Tom Russo on hold­ing on as things get weirder…

There’s been a lot of an­tic­i­pa­tion around the re­lease of Hope Downs. what sort of pres­sure did that put on

you? We were aware that a de­cent amount of peo­ple would be pay­ing at­ten­tion to us for the first time. I don’t think it both­ered us, though. We were more ex­cited about the song­writ­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties that a full-length can of­fer, be­ing able to stretch out and make a point. The first two EPs were es­sen­tially col­lec­tions of sin­gles.

You recorded the al­bum in an old house in the out­back.

why? We’re most com­fort­able record­ing to­gether in a room, which is the way we recorded the first two EPs, live in our prac­tice space. Stu­dio record­ing is a lit­tle ster­ile. We recorded in the Aus­tralian win­ter, when Mel­bourne is cold and mis­er­able, so get­ting up north where it was warmer was def­i­nitely a fac­tor. The house was in our drum­mer’s home­town, a beau­ti­ful part of the world. I think the at­mos­phere soaks through in the mu­sic in a sub­tle way. Hope Downs is the name of an iron-ore mine in out­back West­ern Aus­tralia, a mas­sive hole in the ground owned by Aus­tralia’s rich­est per­son.

Can you iden­tify an over­rid­ing

theme to the songs? Af­ter all the songs were writ­ten, we re­alised that while they are about dif­fer­ent things, there is a com­mon as­pect of small char­ac­ters in a huge world, try­ing to find some­thing to hold on to while the sands shift and things get weirder.

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