Today is the day, the highly anticipated album from City Calm Down 'Echoes in Blue' has dropped via I OH YOU and man oh man is it amazing. This is an apparent higher, deeper level for the band and it clearly resonates so clearly through every adventure, of every song. BRAVO, City Calm Down. We were lucky enough to chat to Jack Bourke early today about what this album meant to him.
“Echoes In Blue is not concerned with answering questions. It is interested in the reality of being spread too thin, of being unable to shut out the noise, where we’re told to buy a house, with a mountain of debt, and do what we love, to be passionate and driven, whilst also making enough time for our wife or husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, for our children, parents and friends.” – City Calm Down.
Echoes In Blue tracklist:
RR: Hey How are you going? Big Day?!
Jack: Haha Yes!
RR: So obviously today you released 'Echoes in Blue' , Hows your day been so far? What have you been upto?
J: Yeah my days been good. Well today I picked our sound engineer up from the airport so had to dabbled through Melbourne traffic Haha we're now just getting set up for the launch party we're having tonight in Melbourne.
RR: Awesome, a lot of running around, but you guys must be stoked. Your playing a free show tonight at The Toff in Melbourne, how are you guys feeling for that?
J: Quite excited, we're going to play through the record from start to finish, which we never get the chance to do.
RR: You must be so happy to finally be able to share the album live.
J: Really looking forward to it
RR: No old songs?
J: Not tonight, on the tour yes.
RR: Awesome solely about 'Echoes In Blue'. So this new album, Echoes in Blue, the lyrics throughout the album tend to relate to the, well I think, fairly universal feeling of constantly being at work, whether that be in our personal lives or our actual working lives, what inspired you guys to write an album focussing on this topic?
J: I guess it was my own personal circumstances. I was feeling burnt out, worn out and yeah I was just trying to keep pushing through and the record was a away for to have an outlet. Obviously the record was also the reason I was burnt out but the lyric writing process for me was a way to work through that feeling.
RR: Can you tell me about the podcast that you listened to about finding 'True Boredom'?
J: To get to a creative point you need to wind down and be bored so you can get to higher levels of thinking and I think we're constantly short circuiting our ability to do that. Not necessarily creativity but just constantly short circuiting things through instant media. yeah so I guess some of the songs on the record ruminate on that notion or concept.
RR: Well sounds like an extremely interesting podcast that we should probably all take note from... So for me I really like 'Decision Fatigue', I think thats a really powerful song. Can you tell me about that one?
J: Yeah it was one of the last songs we wrote for the record. When we were writing it because we were so close to finishing it I felt like.. well I guess the phrase 'Decision Fatigue' was inspired by just feeling like I couldn't make anymore decisions and in using that feeling the song narrative is about feeling neglected in a relationship. Sort of puts her life on hold for someone else. I think I felt at the time I was doing that to my wife Jess. I think this song is the most important to me on the record because it just crystallised to me the sacrifice she was making by supporting me through this process. I guess recognising that I don't want that to be a constant state for her because she's got her own ambitions. She wasn't going to work or anything but I had very little time to spend with her. And the real challenge was she was being so supportive. I think that song for me is me saying thank you to her.
RR: Is that the most personal song or your favourite song on the album would you say?
J: It hits a nerve for me, where others might not just because it has that really deep connection to my relationship with Jess.
RR: I have read that this new album of yours shows that the band has progressed, sounding much more grounded and assured – what is it, do you think, that has changed in this album compared to your earlier albums?
J: I think for starters we've developed as musicians, that sort of happens by playing music more and its a ongoing process and journey. Because we had already made a record, we've been through the process so we recognised all the things we wanted to do differently. So we took more time to produce it and did it over a longer period of time so we could reflect on the way it was sounding so we could go back and make changes if we wanted to do that. We weren't locked down and I think thats played a big role in it feeling more cohesive and more confident in its own sound.
RR: Do you think you explored more with sound in this album?
J: On our last record we used quite a range. We definitely used different instruments, I think in our last album we used a lot of different sounds with synthesisers and guitars and pedals. We were experimenting with lots of that stuff. Its a different affect in different circumstances so I wasn't really trying to reinvent the recording process but it was more giving ourselves more time and not being locked down. It gave us more opportunity to experiment rather than experimenting.
RR: You guys are going to be very busy soon as well with shows in the UK, Germany and Amsterdam planned throughout May and then following up with a tour around Australia and New Zealand – are you guys excited?
J: I think we've always had really good responses where ever we go but I think we're really excited to go to places we haven't gone before, Amsterdam, Berlin Hamburg, Auckland and Wllington but thats purely because its a new places as a band. We always love playing Australia and thats thats always going to be that way. We're really excited about the unknown!
RR: I can see your band being really well received in Berlin and Amsterdam.
J: Haha well I hope so!
RR: You also released a live video of you guys performing Joan I’m Disappearing, what motivated you guys to do a live video? I mean, it’s amazing obviously but not something that is super common
J: Yeah, I don we just wanted to do it. There was no real sophisticated reason to do it. It was just 'Yeah lets do some live recordings'. I really enjoy playing that one live and its not one that necessarily translates that well to a big venue so we wanted to be able to show the song when its not being drowned out by everything else. We will be playing Joan on the tour and its developed a lot since we recorded that live video, so we're really looking forward to playing that song.
RR: You also posted before the upcoming shows to your fans to not purchase tickets for your shows from a website called ViaGoGo – can you tell us what the deal is with ViaGoGo and maybe explain to any fans listening right now how they should purchase tickets to your upcoming shows?
J: Oh YEAH! Their business model I guess Is to buy add words on google so when you google an artist name they come up and present themselves as the artist seller when they infect they're just scalping tickets oft for 3 -4 times of the cost of the ticket. Not only does that steal money from punters but its really troubling for artists because if people go on and see that as the advertised ticket price they might not go on and buy tickets. so essentially what that business model is doing is removing bands from fans through presenting inflated ticket prices. I think something has to be done about it. People use google to search for tickets. Most people haven't heard of it until they're ripped off by them. People see it and assume its that price and don't want to come to shows. We had a fan who emailed us recently saying tickets were $200 to a show in Sydney and I told him that wasn't the write sight. Its shit!
RR: Well its really great you guys are letting people know about it and put that out their for your fans and for those who don’t, you can purchase tickets to the upcoming City Calm Down tour from their official website, citycalmdown.com. We are out of time so A MASSIVE CONGRATULATIONS on releasing the album. and thanks so much for taking the time out to have a chat guys, wishing you all the best for the album release and your gig at The Toff!
CITY CALM DOWN
UK & EUROPEAN TOUR
May 17 | The Great Escape | Brighton and Hove, UK
May 20 | Gold Sounds Festival | Leeds, UK
May 21 | King Tuts | Glasgow, UK
May 23 | Deaf Institute | Manchester, UK
May 24 | The Borderline | London, UK
May 25 | London Calling | Amsterdam, NL
May 26 | Nochtwache | Hamburg, GER
May 28 | Kantine am Berghain | Berlin, GER