Single Sounds

25 July 2012 | 6:00 am | Tony McMahon

Frontwoman Lisa Maxwell tells Tony McMahon how Dear Stalker’s latest single was birthed by chance.

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Melodic grunge-pop three-piece Dear Stalker made quite a splash in 2010 with their debut, self-titled EP. Described by street press as “brilliant”, and featured on American compilations as well as music television shows here, the record seemed set to launch one of this town's most exciting new bands. Finally, the follow up is here. Single Whole Other Kind represents a darker turn for Dear Stalker, and there is a sense of urgency and momentum to the song almost palpable (more on this later). When Inpress spoke to frontwoman and guitarist Lisa Maxwell, the first thing we wanted to know about was whether she thought the new record represented anything of a departure from the EP.

“I think it's definitely an evolution for us. If anything, just in the way we write these days. We tend to be much more band focussed, where originally I was the one bringing the songs to the band. Whole Other Kind was very much a result of us all getting together, and we couldn't be happier with the way it sounds,” Maxwell expresses.

Whole Other Kind was recorded in a scant four hours, only a week after it was written. Maxwell tells the story of how it all came about and, in doing so, reveals something of the song's appeal.

“It was quite interesting actually,” she says. “It was originally supposed to be a demo session. What happened was I came in with an idea for this new song, we jammed on it and rehearsed it up and decided this would be the song we recorded at our demo session the next week. Originally, it was going to be something else. It was basically a fluke that turned out better than any of us could have possibly imagined. We sort of just decided on the spot that it had to be the next single.”

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This goes back to the urgency and momentum thing mentioned earlier. Did Maxwell feel this was part of the song's genesis, so to speak? It seems she decidedly does. “There's definitely a bit of the tension and excitement of the whole process that's been captured in the recording. There's definitely a big element of that there.”

Somewhat strangely, Dear Stalker have decided to launch Whole Other Kind with a matinee show at the Evelyn, beginning early Sunday afternoon and featuring a superb line-up of rock acts usually more associated with the wee hours. Maxwell explains the thinking behind the show.

“We kind of figured going for a Sunday afternoon rather than a Sunday evening, for example, would make it more accessible. It's just something slightly different, a Sunday matinee show. I kind of imagine people waking up after a big night Saturday night or maybe some that are still up from the night before. Yeah, we just thought it would be fun to do something a little different.”

Maxwell also says that it's the nature of the music that will contribute to this being a bit of a one-off type of deal.

“The line-up we've got is quite varied. We've got The Garden Of Eida, who are up first, then Rouge Fonce, who are quite theatrical and then Let Them Eat Cake, who are almost a sort of Pixies/Sonic Youth kind of really noisy grunge band. So, yeah, it's not something you typically get on a Sunday afternoon.”

So, what about the headliners? For those who may have heard their music but never seen them live, Maxwell says it's all about the (sometimes nasty) love. “We don't really write songs thinking about how they're going to be recorded or how they're going to sound live. It's more about whether we're happy with them and whether we love them. But I think the thing that comes through in our live shows is that even though the music can be quite heavy and aggressive, we have so much fun playing it. We just love what we do.”