Interview: Dear Seattle on linking up with Domestic La La and a huge 2017, capped off with Festival of the Sun!

Dear Seattle were quick to emerge in 2017 as one of the new bands to be keeping an eye on and as the shows continued to grow in quality and crowd attendance, these young guns really demonstrated their chops as a live act.

Out at Festival of the Sun in Port Macquarie, we sat down with the boys to find out their thoughts on what has been a huge year for the band.

You just came off the stage here at Festival of the Sun. Tell me a little bit about the experience up there...What was the crowd like? It was an early show, which is often a hard thing to do.

Brae: It was surprisingly good, like, a lot of people came out, which was sick. But, it was hot, and rough.

Lachlan: We were all struggling hard. We had a big one last night.

Jeremy: I think everyone’s dusty, yeah.

Did you get up here yesterday?

Lachlan: Yeah… or we came up Thursday?

Jeremy: Day before, yeah.

Oh, you’ve made a full weekend of it.

Jeremy: Yeah, we’ve got to!

Lachlan: We’re sweating out beer.

Jeremy: Yeah, we literally felt every beer that we’ve drank the last two days. Swinging our head around like, “This is not happening, this is not a good idea.”

You’re in the middle of a pretty big tour, it’s part of a pretty big tour for you guys, The “Cut You Deep” Tour. You’ve been going around the country selling out shows. I guess at this point in your career, you’ve brought out your second EP this year, you’ve grown your fan base.

Does it feel like things are progressing very naturally, at this point, when you’re selling out the rooms that you are, and playing to the crowds that you are?

Brae: I feel like, all that’s so ridiculously unexpected, that any small amount of progression, or step-up, is always just like, “Okay, sick! We’ll take it.” We weren’t even really going to release this EP and then, when we did, all this stuff started happening.

We kind of just wrote it and then things died off; I don’t know, everyone was doing uni and other things…we played a few shows here and there…

Life got in the way.

Brae: Yeah, exactly, but now we’re fucking stoked that we did; things like this keep popping up, and like I was just saying, “If the tour is selling out shows and stuff, I never really would have expected that shit to happen.”

Josh: Never!

Brae: So, just take it as it comes, try and keep the momentum going.

Do you think, maybe, that there was a by-product of being quiet for a little while, that, you know, people started kind of frothing a bit that you were getting back on the road?

Jeremy: It’s actually quite funny, like, most people think we’re a new band.

But it’s, what, four years ago was the first EP, it was 2013, wasn’t it?

Jeremy: It was a very different style; [there’s been] a lineup change since then.

Brae: Yeah, exactly. I think that definitely helped, because a lot of people did think we were a new band. As a band that had been together for two years, I think, we seemed a lot more experienced than you would expect for a band putting out their first release. I think it just played well in our favour, in that sense.

That’s really cool, I mean, I like this idea that you could be a band, release an EP, kind of build a little bit of a following, get an EP out, get fans, but not progress yourself to a point where you can’t just disappear for a little while. Because then, when you come back, you kind of get to almost press the restart button!

Brae: Yeah, exactly!

Jeremy: Yeah, pretty much.

You say that [there’s] differences between the two records; was that a decision to be like, because of the line-up change and everything, “This is just what we want to do, moving forward?”

Jeremy: It was weird, we kind of just got into a room and jammed for a week in some little cottage in the middle of nowhere, and that’s just what came out. It was very organic.

Brae: We stopped focusing on what bands we wanted to sound like, and more, just started writing what we enjoyed most. I think that people picked up on that a bit more; it’s a bit more of a unique flavour and more us. Way more similar to who we are as musicians.

I feel like that’s the defining point in any band is when they stop being a covers band, and start becoming their own band, because every band starts out as a covers band. It doesn’t matter if you’re The Beatles or Dear Seattle. It’s, like, every band starts out like that.

Brae: That’s exactly it, yeah.

 

So, EP’s out, you’ve been touring; 2018, what’s in store for you there? I think there’s a couple festivals that you’re already on the cards for.

Brae: Yeah, we’re doing Unify early next year.

Josh: Party in Paddock.

Lachlan: Hyper Fest.

Josh: Hills are Alive.

Brae: Yeah, there’s quite a few, actually, shit.

Josh: I didn’t even realise that!

Brae: At the moment, working on the debut album, which will be next release. So, we’ll put that out sometime next year. Hopefully as early as possible in the year. I don’t know, just keep touring. We’ve got a couple really good support slots locked in that we’re excited for, but not announced yet, so, keep that one a little secret.

Look forward to finding out what that is, and in the midst of all this, you signed to a label! Talk me through that.

Brae: So, we signed at Domestic La La, which is, like, James Tidwell from Violent Soho’s new label.

He’s a bit of a legend!

Brae: Fuck yeah, a great dude!

Josh: Best dude in the universe!

Brae: We were never really the band that was that hellbent on going to the label group…when we came across James and started chatting about his ideas and what he thought of our band, and where he thought he could get us, it was literally like, match made in heaven… just a perfect scenario. We changed our minds pretty instantly on that one.

Josh: It was very surreal. Like, what the fuck, man? Really? Like… it’s crazy.

I guess that’s the beauty of it. I mean, you weren’t looking for it, it came to you, and it just felt like the right decision at the time.

Brae: Exactly! We definitely act that way; every person that we work with, we want to make sure they feel like family and they care about us as much as people as they do a band.

And you’ve got some great management behind you as well?

Brae: Yeah! So, like Rach, she’s been with us since the very start, and now she’s working at, like, VVV Management, which is part of 123 Agency, which is our booking agency. It’s all real tight knit.

You’ve really assembled a great team around you. Have you discovered how important that is?

Brae: Definitely!

Because, I imagine, when you started the band, you wouldn’t have even been thinking about that sort of shit.

Brae: Personally, I just think, like… I can’t remember who I was chatting to, but someone was explaining to me the statistics of things like mental health and that kind of stuff in the music industry. It’s like, if you’re not surrounding yourself with people who care about you as people, and want to look after you on a personal level, as opposed to just the business sense, you can find yourself in a pretty bad place. So, I think it’s just better to go that way from the get-go, surround yourself with good people.

So, we’re at the end of 2017, just about. From each of you, we’ll go left to right, for each of you, tell me your favourite moment of the year as a band, your favourite record of the year that wasn’t released by you, or your favourite song, if you can’t think of your favourite record.

 

Brae: I would say highlight of the year would probably be our first sold-out show, which was Yah-Yah’s in Melbourne. I think the first moment that all of us kind of realised that, “Holy shit, this is actually a real thing, and people care.” So, I think that was a big one for all of us.  I would have to say, favourite record of the year would probably be… Bonobo’s new record, I would say. Ten out of ten!

Solid choice!

Lachlan: Shit, best moment of the year for me… I’d have to concur with Brae. [That] Yah-Yah’s show was fucking bonkers; once again, it, like, cemented that it was a real thing, and that was sick. Favourite record of the year was probably the Gang of Youths album that came out.

Jeremy: I’m the same with the Yah-Yah’s. I think it was the end of one of our songs, “Things You Do”, there’s, like, a singing bit – Brae never really sung it, we stopped playing, but the crowd kept singing it, and then we all looked at each other; it was like, “Oh, fuck!”. Meeting, James for the first time was fucking really cool.

So, I imagine you guys are Soho fans?

Lachlan: Yeah, definitely!

Josh: He just emailed us randomly, and was like, “Hey, I haven’t seen you, you guys want beers?” So then we got beers.

You had me at beers!

Brae: He’d sent a message saying, like, “Oh hey! Love the two singles you have out. We’d love to chat about the EP, and everything.” I thought it was just a random fan. I didn’t notice his name in the title or anything. So, I was about to respond being like, “Cheers, man! Hope to catch you at a show!” And that’s it! And I was just, like, just before I was about to send it, I read it.

“Dearest James, how I have dreamt of this moment my whole life.”

Brae: Yeah, that could have been a pretty salty response!

There must be stories like that all over the industry, where bands get a message from someone, they don’t think it’s legit, or they don’t even look at who it’s from, and they just do that!

Brae: Yeah, exactly, yeah. So true!

Favourite record?

Jeremy: Did Power Trip come out this year? Nightmare Logic. I think it did.

Lachlan: Oh, I think it did! Yeah, I change my answer. Power Trip. Power Trip, man.

Jeremy: Nightmare Logic. It’s a heavy record.

Lachlan: It’s like Metallica, but better.

 

 

And your favourite record of the year?

Josh: Favourite moment, actually, was in Western Australia, I got to meet Ian Kenny, like, my heroes, singer for Karnivool. So, like, that was kind of Fanboy mode for me.

Lachlan: He came to our show, that’s nice.

Jeremy: Yeah, that’s true, he watched our whole set, which is fucking cool.

Brae: And he’s a legend.

It says a lot about which band you’re a fan of if you introduce him as either “Karnivool” or “Birds of Tokyo”.

Josh: Yeah, I just had a normal chat with him, and it’s like, “Oh, you’re a human!” You know? Like…

Jeremy: “You’re not God…”