Wednesday, April 5, 2023
Mackay and Whitsunday Life
Off the back of their record-breaking triple j Hottest 100 appearance, seeing three tracks in the top six of the countdown, beloved outfit Spacey Jane has announced a regional Australia tour bringing the iconic indie rockers to Mackay in June.
The band’s drummer and manager Kieran Lama had a chat with our journalist Sam to talk about their meteoric rise to stardom and the sound that got them there.
When I was living in Brisbane, I remember a friend inviting me to see this band Spacey Jane playing at the zoo. Suddenly, I think you played three sold-out shows at the zoo and now you’re one of the biggest bands in the country. Did that rise in popularity feel as rapid from the inside as it did from the outside?
Definitely. It felt like it came out of nowhere for us, as well. After Sunlight came out and within the context of the pandemic, it just hit us without us really getting a chance to catch up to it, which is honestly the best thing that could’ve happened. It was really great to feel like things were moving so quickly and only now have we really had the opportunity to catch our breath and look back with a fair amount of gratitude more than anything, other than being a little bit of a headscratcher as to what on earth happened. It’s been super special, and I think all of our lives got turned upside down pretty quickly.
You use the term headscratcher but, if you had to guess, what do you feel are the reasons for the sudden explosion?
I have a lot of confidence in the songs themselves and I can say that because I don’t write them, I just play the drums, so I think Caleb (singer/guitarist/songwriter) tapped into something really special. Especially in 2020 when times were tough for a lot of people in terms of becoming a very introspective circumstance. I think his writing, the lyrics and also maybe the way we present and the way we are as people and as a band identity-wise, I think it was something that people could really connect with. I think guitar music will always be a staple in Australia and we’re just happy to bear that torch, even if just for a little bit. We could also just be a very lucky group of people who were doing the right thing at the right time, who knows?
Within that Australian guitar music scene, you’ve crafted a pretty distinctive sound and you can hear bands replicating it all over the country, who were your influences in crafting that sound?
We started just bashing instruments in a shed listening to stuff like early Kings of Leon, the Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, that kind of thing. We didn’t so much idolise the rock and roll lifestyle but the sound of that era, the early 2000s indie rock reformation, I suppose. Songwriter-wise, Caleb, and we all do, love Wilco, Coldplay, that kind of stuff. I think part of the sound that we have is the product of the circumstances in which we were making music. We were just playing in a shed together all the time. We didn’t know the first thing about equipment or gear so we just played for the fun of it on the weekends. As we got more and more into it, found a bit of a groove in the studio and get an understanding of how to make things the way we wanted to make them, I guess it just developed from there. It’s interesting because it’s never felt like we wanted to sound a certain way, I guess it’s just the natural conclusion of the four of us in a room together with access to recording equipment and cool shit in a studio.
How important is it to you and the band to tour regional areas like Mackay?
It’s super great that we can actually do it. We want to take advantage of that opportunity and make sure that we’re going to places. A lot of us grew up in regional WA so if we had the opportunity to see artists we loved back then, it would’ve meant the world to us. There’s definitely more in the works in terms of creative ways to tour Australia because there is so much of this country that we haven’t seen and would love to see. The fact that being in a band facilitates that to some level is pretty astounding.
I can say from what I’m hearing around the place that Mackay is very excited, what can we expect from your show in June?
I reckon a fair bit of sweat on the stage. We tend to give a lot of energy in the live shows. I mean, I’m sitting down so it’s chill for me, but the others are jumping around and going crazy, Ashton in particular gets a lot of hang time. It’s going to be fun. I think we are very much a live band, first and foremost. We played a lot of gigs around Perth before we ever got the opportunity to leave for the eastern states so it’s something we take a lot of pride in and we really want to put our best foot forward, especially for places that we’re playing for the first time. We’ve got something to prove and I hope we can do that.
WHAT: Spacey Jane
WHERE: Harrup Park
WHEN: Thursday, June 1