After a 12-month gestation period of creativity where the band wrote and recorded at various locations in Western Australia, today Fremantle's indie pop-rockers Spacey Jane welcome their debut album, 'Sunlight', into the world.
The record includes the already released tracks 'Good Grief', 'Head Cold', 'Skin', 'Good For You', which came in at #80 in triple j's Hottest 100, and latest single, 'Straightfaced'.
Before you get too deep into our Q&A with the band's drummer Kieran Lama, go boil the kettle, remedy your mug with your preferred tea, or your favourite adult beverage, tuck into your sleepers, and find a patch of direct sun (if available).
You're on the precipice of releasing your debut album... how are the feels atm? [Kieran] A heap of nervous energy and excitement!
What's the journey been like for the band; from the initial stages of the group forming up to now and the release of your first record? It's been a really great four years so far, and it's amazing to be able to look back on what's happened. Sort of a whirlwind with some very exciting highs. I don't think any of us would have expected to be here, doing this right now.
You recorded 'Sunlight' across 12 months; did the shape and direction of the album shift, change during that time? I think given the way we wrote and recorded it, it sort of did. By the end of the sessions, we were really digging into different sounds and ideas so the back half sounds a little different to the first half/ our previous sound.
Thematically I think it works pretty well, because most of the record is about things Caleb was going through, and everything sort of developed and concluded by the time it was finished.
Are you ready to release your baby into the world; or are there still things on the album you wish you could still tinker with? I think we're definitely ready. It all came together easily in terms of post-production and there wasn't much we wanted to change.
The songs deal with issues related to failed romantic and family relationships, mental health disasters and running from everyone in your late-teens/ early-twenties; a pretty personal record then? Definitely. I really admire the honesty from [vocalist, guitarist] Caleb's lyrics in a lot of the songs. It's interesting for the rest of us as sometimes we didn't hear about certain things he would talk about in the songs, until we heard the songs.
I love bands like Modern Baseball, Turnover etc. So personal music is totally ok with me.
With four people writing the record, how did you maintain a civil democracy so all voices were heard? I think we're all fairly reasonable people and we have pretty similar tastes and goals with music. It was just a case of talking through changes/ ideas etc. and we didn't regularly run into issues or disagreements, which was honestly kind of surprising.
I think we used to get more bogged down in the tiny details, but we tend to agree a bit more these days.
Time to play favourites with your children; which songs resonate the most with you (and why)? For me, it has to be 'Booster Seat'. I don't really know what about it resonates so well with me personally, but I love the lyrics. I guess the honesty of it is really striking and the music suits it so much.
Recording with producer Dave Parkin; what did he bring to the project that further elevated the songs? Parko is the greatest; he makes being in the studio a very easy time and I think his own talent for song writing was a huge asset – he would always have ideas for things and make suggestions about what could work in a track in terms of instrumentation etc.
He's also just the nicest guy out and we love hanging out with him any chance we get.
How many songs have been left on the cutting room floor; will any be salvaged for future releases? There's a few there. We'll eventually get around to re-working or even using parts of them; we really loved them when we recorded them so they definitely aren't going to be wasted.
Releasing an album during COVID-19; have there been any unforeseen issues that have arisen or has it been pretty much business as usual? Yeah, it's a pretty strange time for it. I think the biggest difference is that we're obviously not touring or doing any in-person promotional stuff.
We'd initially talked about doing a bunch of in-store dates and stuff, but I guess we'll just have to be content with sitting tight and doing things over stream or Zoom or something. It's not the worst thing ever. It's kind of nice to have a break from the road, but very keen to get back out there soon.
Outside of the album, the past 12 months for the band: Splendour and Laneway appearances, headline tours – has it felt like the band has become a major staple of your lives, that you can see a future beyond this album's release and that Spacey Jane may become a full-time venture? Yeah definitely, we really didn't expect it to happen so quickly.
I think in the last 12 months alone we've all sort of given the band the front seat and relegated stuff like other jobs, uni etc. to the back. It's been nice to have a whole focus like this and we really love doing it, so definitely no complaints here.
With close to ten million streams, half a million monthly listeners on Spotify the band can claim; do those stats blow your mind? Yeah it seems kind of ridiculous. I'm really grateful in particular for the streaming stuff, I feel a bit detached from it all once the numbers get to that size.
It's a lot easier to visualise 100 people listening to something than it it a few hundred thousand. Mind-blowing is definitely the right descriptor.
Placing a track in the Hottest 100 with 'Good For You' at #80; impressive feat. You guys must've been ecstatic with that fan response? One of the best days we've ever had as a band, for sure. We couldn't believe it.
Any new skills or hobbies you've picked up during iso-lockdown? I built a computer, which was kinda cool but my housemates teased me for it. Also managed to learn to cook a bit (I was terrible in the kitchen before, like really terrible).
Other than that I feel like I've wasted a LOT of time and definitely haven't become some super-productive dude who learns three new skills a week. I think I need to do more.
When is the next Spacey Jane Mario Kart tournament being live streamed? Good question. . . Probably next Friday.
Anything else you would like to add? See you on Rainbow Road.