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Q&A: Action Slacks Take Us Back To The Good Old Days

Updated: Dec 22, 2021

Photos Supplied By Kick Push PR

Brisbane's Indie-pop powerhouse quartet Action Slacks have blown a fuse with their 80's dripping-synth reimagining of Powderfinger's 'Waiting for the Sun.' Bolstered by their mind-boggling debut EP Voids, the quadruplets tackled the monstrous task of making 'Waiting for the Sun' their own. Squeezing it between a vice of 80's nostalgia and synthtronic freak wizardry, they not only succeeded, but have brought us one of the most interesting fresh bangers of the year.

Of the track, the four horsemen stated:

“When we initially had the idea to record a cover, we thought it would only be fitting to pay homage to one of the most quintessential Brisbane bands; Powderfinger. While ‘Waiting For The Sun’ may not be as widespread as some of their bigger singles, it really captures everything great about the band. We started to get a feel for the direction we could take our version, bringing lush synth pads and vocal stacks to a rock classic, and we’re thrilled with how it turned out.”

We were lucky enough to pick their spacious galaxy-brains on the affair. Without further ado, let's paddle out and surf these waves:

I absolutely loved the ‘Waiting for the Sun’ track. What led you to settle on a Powderfinger cover? Were there any other song covers considered or tossed around during the planning stages for this single?

Thanks. I think it made a lot of sense to us to pay tribute to a fellow Brisbane band, and growing up listening to Powderfinger, they really felt like the obvious choice. I’m not sure if there were other contenders for the cover, but we were pretty certain that it should be something off either Odyssey Number 5 or Vulture Street. Going back and revisiting those albums, once that Waiting For The Sun chorus hit it really stood out, like it was the perfect choice for those big chorus vocals and lush synths.

Your incredible debut EP Voids dropped earlier this year. What has been happening since then? What did Voids leave in its wake?

Writing for Ep#2 started even before Voids came out, so we’re deep in the midst of recording that at the moment. We’ve also got a new single coming out early next year so we’ve been hard at work putting the finishing touches on that. Stylistically it didn’t feel like it fit with the rest of the new EP, so we thought it'd make more sense to put it out as a single.

You still have your trademarked 80’s synth groove for this latest track. How did ‘Waiting for the Sun’ form? Was it clearcut, or did you experiment with different things?

Listening to Waiting For The Sun, the ideas for the production seemed to come pretty easily, it seemed like it would fall together smoothly. But that wasn’t quite the case as we started to get into actually putting it together haha. It took a good month or 2 to fully flesh out the production, and make it feel right, make all the transitions work together etc. We really wanted a different take on the original, so it’s a tricky balance of doing our own thing and still keeping the elements that make people love the original version.

Last time you spoke to us, you mentioned how the tracks on Voids range from topics like heartbreak to obsessive serial killers. I was wondering if you write from experience? Where does the inspiration come from?

When it comes to inspiration, there is no specific thing that inspires a song every single time. A lot of the time it can be something that I’m reading about or listening to, or a topic that I’m really interested in, and yes some of the time it does come from personal experience, but a lot of the time I will write stories that I’ve heard from other people or stories that I’ve read about that I feel inspired by.
I think the other thing is how the track feels before the lyrics go in, most of the time there’s like a general vibe to this song and that really pushes the direction of the song and the lyrics generally tend to flow from the feeling or the vibe. Sometimes you’ll just write a really cool lyric and then write the song based off that one line and it kind of shapes the entire story around that. So short answer there’s not really one specific thing that I can point to - I draw inspiration from a lot of different areas whether it be fact or fiction.

Who would your dreamteam gig line up be? I’m interested to know who you’d like to support or have support you.

This is such a hard question! There are so many amazing artists out there at the moment but if we’re talking about playing with anybody in the world I’d love to play with the 1975, kitten, Madonna, Cub Sport, Eliza and the Delusionals, and Silver Sphere (now Sophie Cates) to name a few!

What does the future hold for Action Slacks? I know last time you spoke to us you mentioned you were hard at work for EP #2. Can you tell us anything about that? Are there any tour plans or gigs coming which we could hype up?

Still hard at work on EP#2 haha. Recording has begun so that’s where our focus is right now, finishing off tracking everything, some tracks are still very much under construction production wise, so there’s still quite a bit that’s up in the air, but it’ll probably feel a little like that until we’re signing off on finished mixes for everything. With the new single coming out, and the EP to follow we’ve got a few tour plans coming together, we’d love to get down Sydney and Melbourne as we weren’t able to get there on the Voids tour so keep an eye out for all of that info to come.

Thanks again!!!! Love you guys so much.

Thanks so much, really appreciate the kind words!

There's the whole kit & caboodle. Keep your ears peeled for that new single, and make sure to follow Action Slacks so you can keep up-to-date on those spicy tour plans. Thanks again for such an insightful interview! Can't wait to hear their new material, but in the mean time you can feast your ears on 'Waiting for the Sun'. I'm a big fan of bands who make a cover their own, and it's always so much more exciting & refreshing than a straight pub-cover.

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