Press Club: The Download Interview

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It’s exciting times for Melbourne’s Press Club. After the pandemic enforced downtime the band are like a tightly coiled spring that’s ready to explode and take on the world. Lead vocalist Nat Foster took time out of the band’s busy schedule for an exclusive chat with The Midlands Rocks.

You’re fresh off the Avalanche Stage. How was it?

It was really good. It exceeded so many expectations. It was a bit nerve-wracking to be first on at a big festival. The big festivals over here are so much bigger than in Australia.

How do you psyche yourself up for a show at one o’clock in the afternoon?

I had to have a couple of beers to be honest. We only had five hours sleep because we had a show last night and we had to wake up nice and early to get here by one o’clock. The company of the band is always great and then getting onstage just changes everything. You could be about to fall asleep but once you get up there [clicks fingers] we’re on!

You’re performance is always very energetic. How do you come down afterwards?

The adrenaline rush hangs around for a good hour, today it’s not too bad because it’s the middle of the day, I don’t have a huge amount of fatigue hitting me…but who needs to come down? Let’s stay up!

Can you give me a brief history of the band? What pulled you all together?

We’ve been playing music together for years, for many more years that Press Club has existed, then one day we all got together in a room and worked out what was going on, what kind of style we wanted to go for and then ‘Headwreck’ [debut single] came out in one of the first few writing sessions. It was pretty obvious we were going to be a fast punk band and it was a big relief for everybody to be finally doing something we love.

Although the world is getting smaller, did you ever feel isolated coming from Australia?

Every time we’ve come over here we’ve had such insane receptions, from crowds and radio and everything like that. You all seem to like us over here so we certainly don’t feel isolated, if anything we feel so blessed to have that response.

Did the relatively small punk scene in Australia help you form a unique sound?

I’m not sure, our unique sound comes from the four of us each putting our little bits and pieces into it. I love melody, I love lyrics, Frank plays mad punk beats, Greg is so broad with his guitar playing, it’s just the four of us making that sound.

Is there one band that brings you all together?

While we’re over here we’ve got one anthem of a song; ‘Cold Sweat’ by Church Of The Cosmic Skull, and we play it on repeat in the van. It’s certainly not like our regular genre of music but god-damn, it’s a good song!

There seems to be a new breed of young, exciting bands coming from Australia (Ocean Grove, The Faim). What zeitgeist are you all tapping into?

I’m not sure. It seems that rock music from Australia goes down really well over here. There are so many Australian bands that you haven’t heard of that are absolutely incredible. We’re so isolated over there and it’s so easy to fall into “we’re an Australian band”, it’s so expensive to tour and get anywhere else, but now that people are coming overseas, and getting their name out, it’s paving the way for other bands.

There’s plenty of time shifts and tempo changes in your music. Latest single ‘Cancelled’ sounds like five songs in one. How do you make your songs flow so smoothly?

We’ve always been big fans of shifting time through a song, ‘Cancelled’ in particular, has a lot of different vibes, there’s key changes in there and in the past we’d joke that you can only do a key change if it’s not obvious, but we play as a unit and do what feels right.

How did you keep the band’s trajectory going over Covid? You were on an upward curve and then everything came to a shuddering halt.

Honestly, it was so hard. We live in Melbourne, and we had the highest number of lockdown days in a year, it was like 280 or something, so there was a lot of time where we couldn’t even get together in a room to play with four people. So we did a lot of writing, people would come up with little ideas and bring them in, and we’d slowly add to them. By the time we could finally get together, we got in a room and started jamming out an album. We released a few covers but it seemed a bit futile to keep up with social media so we kind of laid low for a bit.

As a performer how was it not being able to perform?

I think we all go through big waves. So at the moment we’re not writing everyday, at the moment I don’t know if I have any lyrics in me or anything ready to go, but I know it’ll come back.

Finally, what are you’re future plans?

We’ve got some more dates on this tour, we’ll be releasing a few more songs and then later in the year we’ve got an album coming out. I can’t give you a date but it’s mixed, mastered and the album art’s done.

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