What’s it like being back in Australia after being in the UK for two years?
Yeah we’ve been back three or four days. It’s always great to be back in Australia. It’s just so beautiful, you know? Especially compared to London. Not that London isn’t beautiful, in a different way it is. You know what it’s like, though? There’s just something special about Australia, when you come back from overseas.
Have you had a chance to go back to the Blue Mountains yet?
Yeah, last couple of days actually. I was feeling a bit sick when I flew in so I’ve just been letting mum look after me.
You guys had a bit of a tough time getting back into Sydney didn’t you?
Yeah, because of the fog in Sydney we got diverted to Brisbane and hung around the airport for 12 hours, which wasn’t fun. The worst part of it was just this Chinese whispers where they’d say, “Oh we’ll be leaving in two hours,” and then “we’ll be leaving in one hour,” and then that hour would pass and it would just keep going for 12 hours.
Why did you guys move to the UK to begin with?
Yeah we had a label over in the UK who were willing to support us financially. Yeah it’s been really excellent, they’ve covered everything so we could focus on music and writing playing, just being a band, which is pretty rare.
What’s it like being in a band with your sister?
It’s good. We get on well. It’s much less interesting than everybody thinks. We look after each other; it’s all very familiar and boring. It helps in some situations because I know that I can say something to her and she won’t get offended.
Dream Cave, is it true parts of it were recorded in an actual cave?
Yeah, man. We actually got a little bit obsessed with caves. It was just a kind of fun thing to do on the weekends but we thought it’d sound really cool on the record. So we drove around to four different caves and hung out, played a bit of music. It became pretty obvious after that that we wouldn’t be able to record the whole album in a cave, that it was kind of a stupid idea. But we found a quarry in Essex, recorded some vocals and stuff in there, reamped some stuff.
Was that a band decision or the producer’s?
No, we’d been doing this before a producer got on board. I remember us telling a few of the producers about it and they were like ‘Oh yeah? That’s weird’.
Do you like small, confined, dark spaces?
(Laughs.) Well I have done a fair share of caving in my time…
Was the recording experience quite a manic experience?
Yeah, we were kind shut up in a house. Some things went really, really smoothly and other things tended to drag out. It was a bit all over the shop.
How did it compare to the process for the first album, Bliss Release?
It was similar in many regards. This time it was just much more confined. We were working every day for a month. I mean everybody had time to chill out, but it got done pretty quickly, whereas the first album got dragged out over nine months..
What was it like working with producer Barney Barnicott?
It was interesting because it was the first time we’ve worked with someone we’ve hired as a producer. He had a lot of good ideas. Some of the songs on there are Barney, he polished them and bought out aspects we wouldn’t have thought of. Al [lead singer] also took the wheel on some songs, because he had a pretty clear vision. It was a good, healthy collaboration.
You hadn’t had a chance to play a lot of the new stuff live. How’d the crowd take to the new songs at Vivid Festival?
I don’t think it could have gone better in terms of the reception. Everything we’ve read and what we’ve been told has just made us even more excited than we were before we came out here. It is daunting, playing new stuff but if something is good people identify with it – that we’ve branched out a bit, taken some risks. We didn’t even play half the songs, because we haven’t really worked out how to play them live yet, so yeah it’s exciting.
You guys hanging in the country now until Splendour in the Grass?
Half of us are going back to the UK and half of us are staying here. So yeah, then we’ll play the show at Splendour and then after that we’ve got a tour of Australia lined up. There’s a little scoop for you. We’ll be doing a big tour after Splendour, at some point.
Anyone at Splendour you’re looking forward to seeing?
To be honest, I haven’t looked at the lineup in recent times. There’s a secret artist, which I’m not allowed to say, that I’m really looking forward to. The National as well, Frank Ocean, people like that. We’re going to be staying there for all three days, so we’re going to catch a whole heap of music.
Do you prefer playing the big festival shows or the smaller indoor venues?
They offer different things. Clubs you can really explore the space of your songs and stuff. But at the festivals you can just kind of have fun.
Your sister said on an interview with Triple J that you’d be the first to die in a zombie apocalypse, how do you feel about that?
Pissed off, actually. I don’t know what she was thinking. I’ve killed a fair share of computer game zombies in my time! I love her, but I think she’d die first.
Catch Cloud Control at the Splendour in the Grass Festival on July 26–28. Dream Cave set for release on August 9 through Ivy League. cloudcontrolband.com