Brisbane indie-psychedelic group The Belligerents are a crew we're quickly becoming to love, with their unqiue, psychedelic-rock sound featuring heavily on a single we premiered for the group, Looking At You, as well as their Fatboy Slim approved cover of Praise You for triple j's Like A Version a few months back. Currently midway through their 'Outside:Inside' EP tour, the group perform tonight at Jack Rabbit Slim's, alongside a very special DJ set from The Hives (who are in town supporting AC/DC) and Gunns and before hand, we decided to catch up with the group to talk about the EP and the group as a whole.
You guys were writing the Outside::Inside for a fair while, 3 years? Was the delay a creative issue or was some other stuff keeping you busy?
We'd been playing with The Belligerents for like three or four years and we'd all gotten a bit tired of it. There was lots of new bands that everyone put a lot of energy into in those three years (such as The Furrs, Morning Harvey, Moses Gunn Collective, Orphans Orphans, The Family Jordan) and so there just wasn't much enthusiasm or time for Belligerents stuff. It was only when we started listening to new demos and when we went back into the studio that the excitement about the band started coming back.
The EP was wholly self-produced. Having control over your sound like that has really given you guys another dynamic. Does it help the songwriting processes?
It definitely makes everything a lot easier. It seems like for the first time in our life as a band the songs are coming out sounding like what we wanted them to sound like in our heads. It helps because there's nobody else there telling us - 'let's do it like this' or 'don't do that'. It's just the five of us having a great time making music together.
Bigger sounds, less pop, more psych. We love it. What brought about the shift in direction?
Glad you like it! It was actually a very natural progression for us. I think we'd gotten bored of that poppy-ish stuff and we weren't really enjoying playing those songs live anymore. We started worrying less about what people might like and focusing more on what we wanted to play and listen to. Right now we're all really excited about the set that we're playing because there aren't any songs in there that we don't 100% love.
What’s the story behind the Looking at You clip? Channeling some serious Mighty Boosh in that one!
We worked with Joe Agius (The Creases) and the only real plan we had was just to get Lewis to do his signature dance moves in front of different settings. Joe is a total wizard when it comes to editing so he ended up making it look awesome and weird - full credit to him.
You guys have a seriously busy schedule for the rest of the year, 9 shows in three weeks to close out 2015. An appropriate ending given all the success you’ve had this year?
It feels like it's the right way to close out the year. We did a few tours earlier in the year but never really played our own headline shows, so it's nice going out and playing in front of crowds that actually know our songs!
How were the first few shows of the tour?
Awesome! Northcote Social Club in Melbourne went off and Panacea Festival was a lot of fun even though it was really fucking cold at night time.
Now that the ball is well and truly rolling, when can we expect some full length material?!
We're going away at the end of January next year to record our first album! We're renting out a house on a farm and bringing all of our gear there for two weeks to record it. It's been so long in the making, we all can't wait.
And finally, what’s your plans over new years and into 2016?
I think a couple of the boys are playing festival shows with other bands they're in over New Years, but there's already a whole bunch of shows lined up for early next year, including a whole bunch of festivals which should be fun. First single off the record will be out mid-February!