It’s A Paul World After All.
Something For Kate play the Orange Stage from 2.15pm at the Big Day Out, Gold Coast Parklands, Sunday.
An interview with Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey can sometimes go a little like this.
Is it possible to describe the feelings you experience after the release of an album?
“There isn’t really time to think about it too much because you go on tour and that’s the part I enjoy the most. So, I think getting a new record out is a very exciting time where you have new music out there for people to listen to and you are able to tour with all these new songs.”
Have you overcome the nerves of a record release or is it still an anxious time for you?
“Yeah, every time we make a record it’s a dozen or so new songs that we’re more excited about than ever before. I mean, for us, each successive album has to be better than the last one. So when we have a new record to put out we feel that it is our best record yet. It’s always exciting to get it out and have people hear it. If we don’t feel that our newest record is the best record we’ve ever made then there wouldn’t be any point putting it out – we’d just be letting ourselves down.”
As the three of you continue working together does the dynamic change or do you feel as though it was set when you came together?
“No I think it’s an evolving thing. We’re all growing and changing as people and as we evolve as people we do as a band also. I think that Clinton has definitely changed the most obviously since the band started. He used to sit behind his drum kit and not say too much and do whatever he was asked to do. Whereas these days he’ll say ‘Why don’t we try this?’. I think that as we change as people the band changes too, but we all know each other well enough and we grow together so there are no real unexpected surprises.”
I read somewhere that you said that you felt it was wrong to claim that all the songs had already been written and that nothing new was being created. Is that idea – finding songs that are completely unfamiliar – a motivating force for you or is it more of an aside?
“It is an influence over what we do because if we are recording or writing something that we feel is even slightly reminiscent of another song we will immediately scrub it. It’s really important to us that we are creating songs that we haven’t heard before. Of course, in saying that, everyone has heard guitars, bass and drums, so we’re not claiming to be completely original. Obviously we write songs in the standard – or not so standard format. Our songs have choruses and verses. Obviously we’re not claiming to be doing something completely original. But the melodies; if you can hum another tune to one of our songs then we won’t do it.”
Does that create extra pressure for you personally?
“Yeah. It’d be really fucking easy for me to sit down and write a bunch of catchy songs that everybody would like. I don’t mean to sound boastful but it is really easy to do. Pretty much anyone can do it and, these days, with the right software anyone can sit in front of a computer and put together a nice bunch of chords that sound pleasing to the ear. I think I know what it is that attracts people to popular music, y’know your Britney Spears and the stuff in the charts. I know how the melodies are put together, and I could do that but it would be incredibly boring to me.”
Does that also mean that you have to isolate yourself?
“Not isolate myself so much, it’s just that the more I hear of that popular stuff the more I find I don’t want to do it. Which is probably a good thing. The more I hear chart topping songs the greater my resolve to do something different.”
Have you always acted contrarily?
“It’s not about going against what’s popular, it’s about doing something that is fresh. I just think that with music and art why would you want to rehash the old when it’s a lot more interesting and exciting for us to try and put together music that is going to do something to people that they haven’t had done to them before. Otherwise, why not just be a cover band?”