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'I Find It Frustrating That People Are Arseholes': What Inspired Press Club's New Album

28 October 2019 | 4:49 pm | Anthony Carew

Ahead of a national tour, Natalie Foster of Press Club reminisces with Anthony Carew about meeting her childhood hero, Ella Hooper of Killing Heidi, and their experience meeting fans in Europe.

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“I never expected to be in a position where I was influencing people, or I was someone that people looked up to,” admits Press Club singer Natalie Foster. “It’s a pretty heartwarming feeling.”

Speaking to The Music while touring their freshly pressed second LP, Wasted Energy, through Europe, Foster is coming face-to-face with “the people who give a shit about us”, the band's fervent fans. 

“I find it quite inspiring, having people come up to me,” Foster offers. “I had someone come up to me in Worcester [England] the other day [and] she said: ‘I fucking loved seeing a woman up there doing what you’re doing, it made me feel like I could not give a shit and get sweaty and look disgusting for the next three hours.’ It’s pretty cool to have someone be able to lose themselves like that in one of our shows. I had another woman who was a bit older who said to me, ‘Fuck, I wish there was someone like you when I was growing up, who could make me realise that I could just do whatever.’”

“I don’t think I’d ever had the experience of, like, losing myself at a gig until I was in this band.”

Foster can’t recall, in her pre-Press Club days, ever ‘losing herself’ at someone else’s show (“I don’t think I’d ever had the experience of, like, losing myself at a gig until I was in this band”), although she does, comically, recall meeting a childhood hero, Ella Hooper of Killing Heidi, at one of her own shows, and essentially losing her brain (“I told her she was my absolute idol when I was growing up, and feel like I made an absolute fool out of myself”). Now, she hopes to lose herself, in performance, every night when on tour.

“My sole goal is to not be able to think about anything for an hour,” Foster says. “And, just go with whatever happens. It’s not like I can step off stage and have not noticed what’s happened, or forgotten a show. But, when you’re in that place, a show goes a lot faster. An hour can feel like five minutes, if I’m completely lost to it.”

Foster is speaking to The Music from Ede, Netherlands, en route to Haldern, Germany, the latest show in a run of European dates. Press Club just spent a day off, in Holland, filming music videos; even when on downtime, they’re dedicated to their craft. Deep into their tour, spirits are still high, the band avoiding on-the-road conflict. “We all get along incredibly well,” says Foster. “We all understand each other incredibly well. We all know when to leave each other alone, or when to give people extra attention.”

The sense of togetherness is emboldened by the “independent, DIY” approach of the band. Press Club have self-released their albums, Wasted Energy and their 2018 debut, Late Teens, in Australia (“We all just felt we weren’t ready to give anything up, money-wise or creativity-wise,” Foster says, of the decision to not sign with a label), and all four members are involved in various aspects of the process of writing, recording, designing and releasing.

"I find that frustrating, that people are arseholes. Like, why? What’s the point?”

Setting out to make Wasted Energy, the band were “worried about second album syndrome”. So, instead of taking time off or thinking about a reinvention, they started “writing it as fast as [they] could”. As with Late Teens, they wanted to capture their live energy, as best they could, on record.

“I love the second album,” Foster enthuses. “There are moments in it where I’m like, ‘Fuck, how did we do that?’ I have no idea. In Separate Houses, by the end of that song, I’m so invested in it. As a listener, listening back to it, I get so invested in it.”

Across the record, “there’s a motif of change: things changing musically, and being addressed lyrically,” Foster offers. “I think it’s [change in] my own life, as well as a broader look on the world. In Get Better, in particular. I’m like the least political person you could speak to, so I wouldn’t say that it’s about political change. But, Get Better, it’s simple: if [only] people were just a bit better, and a bit nicer. I find that frustrating, that people are arseholes. Like, why? What’s the point?”

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