Brisbane six piece Mosman Alder recently released their first single ‘Germland (of Julien Charbonneau)’ off their debut album, which will be released later this year. The album was produced by Something for Kate’s Paul Dempsey – who describes the band as one of best to come out of Australia in recent years. Especially known for their effervescent live show, Mosman Alder returned to Splendour in the Grass this year and are playing two very special sold-out support shows with The Head and the Heart in Sydney and Melbourne. They spoke to Speaker TV about their new music, working with Paul Dempsey and their current crop of live shows.
Hey guys, firstly congratulations on the new single, it’s fantastic! I’m very much looking forward to hearing the album in its entirety. Firstly, what has the response been like for ‘Germland (of Julien Charbonneau)’ from your own point of view and what are your hopes for your upcoming album?
Yeah its all been pretty good so far. Some of my friends who are better musicians than me have had nice things to say about it so that is somewhat comforting. As for the album, I guess our hopes are that it can reach as many ears as possible and that people connect with it in someway. But whatever happens is fine, I think we try and not have too many expectations and just enjoy whatever comes our way.
Do ‘Germland’s’ themes of friendship and support extend across your upcoming LP and can you tell me about some of the other themes that have informed your upcoming album both musically and lyrically?
I think ‘Germland’ is probably the only song that directly references friendship. We have covered a lot of diverse territory both musically and lyrically. It’s definitely not a concept album in any way and it might take too long to get into specific meanings of particular songs. However there is a Japanese philosophy ‘mono no aware’ that I think overarches a lot of what we are about. Basically it means “an empathy towards transience”. It is this idea that through having an awareness and sensitivity of the ephemera one’s appreciation of life and its beauty is enhanced or heightened.
What other details can you provide about your upcoming album, especially regarding production, song and album titles?
The album is titled Humdrum Star. It was produced by Paul Dempsey, engineered by Yanto Browning and they both mixed it too. It sounds shiney, warm and crisp. Some song titles you can expect… ‘God is Pissing on You’, ‘Colours’ and ‘Tokyo 1933’.
What albums, songs or any other pieces of music has really caught you guys (as a band or individually) recently?
I have been listening to The War on Drugs’ Lost in a Dream a whole heap. It’s great.
What have you guys learnt working with Paul Dempsey, what does he add to the recording process and how well do your working styles match up?
We learnt a lot from Paul and in many ways he was like a mentor to us. He is an incredible musician and I really hope he continues to produce records because he has the right brain for it. He is very methodical but is able to tap into the right side of the brain thing as well. Which is really rare and a cool thing. We are a much more disciplined and decisive band now because of him.
Describe the importance of playing Splendour in the Grass and supporting The Head and the Heart to Mosman Alder?
We played Splendour 2011 and 2012 and that was great! It’s one of the countries best festivals so we are very lucky to have that opportunity. Any chance to get in front of new audience and share your songs is always good. Same goes for The Head and the Heart. Just excited to get in front of different people and hopefully make some new fans.
Who are you looking forward to seeing at Splendour in the Grass and why?
We are only going for the Friday. But we will see The Preatures, Interpol and Outkast.
What would you say are the main differences between Mosman Alder: the recorded experience and Mosman Alder: the live experience?
The live performance is fleeting, wild, dynamic,unpredictable, it varies and can depend on any number of things which is both exciting and daunting. We do our best to try make it sound as much as we can like the record but that’s somewhat impossible. Recorded experience is cold, static, perfected, clean and permanent.
Can you tell me some people, bands and venues that may have helped you to reach the point you now find yourselves at?
Our manager Rachael has been very helpful. To be able to coordinate six people as flaky as us requires a special kind of patience. Our label Dew Process and Ian and Georgie out at Airlock Studios too. As for venues, there are so many that have been good to us and are so important. Alhambra Lounge and Black Bear Lodge (both in Fortitude Valley, QLD) were some of the venues that gave us our first foot in the door.
Who are your favourite local/independent Australian bands at the moment?
I’ve been really digging Stolen Violin from one of the ex-The Middle East guys (Jordan Ireland). Also Brisbane band Big Dead. Those guys are brilliant and more people should know about them.