“From ‘New Coliseum’ it feels like a totally different band,” vocalist and guitarist Paul Pickles says, referring to their 2013 debut album.
“We had a different bassist when we did ‘New Coliseum’ and we were in the mindset that we didn’t really want to record anything that we couldn’t do live, so everything was single-tracked.
“After that album came out I think we felt like the recording, it didn’t hit in sections as much as we wanted it to. Our bassist left then Joe [Andersons] joined the band and that’s where we found our sound.”
Last year Suburban Haze released an EP ‘It Will Never Happen’, which Paul says was the turning point for the band’s sonic shift and provided a blueprint for recording ‘Wilt’. “When we went to record that EP we threw the idea of only being able to do what we could do live out the window and we started adding in multiple guitar layers and synth in sections to make it sound more full.”
The product of this evolutionary process has been a sophomore full-length record that is as technically proficient as it is emotionally-driven.
A concept album, ‘Wilt’ reflects the idea of depressive realism through the story of one person’s tragic loss and their journey to recovery. “The whole album covers a heap of different ways people self-medicate when suffering from depression and coming to terms with the way the world is,” Paul explains.
“So it’s focussed on different outlets people use, whether that’s turning to drugs or turning to religion or anything really; it’s covering lots of themes like that.
“It’s someone struggling with depression and they lose someone close to them and it goes through the different kinds of releases the person tries before they finally come to accept their life the way it is and begin to feel better and begin to recover.”
When Suburban Haze head out for the ‘Wilt’ album tour, they’ll be bringing their new energy with them. “Probably some pretty B-grade banter,” Paul laughs about what audiences can expect.
“Especially with Suburban Haze, our set has so many different things going on. Genre wise we have a stock sound but we move between a lot in our influences, so lots of things musically I guess.”
Although ‘Wilt’ is a concept album with a story told chronologically through the track-listing, on the upcoming tour Suburban Haze have opted not to play it from start to finish and instead mix the new tracks in with a set of only-slightly older tunes. “We’re going to mix it up,” Paul says.
“We don’t play ‘New Coliseum’ anymore, but we’ll definitely be playing some of our favourite songs off ‘It Will Never Happen’ and the two-track we released last year as well, and then just select songs off ‘Wilt’.”
Looking ahead, Paul says once Suburban Haze finish the tour they may head back into production mode with a collection of new material already in the works. “We’ve got a bunch of songs written, so maybe after the tour we’ll knuckle down and start working on those,” he says.
“We had such a strict time limit for ‘Wilt’, but we’re not going to have that for whatever we do next, so we’ll just be focussing on writing and putting in as much as we can into that.”
'Wilt' is available from 10 August, 2017.
Thu 10 Aug - The Cambridge Hotel (Newcastle)
Suburban Haze Shows
Fri 11 Aug - The Record Crate (Sydney)
Sat 12 Aug - The Lobrow Gallery Bar (Canberra)
Sun 13 Aug - Rad Bar (Wollongong)
Sat 19 Aug - Crown & Anchor (Adelaide)
Fri 25 Aug - The Catfish Bar (Melbourne)