Tim and Kellie sat down together in February and recorded this episode outdoors, in Tim’s back garden. The sound is a little different, and features intermittent cicadas, birds and general background rumble. Sorry for the long delay in getting this one out, it’s been a crazy few months!
In 2003 we recorded our sixth album Take You Apart, in Brisbane and Melbourne. In a sharp left turn from the previous album, Rocks on the Soul, the songs were our straightest set yet; a collection of very simple pop/rock tunes written in standard tunings and with traditional arrangements.
In the early ’00s indie music underwent a reset, much as it had done in the very early 90s. Led by bands like The Strokes, music powered back towards a more simple rock’n’roll feel, and no one was immune. For us it was a big call, to discard the guitar sound and approach we’d built “our sound” on, not to mention the boy/girl vocal attack which had become our “big thing” over the previous two albums. But it felt right. We needed change, and we needed a new approach if we were to keep doing this.
Tim and Kel discuss all this, how we felt stifled and bored during those years, and how we’d try anything to overcome that. This included swapping instruments, and bringing in the keyboard, which was to be a great addition to the album. We laugh about how Tim ended up with the job of acquiring Kellie a case for the keyboard, so she could take it on tour (as far as America) – buying a dodgy second hand case from a guy in a dark car park in Milton one night.
Other highlights are our explanation of Mods R Us – which you’ve seen on our posters for decades now, as well as the “quiet yell” – our sure fire way of overcoming boredom and annoying mixing engineers in the studio.
We chat about what it was like in Brisbane during those years. For us, living close together in Red Hill and Paddington we were home long enough to actually socialise in our own town for a change. It was party season, and it was on fire, literally. Kel remembers when “the whole neighbourhood could have gone up” at a party with an out of control bonfire – she ended up riding in the fire truck so at least it ended well. In a weirdly related event, Tim’s Brisbane house burned down while we were recording in Melbourne, but never deterred, it was “on with the session“.
The writing and recording sessions ended up a joy, with several goose-bumps moments.. We also talk about the three videos Kellie made for songs on this album, one was hilarious fun, one almost killed her, and one – with footage rescued from “the great big bin of human history” caused our record company at the time to question her sanity..
We close this episode with a song by Sydney band Sounds Like Sunset. Pretty Soon appears on their album Invisible from 2005. We talk about the band, and their singer Dave Challinor, a close friend, who passed away unexpectedly on January 28th. Our drummer Phil played in Sounds Like Sunset and the loss of Dave hit us all hard. This whole episode is dedicated to his memory. Please check out their amazing music if you haven’t already.