Fan Girl on the journey to their captivating debut album ‘Elephant Room’

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Fan Girl on the journey to their captivating debut album ‘Elephant Room’


It was the night before Fan Girl launched their debut album Elephant Room at The Workers Club when Beat spoke to Vincent McIntyre, core founder, songwriter and guitarist of the Melbourne six-piece. The striking alt-rock record dropped back in March this year, and the band have been relentlessly working towards delivering an unforgettable set to christen the release.

If you’ve been lucky enough to catch a Fan Girl show in the past, you’ll remember the group for their explosive energy and prowess on stage. Watching Fan Girl feels like living out your teenage dreams of an exhilarating rock ‘n’ roll show. Both their music and live persona speak to our first tastes and encounters when discovering indie music. Instead of it feeling passé or even cliché, Fan Girl act as a sort of renaissance to early indie rock music.

Elephant Room has a long, unique history and story behind its conception, and for McIntyre it represents a specific period in his life that feels very different to the present. “It started as a bunch of demos that I did quite a while ago, as in more than two years ago with a friend of mine, Jack, who’s part of the band. He’s not in the live band but he’s a key proportion of the writing, managing and production.”

McIntyre and Jack Wood were instrumentalists who started working on the record together in McIntyre’s basement, until they realised they needed something more. “When you’re really excited about something you kind of want to take the next step and we were like ‘Ah it would be cool to have someone sing on these’, because I don’t sing and Jack doesn’t sing. We spent ages trying to find someone and Noah was perfect.”

Noah Harris was a mutual friend with whom the pair had never properly crossed paths. He was in South Korea at the time when he received a random message from McIntyre asking if he’d be interested in trying to sing on an instrumental recording that he and Wood had written. “Noah actually said to me, ‘If I wasn’t by myself in South Korea feeling slightly lonely, I probably wouldn’t have replied to your message which is pretty crazy.’”

Harris started working on vocals in South Korea for Elephant Room. Upon his return, the trio started tracking the album. “Noah would write the lyrics and a lot of the melodies, I would write some of the melodies, but we worked together, us three mixing the songs. It’s normally like one person’s thing or a collaborative effort but this was one portion is one thing and one portion is the other and the live band is a whole separate thing.”

In 2016, Fan Girl had their first live show – the same week that Elephant Room was mastered. The album was mixed by James Cecil, who McIntyre speaks highly of, especially for his production of the new Totally Mild album Her. Luke Thomas, Dominic Buckham and Krish Soorki were found, perfect to play guitar, bass and drums for what was to become the live experience of Fan Girl.

Not long after, the band landed support slots for heavyweight acts from the likes of Birds of Tokyo to Catfish & The Bottlemen. “We wanted to make sure we could hit the ground running with a really good live band,” says McIntyre. “We went up to Sydney and played to a crowd and four out of six of them were industry people. It’s been really good to get a good team around the band so early.”

A lot has gone down since the initial visions of the album three years ago. When asked how he feels about the album after all this time, McIntyre reflects, “It sounds exactly how it should. It’s really idiosyncratic and weirdly, awkwardly charming. It sounds like me when I was a 19-year-old in my basement. Which is cool that I got it to sound like it does. It’s been a lot of fun; we’re not going to slow down anytime soon.”