Living life simply and happily with The Babe Rainbow
Three years ago, a jovial guitar kissed our ears before flirting with a sprinkle of drum pitter patters, dotted with a sequence of gentle chimes and whispers. Completely engaged with its distinctive rhythm and sensory experience, it was one of those tracks that really struck a chord; one to hold onto for years to come. So with a little digging, the three long-haired men responsible were found – THE BABE RAINBOW.
Since the release of that debut single ‘Love Forever’, the boys have made us want to dance on lilypads, feel the warmth of the sun on our bare naked bodies and view life through kaleidoscopic filters. A psychedelic nirvana promoting love and harmony, the boys make it stick as it is a vision adorned with genuine integrity. None of what they do is an aesthetic, trend or scam; they literally just go about their way peacefully and happily whilst being crazy talented musicians and mood invigorators.
Falling a little quiet since their self-titled EP in 2015, The Babe Rainbow jumped out of the ocean and into the recording studio to gift us their first full-length record.
Packed with good intention that has been shaped by an abundance of happy-go-lucky soundscapes, the wall of sound is complemented with rough edges; as upon listening you’ll discover raw one-off moments and personified instruments. It’s charismatic and just simply fun, and has been released on limited coloured wax through King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard‘s own label, Flightless.
Currently showing the record off to fans around Australia, we caught up with the easy-going Jack “Kool Breeze” for a casual chat.
You’ve just put out your debut album. Full of differing moods and sensations, what is the main message you wish to convey with this record?
Just to take it easy and make it lazy and see that it’s a beautiful world, and you know, get down and have a dance. There’s no prescribed message that can really be put in words at this current moment. Our main influencers are probably surfing and James Brown and The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band. Do you know them?
No, I’m not familiar
Definitely write that down – they’re so good. A jazz band from the ‘70s.
There are a lot of lovely idiosyncrasies that it carries, such as the tambourine entering on an off beat in ‘Peace Blossom Boogy’, as well as the background banter sewn in the songs. Was the incorporation of these raw moments intentional?
I guess that process of when you’re in the studio at the mixing stage, you just find you’re all in there making these decisions and experimenting, I guess that’s just the picture that we painted, you know? We have certain colours in our painting box and so that’s what came out.
A lot of heart and abstract lyricism is present in your music. Are there a lot of personal underlying messages in these metaphors that fans wouldn’t know about?
It’s just Angus describing things, you know? Whether it be about one of our love lives or whether it be about a certain event that happened, and it all just comes together. Hidden messages? I’d say definitely.
You’ve signed to Flightless. How did your relationship with them form?
Just with meeting King Gizzard on the beach one day, and then everything else just fell into place.
Was that on a tour or something?
No – well I think they were probably on tour, but we were just out surfing and they were on the beach just having a picnic; quite serendipitous.
Where was that?
You guys use some of your social media platforms to post tracks by some great artists. Who are you listening to at the moment?
The Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band – they’re the main one. Then probably Dave Franks, and then The Beatles.
You released a collaborative clip with SurfStitch and Billabong. Can we expect more of those campaigns from you guys?
I don’t know, we’ll see what happens hey. I’d say let’s just see what happens.
[Laughs] So that’s a maybe?
[Laughs] Yeah, I think so. The opposite is also true. We’ll see what happens.
You guys are surfers yourselves. How has that impacted upon your music over the years?
I guess the sensory overload of surfing is then transmutated into the music that we make, for sure. Just like that. I think it’s quite an amazing hobby and way of life to be in the ocean so often, and it keeps you active. Keeps you fresh and you’re surrounded by nature so therefore it comes out in the music.
“Transmutated” is a great word.
Yeah, transmutated; it’s like alchemy in the molecular level.
You played with Allah-las in New York this year. How did that tour come about?
Some Californian kid named- what’s his name… I forget his name. Let’s call him Chad. He had a mixtape of our music like way back. He drove out to the desert with I think one of the guys from Allah-las. That’s how they learnt about us. Then they asked us to come and play shows with them in America, and we said yes even though we couldn’t afford it.
How many shows were there on that tour?
I think there was like 72.
Ha! That’s what it felt like. So good though, particularly Colorado.
Just this place called Nederland – like “Neverland” but a “d”. It was just an enchanting town, just couldn’t believe it. We stated there for three days. There was an amazing pizzeria with biodynamic wine and fermented dough, and it made us play really well.
You’re touring the record in the coming weeks. What can fans expect for the live show?
Pretty much a jungle vibe. Except for the Perth show, there’s a local folk singer in Perth supporting us, but all the others are Banana Gun and Parsnip. Really cool bands, and really good friends of ours altogether so it’s going to be quite a family in the jungle kind of celebration. Like an event; tribal.
Will we hear older Babe Rainbow too?
Oh yeah, old and new stuff. Old and new, and a cover or two. My guitar is just getting fixed right now as we speak, it’s got a clamp on the headstock. It’s like 45 years old, my guitar, so it was in need of love and one of my favourite people in the entire world is my guitar man. He’s in Coolangatta, his name’s Gazza.
Gazza in Coolangatta, that’s so fitting.
Yeah! He’s a good gardener, and he’s just been really meticulous with fixing this guitar that he sold me in the first place. I actually traded him the guitar I had because he thought he was going to sell it and then like eight years later [laughs] he still hasn’t sold that guitar I traded with him. So I think he’s just lovely. A lovely fella, I really like him. So I’m happy.
We’ll fly out over to Perth, over the Mediterranean, get some stone fruit. Then on the weekend it’ll be Melbourne, and the following is Sydney. Then Europe, and the USA!
Are you guys just touring for the rest of the year?
Well, Angus is going over to South America at the end of this trip, so I might join him for a bit, but I’ll be coming home I’ve got a few things to do. We’ll have a bit of a break, and then might play over a bit of December and January. Well yeah, I think so, not quite sure.
Are there any plans of writing the next album or EP anytime soon?
Yeah we’ve already written the next album, and recorded – kind of. So it’ll be out probably January or October this year [laughs]. Probably January though.
Words by Hannah Galvin.