Interview: Orphans Orphans
Words by Emma Jones - Published on September 15, 2014
Orphans Orphans, with members from Morning Harvey, The Belligerents, Moses Gunn Collective and The Jungle Giants, have quickly become one of this year’s most hyped, up-and-coming bands out of Brisbane. If you caught their set at BIGSOUND, you’d know why. Coming together to give a home to tunes they were working on that didn’t exactly fit in with any of their other projects, the guys have released their debut EP to unprecedented hype – and success. We caught up with Spencer, Lewis and Sam at BIGSOUND last week to get a bit more in depth with the latest “super group”.
So, how’s your BIGSOUND so far? Any acts you’re dying to see?
Spencer: Yeah it’s been good!
Sam: We just got in. I want to see Client Liaison!
Yeah I saw them last night! It was insane!
Lewis: Yeah I saw like two songs! It was really cool!
So before becoming a band, you guys were just friends jamming, right? How long was that going on for?
Sam: A while
Lewis: I think we had the idea for the band before we had a jam, didn’t we? I think we had the name first.
Spencer: It kind of started just in a room as a kind of joke, I think. Our friends had a creative space down the road where we were living, and they had a rehearsal room so we just walked down and had a jam in there. Whoever wanted to pick up an instrument could, you know? And it was born!
In terms of the song writing process, do you find most of the songs arise from jamming, or does one of come in and say, “Guys, I have an idea”?
Lewis: Usually, we will kind of demo them and we work on the demos with either a couple of us or one of us. So I’ll have an idea, then Spen will put something on it and stuff like that. Then we would bring it in and jam on it, and it changes a bit then.
Sam: At the start it was mainly just a bunch of old demos from our bands, and we mainly just complied them. But now, that we’ve been jamming together more, it’s more of a tightened thing.
So from the jams, you just decided that you might as well just release some stuff as an EP?
Lewis: We kind of recorded it over a couple of months.
Spencer: When we had all these little demos that we’d brought together, we then decided to spend a bit of time recording them. We recorded them in a few different places, like Sam’s old room, which was really good for recording drums for stuff like that. Some friends had a studio just near my parents’ place, so we did some stuff there. We left it for a while, and we were just kind of pondering over it a little while. All of our other bands were touring and stuff like that…
Lewis: We wanted to get a finished product – mixed and everything, before we did anything else.
Are there any specific inspirations for Orphans Orphans?
Lewis: There are a whole bunch of things we enjoy
Spencer: The whole reason we were so excited about it is we were kind of just doing stuff that we felt had no
Because initially it wasn’t like to start a serious band, it was like, “let’s write music that shocks us”
Lewis: with no kind of idea or direction
It’s kind of freeing, creatively, in a way – not pigeonholing you into respective bands?
Now that you’ve done that for a while, do you find that it’s become a more serious project?
Spencer: Hell yeah! Definitely!
Did you anticipate this reaction or hype?
Sam: And we thought we actually thought about it!
Spencer: We kind of thought it was a big thing, before it was a big thing. We were showing all our friends the demos and they were getting excited for us as well. We were so excited, but no one had heard it! But then it was picked up by our management, we decided to actually start pushing for it and taking it seriously.
Then suddenly, you’re supporting Temples!
Spencer: There ya go!
Was that pretty insane, getting that gig for such a new group? Were they really cool?
Spencer: Yeah it was so awesome. They were lovely!
Sam: They’re chillers!
Lewis: We’ve kept in contact with them as well – Sam hung out with them in Paris and I hung out with them in Tokyo.
Sam: They came back to our house after it! We had a massive party and they got wasted and showed us their demos and stuff.
Spencer: They’re all the same as us; they have a bunch of side projects as well. It kind of makes us a little more….
Sam: Validated? Horny?
Sam: Wet! I think that’s the word *laughs*
Spencer: *laughs* I guess a little more confident about how we’re doing all these bands, and giving time for everyone.
It shows that it can be successful! How do you manage all your commitments? Does it get a bit hectic?
Spencer: We’ve got an iCal that all of our bands put into.
Sam: I think it will get pretty fucking hectic.
Lewis: At the moment, it’s fine though.
Sam: Our manager, Stu, blankets over everything and works with all the bands together. Stu is working with Morning Harvey, and Melanie works with us about our calendars, and then he also works with The Jungle Giants and so he’s making sure that no tours clash or anything like that.
You need someone really organised for that!
Sam: Yeah! We could not do that!
Spencer: They organise all of the releases and stuff as well, that’s just another thing to think about.
Lewis: We need to try and not release music in the same week and stuff!
Yeah, slow down guys! So, with your live show – you’ve got four front-men in one group, how does that work in terms of dynamics?
Sam: It’s easy!
Spencer: We tried to make it as seamless as possible, just in rehearsals. We tried to limit the amount of switchovers.
Sam: At first we wanted to switchover for every song. It was like, “You sing that one, and I’ll play drums in that one!” But after a couple of rehearsals we realised that was a bit much.
Well with a 30 minute BIGSOUND set, you’d spend the whole time switching around!
Sam: We’d just play elevator music in between songs!
Spencer: It keeps it exciting!
Sam: *singing waiting music*
You could just press a button and have a curtain close, and open again!
Sam: Between every song! Like a theatre show!
You’d have to have a two hour set every time!
Lewis: With an intermission
Sam: *sings Sandstorm by Darude*
So what’s next after BIGSOUND?
Spencer: Our tour!
Lewis: We’re touring in October, with our friends The Furrs. It’s going to be pretty fun – 9 of touring together.
Sam: We’re all going to be staying in the same houses too.
It’ll be like a big slumber party every night! Anything you’re looking forward to most? The Blurst of Times looks pretty insane!
Lewis: Yeah that’ll be fun! It’s got such a good line up!
Sam: I’m just really keen to go on tour, I think it’ll be pretty damn fun.
Spencer: This is the first time we’ve been able to tour with our friends as well, and not have to worry about whether we get along with the other support bands and whether they’re cool or not!
Or if you have to pretend you like their music – “Yeah guys, that was really good…”
Sam: “Dude, that was good…”
Do you think you’ll get up to some mischief? Maybe some apology letters on the way or something?
Spencer: No… I think the management will keep an eye on us, but we’ll get up to some mischief!
Sam: Yeah! *sings Sandstorm by Darude again*