A 9-piece Indie Orchestra have escaped their home turf in Melbourne, Australia to invade British soil… chaos ensues.
It’s not often I find myself excited by an artist or band’s music. You know when you suddenly know all the lyrics and find yourself front row at a gig, dancing with your arms up in the air… like you just don’t care. That’s been me over the past few weeks, whilst getting to know this army of Aussies who are just as awesome off stage as on. Other Animals have spent the last few weeks here in the UK recording their debut album, as well as playing at a number of festivals and gigs in and around London. I’ve had their songs playing on repeat, sharing with friends, family and strangers to hear it and love it as much as I do – they didn’t need much convincing.
I sat down with lead singer Dave at Yellow Shark Studios in Cheltenham to have a chat. One thing to note about these guys: the only thing they take seriously is the music. Anything else, well, read on to find out…
G’day! I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know you all over the last few weeks, but can you share a little bit about yourselves – how did Other Animals assemble?
Ok, well it’s kinda like that movie. Have you ever seen ‘Avengers Assemble’? I haven’t either but I’ve been told it’s exactly like that. Mikey is Iron Man and Jaron is Thor. I’m the Hulk, maybe – was he in that one? Or like the Blues Brothers… Mikey is Jake, fresh out of prison, I’m Elwood and the band is like the band as they can all play their instruments really well. Although, it’s probably more like this: Mikey had a bunch of songs, I had a band. We met at a house party that Loz and I accidentally hosted in Melbourne, famously known as crazy Sunday – it got real. I stole Mikey’s songs, he stole my band.
From watching you do your thing in the studio to performing on stage, it’s evident that music is in your blood – did you grow up in musical households?
Some of us did and some of us didn’t, but it doesn’t seem to matter hugely. I grew up with compulsory piano lessons, Mikey grew up in a caravan where his double bass would poke through the sky light. Meanwhile, Loz grew up on Disney films and hugs. Dreyfus grew up having to write his father’s String parts for his orchestrations. Seb grew up with an Irish rockstar dad (it’s not Bono), Kat was singing throughout high school and Kelly grew up in a house where her parents hired out instruments to schools, so she could have her pick at whatever instrument she liked – finally arriving at the Trumpet of all things. Nelson was home-schooled by what you could and should call a cult, whereas Jaron says he did well in school, but I hardly think you can call Juvey school.
My favourite track from your album has to be Oh Lordy! I’ve had it on repeat since I first heard it – I love the catchy, up tempo energy and indie rock vibes that just makes me want to jump on stage and dance… Who or what inspires you when it comes to sitting down and writing music?
That particular track was the song that started the whole thing. Mikey had it left over from a previous band who didn’t want to do it, which seemed mad to us! I think they were worried that the up tempo energy and indie rock vibes would make people want to jump on stage and dance.
You’ve claimed to be the ‘best band in the world’ – a strong statement! There must be other bands in the industry that you admire or fan girl over?
Queens of the Stone Age and Radiohead. We totes put on collective cheerleader skirts and pig tail our hair for them.
I have to point my readers in the direction of your interview with Men Style Fashion on YouTube – which happened to my first introduction to you guys – and to quote Jaron, ‘we are fashion!’ Does style play an essential part of the band’s ‘brand’?
No, we’re not a boy band. You know those parties you go to and get particularly wasted and the next day wake up to a bunch of photos on Facebook of you looking like someone you would instinctively avoid eye contact with? We aren’t fashion, we are music… although Jaron is partial to snazzy threads.
You’re been busy recently recording your album and preparing for festivals – how do you spend your days off?
Well there are nine of us so… Use your imagination. And even then you’re probably way off.
Dave, you’ve previously claimed to be a ‘man on the street’ – do you know what these slang terms mean? Bonus points if you can use them in a sentence!
Something Jaron does in between songs.
Actual meaning: Getting the party started
Something Jaron does on dance floors with the most mild hint of consent.
Actual meaning: Used to express you are in the process of doing something difficult
Some Twitter thing?
Actual meaning: This is what you do when you insult someone
A deer, a female deer.
Actual meaning: Used to replace ‘though’ for emphasis
“Mupload that ish”
That CAN’T be a real one?!
Actual meaning: The process of uploading pictures to social media via mobile phone
A common London driving manoeuvre, apparently.
Actual meaning: An exclamatory word used to emphasise a statement
Being super wasted, I’m guessing?
Actual meaning: Another term to describe ‘fun’ or ‘rowdy’
I’m predicting big things for you guys and I’m excited to see what you do next – where do you see yourself this time next year?
The band will probably have a dog by then. Mikey and I will be in marriage counselling, the girls will be headhunted by bigger bands and Jaron will be in rehab. Most of these things are actually not even a joke.
Now let’s get personal… Which Other Animal is most likely to:
Embarrass themselves in public?
Fall asleep at a party?
Stay out the longest on a night out?
Leave dirty dishes by the sink for someone else to clear up?
Eat other band members’ food in the fridge?
Be late to everything?
Get naked in public?
You’d hope Jaron, but Dreyfus.
Use the toilet with the bathroom door wide open?
Get into a fight?
Take the longest to get ready in the morning?
Forget song lyrics?
Say something they will eventually regret?
Throw the best shapes on the dance floor?
Tell a great joke?
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