TIME TO BREATHE

Jae Laf­fer makes it clear that The Pan­ics may have taken a while to re­lease their new al­bum, but that doesn’t mean it’s with­out a mes­sage

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD -

The Pan­ics have re­leased a new al­bum after a five-year break, en­ti­tled Hole in Your Pocket. Fol­low­ing al­most a decade play­ing to­gether and after their suc­cess­ful Aria top-10 al­bum Rain on the Hum­ming Wire, the group re­ally needed a breather.

“Just at the end of our last process we’d kind of ex­hausted a load of our meth­ods and I know it sounds a bit cliche but it was prob­a­bly at that point a lot of bands who’d had a few al­bums would have prob­a­bly bro­ken up,” front­man Jae Laf­fer says.

The group dis­banded mo­men­tar­ily and Laf­fer put out a solo record ti­tled When the Iron Glows Red, trav­elled and be­came a dad to a lit­tle girl. He ad­mits the band didn’t even know if they would re­lease more mu­sic to­gether be­cause it had to feel pur­pose­ful, not some­thing they did just for the sake of it.

“When the time felt right to get the boys back to­gether it was be­cause we felt like we had some­thing to say or we felt like us­ing each other’s en­ergy again to get that en­ergy that works for us.

“We don’t make money. We’re not ex­clu­sively ca­reerist kind of guys. We want to make the stuff that might stick around for 50 years and peo­ple will think it was a great state­ment or an im­por­tant piece of mu­sic so all the el­e­ments have to be right.”

Laf­fer is def­i­nitely say­ing some­thing on this al­bum.

He ex­plores so­ci­etal is­sues such as the clash be­tween big min­ing and in­dige­nous cul­ture, po­lice bru­tal­ity and cli­mate change (on the first sin­gle, “Weath­er­man”).

“I was writ­ing a lot again and it felt like there was en­ergy and pur­pose to what I was putting down on the page,” he says.

Key to his in­spi­ra­tion was trav­el­ling, go­ing back to WA and us­ing what he saw there to in­spire him cre­atively.

“I went to the desert quite a bit and worked in dif­fer­ent at­mos­pheres and let dif­fer­ent things rub off on me or piss me off and I needed that,” he says.

But Laf­fer is clear that there’s no magic for­mula: the band could re­lease an­other al­bum next year or it could take five years again.

“It’s such a cut­throat in­dus­try and peo­ple are al­ways like: ‘How can you spend so long on a record?’ But I know I’ll just make records un­til I die so I’m still in my young years as far as I’m con­cerned,” he says.

“All I can do is love life and if I want to make a record ev­ery now and then I will.” Hole In Your Pocket is out now

Jae Laf­fer, front­man of The Pan­ics, says he’ll be mak­ing mu­sic un­til the day he dies.

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