“Well last year we were overseas for around six weeks doing an American tour. Gonerfest has become a bit of a champion for Aussie bands, I think there is always four or five of our bands on the lineup. That label in particular has really helped catapult Australian DIY garage bands into that arena. They were the first American shop to stock our records. They’re definitely a major force in terms of getting people’s names out in the States. And I think the States are really switched on to what’s happening here, just genuinely really keen. Every city we went to knew about all the bands we were playing with. They’re definitely onto it, which is nice,” Hayley muses.
“Then this year started off pretty busy with Big Day Out and supporting Foo Fighters and Best Coast. That was a cool way to start the year,” Hayley recalls with a touch of understatement. “Then we kind of deliberately calmed things down so we can write a new album. We’ve been working on that while we can. Both Amy [Franz] and I run our own businesses, so it’s a bit mental trying to find the time to sit down and play guitar these days. We’re getting there, slowly,” she laughs.
With Fifteen presenting a delightful mix of scrappiness and sheen, the follow-up will be leaning towards the glossier side of things. “We’ve demoed around half of the songs with [producer] Jack Farley, he’s been awesome. We’ve worked on a few that have been a lot different than what we’ve done before. I guess it’s just a selection process now of seeing which tracks will definitely be on the album. I think we’re going to look at recording in either December or January, depending on our schedules,” Hayley forecasts. “I guess this time around we’re not limiting ourselves to recording live with just the two of us. We are doing a lot more layers, a lot more fiddling around with vocal harmonies, and bringing in different keyboards. This time around there’s not the restriction of only four hands playing at the same time. We’ve also got a few guest musicians in where necessary,” she reveals, without naming names.
Like so many standout local releases, Fifteen was produced by Eddy Current Suppression Ring guitarist Mikey Young. But this time around, it looks like Mikey’s name won’t be gracing the liner notes. “No, he’s off travelling pretty much every month with Total Control and all his other commitments. So we were going to do some demos with him for this album, but he was just overseas for far too long. I think it’s good to start working with other people, and just seeing how that affects the end product, keeping our options open with different sounds.”
With the band featuring on the massive Melbourne Music Week lineup, Hayley is well aware of how great the local music community really is. “It’s incredibly supportive. I would assume it’s fairly unusual. I guess you can see that when it comes to people recording their albums – like The Twerps album that just came out, both Amy and I did backing vocals on that. I think it’s really nice that every time an album comes out, all these bands help support it. Maybe it’s seen as a bit incestuous at times, but I think it’s really, really great for the community to have such a strong sense of helping each other out.”