Creators of dreamy funk pop, The Attics are a Melbourne band with dedication. From long haul drives, to long-distance writing process, Cameron Wade from the band lets us in on the antics of this up and coming Melbourne band and their approach to creating and performing their music.
BYO: Who are The Attics? How did you guys meet, what type of music do you make, and why do you make it?
CAMERON: We’re a four piece from Colac in South West Victoria; we’re mainly based out of Melbourne now but occasionally get to practice at home every now and then. We’ve been playing together for a while; a long time really, five or six years. Originally it was music I was making out of my computer, and I sorted of put a band together to try and bring it to life! Over the years, various people have been in and out of the band and the songs have moved with whoever’s been playing; I guess they’ve always had a melodic focus at the centre of it all. We’ve probably got a bit more serious over the years about what we’re doing, and we’ve gotten to be a bit more professional about it all, but at the centre it’s still very much a recreational pop outlet.
BYO: You’ve released a new single ‘Ultramarine’. What’s the story behind that song?
CAMERON: This question gets asked by a lot people. I find it really hard to try and pin point what I, and we, were trying to get at. But I think it’s very chaotic in its lyrics. It’s kind of demonstrating that no one really knows what or where they’re going, but that everything ends up figuring itself out. The music is a bit like that too; bouncing in and out of the dreamy soundscape-y choruses and pre-choruses, into these jarring verses. I guess they kind of match together.
As a whole it comes across like that and its very neatly packaged as a tidy pop song, but there is probably a lot more behind it than what it seems.
BYO: How do you guys create music? Is it a collaborative writing process, or does everyone do their own certain parts?
CAMERON: It depends what the song is! This song in particular is really weird. We had just finished our first album last year, and we were all heading away and doing different things for the second half of the year, so we tried to kind of get something down quickly, which is the opposite of how we wrote the album; spending a lot of time getting everything perfect. It was nearly nine months of back and forward online while me and my brother was overseas, and the other two were at home still. It was very weird. But typically, I would put the songs together on guitar or on my computer, and then bring it to the band and flesh them out. They’d be pretty bare boned when I give them to the band, but we just flesh them out and grow the song and make it a bit more lush.
BYO: Who are some of the bands main musical influences?
CAMERON: That has, again, changed over time, given we’ve been around for a while. But I’m a big fan of Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Connan Mockasin, Tame Impala; the kind of quirky and wonky pop musicians more than anything else. There’s a bit of everything! The music is quite alternative; but in production there’s a lot of ideas that we take from high gloss pop music; your top 100 hits sort of music, there’s little bits in there.
BYO: You’ve supported some fun acts like Ali Barter; who has been your favourite act to play with?
CAMERON: Ali Barter was a lot of fun, that was part of our last album tour. Just a couple of weekends back, we got to play with Slum Sociable on a couple of their regional shows, which was a lot of fun as well. Those guys were pretty wild to play with, but they were really good. We’ve been lucky to get on the stage with a few bigger bands. They’re good to learn, and watch and see how they put a show together. I guess if you only go and watch a band once when they come to town, it’s hard to come away with learning much. But if you go away and play a few shows with a band, you pick up on the things that they do, how they draw a crowd into their show. I think the Slum Sociable shows were a real highlight!
BYO: Do you guys have any funny tour stories?
CAMERON: When we tour it just ends up being enormous drives. We try to take our music up to Sydney every now and so you end up with these enormous 10 hours in a car and then you arrive in Sydney right on sound check at 5. You’ve been up since 5 in the morning and you get there and play the show and then get in the car and come straight home again! We haven’t put together a big enough tour that’s sprawled out and become a bit more of an adventure. Normally it’s just kind of get it done and get home in one piece!
BYO: That’s a massive drive!!
CAMERON: It’s quite difficult to justify flying everything there, so it’s just easier to go ‘Alright boys, get in the car let’s go’.
BYO: Chugging coffee and Redbull I can imagine.
CAMERON: That’s it!
BYO: You’ve also done a few shows in the US; what was that like?
CAMERON: I played them as solo shows, so they were totally different! I had to kind of figure out how to do them all over again; how to play our songs as just me. We would always play with computers, but it’s just another thing to tone back what the computer is doing to fit in with one person rather than with four. But they were good; I played a festival up in Toronto, and a show in Detroit and a show in New York. They were all really good! Great crowds and some really cool local bands we played with over there. They thought it was just crazy that someone would come over and play on their own from Australia, so that was fun.
BYO: What do you guys prefer, playing live shows or the creating process?
CAMERON: Playing live shows is always fun; when a new song starts working in a band and it just starts gelling together, that can be enormously satisfying. But I think playing shows is in the end why a lot of people are in bands. It’s a lot of fun engaging with an audience and try and draw them in.
BYO: What’s next in the future for you guys? An album in the works?
CAMERON: We have a swag of songs ready to go, and it was really hard to pick what to use for this release, but we’ve still got a good handful left behind that, and we’re trying to figure out how that’s all going to work. We’ll probably put another track out before the end of the year, and then probably end up playing quite a few more shows going into summer. Then we need to have a think about what we want to do. I would like to write another album; I never thought we’d do albums, but after last year’s one, it’s really satisfying finishing something so big. I think doing an EP after doing an album would feel like taking a bit of a step back. So yeah, I think we’ll try to wack out another full-length album.
You can catch The Attics at the Grace Darling Hotel in Melbourne on August 24, or stream their new single Ultramarine online now: