Sydney band The Jezabels released their third album, 'Synthia', earlier this year.
After the cancellation of their original tour due to keyboardist Heather Shannon’s treatment for cancer, which sent shock waves through their fans, the band will tour nationally in October.
Lead singer Hayley Mary explains making this album was different and is definitely their best effort yet. “We wanted to make this album for the same reasons that you do when you first start a band. There was no expectations and we just naturally started it. That combined with life experiences have made it more meaningful,” she says.
“This one is definitely special to us. Our last album was a harder time and I think that was reflected in the music. So I think we all look at this album quite fondly, and it has helped remind us of why we started to play music.”
Heather’s battle with ovarian cancer is stable after her treatment earlier this year and the time off she had to recover. “At the moment, it’s all looking ok. It got worse earlier this year around the time the album came out, but now she’s in the clear and she has been told by the doctors that she can tour, which is exciting,” Hayley says.
Hayley spoke personally of her bandmate's struggle and offered some words of advice for anyone who might be going through something similar. “Heather’s cancers were very rare, and she got it very young. Everyone’s situation is different, it depends on when you catch it and how you catch it.
“She went on for a few years without really even saying anything. But, sometimes you do need to take the time and heal. She tried to go on with treatments and get on with her life, but then it got to the point where she had to stop and put in some serious healing time. But of course I would say always keep fighting, but listen to your body and rest when you know that you have to,” she says.
“One thing that really helped Heather, was the positive reactions of the people. She didn’t want anyone to know about it initially, but when we had to cancel the tour we had to announce it. The way people positively reacted and the public discussion and public support was just a really good thing.”
When asked if the she would ever consider doing a collaboration, Hayley's response was emphatic. “Totally! I don’t know if the band would, but personally I would love to! “I have started working on some vocals on some tracks recently, like I did a vocal on… actually I don’t know if I can name them because they’re not out yet [giggles]. So I’ve started working with some bands, and I love doing that. If anyone is thinking of asking me… ask!”
Hayley says 'Pleasure Drive' is her favourite track off 'Synthia' because “it’s so personal. We had a pretty rough couple of years; so I took some time off and hired a convertible Mustang and drove across Death Valley in the US. I found that to be a very good thing to do for myself. To find some pleasure.”
The Jezabels Shows14-15 Oct - The Croxton Bandroom (Melbourne)
Wed 19 Oct - The Gov (Adelaide)
Fri 21 Oct - ANU Bar (Canberra)
Sat 22 Oct - Newcastle University Bar
Fri 30 Dec - Falls Festival (Lorne)
Sat 31 Dec - Falls Festival (Marion Bay)
Sun 1 Jan - Falls Festival (Byron Bay)
Sun 8 Jan - Falls Festival (Fremantle)