Quicksand’s Walter Schreifels: “What we’ve been dealing with, even for the best of us, has been tough.”

Original photo by Annette Rodriguez. Handmade mixed-media by B.

There’s a heaviness, groove and beauty that simultaneously exists on NYC band Quicksand’s records. Distant Populations is the fourth studio album from the legendary post-hardcore outfit, who are sounding as passionate, and better, than ever. It’s narrative weaves through the complexities of simply existing and coping in the weird times we’re all sharing, and have been for the past couple of years. The album title comes from lyrics of song ‘Inversion’ which were inspired by a misheard lyric of anarcho-punk band, Nausea. Gimmie chatted with the always thoughtful guitarist-vocalist, Walter Schreifels, who has gifted the world so many shining moments through songs in iconic bands Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today, CIV, Rival Schools, and more.

WALTER SCHREIFELS: I’m very happy to have the album out. It’s exciting! I’m psyched. I’m hoping that maybe next year we’ll get to travel again; we had so much fun in Australia.

That would be so great. I had so much fun at your last shows here. Congratulations on the new album, it’s tremendous.

WS: Thank you so much. I’m glad you like it; I really appreciate that. It feels really cool that we did all of this stuff to make this record and people are appreciating it, especially you, thank you.

What have you been up to today?

WS: I woke up and I went for a run. I came home, we had a house guest, she’s been helping us with some interior decorating, so we had some discussions about that. Then I had to go pick up an amp over in Brooklyn. I got a parking ticket, but I got my amp! Outside of that, I answered some emails, and went for a nice walk with my wife, we bought groceries. Pretty basic.

A part from the parking ticket, it seems like a pretty perfect day, doing a little of all the things you enjoy.

WS: That is exactly right.

What kinds of things were you discussing with the interior decorator? What kind of vibe does your home have?

WS: We moved apartments in May, so we’re just figuring this one out. Let me just adjust this [moves computer] you can see this big wall with no artwork on it, we’re figuring out what kind of art we want there. We were thinking a big piece, so we were talking about some kind of giant photograph or maybe a painting. We kept our old apartment and we’re subletting it, there’s a painting there that is just big enough, but the frame is a little warped. We’re going to take the canvas off the frame and just hang it flat, that’s our solution. It’s an abstract painting that a friend of mine did, it’s kind of a splatter painting, but it’s got some vibe to it and the colours are nice, so we’re going to try it out. I guess interior decorating is like that, you put something there and see if it sticks, if it does, cool; if not, it’s a work in progress.

Yeah, I think a home is always like that. It’s always in progress and it always evolves and changes, as you do. Our home’s walls are filled with art our friends have made, we’ve made or we have pieces from our favourite artists, and a lot of framed concert posters. I love having walls filled with things that make me happy, and when you walk past certain pieces, you’ll think of that person that made that for you or maybe when you got it or it might evoke a time in your life.

WS: I think that’s the best. Especially if you have some friend’s artwork and it radiates that, it’s really, really nice.

I know that for you as an artist, growth is always really important to you, and that for this album Distant Populations,it’s something you really wanted to focus on. How do you feel you’ve grown?

WS: From the experience of doing Interiors and touring – you and I first met when we were in Australia with Thursday – all of those experiences, going from not having recorded a record to making this record-comeback-thing, to touring the world and really doing it. Then we became a three-piece. I really grew as a player. The three of us carrying on also brought us a lot closer, and created a lot of movement—we really got each other’s back. We’ve always been good friends, but never more so than now.

That’s really nice.

WS: Making this album we went at it with a fair bit more confidence, because we had gone through all of that together. We built and process, so that if we were really stuck on something, which inevitably happens, we were confident that we would get through it without worrying about it too much. Which is a good place to be in a relationship, problems arise and challenges are there. A lot of the growth happened there, in the guts of it.

Stylistically we took more chances, for what that’s worth, we were less concerned with: are we living up to something? Are we being faithful to a legacy? We had a bit more of a free hand there, and I think we took advantage of it.

We obviously wanted to come out with something new that was faithful to our old records, but also reflective of who we are in the now. And, now we’re freer from that, which is nice. I’m grateful for all of it, to be honest. It’s cool.

When you started making Distant Populations what story did you want to tell?

WS: We wanted to be a little more succinct and punchier. With Interiors it was more expansive, moodier and soundscape-y. That was great for us and we were really successful with that, but having done that, we wanted things to be a little tighter; that was part of our goal. We were psyched if a song was under two minutes. If it was creeping over three, we were really wondering; why?

When I listen to the record, I don’t want to review my own album, but as much as I can be objective about it, I think it holds you in. I’ve heard the songs plenty of times. I’ll be like, how does that song sound? I’ll listen to it and the next song will start and I’ll be like, oh shit, I wanna hear this song now. It’s gets to the point without rushing. It was always fun, we didn’t have to labour it, in that regard.

Album art by Tetsunori Tawaraya.

For me that’s when some of the best art happens, when it’s not tortured and laboured over too much. There’s magic in spontaneity and immediacy. I think you can work on something for too long, to the point where the heart and the spirit that made it shine, is gone.

WS: For sure! We figured out our process and if we hit those stumbling blocks where it’s not fun, we would just shake it off and do something else; we let it simmer. You can’t force it. We were pretty good about that. In the end we were listening back and making our comments, and we were all cooperative about it. It was really nice. We were laughing—there’s fun in it.

The album art work by Japanese artist Tetsunori Tawaraya is especially fun! I noticed that between the artwork as well as some of the songs like ‘Katakana’ (which is a Japanese syllabary) and ‘Rodan’ (a winged-monster from 1950s Japanese monster movies), that there’s a bit of a Japanese connection.

WS: There’s a love of Japan shared throughout the band. Initially when we were talking about the artwork, Sergio [Vega] sent this Japanese artist from the early 70’s through and it was this monster motif; we couldn’t really contact the artist. I knew Tetsunori Tawaraya’s artwork and said, this is an artist that is kind of in the same vibe, but he’s an illustrator and working now, he’s alive and my friend is friends with him. We wanted it to be fun.

Interiors’ art work, I love it, I think it’s so cool, but it’s got this spaciousness and trippiness to it. Tetsunori’s work has this monster funness about it and it’s a good image to project this music on to for the music to live in. We wanted to create a Star Wars-esque saga for our music to live in, where there’s this protagonist, this dude with a staff, and then there’s monsters and stuff like that. And, the lyrical themes of the songs could exist in a fantastical world. So, you can escape the sort of bullshit; typically, the way things play out in our contemporary discussions of how the world is going; how we’re feeling; how we’re coping…to have it exist in that world instead. To keep it fun like that.

As far as the Japanese thing, ‘Rodan’ was just a working title. I tried to find out, what am I writing about in regards to Rodan? To me it ended up being about being humble, being small, and how you contest with outside forces that are beyond your control, like a force of nature, like Rodan this giant thing that could kill you, or you could be swept up in its wind. Being small. Being humble. Not trying to attack that.

With ‘Katakana’ I think it is so interesting how the Japanese have these different character alphabets for their language. Japanese culture is so interesting, that for western music, especially from my generation, it’s now spread quite a bit across Asia, where there’s this cross-culturalisation where people in Japan appreciate western music, and it’s becoming more so that western people appreciate music from Asia. For me, Japan is the place that I am most familiar with. That’s pretty much where it came from, it wasn’t like, ‘let’s just do Japan!’ I was kind of just in our vibe, we always love going there, it’s awesome.

I’ve always wanted to go to Japan. I love so much about Japanese culture; I have since I was a kid. My old punk zine was reviewed by Maximum Rock N Roll once and the reviewer said, “You’d think this girl was Japanese” because I used to have a lot of Japanese-inspired art in the zine.

WS: Yeah, that artwork is cool. Japanese somehow just do everything right. Aesthetically they’re so on point.

Before you mentioned that sometimes there’s things outside of yourself that you don’t have control over, I was thinking about that a lot with the global pandemic, lockdowns and life changing. Watching the news most days, I was realising that a lot of it is designed to make you fearful and keep you coming back, keep you looking at it, there’s a whole cycle that can keep you feeling down. It was getting me down, as it was a lot of people, and I decided to take a step back and look at what it was in my life that I can control. I’ve found that helpful. What are some things that have helped you in these weird times?

WS: That’s what a lot of the record is about—how I’m coping. This is before Covid, because honestly the lyrics were written before all of this stuff. It’s beautiful that you and I can talk over Zoom, and it’s so cool to see you, but our communication is over soon… we’re losing some of our humanity. Our humanity is evolving at a very fast pace, and that’s scary. People are looking for simple answers, but there’s not really simple answers to all of that. I feel that through music, art, your family, friends, nature, you can find that humility. Through exercise, moving your body, yoga, breathing, meditating, you can find that grounding and you can cope with all that shit that’s coming at you. The fear, it’s really terrible that the cyclical nature of it is that people are addicted to it, and not through their own fault, it doesn’t make anybody bad; people are making money off of addicting you, it’s like cigarettes.

It’s important for me personally, to notice that I am like that too. What does it do for my soul? What do I then carry out into the world? What fears am I projecting because I’m eating it up? I’m like most people [laughs]. I’m pretty much exactly like, most people. I’m dealing with this stuff; how can I get a handle on it? A lot of the stuff in the lyrics is touching on that, sometimes specifically and sometimes in a really broad way.

I told you that I went for a run this morning. When I go for a run, I’m up early in the morning. I live right near Chinatown. I see all the woman fan dancing in the morning and everyone doing Tai Chi. I go run by the river, I see all the other runners running around and all of the boats are going by on the East River – the East River has been there forever. Connecting to those things in the morning puts me in a positive state of mind. It’s easier for me to weather, not just the news, but the stuff that happens, and to be stronger for it, because it just will continue to come; we have to evolve with it and make it through. What we’ve been dealing with, even for the best of us, has been tough.

Like we’ve been talking about, all of the things that we can do to build a strong foundation within ourselves, really does help to cope and in dealing with things.

WS: For sure. You have to take care of yourself to be effective. You have to rest. You have to be good to yourself. You see it, people are just aggravated at each other, aggravated in their own world and it’s coming out… it just seems like anything comes across the plate, people are looking to dissect it in some way that someone else is bad or someone else is ruining it or someone else is against you or someone has to be defeated. Everything seems to be sliced up in those ways and that makes people aggressive. Everyone’s eating that up, whether they want to or not. Some people are probably very disengaged or maybe more elevated in their consciousness and are able to process it more easily. I think it’s something that everybody is dealing with. I am. I’m part of it.

You mentioned meditation; is that something you do?

WS: I don’t meditate, but my wife does. I feel like I should be meditating. I do yoga, which I feel is a breathing meditation. Running is a meditation for me. Meditation is where you’re taking your mind and directing it and working on that muscle. I haven’t gotten into it, but I feel like it’s sitting there for me, like jazz [laughs], I have to dig in a little deeper than I have been.

Was there anything on the record that was challenging?

WS: It’s always challenging in the sense that you want to do your best work. It’s a collective, so you always have to work within that collective. You have to be kind and humble to other people, and you have to get your ideas across. You have to dig deep from yourself, but you also have to know when not to try that hard. These are all challenges. Once you’re going to make a new Quicksand record the first thing is—this thing better be fucking good! It’s not going to be a cakewalk.

As I was saying before, I feel really good about my bandmates and how we handle those challenges, so I have a lot less anxiousness. When a struggle does come, it becomes more of an adventure of, how do we get through it?

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

WS: I sure hope with all the [Covid] variants crossing the world, I hope we figure this out and get a chance to come back to Australia, because we’d love to see you, and get out there and play again, I’m looking forward to that.

That’s the dream. I hope it happens sooner rather than later. Did you miss playing live?

WS: The first year, not that much, to be honest. I didn’t miss going to the airport. I really appreciated just being in one place, because I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager, so every single year of my life has been travel every year, all the time. It was ok to take a break. I’m not going crazy or anything, but I do feel when I go to these different countries and I see people that I’ve met and have friendships with, and cities that I love to see, I do feel that they are part of my home and who I am too. My friendships with these people and my relationships with these cities are a part of me, so I am missing going to Australia, going to Japan, I’m missing my friends in Europe and across the United States. Overall, it’s been ok and, in many ways, awesome to take a rest. I’m ready to hit it again!

Is there anything you do that gives you the same feeling you get when you play live?

WS: Going for a run can be like that, especially trail running, because every time that you put your foot down, you get a different height or texture, you might have to duck under a branch, so your brain is having to fire quickly. At the same time, you get into a trance. When I’m playing, you’re very present. All these different little things are happening and your brain is just doing them and telling your where to go, in the same way your foot knows where to step during a run. Of course, when I stop running, there’s not a bunch of people clapping for me [laughs]. And, I’m not going to talk to that many people after the run about what a cool run it was! I miss the exchange of seeing people, not so much the applause (although I do like applause)—that communication.

For all things Quicksand please check out: quicksandnyc.com. Distant Populations is out now on Epitaph Records.

A.C.T’s Noise Rockers Agency: “We started off as a dad’s band”

Handmade collage by B.

Agency’s new post-punk, post-hardcore, noise rock record is both vulnerable and staunch, there’s chaos yet a cohesive groove that drives the album along. Pretty guitars and melancholy melodies seep into the psyche, leaving it imprinted on your mind for days. We interviewed Sia and Tom from Agency to talk about their latest, Wild Possession. The album’s cover designer Adam J Bragg also gives us an insight into the art.

How’s your day been and what have you been up to?

SIA AHMAD (guitars-vocals-etc):Busy looking after my two young kids during the holidays at the moment while working from home, it’s been a juggling act I was never prepared for so learning on the job as they say.

LUKE ROBERT (bass-vocals): It’s school holidays here in the A.C.T, I’m fortunate to be able to work remotely, so I’m balancing work with building  couch forts – this morning the fort morphed into a submarine and we were attacked by a colossal squid.

We love Agency’s style of noise rock; what are some things that have helped shape your sound?

SA: Lucky for me, I got to see Hew and Luke play in their previous bands (A Drone Coda and Hoodlum Shouts respectively) a lot, even work with them when I was doing the hellosQuare label so I always respected them and loved their musicality.

I didn’t really ever play in a ‘rock’ band until Agency so the bond was really over ‘90s indie and math rock beforehand and then showed each other our other interests that lead us to fill the gaps in each other’s styles to end up where we have. I see us as a venn diagram of influence and aesthetics that make up our mess of sound.

LR: I’d say from the start we tried to not to smother the personality of each member’s playing. We had an inkling that our individual styles of playing would complement each other – it’s turned out to be the case. Songs develop fairly quickly as a result.

Agency have come back from a few years of inactivity; what was everyone doing in this period?

SA: We all seemed to be busy with our own personal stuff over the last few years – be it familial, work etc. In my case, I was juggling family time with the whole “quiver” journey for a long while. This also coincided with my last couple of years in the band Tangents, which was also full on with releases and touring.

LR:It was clear as soon as we heard her demos that Sia’s solo record was going to be special and a journey in personal growth. Both Hew and I wanted to respect that and give Sia room to explore her solo record and see where it took her. There was that and the Spinal Tap drummer situation.

The EP Wild Possession was recorded three years ago; why did it take so long to come out?

SA: Time kinda just flew by and with us maybe prioritising other things in our lives, we parked it on ice but always in the back of our minds until the time was right.

LR:It doesn’t feel like three years to be honest. The recordings sounded great to us and I don’t think we ever thought that we wouldn’t release them. Initially we thought we might record another session and then have a full length but time got away from us and it made sense to release the songs as a document of where the band was at, at that time.

What brought you all back together to release the record? Why is now the time to release it?

SA: We parted ways with our first drummer at the end of 2016 and then we worked with Hayden Fritzlaff from Moaning Lisa for 2017 – including recording Wild Possession – but then he moved on so we didn’t even have a drummer, let alone think about doing something else.

As Luke says, we didn’t stop thinking about the recordings so as we slowly got back moving on the shows front (with New Age Group’s Peter Krbavac on the drum stool), we started thinking that we should wrap it up with Jonathan Boulet and do something with them.

We’re all generally active with our politics and want for social justice so the real impetus to finalise a release ended up being that we could use these recordings as a fundraising exercise and talk about the causes we believe in.

LR:Like most, every band I’ve played in has been a collective, bigger than the sum of its parts type deal. An extension of that notion is using the platform no matter how big or small the scale to contribute to causes the collective believe in. I don’t take for granted being able to contribute in this way – a privilege awarded to musicians who, in our world anyway, aren’t looking to benefit or to pursue monetary rewards.

Do you have a different relationship to the songs now than when you wrote and recorded them years ago?

SA: I had to relearn so much when we played our first show in years in 2019, it’s pretty embarrassing to write a song and then forget about it so easily but I think it’s great that the songs still have the energy and power for us as when we were first played them out. It’s a shame that lyrically, so much of the things sung resonate a little too clearly with the current climate.

LR:Before recording we’d just finished a run of shows and were probably the tightest we ever have been. Listening to the songs now reminds me of a time when the band was clicking – that we could get the band to a level we were all stoked on feels like an accomplishment.

What’s the significance of the EP’s title Wild Possession?

LR: I liked the turn of phrase, the metaphor. Life is a number of wild possessions. It’s up to you to negotiate each possession however you see fit. There’s no right or wrong way but most people do so within a construct set of or sets of societal values. I like to find the humour, happy accidents, the absurdities in those constructs. By zeroing in on these things in each wild possession of life is a way of turning a potential cynical outlook on life into a positive one.

We love the EP cover by Canberra artist Adam J Bragg! I know Sia and Adam have collaborated on various projects for over a decade or more. Where was the EP cover photo taken? What emotion do you feel it conveys?

ADAM J BRAGG (artwork/design): The photo was taken sometime in 2012 on my parents old 35mm ricoh camera. My partner and I went out to visit a winery, Brindabella Hills, North West of Canberra. It’s directly west of Hall so the photo was taken around there.

It was taken out the car window. I have a bunch of photos of the landscape. I don’t think there was any thought put into it. I remember always loading up 400 iso film and taking photos on sunny days to get that blown out look.

When it came time to do the Wild Possession cover I really wanted to do something different, I haven’t painted in a while and nothing felt interesting. I was playing with some old paintings and it just wasn’t clicking.

A band called Regional Justice Center just put out a 7″ with a cover that was a homage to a No Comment cover and I thought it was a cool nod, especially for a smaller release.

I was listening to a ton of Lungfish at the time and knew that they are a big influence for Luke, so pitched him the idea of doing a homage to Walking Songs for Talking with an Aussie looking vibe. He texted back and said he actually kept having a dream that Agency was playing Friend to Friend in Endtime, a song from Walking Songs for Talking.

That was it, we couldn’t not do it after that point. Like, he independently had a dream about a song off an album, that I decided to rip… how does that even happen?

SA: Adam’s actually known Luke for longer than I’ve known both of them, Adam and I met when he cold called me to do some design work for hellosQuare and we hit it off to start the partnership. I 100% trust him when it comes to visual aesthetic and he nails it every time!

We placed that trust in Adam to listen and respond with the cover and while we certainly didn’t think of ‘rural punk’ when we thought of the music, I couldn’t stop thinking how much sense that phrase made to me when he showed us the cover.

I think people don’t want to acknowledge us here in Ngunnawal Country as both city or regional folk, we’re the outsiders in between and the hazy blur of the image suits that thinking too, musical outsiders.

The EP was recorded by Jonathan Boulet; tell us about working with him? What did you learn?

SA: We met Boulet when Party Dozen did an early show with Agency in 2015 or 2016 and we got along really well. I loved the music he had made and that he had both a good hi-fi aesthetic when it came to recording along with a compatible DIY ethic too. He understood what we were about, was a great listener and very giving during the process (I mean, REALLY GIVING since we were dragging our heels to finish things off!) so just working through recording without having to monitor anything and concentrate on playing was great. We did everything mostly live but he got us so tight during the recording session, more so than we’d even been I think.

What’s each of your favourite track on the record; what’s it about? What do you appreciate about it?

SA: Buffaloes could be the most ambitious thing we’ve done. Luke’s initial words, my response and then getting Hew to do the lead vocal threw ego straight into the bin and then the music came together in parts but really quickly too. We joke about Creative Adult just wanting to sound like Oasis but I think the second half of Buffaloes is us channelling our garage-y psych-pop secrets too. Personally, I had a sore throat for the recording session so I sung on the end section of Buffaloes and went super low comfortable (imagine in between Barry White and Ian Curtis). The others and Jono thought it was great but I’d say it probably took me the best part of the last three years to be comfortable without and use it to completely strip out those perceptions of the gendered voice within myself too – another journey among the others.

What was the thought behind getting Tom Lyngcoln from Harmony and The Nation Blue to deliver a monologue on track “Sensitive”?

SA:If I recall right, I had a grand idea of doing a pair of tracks that complement one another so Sensitive was supposed to be the twin of Senseless but in reality, I manipulated the music out of a Hew outtake from a longer jammed out version of Senseless and then sat on a longer version for a while. I wrote the monologue separately but it seemed to make sense over Sensitive. I wanted my voice out of the mix. Not sure why but it just seemed like he’d be able to convey the resignation well.

LR:Tom’s been a big supporter of us in our previous bands. We played a show w/ Pale Heads and on the drive back to Canberra we talked about having Tom on something. He’s a terrific guitar player so of course we asked him to do a vocal!

Sidenote: Hew and I saw TNB play Tuggeranong Skate Park in the rain in front of us and three others – I think it was for Protest Songs. The kind of magic moments that can only happen in the nation’s capital.

Have you been writing anything new? What kinds of themes are coming to the forefront lyrically?

SA: There were a whole heap of things from before the Wild Possession recording session that was so close to done but not quite finished so I think even revisiting those with current moods will be nice, when we get there. The one luxury of Agency for me is that Luke tends to roll things out that I can respond to in some kind of fashion too.

LR:I think I’m sitting on enough songs for another release. I was inspired by Sia and her solo record and the candid interviews surrounding the record’s release. I’ve written some more direct lyrics as a result.

Agency have toured Malaysia; can you tell us a bit about that? What were the best and worst parts?

SA: I always had a special connection with that part of the world and touring so it was nice to be able to do this with Agency and meet good people at each show. There’s a nostalgia for the energy and vibes at the shows, which don’t seem to be the same for us here a lot of the time.
A lot of memories from that whole trip:

We played Sonic Masala Fest and a Tyms Guitars in-store in Brissy the weekend before flying to Malaysia; Owen from Terra Pines drove us straight from Tyms (after a Bens Burgers lunch) to Gold Coast Airport.

Fitting in a one day recording session in Kuala Lumpur before our first show and eating like demons at the hawker stall around the corner.

Our tour van driver Adam and his bud Chap taking us all over the country including a late night round trip to Malacca and being stuck in an epic 2 hour traffic jam on the outskirts of KL! (Also probably the ultimate low of the whole trip).

Getting my Scottish free jazz sax friend Raymond McDonald to join us at the KL show for a noise blast improv during Stillness track On The Loop and seeing our Killeur Calculateur buds at the show.

Lovely hospitality from the Dunce crew in Singapore including the best dim sum you can imagine.

LR: So many incredible meals w/ kind accommodating people who went out of their way to show us and accept us in their community. Discovering Malay and SG bands. Watching Malaysia compete for a Commonwealth medal in badminton was a highlight. The restaurant was jammed packed and teeming w/ anticipation and excitement. Playing in a shopping mall and then walking through downtown SG to catch an outdoor set by OG Singapore hardcore legends was another.

What have you been listening to lately?

SA: I’ve bought a lot during iso – records by William Onyeabor, Party Dozen, HTRK, Stereolab reissues. Also really excited for the June of 44 album!

LR:Ancient Channels, The Meanies, The Dammed, Sonic Youth bootlegs, Screamfeeder.

Agency are from Weston Creek, ACT; what’s it like where you live?

SA: It’s the edge of suburbia before heading into National Park, quite lush in some respects but also just very suburban. It’s nice not to be so close to CBR inner-city hipster colonies though.

How did you first get into music?

SA: New Kids On The Block and Kylie on Video Hits baby! I found my own way much, much way later on into what you can unpick now.

LR:I found my Dad’s cassette draw with dubbed versions of Kiss Alive, Blue Oyster Cult, and ZZ Top. I was a silverchair/Nirvana kid.

Can you share with us some of your personal favourite albums, bands or songs of all-time?

SA: So hard…say without early Something For Kate, I would never have even thought about Fugazi and Slint so there’s a thought! Unwound, Alice Coltrane, Deftones, Low, The Slits…all faves for sure but so much harder to pinpoint something.

LR:All time CBR bands Henry’s Anger, Old Ace, Hard Luck, Falling Joys, Koolism, Looking Glass,  Voss, Babyshakers, Cough Cough.

What’s something that’s really important to Agency?

SA: We started off as a dad’s band and I think that oddly enough, that element of friends hanging out to just hang is probably more at the core of our existence as a band now than it was in the first place? Even if we’re not in the same room, we’re still texting or sliding Insta DMs with all kinds of nerdy discussion points that align with the heart of the band.

LR:Boring drummers with constant stories of ‘90s musical ephemera.

What’s next for you all? Anything you’re working on you’d like to tell us about?

SA: There’s some interesting things on the boil outside of Agency that are interesting but really, life is very slow for me at the moment. I’ve made a whole lot of new solo music between bushfire season and current iso-era so that’ll show up at some stage but also keen to see what Agency might turn out in the future too.

LR:We’re due a band and extended families catch up. It’d be nice to come out of the hibernation of bushfires/Covid/Canberra winter with a new batch of Agency songs.

Please check out: AGENCY; on bandcamp; on Instagram; on Facebook.