An afternoon conversation with Azaria Byrne finds the vocalist and guitarist for Sydney band The Art ‘thinking about the universe’.
Which isn’t surprising considering ‘Thinking About The Universe’ is the latest single to be taken from The Art's second album ‘All In The Mind’. “The lyric ‘all in the mind’ is from that song [‘Thinking About The Universe’] and I think when I wrote it I was very inspired by ‘Rick & Morty’,” Azaria explains.
“Sort of about the grandpa who has to deal with the murmurs and shuffles of mundane conversation of family life while he's fighting an intergalactic war in outer space and it might all be in his mind, but people only know what they know. That's just his life and his reality within his mind.
“That's where it came from. When I wrote the song, the main hook is ‘thinking about the universe’ and it always comes back to that. No matter what picture is being painted with words, it always goes back to that: 'I don’t care, I’m just thinking about the universe'.”
The song follows a similar thread of the subjective nature of reality that forms the thematic nucleus of ‘All In The Mind’. Recalling the song’s birth and initial incarnation, Azaria says it started out as a much bigger and broader composition that needed extensive work in order to whittle it into its final product.
“I remember I showed the band and it was a 20-minute song with all these verses,” he says, “and Stevie Knight who produced the album helped select the craziest outcome or the mundane outcome and said 'this should be here'. That was awesome to put a lot of things out there.
“I guess in a sense with everything that was explored it was a pinhole of an outcome, which it is most of the time with creative things. Whether someone has done a painting or written a script, they've done all this stuff and lead-up work for it and it's just a pinhole of the entire spectrum of the work that gets chosen.”
Azaria and The Art are also in production on a video for ‘Thinking About The Universe’, which he says promises to be a visual spectacle worthy of the song’s spaced-out story.
"There will be aliens, there will be space. It will be filmed on a green screen then cast into a hologram and then that will be filmed. The rest is a process and no secret, but you'll see the visual outcome at the end of the void, the end of the tunnel.”
The band have a lot of new material to work with for another album in the near-future. “At the moment we have a bunch of ideas and songs,” he says.
“What we try to do is write together, write separately and pick up what we learned along the way. There's definitely going to be a progression from ‘All In The Mind’ and we're constantly writing and playing together, so we'll have to see.
"What will happen sometimes is we'll get 50 songs we're happy with and by the time we go to record we've written a completely different album.”
'Thinking About The Universe' is available now.
The Art Shows
Fri 21 Jul - Oxford Art Factory (Sydney)
Sat 22 Jul - The Evelyn (Melbourne)Fri 28 Jul - The Bearded Lady (Brisbane)Sat 29 Jul - Crown & Anchor Hotel (Adelaide)