Semantics Of Song

31 March 2012 | 10:34 am | Staff Writer

"It’s sort of about Facebook stalking and people not having identities any more on the internet"

“Epidemic was a little bit longer in its writing process,” Abbott says. “Musically it came out quite quickly, but we have a writing process where we'll come up with the skeleton of the song and then we'll spend like a year changing parts to it. Julian [Schweitzer – singer/guitarist] and myself are quite perfectionistic in that aspect. It gets pretty hectic. We constantly pick apart different ideas and stuff but that song was pretty quick. Vocally, though, it took Julian a while to get that all together, y'know, like the ideas he wanted to put forth in the song were pretty… like, it's all a bit heavy, the lyrics, I think, for that song. It's sort of about Facebook stalking and people not having identities any more on the internet and everything being so accessible to creeps, that sort of thing. I don't know if anyone's picked up on that, but that's sort of the message behind that.”

Perfectionism has its snags – naturally, debates and disagreements about what just exactly defines perfection impact the process in both positive and negative ways. As Abbott explains: “Julian and I, it's quite fiery between him and me in terms of writing, because you can spend ages on a song but you never really know what the right idea for the song is, and you often question yourself... So it's really hard. But that sort of thing is good for us because it translates in a live setting really well, because we perfect things like that to the point of obsession so that live we can be as tight as we can be and try and sound as fat as we can sound.”

Of course, that process sometimes involves going backwards, for the times when the perfectionists felt they had gone too far – such as when they were putting together Epidemic.

That was like a five-minute song that we cut down to three-and-a-half minutes,” Abbott explains. “There's that process as well – after we've written a song, it's just a brutal, like, 'Okay, let's cut out all the bullshit and fat off the song and just try and make it really to the point'. And that's really hard as well, because you write all these really good parts and you're like, 'Fuck yeah, this is awesome!' and then you're like 'Okay, maybe people aren't going to want to listen to a six-minute song even though I really like it,' so you've got to take a mature look at it and just be brutal with yourself and cut it like that.”

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Cut the fat to sound fat. It makes sense. And the result, as Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are about to have the chance to see in the flesh, is pretty darn great.

“It's very loud,” Abbott says. “Well, for a three-piece, I think we're pretty intense. We use big drums and big-sounding guitars and big-sounding bass. It's pretty full, sonically, and we like to have a pretty big live show as well. I think it will be a pretty good show, the Brisbane one. The Tempo's got a really big sound system, too. It's… like… ridiculous. And it gets loose there. It's increased itself to be a pretty respectable live music venue but it's still got that aura of being the place that everyone goes when they've been kicked out of everywhere else in the Valley, y'know? So it's still a little rough, but it's still good.”