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 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.