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9 September 2014 | 3:25 pm | Brendan Hitchens

“Maybe what we didn’t need was to break up?”

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“In 2011 we did a reunion show after two-and-a-half years off,” begins Antiskeptic singer-guitarist Andrew Kitchen. “It was an absolute blast and made us remember just how much we loved performing live.”

On the eve of a national tour and the release of their new album, Stare Down The Ocean, Kitchen and his bandmates are refreshed and ready to go. “Maybe what we didn’t need was to break up?” he ponders. “Maybe what we needed was to take a little time off and have a rest from the constancy?”

“Maybe what we needed was to take a little time off and have a rest from the constancy?”

Going out in style in 2008 with a sold-out show at Melbourne’s Hi-Fi Bar, Kitchen is acutely aware that the industry, and indeed scene his band once belonged to, has significantly changed, but it’s a challenge he embraces. “We realise that we’re starting again in some ways,” he reflects, “reigniting the long cold embers of years gone by.”

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Largely neglected by the wider music industry, for their return the band decided to use Pozible to crowdfund their album. A total of 119 supporters contributed, donating $5,826 – more than double the band’s initial target. For a group whose last album came out before Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were invented, it was a risky move, driven by necessity more than anything else. “We couldn’t afford for an album to be recorded [using money] straight out of our pockets,” he reveals, “but we believed in the songs so strongly.”

Kitchen says it was inspiring to know their loyal fanbase had stuck with them: “It was a great boost of confidence that there was actually a need or demand for a new album, a real shot in the arm.”

Despite their time apart, the album has been in the works for many years, as Kitchen slowly gathered a catalogue of songs. “There are a couple of songs on there that were bubbling away in the background; some of them are quite old. But it was written between 2011 and 2012, mainly, and then we got stuck into the work of getting it down in 2013.”

The band’s engagement with fans, plus a clear focus on fun, have been key to their re-emergence. You need look no further than their recent clips to witness a band doing what they love. Lead single Hey Dissident follows a Back To The Future theme, complete with a DeLorean, flux capacitor, while When The Night Comes In is a zombie apocalypse-inspired horror film.

“There’s a lot of work ahead, but we want to make sure we’ve got a smile on our faces and [the band’s] not becoming a chore. If it’s enjoyable for us, then it’s enjoyable for everyone else.”