An Interview With The Australian Band, THE JEZABELS About Their Newly Released Album, “Synthia”, Biggest Inspirations, Upcoming Tour and More!
Posted On 12 Apr 2016
Tag: All Access, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Australia, CLASH Music, Hayley Mary, Heather Shannon, Kim Moyes, Kraftwerk, MGM Distribution, Mike Callander, Newtown, Nik Kaloper, Pleasure Drive, Prisoner, Sam Lockwood, Sydney University, Synthia, The Brink, The Jezabels, The Presets, Zero Percent
The Jezabels recently unveiled the official remix of their song “Pleasure Drive” by Zero Percent—the new project from Kim Moyes of multi-award winning duo The Presets and leading Australian DJ, Mike Callander—via CLASH Music.
Of the remix, CLASH raves, “twitching, frisky disco music with a noir edge, this new version of ‘Pleasure Drive’ would work in a dimly lit, atmospheric club, while the subtle tones and intricate production makes for superb headphone listening.”
“Pleasure Drive” is from The Jezabels’ new album, “Synthia”, which is out now via MGM Distribution.
Of the album and recording process, Hayley Mary notes, “This is a record we made ourselves, at our own behest…we just had a natural momentum. We were back in Sydney [from London] in January, got together to rehearse and wrote about four songs in a week.” She continues, “Previously I’ve shrouded myself a lot in mystery and the language of romanticism; played roles and stuff—which reflected some kind of truth about how I felt as a woman. Now I feel like I can be much more upfront…the truth about how it feels to be a woman has become a more prominent part of the general conversation in the last couple of years…these are exciting times. I think we’ve made an album that celebrates that.”
Since the release of their breakout debut, Prisoner (2011), The Jezabels’ Sam Lockwood (guitar), Nik Kaloper (drums), Hayley Mary (vocals), and Heather Shannon (keys), continue to earn widespread praise for their “anthemic sound.” Their follow-up album, The Brink (2014), caught the attention of Rolling Stone, Esquire, Elle Magazine and more, for a sound that Noisey called, “a bold cut of emotive, epic-pop, hinged on Hayley’s sky-scaling Stevie Nicks-ian melodies.”
Learn more about The Jezabels in the following All Access interview with their drummer Nik Kaloper:
Thanks for your time today! So, how’s 2016 been treating the band so far? What were some of the highlights of 2015 for you all?
2016 has been pretty good so far, we were very happy to have released the album. 2015 was spent mostly writing and recording the album. We all got up to pretty different stuff before we started working on the new album in 2015. We all spent a fair bit of time living in our own lives. I grew tomatoes in my backyard for a while and got into cooking more.
I’m sorry to hear that your US tour was canceled due to the health of your keyboardist, Heather. Was it hard making that call? How is she feeling now?
Making the call wasn’t that hard, there are some things so obviously more important than the band that it was a no brainer. We’ve written all of our songs together so it’s important to us that we play them together. Heather is doing well, she’s an exceptionally strong woman and tackling this head on. She’s excited, as we all are, to tour this album as soon as life permits.
Can you remember first starting this group? What made you decide that you could be a band? How did you come up with your name? What other names were you thinking of using?
I can absolutely remember starting this group. Sam, Heather and Hayley were already jamming and writing when I came on board. Sam was a regular at the Sydney University coffee shop I was working at, he mentioned they were looking for a drummer to play with – after a few jams in Hayley and Heather’s Newtown flat (poor neighbours) we were a band. The name is a sort of feminist reclamation of the derisive term ‘jezebel’. Early on we toyed with the idea of a few different name, but nothing stuck.
The recording process was quite similar to every other time we’ve recorded – working and reworking ideas, writing and rewriting songs, recording and rerecording parts. When we record we’re constantly working on every aspect of the song to figure out how we can make it better, anything is up for changing until we send the song off to be mixed. I’m not sure if we’d ever finish an album without a self imposed deadline to be honest.
What are some of the stand-out tracks on the collection? What was the inspiration for this album? Who or what is “Synthia”?
I’m quite a big fan of the opening and closing tracks on the album. In general, I think every track on the album requires the others to make sense, I’ve always seen our songs as distinct parts of a whole. There was no clear goal concerning what we wanted to achieve when we started writing for this album, often the themes and the overall inspiration becomes apparent over time and doesn’t make sense until its finished. I think ultimately, Synthia is an exploration of the problems and challenges women face in our modern political and social climate.
Who are some of your all-time favorite bands? Who would you love to work with one day?
We all have wildly different tastes in music. I’m listening to Kraftwerk as I type this, because they are brilliant. I’ve always thought the idea of working with anyone I admire might be a little too intimidating of an experience.
How often do you all get to go back home to Australia and visit with your families?
Quite frequently. We hit the road for long periods of time but we always find our way back to our friends and families that live in Australia.
At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope listeners take away from your songs?
To be honest I don’t think there is a single coherent message in our music. It’s all food for thought – so if you listen to our songs and start thinking about anything that you not have before – that’s all we want.