Last time we spoke, you were just about to head off on a tour. Now you are back. How did the tour go? What were the highlights? What did you take away from this specific tour that was unlike your other tours?
The tour was incredible! I’m currently writing this from seat 58K, 2 hours from home at about 39000 ft. It’s always such a
bittersweet feeling reflecting in this dreamlike statebut one thing is for sure, the shows across Europe were truly so inspiring.
We travelled this year mostly through Germany, France, the Netherlands and the UK. Not to forget our little Mediterranean bliss ball: Malta!
We performed in a few open-air concert venues with
a sea of anywhere between 4000-6000 people. I don’t really think size is a good measure on how good theshow is, but to have that many people with us at every moment of our set was pretty special.
I think this year really re-affirmed how important it isto have a solid team aroundyou. We were zooming through each town like mad men, performing and trying to stay afloat mentally and emotionally. This year we had a really solid team in Australia taking care of our current release ‘ComeBack’. Their support was truly so valuable as it allowedus to clear our minds and perform at the highest level.
Did this tour surpass your expectations? How and why?
Yes for sure. This year we really felt the presence of so many fans that had returned for our shows. Lookingout in Munich at people wearing our shirts and belting out the words to our songs was a superb, but humbling experience.
What were the European crowds like? How did you adapt to their vibe?
Crowds in Europe really are so different from countryto country. Overall, I think there is such a deep-seatedlove and appreciation for music that I’ve never felt anywhere in the world. These land-locked countries have seen some rough times throughout history, and they’ve lived through super cold winters. During difficult times, humans often turn to art and music to make themselves feel truly alive, to make them feel connected to one another and understood in a way. I think this has a huge impact on the live shows in Europe, pressing even deeper into the songs and enriching those epic musical journeys through the set.
Vulnerability is the key to writing something worth listening to. For me, it’s also the way I make sense of my perception on the world.
Were you able to squeeze in some sightseeing? Where did you go and what did you do? Whatwas your favourite restaurant or eat out place?
We spent the afternoon with close friends in the Pyrenees, which was an experience I’ll never forget. Sitting at the foot hills of this jagged mountain horizon, stuffing ourselves with Comte cheese and wine, our faces drenched in the afternoon light. Definitely a memory to be cherished.
You have a new single out, ‘Come Back’, out on the 17 August. It is a song dedicated to Jae Hayden who lost his life in the ocean, surfing the reefs of Indonesia. Sorry for your loss and our condolences to Jae’s family and friends. Tell us about Jae. What was he like? What specifically touched you about Jae and his legacy? What lasting memory do you want our readers to have about Jae?
Jae made a lasting impression on everybody he met. His outlook on life and his pure, honest sense ofliving was truly inspiring. We went through universitytogether and shared too many laughs to count.
After hearing the news of him passing, there was a deep and tragic sense of loss that blanketed everyonehe met. The fact that he’d chosen to live life through music and surfing hit so close to home for me and was the catalyst for writing the song.
The song is about that pure moment when someone passes: all you want is to feel their presence again. Jae was an incredible dude and left such a rich ‘love for life’ legacy that will stay in the hearts of so many forever.
Your EP, ‘Silver Linings’, is out in September (which includes the memorable single, ‘Come Back’). ‘Silver Linings’ draws upon your perceptions, personal connections and your feelings about death. It sounds like your song writing, especially your lyrics, are about 100% vulnerable honesty. Do you think that vulnerable honesty makes it easier to write songs? Like the songs come to you, rather than you chase the songs? And does such self-reflection make you more grateful to what you have emotionally, giving you a greater connection to those wholove you and who you love?
Vulnerability is the key to writing something worth listening to. For me, it’s also the way I make sense ofmy perception on the world.
I’m not sure if it makes it easier to write songs but it does require constant reflection and openness. With songs, people want to feel understood, they want to feel connected and I find the breaking down these walls of ego leads to an honest truth that needs no explanation.
My own self-reflection has definitely had a hugeimpact on my levels of love and gratitude towards others. The time spent away from loved ones paints a vivid scene in my heart. Each connection formed around the globe stays for weeks, sometimes years and eventually makes their way into songs.
How much work is involved in getting an EP together? What are the greatest challenges to recording an EP? How do you overcome them as individuals and as a band?
There’s such a great deal of work that goes into any form of writing and producing art. With the E.P.,
we spent around 6 months of writing, recording, developing, re-writing, writing etc. Each process feeds into the next and eventually forms the layers that make up this body of work.
The greatest challenges lie in the prosody of thework. You only have six songs to work with so each decision on a song can heavily impact the next one. We overcame this by spending solid highly-focusedtime on the songs, then taking space between tounderstand and reflect on what we had achieved, and then making sure this was reflected in the work. Thespaces between are key to creating a well-balanced work.
What three pieces of advice would you give upcoming musicians or bands about touring?
Trust your intuition.
Love the journey.
Don’t be a jerk.
Thanks Ant for your time. Looking forward to watching your journey unfold further, wider and bigger.