In a manner befitting that of a shoegaze band, it’s been a long and gradual build-up to making a lot of noise for Melbourne-via-Sydney’s Flyying Colours. September sees the band finally release their debut LP, entitled Mindfullness, after five years as a band and the kind of hype that most bands would sell their soul for. It’s been said that you get a lifetime to write your debut album and three months to write your second. Though we’re not quite at the latter stage for the band, the former can certainly be attested to by its members.
“All of the songs from our first two EPs and this record all kind of come from the same period of time,” explains Brodie J Brümmer, who serves as one of the band’s two vocalists and guitarists, as well as a founding member. “They were all songs that stemmed out of a string of odd little demos and ideas that were rattling about for a while there. Every time that we wanted to release something, we’d go through and pick something out of this archive and develop it into a full song. All of these songs, then, stem from around the time we released [first single] ‘Wavygravy’, and even a coupe that go a little further back than that. With the release of this album, everything that we formulated and developed through that time period has officially been turned into a complete composition and recorded. Getting this record out feels like the end of a cycle, in a lot of ways.”
Mindfullness was recorded in the band’s native Melbourne, with production duties being split between Brümmer and the band’s manager, Marty Brown. If that name sounds familiar, you’ve a keen eye for Melbourne music – Brown was formerly a drummer for Art of Fighting, as well as a key member of both of partner Clare Bowditch’s backing bands The Feeding Set and The New Slang. As far as recording their music is concerned, Brümmer and co. note it as being a very different entity to playing live.
“The sky is obviously the limit when we’re recording – for one thing, there are probably like three thousand guitar parts on any given track,” says Brümmer with a laugh. “I don’t think we’ll ever be a band that can just go in and knock out an album in one day with all four of us locked in a room together – we’re defnitely not Eddy Current [Suppression Ring] or anything like that. With that said, we wanted to try and draw a closer parallel to how we would actually play the songs when you come and see us.
“The multi-tracking is obviously a big part of the studio medium, but we also wanted to try and give a clearer indication of how this line-up of the band operates. I suppose that’s why we got Marty in to help produce it alongside me and the rest of the band – we wanted it to be a really organic representation of us.”
Talk turns to equipment used during the recording of Mindfullness. Rather than trying out any further experimentation, Brümmer decided to focus in on what he already had on offer – with a sneaky amp trick up his sleeve for good measure.
“As a guitarist, I don’t like to stray too far from what my rig is,” he says. “I’ve got about 10 pedals, maybe 12 – and compared to a lot of guitarists that I know, that isn’t all that many. I used three different guitars on the album, and I found that I was able to get the best clean sounds when I bypassed the pedalboard and plugged directly into my [Fender] Twin Reverb amp, which I’ve always used. All I did was turn it up excruciatingly loud – so loud that if you scraped a pick over the strings on clean tone, it would be nearly deafening. It was quite scary, actually – I liked it.”
Having performed at Northcote Social Club last month, the band flies to Europe in October for a tour taking in the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Austria and the Netherlands. With their flights looming, the band mightn’t get a chance to properly rehearse before fly[y]ing over – which is completely fine, as far as Brümmer is concerned.
“It’s strange, we’ve never really been the kind of band that rehearses all that much,” he says. “When you’re in a band, you tour a lot and play a lot of shows – you end up playing your songs a ghastly amount of times. In a way, going into a show without rehearsing beforehand kind of livens things up again – you honestly don’t know what’s going to happen, and it feels like you’re playing all of these songs again for the very first time. It could go either way, sure, but I think that’s a really cool thing. It takes out the element of just going through the motions, where you’re just routinely playing songs you’ve churned out for months and months on end. Besides everything else, the other three people in this band are such incredible musicians – no matter how long it’s been since we’ve played, they have their parts down pat. If we’re ever needing to rehearse, it’s entirely for my own benefit – just so I can keep up with them.”
Flyying Colours’ forthcoming album Mindfulness will be out September 23 via Island/UMA. For more details, head to flyyingcolours.com.