Gold Coast collective Selve maybe a relatively new band to the indie scene, but they’ve already accrued a notable list of accomplishments.
Their debut live show came while performing a sideshow at BIGSOUND, they’ve supported both Electric Fields and Megan Washington, and recorded at Matt Corby’s Rainbow Valley Studio.
That recording experience was for their newest single, ‘The Pink Hotel’. “Our residency at The Pink Hotel was a rebirth of Selve as a band,” lead singer and Jabirr Jabirr man, Loki Liddle says.
“It happened to time with the first major lockdown, and let’s just say things got weird! It was a crazy, creative time where we found ourselves furiously writing, conceptualising and experimenting sonically at 3am every night and emerged in a haze to a ghost town every day.
“The Pink Hotel is about embodying all the strange parts of ourselves and the influences that inspire them. It touches on how the great creative minds of the past had to pass to make way for new ones.
“The whole experience just begged for a Tarantinoesque film clip to match. You definitely get a sense of this very visceral and surreal experience in this song and video.”
Ahead of their launch show at Miami Marketta (Gold Coast) 17 April, Loki sat down for a rather in-depth chat.
Who is Selve? The formation of Selve is a long story and an organism with many strange manifestations.
So let's just say we are a bunch of people who get together and make sounds until our selves merge into some kind of catastrophic ectomorphic SELVE that stands towering like some colossal Silver Surfer stomping and romping through cities and forests in search of other selves to merge with.
I am a proud Jabirr Jabirr man and I think my love of songwriting and music comes from the ancient culture of song that I carry inside my blood. That being said, I am incredibly influenced by contemporary music of all kinds and the band in general have a diverse range of influences that craft our sound.
Without over philosophising the thing, I think I am a song person whose role it is to relay and respond to the story of the time we’re in, as all my ancestors have done before me. No doubt today's sounds are very different, but regardless it’s still a continuation of an ongoing story.
Anyway to stop going on about my self-referential purpose in life; every member of Selve is an extremely passionate person who brings power and style to the band. And I think we share a common desire to make playful music that lightens the load of the world and pokes fun at the ridiculous ideologies that drag it into the muck.
We also all just love it and I think aim to make music that we can enjoy and respect and perhaps make some friends along the way.
We sound like… We’ve just released our new single and video ‘The Pink Hotel’. We did a 10-day residency at a real place called The Pink Hotel in Coolangatta and came out with a whole new body of work that probably takes its sonic ques from a Tarantino soundtrack.
Our current sound has a kind of satirical mix of Dick Dale like surf, Doors-ish rock & roll and a kind of insane circus nightmare blend of The Beach Boys, Curtis Mayfield and Blondie.
I think we’ve naturally come to a place we’re we are referencing those deeply familiar, old sounds and themes but embedding them with subversive lyrics and narratives that integrate what’s going on now.
Our first gig was... A BIGSOUND sideshow at the classic old Greaser bar.
When did you settle on the group's name, and was it a unanimous decision… I came up with the word Selve in 2017 when I was deep in the Amazon jungle for two months doing you know what.
I think it’s a pretty self-explanatory word, so I don’t like to rag on about it, but it means that point in the middle where all selves meet. And I started the band by myself with the name and gradually accumulated my delightful friends who have brought it to life further than I could ever have hoped to by myself.
In the studio we usually... The first record we made was just between myself and Harry Edwards, who tracked most of the instruments and produced it himself. That was a very kind of independent, homestyle recording process, which was really fun.
But the second time we recorded these new songs, we were down at Rainbow Valley Studio (Matt Corby’s place) with our new producer Alex Henriksson, which was a very different process. Here we got the tracking for the two singles done whip-smart in like two days and it was incredibly fun and fluid.
We actually recorded the bass, drums and rhythm guitar live and then stacked everything else on top of that.
One funny story about the recording was that we had already filmed ‘The Pink Hotel’ video, using our first demo of the song as reference, before recording the actual song. What we discovered, because the demo was not to a click, was that the demos tempo changed around like mad.
But because we had already recorded the video, if we didn’t record the song in the exact same tempo shifting way, all the vocals would have been out of sync with the video. So we had to intentionally shift tempos outside of the laws of recording which was wild. But it came out really good and raw! I know there are some rule sticklers that’d hate us.
If we could tour with anyone… Let us tour with bloody Nick Cave! If we’re dreaming big, why not? I don’t even know if he’d like us, but it’d be a hoot.
Social media is… Necessary but a tremendous pain in the arse.
My favourite app at the moment is... Let’s just go with good, old fashion Notes. The staple iPhone app.
When some weird idea comes sailing from the breeze into your head, you need to have a place to thumb those words into before that idea sneaks off into someone else’s head. I have thousands and thousands of notes.
To date, our most embarrassing moment was the time… Being at Rainbow Valley Studio with a proper producer like Alex and realising that we had to go on and intentionally record in a way that replicated the errors of our demo was pretty bad.
But Alex is such a chiller that it actually turned into a really unique challenge for the band and gave the song its lawless charm in the end.
Life on the road can be… I’m sure it can be great, but we haven’t had a proper tour yet, thanks COVID.
If you'll have us on your bill, all we ask is that our rider contains… Please ensure that we have exactly 4L of hot totty, no more or less, to warm our vocal chords and get us pleasantly levelled.
We will also need a strong placebo effect to perform properly for your venue. So if you can please bring a bowl of normal portobello mushrooms and imply to us that they are of psychedelic properties, we will eat them and believe that we are accessing higher realms, when in fact nothing illegal would have happened at all.
On top of that, it’s essential that we all receive a deep-tissue massage after our set. Thank you very much.
The most scary scenario we've found ourselves in… We were driving from the Gold Coast to Brisbane for our show at The Tivoli opening for Megan Washington.
On the way up, we spotted a hitchhiker standing out in the the pelting rain with a hooded coat. We took pity on the poor soul and pulled over to let him in and give him some respite. He leant towards the window and said he was heading north. “Hop in!” we said. And he obliged.
We started the motor and checking the rearview mirror I noticed my other bandmates were looking nervous. That’s when I noticed that the man in the back had these luminous red eyes. It gave me the creeps. He saw me seeing him and began recounting a story that lulled us all away from panic. It was somewhat hypnotic.
Before I knew it we had already arrived at The Tivoli and I was in the moshpit looking up at him performing at the front of my band with his weird eyes! I had no idea what was going on! The bastard had stolen my band! And in the end I had to hitchhike home in the rain!
What celebrity/ famous person would you love to be spokesperson of the band... Let’s make it Matthew McConaughey.
Every time we have a new release he can do an ad where he’s sitting by the fire with a warm whiskey and speaking with the calm of a grandfather in southern drawl about: “These wild boys from Australia.” We could make him the MC at our shows and he will announce us wearing a cowboy hat and riding on a mechanical bull.
If you had to live in a city abroad, where would you choose and why? We would live in Paris so we could fullfil our masterplan of awakening the ghosts of the dead from the catacombs from beneath the city so that the reckoning of the end times could be wreaked upon the colony world over.
But if the ghosts are chillers, maybe we could all just sit and have some tea, discuss time travel and play dungeons and dragons?
Three people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party... Nick Cave, Pauline Hanson and Hulk Hogan. Just to see what would happen. . . The sheer violent opposition of ideologies mixed with a man who knows how to slam bodies through tables. A recipe for entertaining disaster.
If we were coming over to your place, what would you cook us? I make a mean Turkish bread burger. Eggplant, pumpkin and capsicum grilled in olive oil and stacked with chipotle, sriracha and avocado. Yeah baby!
When it comes to pets are you a lover or hater of our furry friends? I love both cats and dogs.
No matter the expense, send me a case of… I’m actually a 7,000-year-old vampire who only feeds on the blood of label executives. So I need at least a bottle of that once a day before bed, at any cost.
The last time I saw the inside of a gym was… When mum used to do pump class and I was in the kiddy section.
What's the one chore you dislike the most? Dishes.
Do you have any phobias? I don’t know if it’s a phobia, but I’m very bad at cleaning. Dishes, clothes, my house. There’s nothing glorious in it. I have some terrible man-child syndrome where chores are very hard for me. God help me and those surrounded by my mess.
Would you ever partake in a reality show? Throw me in ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ so I can do an audition on live TV where I confuse it for a slam poetry show.
If you could prank any of your friends, who's your target, and how are you bringing them down? I’d prank my friend and bandmate Harry Edwards by creating a fake email account and telling him he’s just been selected by Sony for a six-year recording contract in Berlin.
I’d set up a meeting at a cafe and when he comes all excited he will be dismayed to find me sitting there having a nice americano and screaming: “Hahahaha! Jokes! You’re stuck staying with Selve forever mwahahaha!” At that point he would probably leave the band and we would be f…ed.
Best local takeaway joint for a 2am feed that will leave you with a food coma? You won’t believe it but there is a BP in the GC, in Tugun, that is actually run by a health freak.
You can stagger in at 2am and get a $7 organic veggie wrap that is about a foot long. Or you can get vegan ice-cream, vegan pizza, vegan pies, kombucha, friggin bone broth, whatever you need! It’s wild. And cause it’s a BP it’s legit open 24/7.
And because it’s a viperous international oil company they can afford to have cheap prices. A moral paradox, but perfect for a drunken stumble.
Which fictional character best describes your personality? I was quite literally named by my parents after Loki, the god of mischief. They chose it after watching Jim Carrey’s ‘The Mask’. The mask was the mask of Loki. So the mask is probably the best way to go.
Last show you binge-watched? I won’t lie. I started ‘Queens Gambit’ at 2am and finished at like 10am.