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Q&A: The Great Emu War Casualties On Studio Tragedy & Lockdown Blues

Photos Supplied by Ruckus PR

The three amigos from Melbourne-Town have beseeched us mere mortals with wit & wisdom untold. The Great Emu War Casualties have delivered us the low-down on their latest track, 'Boutique Suite In Funky Fitzroy,' as well as their ear-shattering EP Vanity Project and life beyond the recording room.

Let's jump into the 5-star suite and get the jacuzzi going:

I loved the new single ‘Boutique Suite in Funky Fitzroy,’ can you tell us about the track? What’s it about, where did it come from?

Joe: Thanks very much. The idea of the track came from reading a billboard in Fitzroy just before lockdowns took over our lives. It's like a lot of our songs, all sort of about the monotony of modern life but you keep going for that carrot dangled at the end of the stick. Just think, if you work really hard, one day you too can be owner of your own Boutique Suite in Funky Fitzroy.

I hear that ‘Boutique Suite in Funky Fitzroy’ is the first of 6 tracks which you will be releasing soon. What can you tell us about these tracks and the recording experience?

Bibek: Mostly all of the tracks were written during the lockdown. I was up in Byron and Joe and Saskia were in Melbourne. So we back and forth the ideas and did whatever we could do at that period of time.
The other tracks include sort of a transition sound which is inspired by our old tracks, and the new direction of songwriting which we are all looking forward to. At least that much I can say about the music and sound – as for the lyrics and subject matters, I wouldn’t know much. Pretty sure Joe did a great job as always.
Personally, these tracks really helped me to feel sane during that period of lockdown.
Recording these tracks, we had a great time. Finally, together in a room, sharing ideas. Who knew Joe could play some xylophones and Saskia is a master pianist.
Also James Cecil, who helped us produce the tracks, made us feel like home. Massive serves of rice and ginger pickles were always the highlight of the sessions.
It is such a massive bummer that the place doesn’t exist anymore.

I heard the studio burned down. Did the destruction of the Super Melody World studio affect the tracks? That must have been a really hectic experience.

Joe: The place was a gorgeous little cabin way out in the woods. We got two full tracks down before we went into lockdown 6.0 and then the place burned down just a week or two before it all opened up again. Fortunately nobody was in it when it came down but that's where the good luck ended. That event summed up the year pretty much! Still feel really shitty for James as he pretty much lost everything in there.
We toyed with the idea of putting some more layers / overdubs etc. on what we had for the tracks that we finished, but decided against it in the end… We wanted those two to be a bit of a time capsule of our days in that room. The rest of them will surely resurface some time in the near future…

Your previous EP Vanity Project is such a freaky and amazing release. How have things been off the back of such a bold EP?

Saskia: That’s the most amazing compliment we’ve ever had, I love it. Thank you. It was nice to get a bit of airplay from the J’s but aside from that not much changed really. I think our music is a bit too schizophrenic and ‘un-Melbourne-like’ to have much widespread (or any) interest, but I love just doing whatever the heck we feel like so I don’t really care. I’m on a never-ending quest to make the ‘Ultimate Song’ and we have a lot of demos that I’m pretty excited about so hopefully some of them come off.

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect the music scene? You guys were in the heart of it, down in Melbourne. Was it productive? Did live music die? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Saskia: I play in a few bands/projects and they pretty much all died in lockdown except Emus. Nobody had any mojo to do anything anymore – some people were inspired in that first big lockdown last year but I think this year totally crushed everyone’s spirits. It was a huge bummer not to be able to finish the studio session with James after all that, but I mean… we ended up writing like six more tracks in the dead space, lol. I think me and Bibek would go crazy if we didn’t do anything (Joe would be super happy if we stopped though…)
I think we are weirdly lucky that we aren’t popular – I feel way more sorry for all the bands that had finally gotten a bit of momentum and then it all just ground to a halt in COVID and they basically have to start all over again. That sucks. We didn’t really get anywhere pre-covid so it didn’t make much of a difference to us, lol.

What have you got planned next? What can we expect from The Great Emu War Casualties going into the end of the year and moving into 2022?

Bibek: Well we already recorded another three brand new tracks, which sums up to probably 10 completed tracks yet to release. So, pretty sorted for all of next year already I guess. We will be doing couple of shows in Melbourne and Fender gave us some free studio time next week to record yet another 2 new tracks before Christmas (thanks Fender).
Next year in general it would be about filling out all the gigs, jams, hangs that we missed during the lockdown, if the world doesn’t end.
Since we already have too many songs, we are also talking about Joe’s solo project for next year, ‘Joe and the Liverpool Jesus’.

Thanks again guys. Vanity Project has been blasting out of my speakers a lot recently, so it’s really good to get a chance to interview you. Keep it groovy.

Aw, thank you that’s very kind of you. Thanks for listening!!

Thanks again to the Big Birds for their incredible answers. If you haven't checked out 'Boutique Suite' or their EP Vanity Project, make sure you do. You're missing out. You can follow The Great Emu War Casualties on all your dad's least favourite social media sites so you can keep up to date with the Christmas goodies they'll be jamming in your spacious stocking this year.

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