Locals Fear Like Us have seen musical trends, scenes and often bands come and go throughout their respected 12-year career. Purposeful, socially conscious and always sincere, the band’s continuity is reflected in their consistency. With their new album ‘Succour’ now out, and the band currently playing a series of shows, Killyourstereo.com caught up with Jamie Hay to discuss 2016, advice for young bands and the current mentality of the group.
Hi Jamie, thanks for the interview.
Hey Kane, thank you for thinking of us.
New album out, shows in progress, it’s a good period for the band. As an easing starting point, how has 2016 treated you far?
This year has been pretty good so far. We went on a short run of separate shows throughout January, February and March with our old mates [in] The Smith Street Band, Loose Tooth & Hoodlum Shouts, which saw us finish up in Adelaide at Paper Arms’ last show. So we cannot complain at all.
As you get older, tastes inevitably change, or perhaps just mature, and ambitions evolve. What’s the prevailing mentality of Fear Like Us in 2016?
I guess it’s pretty simple for us. We just want to write great songs, play well and leave people stoked and happy when they leave our shows. We want to write and talk about issues that we feel are pertinent. Anything else outside of that is a bonus.
Similarly, when you’re a band, just as with any profession, you’re going to make mistakes along the way and learn as you go. What have been some of the biggest lessons you learned early on that still help the band today?
There are a few key points that I can think of – Preparation; Make sure you’re across everything before you go on tour. There’s nothing worse than ironing out the creases on the road [and] in front of paying punters. [Also] not taking what you’re doing for granted; you may have moments of “success” or popularity but that can change, so it’s good to be mindful and respectful of where you are. Bands come and go but good friends and comrades are hard to find. Lastly, don’t be afraid to change and progress as a band. We’ve slowly changed our sound over 12 years and it feels fucking good to do so!
In our review, our writer noted how Fear Like Us “care deeply and honestly about [the] country.” This, accordingly, was reflected strongly in your new album. With the election campaign now enacted, and a myriad of other social issues always omnipresent, what fuels the band’s message and inspirations at this point in your career?
I think for us, the point is to get the conversation started and talk about things that we feel – in our scene at least – aren’t being talked about so much. We aren’t smashing any boundaries ourselves but if our album inspires a handful of young people to have a closer look at what’s going on in our country, then I think that’s a good first step. That was my experience as a young kid so I’d like to do the same.
All musicians (or anyone pursuing a goal) seem to encounter sliding doors moments in their career, usually early on, where they have to decide whether to continue pursuing their art or, perhaps, start to consider other endeavours. What, if any, was a key moment where you had to make a significant decision regarding your music?
I’ve never really considered any other path than music. In saying that though, I’ve never considered music a “career” path anyways. As long as I can still afford to go on tour, make a record and rehearse, I’ll still be making music. I think that’s why we’re still around after 12 years. We love making music and hanging out together, and that comes first. Everything else falls into place around that I believe.
You’ve carved out a consistent career as musicians in the local scene. The industry is always going to change, for the good and, unfortunately, also for the bad. What advice would you give to young bands starting out today?
Referring to the end of [my] last question, love what you do and the people that you do it with [and] don’t expect to become famous or make a living off playing in bands. Give a lot of time and effort to your lyrics, pour you fucking soul onto that page and spit that shit out like venom when you play.
Speaking of younger bands, what are some new bands that have captured your attention in the sense that they appear to be doing something sincere and engaging?
The ones off the top of my head are Hannahband, Two Steps On The Water, Camp Cope, Cascades, Naked Waste, [and] Rachel Maria Cox all are amazing bands and song writers.
Thanks for the interview, Jamie. Really appreciate your time.
Catch Fear Like Us on the remaining dates on their album tour.
‘Succour’ is available now via Poison City Records.