Behind every record, there’s a story. It can be struggletown or filled with laughs; it make or break an artists creativity. Drenched in Brisbane pride, power pop-rock outfit Babaganouj have grown a legion of fans since their 2011 inception. While keeping with their distinctly Australian style, The Nouj’s sound is reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Yuck, taking inspiration from Creation Records and Flying Nun classics.
In 2014, the band gained serious radio attention with their releases ‘Too Late For Love’ and ‘Bluff’. This success took them on a number of headlining tours, as well as each leg of the Blurst of Times festival tour. Along with frontman Charles Sale’s signature on-stage power lunges, the Triple J Unearthed favourites have supported the likes of The Preatures, Smudge, Veruca Salt, The Lemonheads, Northeast Party House and The Creases.
Continuing their powerhouse rise, 2015 saw Babaganouj play at the inaugural MATES festival in Sydney, Brisbane’s BIGSOUND conference, and come in as finalists for Qmusic’s Billy Thorpe scholarship. They also released their singles ‘Can’t Stop’ and ‘Hit Song’ to a head-boppingly enthusiastic reception.
Looking forward, the trio of writers is set to record three EPs in 2016, showcasing each member’s vocal talents. As well as their own headline tours, they’ll continue to spread their sound through festivals and international supports throughout the east coast. In everything ‘Nouj produces are infectious lyrics, intense riffs and unreal magnetism.
How does the EP making process begin for you?
This has kinda been a convoluted process because the band bank account has been up and down over the last 6 months. We all had a few songs to bring to the table so we nutted some of them out in the band room and others were just thrown into the studio which was a bit scary. We got there in the end!
What were the driving forces behind this recording?
We had a desire to release a bunch of music in 2016 but no means to really fire it all out at once in the shape of an album or something. So a few EPs spaced out over the year was a good plan and felt right in terms of the songs we had. They could be grouped together accordingly in groups of 4.
Where did you record and why did you choose that location?
We did a little recording in Melbourne, a little recording in Kelvin Grove, and a little recording in the bedroom. In Melbourne, we worked with someone I had worked with years ago named Gareth Parton. He has done a bunch of cool stuff, namely all the records by this cool early 00s band from the UK called The Go Team. He also did the Lowtide album from 2014 which I love. So he was a good choice for a couple of songs we had ready at the time. We also did a song on Pillar of Light with Bris-ledge Magoo. There’s a couple there with Sean Cook who is our usual guy and is a genius.
Favourite song title from the release and how did the title come about?
‘Do Rite With Me’ is a song I wrote and has a dumb name, but I like misspelling things on purpose. Prince used to do that I think.
If you could describe your EP in three words, how would you describe it?
Gang fires pop.
How long did it take to make EP from inception to mastering?
Way too long! Scheduling is hard, especially juggling other bands and life and day jobs. But we got there in the end. Maybe 3-4 months? We recorded other songs during the recording sessions for this EP too, so that’s why it took longer.
Would do you do anything differently if you were to record again?
Probably set a block of time away to focus hard for a week, and get it done completely without little straggling bits left over to clean up. That’s kinda hard though with stupid day jobs. I think I’ve complained about day jobs already.
Who was the first person to hear your finished EP in its entirety?
I haven’t shown anyone yet because I am a secretive freak.
Do you write the music or the lyrics first?
Personally, I do ’em both at the same time. I have written down both independently at times, but I can’t really come back to them after they’re down.
At what stage of the process do you start considering the artwork?
I struggle with aesthetics. The girls are really good at visualising that thankfully and they kinda always manage to come up with what I maybe subconsciously visualised anyway. That’s the magic of working with others.
How many different EP titles were under consideration?
There were quite a few. Ruby came up with like a million and I came up with none. Classic. I think Harriette had a few too. I can’t think of any off the top of my head because I have had too much coffee.
Most memorable moment/s in the studio?
I was depressedly playing a pump organ for about two hours one night and I think it’s buried in a couple of the songs we did. The most memorable thing though is probably coming back into the studio after Harriette has done her vocal takes and realising she makes everything sound so much better. Thank you, Harri.
BABAGANOUJ TOUR DATES
Friday 22nd April
Waywards, Sydney NSW
Saturday 23rd April
The Toff In Town, Melbourne VIC
Sunday 24th April
Spotted Cow, Toowoomba QLD
Friday 29th April
The Helm, Sunshine Coast QLD
Saturday 30th April
Minimum Wage Club, Shark Bar, Gold Coast QLD
Friday 6th May
Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD
BABAGANOUJ release PILLAR OF LIGHT EP on 22nd April 2016.