Special Interview: July Days

theaussieword.com meets with July Days for a special blog interview.

What can you tell our readers about you? How and where did it all begin?
In 2004 Andrew (guitarist) convinced Lawrence (singer) to play a cover of Wonderwall by Oasis at a school assembly. While we’re both sure that was absolutely terrible, it was just good enough to sow the seed for a partnership that would see a 4 year development lead to the first July Days gig in 2008.

What had you first interested in music?
“Subconciously, i’ve always been very interested. I remember when i was 5, I had a VHS tape of John Farnham in concert, I must have watched it about 500 times! I loved it, i used to set the kitchen table up as a stage, turn the tape on and sing along to Johns concert. Tragic, but that has to be where it started. As i got old, i wasn’t overly interested in playing music, i didn’t play any interments. but after seeing mates Michael Cini and Carl Russo (Money For Rope) play Oasis’ don’t look back in Anger at a school fair in year nine, I became really intrigued. It was like an awakening, I was ‘hooked’ quite literally  to the hook driven rock tune. I went straight to a CD store on my way home and purchased Oasis’ What’s The Story Morning Glory and Powderfinger’s Odyssey No. 5. I got home and played both albums one after another. an hour later, I was a different person, like I was awake or something. It was like seeing the matrix! Hearing the opening guitar strums of “Waiting For The Sun” on Powderfingers album, and the intense rocking drive in “What’s The Story” just blew me away. From that point on, music became an obsession, each week finding new bands that pushed me further and further into the whole love of it. The Verve, Pearl Jam, Blur, Coldplay, The Beatles, Silverchair, The Kinks… I could go on forever, I just listened to everything i could get my hands on. In hindsight, it’s probably how i learnt to create music and write songs. you don’t realise how much you learn about putting words together and structuring your songs. I suppose we’re all just mimicking each other, but it’s fun, I think it’s the whole point. We heard songs and bands we liked when we were young, and we just want to make music like they did.” (Lawrence)

Who motivates or influences your quest to make great music?
“There’s quite a variety of souces that motivate me to make music, in it’s simplest form, i just wanna make music like the bands i love. I compare every song we make to the songs i love, it’s hard to make a true objective judgement, but i really try to measure myself against those i admire. the closer i feel i am to getting to those guys with some of our songs, the more excited i get about writing more. Obviously the subject matter and lyrics come from personal experience, sometimes that from relationships but more recently it’s come from observation. Observing other people and things that happen to them or things they say, or books i’ve read, stories i’ve heard, films i’ve watched. Whatever causes an emotional response and triggers an idea. You never know when thats gonna happen, you just have to be doing it all the time and be open to a good idea falling in your lap.

Do you have any planned tours coming up?
“yes, we have a national tour planned for early next year, details for that will be released really soon. and we’ve started to discuss some touring abroad, the UK, USA and Asia are all on the table at this point but nothing set in stone yet.

What are some of your biggest goals you hope to accomplish as an artist?
“Well, we kind of achieved them this year, so it might be time for us to reassess and reset some new goals. Working on our album with Darren Middleton from Powderfinger was an amazing experience. to think back 10 years ago, standing in Festival hall in Melbourne watching Powderfinger play, it’s quite amazing to have worked with him. If someone had told me that night that 10 years later i’d be working with one of them, I would have thought you were a mental case, I looked at them like gods. Then to go to New York and work with David Kahne and finish the record off with him at Avatar studios was just a mind blowing experience, the city, the study, and the people who had worked with David before, it was amazing. i was a bit overwhelmed at times. with David having worked with Paul McCartney, The Rubens, Lana Del Rey and the strokes to name a few. It was hard to feel worthy of his time. but you soon get over that, and we all just tried to enjoy the experience and learn as much as we could.

What can fans expect from you in the coming months?
Heaps of touring! we’ve started writing again so maybe even an EP or something next year. “We’ve grown so much from the whole experience of making an album. it’s tough work and it really tests the relationships within the band. having come out the other side i feel like we are really tight and really strong. creatively i think we’ve all stepped up and i’m really excited to see what we can come up with next!

Success, what is the secret to it and what has been your biggest career highlight so far?
It’s hard to measure success, we don’t really think about it. We just put goals and targets in place that we feel are within our control. There’s so many unknowns in the arts industry so we just try to concentrate on what we can do and how we can improve. making an album with Darren and David was a huge dream come true. Darren having played in a band we loved and admired and David being just so experienced and successful. But even those things were just massive strokes of luck. Supporting Darren on his tour in November was also a wonderfully rewarding experience for us too. He’s been unbelievable for us, just so supportive. well beyond the call of duty, he is so grateful for the career he has had and is so keen to give back and help young bands on their way to hopefully have a career like he’s achieved.

Which stars of the music industry do you find inspiring?
Darren is definitely at the top of our list. Just seeing how involved he is with young bands and the support he has offered us and bands like us over the years is amazing. I’m sure he could’ve just ‘hung the boots up’ and enjoyed retirement, but the passion he has for music and discovering and helping young bands is just really amazing. very inspiring dude. i’m also big fans of Chris Martin and Noel and Liam Gallagher. I love the way all these guys just go their own way, do what they want and what they love. I also love the way the gallaghers tell it how it is. there is so much bullshit in the music industry, it’s great when some of the big fish highlight it and point it out because while we’re all thinking it, the small fish have to bite their tongues. at the end of the day, the music industry only exists because of the artists who create music, i think it’s great when people like Noel and Liam remind the rest of the industry of that.

What can you tell us about your latest album?
It really was the culmination of years of hard work and development. their is a huge variety of songs and song styles on the record, we’ve always wanted to have a variety of styles and strings to our bow. I suppose we subconsciously wanted to pay tribute to as many of our influences as possibly. To me, theres bits os Oasis, Powderfinger, The verve, coldplay, Jet and so many more in our songs and in this record

Are there any new exciting projects in the works?
Hopefully we can get an EP done in the new year.

The music industry is huge, where do you see yourself a few years from now?
God, who knows. hopefully we just find our little spot in it and people continue to discover and enjoy our music.

Name a few of your favourite Aussie artists.
Powderfinger, Crowded House, Silverchair, The Rubens, Tame Impala

The shape of the music industry has changed significantly over the years, including the use of social media, how do you feel about the industry as a whole and what does it mean to you in getting your records out into the public eye?
It certainly has changed. some things for the better, some for the worse. With the internet, social media and iTunes becoming so huge. It’s so much easier to get our music out to the entire world without much help. being an independent artist is so much easier, the possibilities are endless and anyone could potentially become a massively well known band or artist so quickly. I think this is good in one way but tends to mean you have to sort through tones of trash on the net to find the gems that really have something. I’ve noticed changes at gigs, when i was 15, i’d go to a show and people were glued to the front, silent, listening, hanging on every word of the bands and cheering wildly between songs. It’s not like that now, people don’t have the attention span they used to. people just don’t appreciate what they are seeing at gigs and how much work these bands put into their shows. people are always just chatting to each other and not really paying attention to the band, it’s like they’re just waiting for the one song or single that they know. i with people could just shut up and show a little more respect for the artists on the stage. I put it down to trash bullshit TV singing contests like x factor, everyones an expert now and wants to tell you and all their friends whats shit about your performance, everyone is so quick to be critical. People just need to be constantly interacting and having their opinion and say on everything, it really pisses me off. I wish it was like it used to be where people went to a gig to see the band and payed them the attention and respect they deserved. We’re all working really hard at this stuff and love it so i wish everyone would shut up and pay attention. Australian bands are doing amazing things, people could learn so much more if they’d just listen!

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