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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

SnapCacklePop Interview - Strange Talk..!

Finally releasing their long anticipated debut album Cast Away, we got the chance to chat to Stephen and Gerard from Strange Talk about the new LP, their tour plans, their influences behind the music, success in the US, secret pop crushes and who they would turn gay for. Its a mammoth interview with the Melbournian boys, so get the pop corn as its the SnapCacklePop Interview with Strange Talk..!

Hello strange talk! Welcome back to SnapCacklePop

Stephen, firstly Happy Birthday for the other week btw, how was your PlayStation day?
Stephen: Yeah was good, I have a slight addiction to Call Of Duty. So I didn’t really do too much, I had a pretty quite day. Gerard handled the emails for the day.
Gerard: Yeah he smashed some cans and played some PlayStation.

It’s been a year since we last spoke to you, what have you been up to?
G: We wrote an album. (hahaha)
S: Its been a busy last twelve months and reckon its going to be a busy next twelve months.
G: We did a lot of writing and not much touring compared to the year before. A lot of time in the studio carving up this album, then the other half doing the mixing and mastering, all the back end stuff the a bit of touring late last year.
S: Yeah we did some time in the US touring, which was lots of fun and took in the CMJ festival. Which we had some great response when we were there.

We’ll come back to your time in the US shortly, but lets go back to your album, how you feeling about it? Its been a long labour of love…
S: We are excited and relieved. For us as artists, you build the album from the ground up, from finishing the demo, to mixing the tracks and releasing the first couple of singles, it seems like a lifetime. Now its finally happening. Its great there has been a lot of support and a lot of anticipation around the record from the industry and the fans.

Which bit do you prefer in the whole process?
S: We love writing and the creative process behind it, however for me it the touring  aspect and performing at festivals and doing headline shows. As we haven't released the new album yet, when we have been playing a lot of new stuff off the album at shows, as its new, not many have heard the tracks. The fans relate a lot to the older stuff from the EP and singles , but it’s now gonna be great to go out and tour with the album now its out. It’s been good to go out and see the how the tracks get received.

So tell us about the album itself, you continue your synth driven pop sound, however this record has more dance vibe with a slight 80’s feel to it, was that intentional?
G: It is due to the synths we have used, we had a lot more toys for this album, vintage synths, 80’s synths and the iconically have that 80’s sound, so heavily feature through out the album. And with this album, we wanted something a little more upbeat, after playing all the festivals with bands like Arts Vs Science who just get out there and bang it out, it’s a really upbeat show, which is what we wanted for the LP and work live.

Who would you say have been your influences on this record? When we last caught up you said you were influenced by The Presets which  with this new record we can hear, that coupled with telling stories with your lyrics and this new dance edge, what are your thoughts on that?
S:There is nothing more fun than an exciting crowd who are loving the music. We played with The Presets in New York and it was just ridiculous what they can achieve with their music and the lighting.

It’s quite a stage show aswell…
G: And the crowd response was phenomenal, it went off the entire time they played.  I was watching the crowd as much as The Presets
S: Its when we played to crowds, that’s when the penny dropped for us. With Climbing Walls and our past tracks we already had that dance vibe, playing at festivals gave us that moment that this is the direction we wanted to do. That said, we also have a ballad and a few down tempo tracks. Its just another side to us and we wanted to show off our diversity. Challenge ourselves in the studio, rather than just having ten dance tracks.

Is it important to show an evolving side to your music?
S: Its more real and more organic and that’s why we have shown various sides of us as a band on the album. It keeps us motivated and challenge ourselves as a band.

Favorite tracks from the album?
S: Come Back Home is one of our favorites and especially that guitar solo. We just said think Brian May to our guitarist and go over the top…

Another 80’s influence…
S: Haha, and other track is So So La La. We weren’t going to put any strings on the tracks, however as growing up as a violinist, we thought it would be great chance to bring that in.

So, how fun was making the video for Falling In Love?
S: Yeah it was lots of fun
G: One big dance party

Is there any comparison to the lyrics of the track and to the video being set in a loved up club dance floor scene?
S: The song is not science, what you hear is what you get
G: It’s that europhoric feeling, where the party gets started and the music takes over.
S: Because we did our casting via our social media with our fans, it really created a true energy, from genuine fans, rather than 30-50 extra’s just being there cause they are being paid.

You mention social media and your fans, how important is it for you to connect with them?
S: We live in a world where we can easily connect with our fans, which is such a positive for us. You have access to hear from them directly.
G: I think its important for us to respond to as many messages as we can, as without the fans, you are not much at the end of the day. So we try and have interaction and make sure they know how much we appreciate them.
S: We do make such a great conscious effort to engage with our fans

What’s your fav social media platform?
G: Got to love Instagram, I love the random photo’s that just come up. I follow so many of my idols and you get such an insight into their lives.

Does it annoy you still that you are getting compared to French band Phoenix?
S: Not at all. They are such a big influence on us as far as loving their latest record and we have toured with them on the festival scene. I think there are still similarities whether vocally or the synth sound we both have. Or maybe just the energy both bands have created. We have steered into a different direction with this record that is most probably more like M83 or Crystal Castles yet saying that, there is a Michael Jackson feel to some tracks.

More 80s then! So if you and Phoenix were in a fight who would win?
S: Well there are five of them and only 4 of us, so most probably them

So, you’ve been on tour a lot this last year, how do you find being on the road? What do love/hate most about being on the road?
S:  Its a lot of 2 weeks stints then we get to come home for a bit. Best part about it is playing to the crowds, especially now with festival season. We’ve done the hard yards being a support band and playing to empty club which I guess was the hardest part, yet also checking into hotels and airports all the time is the hardest part.

It’s the non glamorous side then.
S: Touring is not glamorous at all, as you do not get to see any of the countries you are in and you have more knowledge about airports than the city itself.
G: We know what cases fit through what doors at certain hotels, as we travel with such large cases, we have to plan ahead. its hilarious.

So you played Beach Road (Sydney) last week, how was that?
G: The crowd was crazy
S: Sydney is always like that, they are always up for a good time. It was a lot more relaxed as wasn’t a headline show and great to meet fans and also get some new ones.

What have you found you have learnt most since being discovered on MySpace?
S: That if it seems too easy, it most probably is and you doing the wrong thing or its not going to last as long as you think its going to last. If its hard and you have done the time, you will get the reward.
G: Nothing has come easy to us, we’ve worked our ass off to get to our live shows and the album to a place we are happy, you can’t be in it just for the money, you have to be in it for the love of music. If you wake up every day and you want to do music, that why you do it and we have been very fortunate we get to do what we love everyday.

So album out tomorrow, what is store for the band for the rest of the year?
G: Touring and more airports
S: Lots of touring, we have a headline tour in March and promoting the album. Also getting back to the states.

Is it important to crack Australia first then the States or just tackle world domination at the same time?
G: Obviously world domination would be great (Hahaha)
S: It is important to focus on home, however strike while the iron is hot and its great our music is really resonating State side. I think it’s a timing thing and it seems to be right. There are good things happening over there and they really love the Australian music right now.
 G: Especially the electro pop sound that is going down really well over there right now

Finally we have our 5 silly SnapCacklePop Questions…

1) If you were king for the day what would you do?
G: Jeez these are the ones you have to think about…
S: Eradicate poverty
G: Are you going for Miss World or something? Next world peace
S: Well it is a problem
G: I was thinking more around having more KFC’s in the world

2) Who do you have a secret pop crush on?
S: Kelly Rowland I don’t know why?!?!?! There is something about her…
G: For me Nicole Scherzinger
S: If we are talking actresses, has to be Mila Kunis

3) Out of all of you in the band who would win in an arm wrestling competition?
G: Probably Trav being the drummer. He beats the hell out them drums, its like a workout.

4) What song do you secretly love to hate
S: Someone I Used to Know by Goyte just because its simple, I think, why didn’t I think of that.
G: Have to say San Cisco. It just gets stuck in my head

5) Who would you turn gay for?
S: George Clooney
G: Brad Pitt man

Thanks for your time Strange Talk! We wish you ever success with your new album Cast Away and see you on tour soon. 

Cast Away is available on iTunes now. Do yourself a favour and get it now..!

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