Pubs, Rants And Kevin Rudd

2 April 2015 | 4:17 pm | Michael Smith

The Canberra boys are larrikin Aussies to a tee.

More Super Best Friends More Super Best Friends

The logical thing to do when their clip for their single, Round & Round – featuring several very high-profile politicians, including former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and the always out-there Bob Katter, as well as some well-known TV journalists “rocking along” and generally being silly – went viral late in 2013, would have been for Canberra three-piece Super Best Friends to get an album out pronto to capitalise on the attention. And they almost did.

“This is the most prepared we’ve been going into a recording,” singer, songwriter and guitarist Johnny Barrington explains of the band’s delayed debut album, Status Updates. “We actually did a 14-track… well, demo, but it started life as an album last year. Our drummer Jesse Sewell recorded it all and we came pretty close to releasing that ‘cause we were pretty stoked about what we’d managed to do on our own. But just talking about it I guess between each other and our label, Gun Fever Records, which is based in Perth, we decided that, yeah, maybe with a producer we could get that bit more out of the songs.”

The band had heard good things about producer (and Shihad drummer) Tom Larkin, who’d produced a couple of their favourite bands, Calling All Cars and Captives, so they called him in to add some polish to the album, which they culled down to 11 songs.

“It was really cool to be seeing someone play at the Big Day Out and then be working with him in a really confined space for one and a half weeks. But with this album, the music is a little more straight, to let the lyrics and the singing take a bit more of the lead. So having some powerful drums behind it really made a difference, and him and Jesse really locked in and with Dan [Beck] on bass made this completely fat bottom end, which is cool.”

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One of the things that has set Super Best Friends apart is their lyrics, with, as was obvious on Round & Round, an emphasis on socio-political issues. Not that Status Update is one long “heavy” succession of socio-political rants. Super Best Friends are still larrikin Aussie enough to have a laugh at it all, again as the clip for Round & Round proved. 

“There’s no definite kind of formula for each song, but with, say, A Billionaire’s Song, which revolved around this kind of drum and vocal part that was almost a little bit hip hoppy in a way, and I guess that relates to the album title ‘cause each song covers a different kind of issue, whether it’s a political one or a social one, and it’s about as chaotic and mixed… You know, one day you could be complaining about the ‘government’ and the next you could be complaining about how your local pub’s become really lame and bland and looks like every other pub in town,” he chuckles.