Melbourne quartet Bukowski recently released their debut EP, ‘grow up. give up. let go.‘ via Penultimate Records. Now they take it out on tour to launch it live starting this week in Perth.
Over the course of five songs, they blur the lines between emo and pop-punk; one moment they’re showing their emotive, tender side, the next soaring ahead with an addictive chorus.
You can order now on CD, Vinyl or in bundles with merch now [Here].
To launch the EP, Bukowski will play shows in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney, Hobart, Launceston, Adelaide and of course Melbourne. Check out the dates and venues further down.
To tell us more about the release, the band answered our On The Record questions this week ahead of the shows. Take a read below.
So, we had a working title during the recording which came up while writing lyrics to YPGHT. The final lyrics which are, ‘Did you ever really care’ resonated with me and kind of tied up the whole EP together in my brain. So I mentioned it to the band and they were all down. Although, when Jamie heard the EP he really connected with the track ‘grow up. give up. let go’ and put that forward to us as a possible title suggesting it was a more subtle nod to the underlying themes. I had really grown attached to DYERC because that’s what I had labelled all the demos as haha, but after while of really thinking about it for a few weeks, I saw It actually tied the songs, themes and also, the time of my life that the songs are about, together even better than I thought, so we went with it.
Tell us about the artwork.
The artwork was done by artist Annie Walters who has also done work for bands like Luca Brasi, Pennywise and The Hardaches to name a few. We didn’t quite have anything in mind for the artwork so we decided to send a copy of the EP to Annie to see if she could come up with an idea, ‘You’re the weed and I’m the flower, trapped and hopelessly devoured’ is a lyric from our song ‘Brood’ which resonated and sparked the idea for the cover art.
What format/s will it be released on and how will it be packaged?
‘grow up. give up. let go.’ is currently available on CD, 7” vinyl in 3 variants directly through penultimaterecords.com. Digital downloads are available through iTunes and the entire EP is available to be streamed on all major streaming services including Apple Music, Spotify and Google Play.
Who will it be released through, and when?
The EP was released last week via Penultimate Records.
Tell us about the studio and why you chose to record there?
We ended up recording partly at a place called The Band Booth and finished it off at home. The Band Booth is predominately a rehearsal space, however it does have a small studio up stairs which catered to all our needs. The good thing about The band booth was that we were not limited to set amount of time each day. We were able to record to our hearts content, nothing was rushed and we didn’t feel pressured. We ended up recording all the drums and guitars in the studio. We had vocals, lead guitar and bass to go and ended up finished at our place. The good thing about working with Jack is that he has all the gear to record on location.
Tell us about the producer / engineer and why you chose to record with them?
Jack Newlyn. Jack is a god. If not a god, a demigod of music. we met Jack while playing in our previous bands and touring together a few years ago. We chose Jack because we really like his old band The Drive Home and love the way he writes songs! It is a massive bonus that he is an awesome engineer as well; and also he moved to Melbourne around the time we were wanting to record so it kind all fell into place very nicely.
Did you go into the writing process with a clear direction in mind?
Yes and no. We had these songs for a long time, so we knew what we wanted it to sound like, but at the same time we were well aware that things were going to change once we got into the studio. Jack took the role as producer really well and we were able to bounce ideas off each other. Although we didn’t go in to the studio with the clearest of directions, we feel the outcome of the EP is exactly how we wanted it to sound during the process.
Were you listening to anything in particular during the writing / recording process that influenced the songs at all?
The songs were written over such a long period of time, so its hard to pinpoint exactly what we were listening to or influenced by. Bands like The Story So Far, The Wonder Years and Citizen were definitely a constant influence throughout the whole process. However at the tail end of this period, we realized Brand New are the best band in the world and we just wanted everything to sound like them. haha.
Were there any albums you were referencing in the studio to aim for a certain type of sound production wise?
We were aiming somewhere between The Swellers ‘The light under closed doors’ and Brand New ‘Deja Entendu’. We feel Jack was able to deliver us a nice in-between sound from both of those albums.
Tell us a little about the recording process the band used?
The one thing we wanted with our overall sound was for it to be real and raw. The first sound you hear on the EP is Gerard smashing the kit with a kind of echoey vibe. That echo sound was just the natural drum sound in the studio foyer: a kind of factory setting if you can imagine it. Jack was very keen on keeping everything real and threw a bunch of ideas around and was stoked to try new things. We recorded all the Rhythm guitars through his JCM800 into Benji’s Bugera stock 4×12, we wanted it to be us on the recording, how we sounded when we wrote the songs.
Any guests involved? if so, who.. and what did they do?
If you are still reading, you would have to agree that we think Jack is God. During the mixing process, he had an idea for a vocal line in a bridge for our first single ‘You’re probably gonna hate this’ and tracked it himself at home to show us. It sounded so good, we refused to let him track it again with any of us.
When it comes to naming the tracks, is there any particular approach or process to it all?
Title – this one was pretty easy because, essentially the lyrics were the working title of the EP. Even though that changed later on, I couldn’t think of another name, so we left it.
twothousandseven – this one was pretty straight forward, i wrote all the lyrics in one sitting and the working title was 2007. I was at work one day and MakeDamnSure by TBS came on the radio and i thought it was cool how they wrote the title. So, I stole the idea haha.
grow up. give up. let go – the title for this one was done before i had even finished the lyrics. I was humming the melody and the only lyrics i had were ‘growing up, giving up, letting go’ and i just broke it down as like a little throw to “wake.eat.sleep.repeat’, with ‘grow up. give up. let go’ being a new process to life. A sad one though.
brood – had a few working titles but none that really encapsulated the theme of the song well enough. Benji in a passing comment mentioned that the song is just a song that just broods and broods all these thoughts. So, brood it became.
You’re probably gonna hate this – When the song was done, i re-read all the lyrics and thought the person it was about would probably (definitely) hate it. so, yeah.
Any memorable studio moments?
There are a couple! haha
Jack had told me to begin warming up so we could start tracking vocals. I asked him to throw on a song i would know just so i could sing along. As a joke he played, Animals by Nickelback. Little did he know I am a Nickelback fan and sung the whole song word for word with perfect pitch all the way through. Everyone was chilling in the studio and witnessed this whole process, I’m pretty sure there’s a file somewhere of me singing it. SO i guess you could say that if you like the vocals on the EP you have Chad to thank for that. Also, it was late on the last night of tracking and we were finishing up the bass parts. There is a triplet drum fill in the last chorus of ‘grow up. give up. let go’ and this idea of throwing a ridiculous bass riff over the top of it just popped into my head. We were all so tired, so it was easy for me to convince the gang to let me track it. It was so ridiculous i had to get Jack to drop the tempo a little bit so i could play it. Once it was tracked the room was split, whether to keep it or not. We were laughing for about 10mins just listening to it over and over. In the end the tiredness beat everyone down and we all agreed to keep it for the ‘LOLs’. Jack said that it’s still in there but you can’t really hear it haha.
Any additional tracks recorded that didn’t make the cut but may see the light of day sometime?
As previously mentioned, we recorded a single track with Jack a few weeks before we started the EP. We decided to add the track as a bonus hidden track on the physical CDs only. We won’t tell you where, but it’s there. Somewhere.
What track/s are you most looking forward to playing live?
‘Brood’ is definitely one of our favourite songs to play. Our songs translate differently when we play them live (in a good way) and brood is a good example of that. No set is ever the same as the last, and thats a really important things to us. We want people to come and watch a performance not just an exact rendition of whats on the EP.
8th – HQ, Leederville [AA Arvo] w/ Dan Cribb and the Isolated
8th – The Boston, Perth [18+ Night] w/ Dan Cribb and the Isolated
9th – Rhubarb Records, Perth [AA]
14th – Ric’s Bar, Brisbane [18+]
15th – Bald Faced Stag, Leichhardt [18+]
21st – Brisbane Hotel, Hobart [18+]
22nd – Bakers Lane, Launceston [AA Arvo]
22nd – Club 54, Launceston [18+ Night]
28th – The Grace Darling, Melbourne [18+]
29th – Exeter Hotel, Adelaide [18+]
—> Tickets available at the door.
—> For more information, visit [Here].
3. Grow up. Give up. Let Go.
5. You’re Probably Gonna Hate This
Bukowski photo by Mitchell Chamberlain
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