LAST year, Brisbane’s Joe Agius and Jarrod Mahon decided to record a song and make a video one weekend as a bit of a laugh, doing it under the name of The Creases.
Little did they know that legendary UK label Rough Trade would soon have the band in their sights, and things were about to get a lot more serious.
“In the beginning it was definitely not serious at all,” Agius says. “They found the song and video on a random blog and e-mailed us. The Creases was kind of like a fun, joke band we had on the side, and then after we released the single for Rough Trade, we got more serious with it and realised that we could do it for real. It was suddenly an opportunity for us to tour and do all the things we wanted to do. It’s definitely different to a normal band, where you can chip away at it for a year and figure out exactly what kind of band you are and gig a lot, but we were thrown in the deep end pretty quickly. We had to make sure we were tight live, and had a good plan. We don’t mind the pressure; we actually work better under the pressure.”
The link-up with the label lead to a UK tour and now the young quartet have released their debut EP, entitled Gradient, but Agius is already looking forward.
“The EP has been a long time coming,” he says. “It’s a bit of a mix of stuff. There’s one song that’s more like the first single, and there’s a really shoegaze-y kind of track, and some more post-punk kind of stuff. It’s a pretty big mix, but still all sort of in the same category. Mostly pretty similar to ‘Static Lines’. We’re super-psyched for everyone to hear it. It’s taken ages for this EP to come out, so we just want to try and have a smaller gap between releases and move on to what will probably be an album. We’ll start demoing for our new album next month and then record it later in the year. We’ve probably got half an album right now, but we haven’t actually started writing properly.”
The sudden thrust into the spotlight has forced the band to adapt in other ways, with education and employment cast aside.
“I deferred before actually dropping out of uni,” Agius says. “I don’t think I’ll be going back, hopefully. Aimon [Clark, bass] has quit work then got employed again, but we’ve quit a fair few things for the band. It was hard in the beginning; my parents weren’t happy with me dropping out of uni to play in this band they hadn’t even heard yet, but I think they feel better about it now. I think once we started touring and they started seeing a good reaction and our music being played on the radio and stuff like that, they definitely felt a lot better about us dropping out of uni and work.”
The band began as a duo before going through a couple of changes and settling on the current line-up of Agius (vocals, guitar), Mahon (guitar, vocals), Clark (bass, vocals) and Gabe Webster (drums).
“When [our original drummer] dropped out, it was a pretty mutual thing,” Agius says. “She was doing law and was pretty far through a degree. At the time, she had to weigh up what she had to do. We were getting a bit too serious and she just didn’t have the time. Gabe is actually our third drummer; he played in Gung Ho in Brisbane. Gung Ho have kind of gone on hiatus; I don’t know what the go is with that band, but he joined the crew and it’s working really well. It’s good to have a confirmed line-up.”
With an appearance at Splendour in the bag, Agius is looking forward to a busy few months ahead for the band.
“Playing Splendour was the highest goal I ever set with music,” he says. “I would always go and tell my friends that next year we’d be on that triple j unearthed spot or whatever. It’s really scary, but super fun. We’ve got a few more tours with other bands, which will be announced, and we’re writing and demoing for an album. We’ll probably be doing some of our own shows as well.”
GRADIENT IS OUT NOW.