monochrome and had just started a band with fellow architect friends Jonathan and Veronica Kopinski called Sunshine State. We all instantly hit it off, playing double bills together across Brisbane for a couple of years. After Sunshine State and Do The Robot dissolved in 2012 we decided to start a new project which quickly morphed into Ultra Material.

What draws you to making a combo of shoegaze and dream pop sound-wise?

MD: I think it’s the music that comes most naturally to us. All of our previous bands had at least some elements of shoegaze and dream pop to them and once we’d started Ultra Material those kinds of sounds became the main emphasis of the band. In a lot of ways dream pop and shoegaze is a mood to us, a constant and shared feeling we have about life in general and that obviously influences our song writing process quite a lot.

Ultra Material are known for really beautiful all-encompassing live shows; how has not being able to play live over the past few months affected you?

MD: It’s been a little tough as we had to cancel our EP launch show originally scheduled in May. Since Nick and Zuz had twin bubs last year we’ve had to become a bit more selective in what we take on, so we were already looking to only play 2 or 3 times a year before the shutdown happened. Our routine over the last few years has usually been to write and record within a few months followed by a couple of shows to promote the release then have a break for a while. It’s likely we’ll continue this way, but hopefully we can make the few shows we do play really worth it.

On your latest release Ep 3 there’s a bit of a garden/flower theme via the art and songs like ‘Marigold’; what inspired this?

MD: The idea for the ep artwork came from some polaroid photos Sarah and I took on our travels through Ireland and the UK last year. Our approach was to find a wild flower garden and use the polaroid camera to create a soft-focus look to the photographs, with Nick and Zuzi providing accompanying illustrations of native flora from their home garden. The four of us have been working on our own gardens over the last few years, and it’s another thing we bond over – we all live on main roads and it creates our own little sanctuaries. I think generally nature plays a big part in our artwork, and whether it’s planting some new natives or just daydreaming in the garden, it can be quite cathartic.

Can you tell us a bit about the recording process for Ep 3? We love how you layer sound!

MD: Our last two releases we’ve recorded with Marly Luske at Alchemix Studio in West End. I think Marly is a bit of a mind reader with translating what we want into reality and is always open to ideas and experimenting. He’s also a genius and whizz when it comes to editing and mixing as we keep a pretty tight schedule when it comes to recording. Generally, we try to have all the songs down beforehand so we can come in and record everything together in one room over a couple of days, and then record vocals and overdubs throughout the mixing process to create the layered sound. With Ep 3 we actually recorded in February 2019 but didn’t get back to mix it until the end of that year, so it was an opportunity to return after some time away with fresh ears and add additional layers.

We love the extra love and care that you always put into the packaging of your physical releases! EP 3 had a handmade screen-printed gatefold jacket with bonus fold out screen printed poster with two versions a white card and kraft version of the jacket; why is it important to you to give us something special? Can you tell us about the thought behind the latest packaging?

MD: My work at No.7 print House gives me the opportunity to be thinking about and planning physical releases, sometimes months before we’ve even written and recorded the songs. We’ve always approached each release as a new art project, and factoring our budget and time frames usually decides what physical format will be best suited to that particular release. All 4 of us have some kind of design background but we are pretty democratic about everyone having a chance to have creative input into a release – it helps that we all love each other’s work. Being able to build these super deluxe packages all in house, creating accompanying artwork for inserts or fold out posters, making each release something special and different from the last one, I think it’s all a natural extension of our music.  We’d been dismissive of CDs for years in favour of vinyl or cassette, as they just seemed a more interesting physical product. But lately we’ve been getting back into CDs in the car (the only place any of us have CD players) so it was nice to change things up and with CDs being so compact and affordable it was just perfect for this release.

This year’s been a challenging year; what’s something important that you’ve learnt about creativity or making stuff in 2020?

MD: I felt some pressure to take advantage of the lockdown and subsequent quiet periods this year to focus on art, although having large amounts of downtime to work on art alone can have the opposite effect on me as far as productivity goes. I’m very much used to working within small pockets of time that become available in and around my regular work schedule. The downtime did however prove to be very handy for the actual making and construction side of art projects especially when it came to the screen printing. If we are ever to have another year or period like 2020, I only hope I’ll be better equipped to deal with the potential that comes with large amounts of downtime.

What’s something that’s really engaged you lately? What did you appreciate about it?

MD: Lately and especially during lockdown music by Roy Montgomery, Seefeel, Windy & Carl, Pink Moon by Nick Drake, Julee Cruise’s The Voice of Love, locals Mckisko and Ancient Channels’ new albums. These have all made up this year’s soundtrack and kept me company during the best and the worst of this year.

What’s next for Ultra Material? Have you been working on anything new? What can you tell us about it at this point?

MD: We have our second (and final) show this year on the 5th of December at The Cave Inn with Ancient Channels. Unfortunately, the show is only 30 capacity, so all tickets are sold but it will be a nice end to what was a really dark and insanely bizarre year. We’re also writing songs for what will most likely become our next EP, so I think that will be our main focus for the next few months.

Please check out ULTRA MATERIAL on bandcamp; on Facebook. Ep 3 is out now.

Tape/Off and Total Pace’s Branko Cosic: “Watching Fugazi’s Instrument documentary was the turning point. It seemed like a subconscious roadmap on how to start a band”

Handmade collage by B.

Branko Cosic is one of the hardest working people in Brisbane’s music community. He plays in alt-rock band Tape/Off, punk band Total Pace, indie-rock band Gold Stars, organises shows including Sonic Masala Fest and does a show on 4ZZZfm radio. We recently chatted to Branko about his love of music and all he has going on.

What first got you into music?

BC: Earliest memory I have of liking music is seeing the video clip for “Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight” by Models on TV. It blew my mind. I think I kept begging my parents to hear the song again, so Mum went down to Woody’s Music down in Woodridge and grabbed the 12” single of it. I’ve still got the record.

I also had older cousins that had cool tastes in music, so I remember digging through their collections and hearing things like The Cure, Devo, Public Enemy, Ice-T, N.W.A, Stone Roses before turning the age of 10.

You play the drums; how did you first start? What drew you to them?

BC: A family friend had a drum kit setup in his garage, and I was enamoured by all the parts that went together to make it up. After that, every time I would see performance clips on Rage, I’d be mesmerised by the drummers and their setups. I got my first drum kit at 15. The first song I attempted to play was Powderfinger’s ‘D.A.F’. It had a really tricky hi-hat pattern in the chorus, and before I acquired a kit, I had practiced air drumming to it (with my mum’s old makeup chair as the “snare drum”) and was adamant that was going to be the first thing I tried.

What was your first introduction to DIY?

BC: Watching Fugazi’s ‘Instrument’ documentary was the turning point. It seemed like a subconscious roadmap on how to start a band. It was the most honest document of being in a band and everything that went along with it (recording, releasing, touring, etc).

A few years later, I went with a friend to this place in Red Hill called ‘Lofly Hangar’. It was a DIY space that had parties once a month and was filled with people with the same interests as me that I never thought anyone else in Brisbane shared. It was like an epiphany when I found it. That place was my church. I learned so much during those short-lived years. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the existence of Lofly Hangar.

You’re in band Tape/Off and Total Pace; how are they musically different from each other?

BC: They’re slacker rock bands in their own way, which are both loud, but have different intensities. TP has it’s foot on the gas 95% percent of time, T/O dynamically weaves through the gear changes. T/O listens to a lot of Pavement, Slint, Sonic Youth, Fugazi… and TP listens to a lot of The Replacements, Cloud Nothings, METZ…

What sparked each to start?

BC: I started T/O in 2008 and was my first go at starting a band from scratch. I had been in bands before that, but they never got off the ground. I was initially going to play guitars, but had more fun playing drums. Simon, Matt and [Luke] Henery had started putting TP together when they asked me to join. We’ve all been buds for years, so it was exciting to start something new.

The last release Tape/Off had was song ‘Work Xmas Party’ towards the end of last year; have you been working on anything new? What can you can tell us about it?

BC: Yep, we’ve been working towards a new album. It’s about half-written at the moment. We seem to be travelling to more intricate and quieter passages in the new songs. We’re challenging ourselves to not be so loud and introduce more warmth into them. I would love to get it out in the next year or so.

‘Work Xmas Party’ was something that we just needed to get off our chest. It came together quite quickly in the practice room and it was super quick to record. So rather than sit on it, we thought we’d get it out before the end of the year to coincide people’s favourite/least favourite time of year when they have to congregate with their fellow worker outside company time to mostly shameful results.

Does Total Pace have anything new in the works?

BC: This is also true. We have a new EP coming soon that we’re currently putting artwork together for. We released the first single off it ‘Stay In’ just two weeks ago on the internet. Most of the songs got their live debut when we played with Mclusky* in January. We’ve also been playing a cover of ‘Shopping’ by Pet Shop Boys which has been awesome to play. A recorded version of that should surface sometime in the future.

As well as playing in bands you also do radio show Unnecessary Knowledge with Tape/Off band mate Cam [Smith]; what’s some of your favourite songs and bands you’ve been playing lately?

Turnpike is probably the most played artist on our show. The most brutal music from the most humblest humans on earth. Requin is also another favourite and also sits in the humble basket. Party Dozen, Good Boy, Bushing, Majestic Horses, Local Authority, Good Morning, PYNES, Cable Ties are bands we’ve been playing lots of lately.

I love playing anything from Bearhug, Batrider, Can, Slayer, A Tribe Called Quest, Screamfeeder, Aphex Twin, OVLOV, Flying Lotus whenever I get a chance.

How did you get involved in community radio? What inspired you to do it?

BC: My good friend Rachel Tinney was my conduit into Community Radio. I met her at The Hangar in 2009 and when she started volunteering at 4ZZZ, she was the first one to start playing Tape/Off. She had a graveyard shift show called ‘Theme Me Up, Scotty!’ from 12am-2am on Wednesday nights. I used to finish work around midnight so she invited me down to the station to check it out. I’d keep her company whilst she was doing the show and would marvel at the CD library.

Six months later, she was offered a daytime show and asked me if I’d like to be her official co-host, which I completely jumped at. It was Rachel that called it Unnecessary Knowledge because she thought I knew too much of it and it has stuck ever since.

She moved interstate in 2013 and I then asked Cam if he’d like to jump on board. The rest is history.

You also have interviewed bands yourself; who’s been a highlight and what made it so?

BC: Too many to count, but talking with Conrad Keely from …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead about their magnum opus ‘Source Tags And Codes’ was pretty special. That album is in my top 5 of all time.

The Kashmere Stage Band was another highlight. You should check out the documentary about them called ‘Thunder Soul’. Rachel and I interviewed them when they came out to promote the doco and could’ve talked for hours about all of their stories.

What’s something that you’re really, really excited about?

BC: I’m working to start a new musical venture that is equal parts terrifying and exciting at the same time. It’s going to combine my love for music, graphic design and film all into one. It’s the new record label that launched a few weeks ago, called ‘Zang! Records’ and I run it with Jack McDonnell, who is a fellow 4ZZZ-er. You can check it out at: Zang Records Facebook and Zang Records Instagram.

I also play in a band called Gold Stars with Ben from Tape/Off and Phil from aheadphonehome/Lofly Hangar which is for fans of Guided By Voices. Look out for our debut album that will drop sometime this year.

Please check out: TAPE/OFF and TOTAL PACE. T/O on Facebook. TP on Facebook. Listen to Unnecessary Knowledge.

Brisbane Grunge Indie Rockers Lunchtime: “Family and emotional violence is a hard topic because love is used as a weapon so often… we’re trying to help young people who are going through similar situations feel strong”

Original photo by Kieran Griffiths. Handmade collage by B.

Lunchtime are a band that wouldn’t be out of place in the ‘90s; the dream of the ‘90s is alive in Brisbane. Their songs are a mix of grunge, punk and indie rock, the band co-founded by twin sisters Eden and Constance along with high school friend Lachlan. We interviewed them just as they were getting set to drop their latest single and video ‘Science Of Sorrow’.

Lunchtime are from Brisbane; what can you tell me about where you live?

LACHLAN: Constance, Eden and I live at Stafford but they used to live in Deception Bay and I lived at Caboolture while Tim lives in Carindale.

CONSTANCE: The best thing about Deception Bay was going down to the local shops and seeing people sitting at the bus stop drinking wine. Our single ‘Deception Bay’ was inspired by these three blokes who were omnipresent at that bus stop. 

EDEN: I always know if it’s a cloudy day in Stafford cuz Constance only does the washing when it’s raining which is annoying but funny.

How did Lunchtime get together?

LACHLAN: We started when the twins and I were at school and then two years ago Tim joined the band after our previous drummer left.

CONSTANCE: It was kinda weird how we ended up in the same band because Eden and I were in a band with these other guys that broke up and started a band with Lachlan which also broke up then the three of us formed Lunchtime with the drummer from the original band.

EDEN: I just remember me auditioning Tim before the others got there and the only question I asked was “Do you like Tiny Teddies” and he said “Yeah they’re alright” and I was like yup this is the one.

Photo: Ben McShea.

How did you start playing music?

LACHLAN: I picked up a guitar.

TIM: I started drums in school.

CONSTANCE: I found my dad’s old guitar in the garage. It had three strings and that’s how I taught myself to play. Hence the punk rock band…

EDEN: Constance needed someone to back her up so I got forced into it and then I decided playing piano was cool cuz I was obsessed with Mika back then. Then I also got forced into playing bass cuz our first bass player decided he wanted to play guitar instead.

Can you tell us something about everyone in the band?

LUNCHTIME: Tim can do a kickflip. Eden is an artist @mumblebee_art and has 93 cacti. Lachlan can put his legs over his head Constance is a Pilates nut!

Constance and Eden are twins; what’s it like creating with your sibling?

CONSTANCE: It’s pretty great because I never really have to explain the artistic direction I want the song to go in, she just knows. Or if one of us is struggling with part of a song in the writing process we can run it by the other and they usually can make it perfect in two seconds.  

EDEN: I love it because it’s like we were made to harmonise with each other. Singing together is so easy and she can always finish things if I hit a wall or tell me how to do it better. You can be brutally honest with each other and there’s no hard feelings.

What’s an album that means a lot to you?

LACHLAN: Hungry Ghost by Violent Soho. They’re a really good Brisbane band, I think we look up to them a lot.

EDEN: I remember hearing ‘Covered in Chrome’ and thinking he had a weird voice and I liked that cuz I thought I sang funny as well. The show at the Riverstage for that album was my first mosh pit and I lost my toenail which I keep to this day in a jar.

Photo: Schema Collective.

What was the first song you wrote for Lunchtime? What was it about?

CONSTANCE:  The first song I wrote for Lunchtime was called “Get over it”. It’s the last song on our first EP Feedback and it was about the first time a band I was in broke up. When bands break up it is way more upsetting than any romantic break up. For me anyway haha. The song was me telling myself that you can try and do everything to forget and still feel the pain but you need to find a way to move on and get on with your life.

EDEN: My first song for us was “I Bleed Lemonade” it was about me punching a concrete pillar after my mate told me he had unknowingly set up my secret crush with someone else.

Your latest song was released late last year and called ‘Deception Bay’; how did that song get started?

CONSTANCE: Deception Bay is where Eden and I grew up. I wrote it when I was about 16 and in the midst of trying to figure out life and all these crazy emotions. ‘Deception Bay’ was named because when it was discovered they thought it was a river because it was so shallow. Random fact but it started the process of ‘huh this place isn’t as it seems let me make some art about it.’ At 16 I was at the restless point when you just want to run away from your problems and used my hometown as a synonym for everything (mentally, etc) I was trying to escape from.

Last year you released single ‘Show n Tell’ which is a song about domestic violence and feeling like there is nowhere to go even when you’re in the place where you are supposed to be safe; what inspired you to write this song?

CONSTANCE: Eden and I had a lot of family issues (as you can probably tell cuz half of our songs are about it.) ‘Show n Tell’ was written about my family and basically what it was like for us growing up. Writing songs has always been a coping method for me because I felt the only way to be heard was through music. The lyrics are pretty dark and sarcastic I think I wrote them after a particularly nasty fight.

EDEN: Family and emotional violence is a hard topic because love is used as a weapon so often. I think we’re trying to help young people who are going through similar situations feel strong and let them know they can get out because there is so much to look forward to in life.

I saw that you were recording last month; is there new music in the works? What can you tell me about it so far?

LACHLAN: We’re recording every day for a couple of things hopefully you see it sooner rather than later cause we don’t have any excuses for time.

CONSTANCE: We’ve been working away at an album which should be finished this year at some point. Its top secret but we may be about to drop a new single – ‘Science Of Sorrow’ [Ed’s note: the song has come out since we did this interview]. We are pretty stoked about this song as it is our longest yet (over 5 mins) and quite different from our other material.

EDEN: One of our mates is hiding in a scene so there’s a Where’s Wally kinda scenario in the new music vid.

I know recently you were super excited to be working on a music vid with Kieran Griffiths Filmmaking; tell us a little bit about it?

LACHLAN: Kieran is a mate we met at a gig and have been good mates since and he did a degree in film so we thought it would fun to work together.

CONSTANCE: We were filming the music vid for our next single. It was pretty fun we all just set up in Tim’s living room for a couple of hours. Kieran is super talented and we are pretty honoured to be working on this with him.

EDEN: The Griffiths twins are our insanely talented best mates, Kieran had been bringing his camera to Gathos and one night we got talking and said it would be cool to do a collab. He directed and shot the whole thing singlehandedly. I’m really proud of it cuz the new song is my baby and is very personal to me. He made me punch yet another concrete wall and made Tim sing which was great. Keen as mustard for yas all to hear it.

How are you keeping busy while we’re all locked down at home right now?

LACHLAN: Lots of recording and Netflix and Minecraft.

CONSTANCE: Studying a marketing degree and a lot of songwriting and jamming.

TIM: Hanging with my girlfriend and fishing.

EDEN: Painting and gardening and watching Friends at 6pm on channel 11.

Please check out: LUNCHTIME. Lunchtime on Facebook. Lunchtime on Instagram.