Brisbane post-rock/ hardcore outfit Sensaii take their rightful place on stage at Dead Of Winter Festival in Brisbane next month.
The band released their latest single 'Bipolar Bears' in May and are currently working on their new album, expected for release later this year.
In the meantime, we catch up with the group's bassist Kerry Rowe to talk new music and live shows.
The new single 'Bipolar Bears' touches on coping with mental illness; did the song come from personal experience?
[Kerry] All of the songs we write come from a very real place. I think it has to and really, always has had to. To think that people will be able to relate to something insincere or manufactured just doesn't make sense to any of us.
We've (Sensaii) all been through some tumultuous events throughout our lives - recent or otherwise - and 'Bipolar Bears' is the result of one of the band members battling with their own demons and finding a way to put them to rest if even only temporarily, in a constructive way.
How is the band feeling about playing Dead Of Winter Festival?
We are champing at the bit to jump on stage for DoW hey. This year's line-up is absolutely crazy. Huge shout-out to the crew behind it all for putting together such a diverse festival.
Being from the 'core' side of the scene, it's really great to see the inclusion of some more acts from our neck of the woods and to be lucky enough to be one of them invited to perform is nearly surreal. Acts like Polaris and Ocean Grove are some of the hardest working boys in the game, and warming the stage for them is going to take everything we've got haha.
In saying that, you'll definitely catch me having a dance between all the stages catching some rad sets.
What was your initial reaction when you got the DoW call-up?
It's actually a funny story. We were playing a show the night before we got the email calling us up and one of our close friends had been in a meeting with the DoW organisers before meeting up with us to shoot our set, and we'd asked him what the go was. If we'd been lucky or if it was a no-go, you know.
He told us he'd asked and that we weren't going to be playing and then, boom, next day, unread email: 'Y'all wanna play DoW or nah?', hahaha. It was an emotional roller coaster, but we were pumped. We still aren’t sure to this day if he was telling us fibs or not.
What can audiences expect from your shows?
I'd love to say you get fireworks and pyrotechnics and gimmicks out the wazoo, but really, you're gonna get five mates bouncing around, playing some rock & roll and having fun.
That's what we're all about, you know. Genuine, authentic, fun; riffs and beats. People seem to vibe it, so if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Where else can we catch Sensaii live?
Well, we pretty much live at Crowbar, haha. We've got a couple headline slots there over the next little while. One of which will be us hanging with our homies in The Daily Chase on their tour. Another being a pretty casual, low-key Sunday show with some local acts.
We try and keep as busy as we can to keep our chops up and to keep showcasing our sound. My dad always said 'if you make one fan from a show then it's worth it', so we're taking over the world one punter at a time, haha.
How's the new album going and will we get to hear it this year?
The new album is... going haha. Our writing style is really like, smash out heaps of riffs in a jam space over months without seeing much 'progress' I guess. Then all of a sudden, we're in the studio tracking and it's all taking shape.
To say a new album will be out this year is a little ambitious. But we're working on getting it together and if there's no new music at all out by the end of the year, I will be very shocked and surprised.
How has the sound and style of Sensaii developed and evolved since your 2016 debut album 'Renegade'?
As cliche as it is, it's grown. I mean, the line-up has changed with myself and James (Hart, drummer) joining since that record and that in itself has lead to some sonic changes.
All of the existing members have had pretty eventful lives since that album and I think that's reflective in the way that our style has changed (a bit). It's still the same high voltage rock & roll, but as everyone grows, so does the sound.
We don't need to have breakdowns because they're what's cool anymore. I'm not saying we don't all dig them, but we aren't like, ‘Okay, we need a breakdown here or otherwise the hardcore kids won't like us'. F#$% that man.
We keep doing us and I think that's why Sensaii has been around for as long as we have and seen so many fly-by-night bands enter the heavy music scene, thrive on a short-lived hype, then quit, change their name and start again. Authenticity is key.
You also released a six-track EP 'Dig Deep' last year; how does the band keep motivated creatively?
Keeping creative is always a tough one. When it rains it pours. Mostly. Some days we'll have a writing session and smash out the skeleton of two or three songs in a few hours.
Other days we'll sit around and chain smoke because no ones on their game, and that's said with complete and upmost respect. You can't be banging out killer tracks day in, day out. Or at least we can't, haha.
I think it's the passion we all have for music that really drives the creativity of the band. We all want to make music more than anything else and we know to do that, we have to push through those uninspired times and know that eventually, we'll find that golden nugget of a riff or melody and the rest just seems to fall into place.
What have you guys got planned for the rest of the year?
The rest of the year is looking like lots more writing, releasing another single (at least) and video. Who knows, maybe even a record in some shape. We'll be playing as many shows as we can, with the best acts we possibly can to help keep showcasing our music. It's all about the grind and we aren't planning on sleeping any time soon.
Best and worst things about your bandmates?
Best: they're my bandmates, with different opinions, tastes and styles, and I love them. Worst: they're my bandmates, with different opinions, tastes and styles, and I hate them haha!
In all honesty, they're some of my best friends on this entire, god-forsaken planet and I'm thankful every day that we're able to create and express ourselves as a group.
Sensaii Tour DatesThu 28 Jun - Crowbar (Brisbane)
Sat 7 Jul - Dead Of Winter Festival (Brisbane)
Sun 29 Jul - Crowbar (Brisbane)