WHAT’S UP | NORTHEAST PARTY HOUSE
Just before Northeast Party House smashed out a cover of Childish Gambino’s ‘Redbone’ on Triple J’s Like A Version, we spoke to guitarist + bassist Jack Shoe about all things party, pins and the perfect hangover cure ahead of their Calypso Beach national tour.
It’s been 7 years for NEPH. Are you enjoying the ride thus far?
Jack: Yeah I am, I can’t believe it’s that long. It doesn’t feel that long because in the early years we had no idea what we were doing and so we weren’t really touring we were just making demos and putting them up on the internet and playing gigs in Melbourne so it took us a while to get into the flow of being a proper band.
Is it like it’s a never ending party?
Jack: Yeah it’s funny how people expect it to be a party but we take it quite seriously and it’s not just a never ending party. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of sacrifice. We definitely do get to party and there is a lot of partying involved but it’s a full time job now.
Good, that’s the dream! You’re living the dream man.
Let’s talk about Calypso Beach, that’s off your latest album ‘Dare’. As usual you guys self recorded and produced it. What’s the idea behind Calypso Beach?
Jack: The song started with Zach our singer. He made the initial demo. He wrote it in the carpark of Wet ‘n’ Wild. We just finished a tour and Brisbane was out last show so we decided to have two days off at the end of the tour to go on holiday as a band. All of our girlfriends and wives flew up and it was a nice time. Zach had a moment on his favourite ride, it was a kiddie ride called Calypso Beach and you just float in like an inner tube and you go round and round. Haha he got thinking about life on this ride and it brought up some inspiration for him so when he was in the car park later on he started singing that tune and came up with some of the lyrics. Later on when we were recording the album we were finding demos for the album, we found that demo and a lot of Zach’s demos he labels them as working titles like ‘Crap’ or ‘Not Wet’. So that was one of the demos that he didn’t think to actually show us because he didn’t think it would be anything. And we were like “Nah nah this has something there”. We brought it to the band and we fleshed it out and Mitch helped him with some of the lyrics and took on a different meaning. So it has two different stories in it, which has been woven into one so it’s open to interpretation. But yeah it’s a fun song.
Cool story! It’s a groovy song. You guys were inspired by some photography you were looking at when coming up with the music video so you wrote and directed it yourselves?
Jack: Yeah Mitch and Malcom came up with the concept of the video and it was from a Chinese artist that just recently passed away recently, Ren Hang. As a band we’re all really big fans of surrealism in art and this artist has beautiful images of bodies in strange positions and unique forms so Mitch brought all these photos that he liked and put them into a story for the video. Between Malcom and Mitch they came up with the whole concept.
So like a storyboard?
Jack: Yeah, they put together images they enjoyed that were visually pleasing and locations of what was available to us and what would work. Of course we picked a coastal place to shoot, considering it’s Calypso Beach it made sense so we entwined all these images we liked.
What do you appreciate from writing and directing a music video?
Jack: This is the second time we’ve done it this way. Last year we did the ‘Heartbreaker’ video clip, we had a warehouse party. Again it was Mitch and Malcom that were directing the scenes and the shots, and it was shot by Tim O’Keefe and Marie Pangaud. They shot Calypso Beach as well which was new for both of them but they did a great job on Heartbreaker so we thought why not do that again. Heartbreaker was much easier- it was pretty much a party scene. Calypso Beach took a lot of planning out. The sheer amount of time and work that goes into it was insane. We were meant to be rehearsing and writing in the studio but it just took up so much time so that put everything back a few weeks while we focused on the video clip. Yeah were really happy with the job they did.
We need to know about the revolution of the safety pin on Zach. Haha. You know what were talking about right?
Jack: I do, but I just left the shoot just before that scene came up. So I can’t say much why that safety pin came to be in the video haha.
Oh no! We wanted to know what that was about.
Jack: Haha I’m sorry, I reckon Mitch thought it would have looked cool and said “You need a safety pin your ear”. Maybe there’s a deeper meaning to it, like a metaphor.
Recently you had your gig at Sets on the Beach cancelled. Have you had something similar happen to you before?
Jack: Yeah, 5 years ago we were meant to play a festival in NSW and it had a really great lineup and we were so excited to play it. But insane flooding hit the region a few weeks before so the festival had to cancel which is heartbreaking but we weren’t actually there, we knew weeks and weeks ahead. So we’ve never shown up to a place and been rained out.
It was kind of annoying going all the way to Perth and not playing. We got a DJ set instead and I actually think the crowd enjoyed that more than if we had played.
Jack: We were the only band on the lineup and definitely all the stage crew were pretty happy about us not playing because all the fold backs and equipment they needed for a live band the just pack up and they told us, trying to hide their smiles, that it was too rainy for us to play.
Damn, that’s a shame for everyone that went to see you play there.
Jack: Hahaha we get the sense that not too many of our fans were there but we will be back pretty soon.
Yes speaking of that, you have your national tour coming up in May. What can we expect from this tour. Is there any thing you suggest we bring? Sparklers, safety pins? You know.
Jack: Sparklers may be an issue haha not sure how venues will react to that. Safety pins, for sure! Anything people wanna do fashion wise is fine with us. We’ve actually got some accessories that we’ll be bringing which I hope will be ready. We’re getting them designed and ordered. I think they’ll be ready for they first day.
Jack: I’ll leave it for the surprise but we’ll be giving them out at the door to everyone when they arrive. Yeah should be fun. We’re playing a lot of new songs off ‘Dare’ that we haven’t played yet. This is really our first album tour, cause when we toured back in September the album had come out at the same time so people hadn’t heard a lot of the tracks yet. So we were playing old material on that tour so this time we’ll play some new tracks which will be heaps of fun.
True. From a super fan perspective, when a band goes on a tour and they tour fresh from an album release it’s a different experience cause you’re not familiar with the songs yet so it’s cool you’re doing this because now the fans are going to know your songs in and out. They’ll have a different experience now.
Jack: I’m really looking forward to playing to crowds to people who know the songs and where those songs really mean something to them. It’ll be a special tour.
What’s your best show to date?
Jack: The bigger shows are amazing and always make you feel incredible and if you nail the biggest shows, that feels amazing but the ones that we’re the happiest are the ones we underestimated. A small country show, we get there and the stage is set up next to the pokie machines and we just really expect the worst and then the crowd that comes out that night are just so into it and they’re the best kind of people.
It’s often the small shows in tiny rural towns that surprise you and leave you feeling the best afterwards.
Yeah, that seems to be an ongoing pattern with bands playing at small rural town.
Jack: Yeah they really appreciate music, it doesn’t reach them as much.
And for all of our friends out there, what is your best hangover cure?
Jack: Oh, ha, last week we played The Hills Are Alive Festival and I think that was the worst drunk I’ve ever been. I had my first game of soccer of the year the next day which I had to cancel which was heartbreaking. Actually I didn’t leave my bedroom all day. I just had those electrolyte packets and water by about 8pm I was feeling strong enough to order Uber eats and I got Indian food which was pretty full on to get down but it did make me feel better so maybe, Indian takeaway.
Dude, that’s really brave.
Jack: So electrolytes with litres and litres of water. You just have to do it.
Catch Northeast Party House on tour this April/May:
Friday 28 April | Groovin the Moo, Wayville, SA
Saturday 29 April | Groovin The Moo, Maitland, NSW (SOLD OUT)
Sunday 30 April | Groovin The Moo, Townsville, QLD
Saturday 6 May | Groovin The Moo, Bendigo, VIC (SOLD OUT)
Sunday 7 May | Groovin The Moo, Canberra, ACT (SOLD OUT)
Saturday 13 May | Groovin The Moo, Bunbury, WA
Friday May 26 | The Factory, Sydney
Saturday May 27 | The Brightside, Brisbane
Sunday May 28 | The Brightside, Brisbane
Friday June 2 | Republic Bar, Hobart
Saturday June 3 | The Croxton, Melbourne
Saturday June 10 | Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth
Sunday June 11 | The Croxton, Melbourne