Caulfield are in the leading contingent of local up and coming bands. Hailing from Sydney, the band delivers a versatile post-hardcore blend. With their debut studio album – ‘Vanity’ – due out this Friday via Halfcut, Killyourstereo.com sat down with guitarist Andrew Gill to discuss the full-length, plans for the future and learning from your peers.
G’day Andrew, how’s it going?
Great man, how are you?
Going well thanks.
The big thing at the moment is the debut album – not long now until release. What’s the feeling like at the moment? I imagine it must be a case of wanting to get it out there for fans to hear.
Definitely man. It has been like that for a long time, now that it’s only a week or so away, it is blowing my mind man.
Obviously, you spend so much time in the studio writing and recording an album, what is the thought process like at this stage? While fans haven’t heard it yet, you guys have probably listened to the album to death while recording.
Yes, definitely – that’s pretty accurate. I think we are just really excited about the prospect of sharing it and getting the album out there because, like you said, we’ve had it for so long and we’ve had it up our sleeves, and now we can’t wait for other people to hear it, [and] see how they respond to it. We’ve played some of the tracks live and there has been a really positive response to it.
The line-up change with Matt coming into the fold a few months back, how has that transition been?
It was really smooth. Matty D is the man. He has picked up all the songs really quick and has been able to slot in like a deck of cards. The other good thing is he is just a really cool guy to hang out with – he is funny and contributing this energy.
This time around you’ve got Halfcut behind you. Sometimes up and coming bands have to handle all the promo and business side of things on top of the music itself. This time, you’ve got a reputable label behind you. What’s the working relationship like?
It is amazing. It is a new experience for us. The team there, especially Maya, is just so helpful. She has become the next member of our band essentially. She is out in Melbourne, we are in Sydney, but we talk everyday via email and text messages. Halfcut are so supportive and they know what they’re doing. I think it is important to have that on board because they are used to doing it. For them, releasing a record is like breathing in. For us, it is a whole experience, which is out of our comfort zone. I think it’s important to have them on board.
When you mention there how it has been a “whole experience”, talk us through what is has been like being in Caulfield so far and some of the lessons you’ve learnt.
Honestly, the lessons learnt for me is just don’t hesitate and just pump out as much [music] as you can. I think the really successful bands that are out there are the ones that put out regular content. With us, we released an EP a while back and we wanted to get an album out quicker, but we just couldn’t do it. As you know, we had members changing and it took us a while to line up Shock/Halfcut. I think there’s correlations with bands that can have a clear run, and release as much as they can as fast as they can, [they] are the ones that get picked up. Personally, that is why I don’t want to leave a lot of time between when we do our next album.
One thing I noticed when doing research for this interview is that you guys share a lot of music on your Facebook page from some of your friends and fellow musical peers bands. How important is it to have that friendship and almost community factor present?
I think it’s really important. To us, we are over the moon when people do it for us. Being able to contribute that back is amazing. I think it’s good to recognise when there are hard working musicians. If you don’t support it [the scene] it will just die out. I think that’s engrained in all of us – we want to help out the others bands that are out there.
Do you personally think the scene is in a good place at the moment?
Yeah, definitely. I think because of the camaraderie and how much bands are putting in. I think over the past five years, the quality of bands is just amazing. I go to local shows in Sydney to see a bunch of bands and even though the bands are up and coming they are stepping it up because they are going to shows [too] and realising if they don’t have the quality they won’t cut it. It’s just amazing to see how much it has progressed.
When you mention about bands stepping up, it means it’s a healthy scene, but it also means more competition too. With ‘Vanity’ what’s going to be the sticking point that gives you that point of difference from the rest?
That’s a really good question. I think writing a set/track list that communicates the album really well. There are different points to ‘Vanity’ – different highs and lows. Being able to deliver that live and in sequence just puts a climax at the right point of a show. Having that planning [is essential]. Also, how we coordinate things is something that can set us apart.
Northlane are probably a good case study of a local band that has exploded. I remember seeing a fan-filmed YouTube video from about two years ago when they played at NEXT and there were only a handful of people there. Then they played at the venue earlier in the year and it was filled to capacity. For Caulfield, what have been the noticeable changes you’ve observed in the band over the past few years?
It’s interesting you say Northlane because Northlane are a Sydney band like us and we used to play shows with those guys. We played an all ages show with them at Blacktown – probably in 2010 or 2011 – we would just watch them and think, “These guys are going to go places.” They had such a great sound.
In regards to changes with Caulfield, we’ve just tried to become as tight as we can. We’ve seen what’s out there and the competition. Every show is a learning experience. We communicate so much – it’s evolutionary in that sense that it just continually keeps growing. I’m happy with where we are at and with where our live show is.
Referring to how you’re happy with where everything is, now that Caulfield is more of a full-time endeavour, what’s it like balancing all your other commitments?
It has been really hard. It is kind of hard to balance it. We all work full-time jobs and we all have to put money away for this and that. It is just one of those things you deal with. We are sort of lucky in the sense [at the moment] we usually have at least one months notice if we are going to do a show, so we can plan to get it off [work] for a show or tour.
What are the plans for 2014? I assume it’s going to be lots of touring, but what’s next year looking like currently?
We’ve got a bit of stuff in the works. We want to shoot another video clip – maybe for the title track, ‘Vanity’? We’ve got things in the works for shows, but nothing confirmed. Ideally, we just want to tour and promote the album as much as humanely possible. We hope it takes off and we get the response we are looking for. We’d like to go overseas and pop the cherry as soon as possible.
You’ve supported some international bands when they’ve toured here. What have those experiences been like?
Amazing. We played a show with Attila and I didn’t have a great idea who they were before playing with them, but they were just amazing. We learnt a lot from that show in the way they respond to the crowd and how they got their sound. Again, it’s like I was talking about before with the learning process, you play with the best on offer and you take from that what you can.
Really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us today. Hope the album goes well for you. Thanks Andrew.
Thanks for that Kane, really appreciate it.