Driving In The Fast Lane

27 March 2013 | 9:47 am | Tyler McLoughlan

“I’m really proud of the album. Whenever I write stuff I’m super critical of myself and it’s just the way that I am; I end up hating everything a few weeks later."

With the output of what began as David Rogers' private recording project too good to shelve, the frontman and his key collaborator Josiah Eastwood launched Nantes' self-titled EP in late 2011, gaining favour with radio and festival bookers through a brand of moody pop effortlessly mixing detached cool and slow-burn melody. As momentum rolled through 2012, the memorable chorus of lead single, Fly, assuring “It'll be alright my friend” became the soundtrack for Renault's television advertising campaign, a huge boost for a band about to record their debut record and pay for touring musicians to fill out their five-piece line-up.

“There's always a lot of talk about selling out and all that kind of thing, but I guess in the climate that we're in now it's probably the best thing that could have happened to us,” admits Rogers. “It paid for the album, it paid for the people that played on the album… and it paid for it to be mastered and there was a lot of money that's gone into promoting it and everything like that, so those kind of things are great. And yeah, playing those festivals and getting out of where I was working, you know the 6am to 4pm job to doing tour circuits and that kind of thing, it's just been great. I can't expect to right now just live off music – I'm still needing to work – but it's a lot better in that I'm working for music and not just kind of having that as a second thought…

“When we did the first lot of recordings and the first touring back in 2011, I had my credit cards maxed out, I was borrowing money from my parents and it was just a terrible place to be in, to be in all this debt. If we didn't have that Renault cash come into it, we still would have had an album but it would not be anywhere near as easy as it was… It was definitely possible to do it without it, that's for sure, but I'm very thankful that we were able to do it the way we did; it was definitely the cleanest way of doing it,” he says of the record, purposefully laced with a bit of character-giving grit.

A reflection on the often difficult task of freeing one's self of the expectations of others, Rogers had BeingsBeing in mind for the title from the outset, and he's pleased with the result.

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“I'm really proud of the album. Whenever I write stuff I'm super critical of myself and it's just the way that I am; I end up hating everything a few weeks later. But I guess this time I'm just really happy how the album came out and the songs on there, they all mean a lot more to me than previous songs. And I'm definitely a lot more emotionally invested on the tracks on the album than anything I've done before, so I'm really excited to release it.”

Hitting the road with Sydney mates Battleships for a co-headline national tour that will take Nantes to Western Australia for the first time, Rogers is keen to see how their pairing with a rock outfit that draws heavily from folk influences will play out.

“Battleships in their own right are doing really well, and so they will draw a crowd that will be there especially for them… but I think the contrast will be great. It will be a lot more interesting than having two bands that sound really similar. It will definitely create some different moods… It will be a really interesting night.”

Nantes will be playing the following dates:

Saturday 30 March - Amplifier, Perth WA
Sunday 31 March - Newport Hotel, Fremantle WA
Thursday 4 April - Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
Friday 5 April - The Loft, Gold Coast QLD
Wednesday 10 April - Beach Road Hotel, Bondi NSW
Thursday 11 April - Transit Bar, Canberra ACT
Friday 12 April - Yours and Owls, Wollongong NSW
Saturday 13 April - GoodGod Small Club, Sydney NSW
Friday 19 April - Northcote Social Club, Melbourne VIC
Saturday 20 April - Ed Castle, Adelaide SA