Far From Sunk

21 November 2012 | 6:00 am | Izzy Tolhurst

“We’re really excited about that... truly excited to have won that. And I’m just happy to be there as a spectator as well. And I’ve heard Peats Ridge has a great vibe, so we’re excited about that as well.”

While Sydney is the city that now provides a diverse and enthusiastic music scene for Battleships, and one that Jordan Sturdee insists is central to their success, he does occasionally long for his home shores, sitting a little further north on the Sunshine Coast. “I think the other guys really like it here,” he begins. “But I miss the coast a bit… just having more space and y'know, even walking home from work in gridlock today, I dunno, it's different. Look, there are benefits to every part of the country; I don't know if we would have had the same opportunities had we not moved to Sydney.”

Ironically, it was the success and regular radio play of singles In Retrospect and Your Words that Sturdee says delayed the release of a more complete body of songs, leaving many extra songs reluctantly jettisoned. “When it finally came time to release something we'd done that was more of a collection, we had way too many songs,” he says. “So it ended up being a seven-track release, and an EP's usually around five songs. So now that it's not quite an album, we've got this runt of a release that's too small for an album and too big for an EP! But we do have a big backlog of songs, and it's hard to put songs aside like that. But it is good to have something out.”

That record is titled To You, yet Sturdee says it's to no one in particular. “A lot of the songs are messages to people and are quite personal, but at the same time a lot of the focus is on people that we've seen or people that we want to leave a message for.”

Another group noted for their ambiguous, often cryptic messages are Radiohead, the British act sighted by Sturdee as a mutual love for him and his bandmates. Beyond that however, the musical taste of the Battleships four is completely hit and miss. “It's quite diverse – Jono [Bowden] the bass player likes a lot of jazz, Dan [McMurray] likes Mars Volta through to Taylor Swift (there's a lot of random stuff he likes), he's big on Interpol too. But we've got a few that we're definitely all into and Radiohead is one of them.”

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Although the assured indie that peppers the release would suggest otherwise, Sturdee is weirdly curious about the response to their release, namely opinions of the negative variety. “I always wonder, if people hate it what will they say to rip us apart?” he ponders. “Just out of curiosity, I've thought about it a few times and jumped onto Pitchfork and sites like that to have a look, but we're pretty small still – maybe we're not well known enough to be hated just yet.” For the time being, however, he seems moored in contentment with the positive feedback. “People who contact us say that they love us, but I guess they wouldn't bother contacting us if they hated it,” he levels.

Looking ahead, Battleships are committed to a promising few months of touring, including a recently-won spot on the Homebake bill, which it turns out is the crew's very first festival appearance. “We're really excited about that,” he beams, “truly excited to have won that. And I'm just happy to be there as a spectator as well. And I've heard Peats Ridge has a great vibe, so we're excited about that as well.”

Battleships will be playing the following shows:

Thursday 22 November - The Espy, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday 28 November - Upstairs Beresford, Sydney NSW

Thursday 29 November - Lambda, Alhambra Lounge QLD
Friday 30 November - Solbar, Maroochydore QLD
Saturday 8 December - Homebake Festival, The Domain, Sydney NSW
Friday 14 December - Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW
Saturday 29 December to Tuesday 1 January - Peats Ridge Festival, Glenworth Valley NSW