INTERVIEW: The Preatures

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One of the biggest Sydney bands of the moment, THE PREATURES, are about to head out on tour again. This time, the tour is in celebration of their new EP Is This How You Feel? which features a series of tracks that all have their own unique voice that THE PREATURES thrive on communicating.

The band have already sold out two Melbourne shows and their first Brisbane show, making their tour quite a long one where they’re lucky enough to extend their visit to these cities for an extra few days.

We sat down with Isabella, the lovely voice behind THE PREATURES, to talk recording and such, and luckily she was ready to tell us absolutely everything so grab a cup of coffee and a biscuit because this is a long one and honestly one of the most interesting stories you’ll hear for a while.

The video for ‘Manic Baby’ is pretty interesting, how did you come up the concept you used?

Well we are kind of thinking up new video clips all the time. We have like think back and forth of, weird photos and stuff and you know just weird shit and the incentive for the whole video is Hot Gossip which is this old thing from the seventies which was like a talk show. We were trying to figure out some ideas of how it would, you know, be like that. We wanted something kitcsh and just kind of daggy in a way, like those daggy old disco videos that are coming out at the moment which I love and are using all of these VHS effects. And it’s got that sort of awkward tv show, Young Talent Time sort of feel about it. It’s cool but there’s something about it that’s just off, like you’re not sure if it’s a joke or not. I was watching a lot of videos like Prince, Prince is the master of mad music videos.

The VHS technique is quite nice, I’m always reminded of The Strokes’ video for ‘Last Nite’ when I see those effects used in a clip..

Yeah! I saw that you made that comparison. I didn’t see that but when I went back and watched the video I could totally see it, but that definitely wasn’t in the reference pile for us.

Is This How You Feel? has just been released as well, are you glad to have finally been able to release the EP?

Oh I was pretty excited! With the single earlier this year, we did the whole EP in January, and the last time we did an EP it wasn’t released. It was a pretty similar schedule to that, we actually recorded it in September the year before and then it wasn’t released until October  a year later. So we to have something come out within a reasonable amount of time was really nice and it’s important because you need to be able to actually connect with the music and the further away it gets from the recording, with a lot of stuff actually when we do it, I actually reject the recordings pretty much as soon as they’re done. I don’t want to listen to them, I just can’t stand to listen to them, but this okay.

It’s great because it’s come out within it’s moment, so it’s still feels vital which is I think part of the reason why it’s doing so well. And it’s crazy like, when we did it in January we were listening to a lot of Chairlift and Prince obviously, because I was having a total Prince revival, plus lots of Bowie and stuff so we were right into that, and the Bee Gees of course. But it was funny because I could kind of feel that something was happening but I wasn’t quite sure what it was, and then we recorded it and of course Daft Punk’s album came out a few months after that, so there’s this big disco revival, or yacht revival, I don’t know what you’d call it but it seems to just fit with what’s happening which is just crazy because it wasn’t designed to be like that, it just is.

Going back to the classics is what’s making 2013 interesting I think..

Yeah, I know it’s difficult for our generation because we have so much respect and admiration for our predecessors, more so than any other generation and I think it’s because we’ve got unlimited access so we can  elude to all kinds of things and they can be immediately picked up by people and then communicated. I think it changes the way we see music and it’s important to keep things current and it’s difficult for us, we’re not a retro band we’re not interested in recreating anything, but for us it’s about the songs, we’ve always been about the songs so whatever is necessary to service that particular song, we just get on board with and do whatever we have to do regardless of whether it’s us or not. And we’re not very precious of the band, it’s helped us kind of get better, and helps us constantly push our comfort zone.

Yeah I’ve noticed on the EP every song seems to have it’s own unique air about them, how did you end up narrowing down the songs to the select few that ended up on the EP?

We had seven tracks that we recorded and it was tough, we had a lot of talks about it and we were just going round and round in circles trying to decide which songs would make it. But in the end it’s important to get a balance of me and Gib, there’s two singers in the band so there’s got to be that balance there.

I think in the end we were so undecided about it that we just got a whole lot of feedback from people like the manager, the label and just lots and lots of our friends, and there were two songs on there that were important for me and Gib to have on there, like personal songs, for me it was ‘Revelation’ and for Gib it was ‘All My Love’ and for a band like us which is at a stage where we’re at, it was probably a bit of a risk putting two slow songs on the EP, especially with what we’ve been putting out with the singles, but it was important for us and it’s good that we can move on from that now. It’s just good that the songs have actually seen the light of day [laughs] whereas there’s others that, just nope. Like ‘Manic Baby’ as a track was just a complete throw away, a complete throw away song but it’s got a vibe, which is great and you need that.

It’s a big winner of a track but did you think it would turn out the way it did when you wrote it?

No I actually wrote it at the end of last year and towards the end of last year I was having really bad anxiety. I mean sometimes I just have periods where I have anxiety and I didn’t realise how bad it could get, like I was having panic attacks almost everyday.

I’ve been in the studio and the boys were working on an idea or a riff or something, I just had this extreme panic attack in front of all the guys, which was embarrassing [laughs], and I’d have a few of those where I’d be like “get my clothes off, I can’t breathe,” I was basically inconsolable, but after that i heard this riff and it was on I was like “I’m gonna get this riff” and I I’ve got to write this track, whatever this track actually is and it’s got this really anxious quality about it and it kind of sounds like voices in your head, you know like constantly on your back, that shit. It’s definitely got a sinister side to it as a song, but I actually wasn’t happy with it, like the vocals and the recording of it, I was actually really unhappy with it and we ended up re-recording it, which is the version that you hear now.

I still wasn’t happy with it, but I was happy enough for it to go on the EP [laughs]. The boys have been telling me to take a chill pill and put it on, that’s the good thing about being in a band you’ve got other people to sort of tell you when you’re being over protective of stuff.

Even after all that you’ve still got a fair bit of touring ahead of you, like your EP tour in September, how did you feel when you found out your first two Melbourne shows had sold out?

When I found out the first one had sold out, that was a surprise! Melbourne is a great music town, we’ve played some awkward shows there in the past supporting other bands, we’ve had a very hit and miss relationship with Melbourne up until we did our single tour there at the beginning of the year, and I think that’s because we didn’t understand the audience. Melbourne is such a particular audience, like every city in Australia, every state in Australia, has it’s own personality, I think it’s quite incredible. With Melbourne specifically, they’re a very quiet, stand off-ish crowd, especially when you’re supporting a band.

Supporting well-known bands is difficult anyway because the audience isn’t there to see you, you’re immediately on the back foot. With Melbourne we found it difficult getting energy out of them, but at one point, I realised we were doing shows and then feeling really bad about it, and then going away and looking at Twitter and looking at Instagram and just seeing this outpouring of people in the audience just tweeting the band and instagramming the band and saying “this band is great”, it just seems to be this complete disconnect to how they were reacting to the music and how they were receiving it, if that makes sense. So after we understood that it was this lightbulb moment for me when I though it’s okay, they’re just different and they’re not a bad crowd, just a different crowd. And ever since I made that connection, we’ve always managed to play awesome shows in Melbourne and the single tour there was just crazy! Like it was unbelievable and playing with Haim, we did the Haim show and I think it was the best show we’ve ever played. The audience was just incredible and they’re a super receptive audience.

I find it interesting that you say every state has it’s own type of audience because you’ve also sold out you’re first Brisbane show, what is your opinion on the Brisbane audience?

Well Brisbane is a small town, so it’s harder to sell shows there. Like Melbourne will be there one’s that instantly buy the tickets quickly and you’ll sell out the show much, much quicker and they’re much more demanding in Melbourne than any other city. Even in our hometown there’s not as much demand as Melbourne, but Brisbane’s a great town we’ve always had fun there, we have heaps of friends there, but it’s a small town so you’re not gonna get the same as you’ll get in Melbourne or Sydney. And it does suffer in a live capacity because of that, but the audiences are always so energetic and they just love dancing, like you’ll never see people in Melbourne dancing, well, we’ve done a couple of shows where they’ll dance, but Brissy crowds are much more energetic and Adelaide crowds are much more energetic. The Sydeny crowds are more laid-back, they’ll just take in the performance.

And after this you’ve got Falls Festival and Southbound as well, do you plan on sticking around the festivals after you’re set is finished?

Hopefully yes, especially at Falls the line up is pretty epic. It’s going to be a busy end of the year but we’re just sussing out the new album so if everything goes well, we should be back in the studio in January or February recording the album.

The Preatures will be appareing all over the country for their headline tour in December, check the dates out below if you haven’t seen them yet:

THE PREATURES IS THIS HOW YOU FEEL EP TOUR

Friday 6th September
w/Chela + The Jones Rival
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tix: http://www.moshtix.com.au/

Wednesday 11th September
w/Chela + Hollow Everdaze **THIRD SHOW**
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Tix: http://www.northcotesocialclub.com/

Thursday 12th September
w/Chela + Hollow Everdaze **SOLD OUT**
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Tix: http://www.northcotesocialclub.com/

Friday 13th September
w/Chela + Hollow Everdaze **SOLD OUT**
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne
Tix: http://www.northcotesocialclub.com/

Saturday 14th September
w/Chela + Dark Arts
Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Tix: http://www.oztix.com.au/

Thursday 19th September
w/Bad Dreems
Jive, Adelaide
Tix: http://www.moshtix.com.au/

Friday 20th September
w/Chela + Gunns
Flyrite, Perth
Tix: http://www.oztix.com.au/

Saturday 21st September
w/Chela + Gunns
Mojo’s, Fremantle
Tix: http://www.oztix.com.au/

Thursday 26th September
w/The Jones Rival + Black Springs
Transit Bar, Canberra
Tix: http://www.moshtix.com.au/

Friday 27th September
w/Major Leagues + The Creases **SOLD OUT**
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Tix: http://www.oztix.com.au/

Saturday 28th September
w/Major Leagues + The Creases **SECOND SHOW**
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
Tix: http://www.oztix.com.au/

Words by Lauren Payne

READ MORE ARTIST INTERVIEWS HERE

SEE ALSO:

WATCH: THE PREATURES ‘MANIC BABY’ (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
LISTEN: THE PREATURES ‘IS THIS HOW YOU FEEL?’ (CLASSIXX REMIX)
FALLS FESTIVAL 2013 LINE-UP ANNOUNCED

About:

Brisbane based photographer and writer who will judge you first and foremost on your music taste. Likes mint slice and a damn good cup of coffee.