In February, The Stress of Leisure decamped to Melbourne for a week of recording at Phaedra Studios (located in Coburg). We worked with John Lee who has recorded many fave artists of ours – especially the Laura Jean Devotion album, an album we played a lot in the van whilst touring. We’ve also dug the albums of other artists he’s worked with including Lost Animal, No Sister and Beaches but to name a few.
We didn’t know what to expect but came away pretty happy with it all. Over five days we worked towards recording ten songs and we mostly got there, bar a few overdubs. Not only was working with John a great experience for us, he also drew out our more punkier artier sensibilities. We were feeding off the energy of the songs. No click tracks. There was a feeling amongst all of us, that things were working out a bit too easy. What was the catch? When were things going to fall in a heap? Ian was complimented by Pascalle for being patient during everything. What was going on!?!
Amongst it all we even managed to catch a couple of live sets from one of our favourite Australian acts – Dave Graney and the MistLY. They played the Memo Music Hall down in St Kilda on a Thursday night and were absolutely on fire. We were lucky enough to play a couple of shows with them in 2012 – one at the Miami Shark Bar which Dave would probably love to recall – and hadn’t seen them play as a foursome since. Such a great band in full flight.
We’re hoping to mix the album soon and maybe, don’t wanna jinx it, it’ll probably come out later in 2020. What does it sound like? Good question. It definitely feels more political than our other albums as a lot of the lyrics were written during the horrendous bushfire summer of 2019/20. It definitely feels looser and punkier too. Some killer bass lines. John compared us to a few no wave acts which was very generous of him. Jessica Moore, our resident millennial drummer (and early adopter of technology), said we’re more like ‘faux wave’. Maybe Jessica’s onto something here?
Whatever it sounds like, we look forward to releasing it someday. The above collage is some photos taken during the recording week. Good times.
This coming Easter will be spent with sub-tropical comrades Some Jerks. They played The Bearded Lady in February and packed the place out – people were dancing in the street crying with joy. I would implore these people to come see us and ‘The Jerks’ play at a new Brissie venue called Outer Space on March 31. A band also on the bill is called Elder who we’re looking forward to catching as well. We’ve played some really fun gigs alongside Some Jerks and they are always memorable for the right reasons.
Another new album is on its way, and to just give you a taster, we’ve done a video for the song I Wanna Be Adult.
The video is inspired by the television program Come Dine With Me. Pascalle Burton came up with the idea and saw the concept through to its realisation. We were ably supported by Phil Usher on camera, who incidentally played drums on our last album Achievement. Adele Pickvance, once of the legendary Go-Betweens, The Far Our Corporation and The Dave Graney Show, also makes a star cameo.
There were some excellent meals prepared during the making of this, and as much as shooting a video is always strenuous, we thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of our labour.
The song itself focuses in on the term ‘adult’. We hear this term a lot, especially from politicians. It’s all a bit paradoxical.
Of course, we love this type of absurdity at The Stress of Leisure.
I remember the first time I heard Custard, in the early 1990s. It was on community radio, and I think the station was 4ZZZ, but it could’ve been 4DDB in Toowoomba. Instantly I was turned on to the sound, it felt like Queensland, the voice was talking to me. It was clever and fun. The song was ‘Bedford’ and made me a fan. From that song the band went onto national prominence playing the BIg Day Out and Livid, touring throughout and appearing regularly on national television. I saw Custard play a lot – I remember in 1996 the gig at Festival Hall with Regurgitator and Powderfinger, the moment Custard played ‘Golden Age of Nicotine’ a couple of times in a row; that 1997 4ZZZ Market Day in Albert Park when they opened with ‘Money For Nothing’; I even saw them play at the Gladstone Hotel in Toowoomba, up on the range. Always fun, I always came away with another special memory of seeing them. They were an indelible part of my 1990s in Brisbane.
But yeah, fast forward a couple of decades and voila! The Stress of Leisure is joining Custard on tour, both of us simultaneously celebrating new albums. For us, we’re launching Eruption Bounce into the world. Custard will be launching TheCommon Touch. I’ve had a sneaky listen and it sounds great. Can’t wait to watch them in action again, I’m sure all those good times will come flooding back into the now.
All in all, we’re playing four times together. I’ve listed the dates below. I’m really looking forward to this!
The Stress of Leisure is looking forward to supporting the formidable Shonen Knife at The Zoo on September 21. Shonen Knife released a fantastic album last year called Adventure including gems such as Wasabi and Tasmanian Devil. Back in the 90s, who could forget the classic Banana Chips once it was in your head! So many catchy tunes. Also playing on the night are locals I Heart Hiroshima who are set to release a new album this year as well. This will be a TOP gig.
The Stress of Leisure is looking forward to releasing their sixth studio album Eruption Bounce later this year. It’s going to be released on Brisbane label Plus One Records. Frontman Ian Powne describes it as “a yearning for positivity, but essentially more songs about buildings, food AND the internet.” Stay tuned, comrades.