Annoying Neighbours Interview

by the partae

What inspired Annoying Neighbours to explore a new direction in their sound with the single ‘The Plea’?

I think it came down to just wanting to try something different other than having the amps fully loaded and screaming into the microphone the whole time. That, as well as being interested in exploring the psychedelic genre as a whole. It was nice to put something different in our musical catalogue.  

How does ‘The Plea’ differ stylistically from Annoying Neighbours’ previous work, particularly their last two EPs?

Stylistically it delves into the world of psychedelia a lot more. Putting emphasis on melody, texture, dynamics and expressive devices overall. Leaving us with a chill starter and finishing it off with a euphoric release.

How does the band describe the lyrical theme of ‘The Plea’ and what emotions does it aim to evoke in listeners?

I didn’t think too much about the lyrics, it was one of those songs I wrote words to in like 5 minutes. But emotionally I wanted to create a ‘safe space’ for people to sit in and have a ponder. Then they can bust out a big boogie in the last section.

What makes the psychedelic rock genre unique, and how does Annoying Neighbours contribute to this uniqueness with their music?

The psych rock genre is super rad! I personally believe that it’s showing the artists true spirit of what they are inside, though you could probably argue that for every artist, musician or genre. Sonically, it usually involves lots of ‘movement’ whether that be through phaser, wah, delay, reverb or chorus effects. This makes it very easy to get caught in a trance and ‘sit in’ the song as I described earlier, which is something you don’t really get with other genres. I believe we make the cut because we too are just showing our true spirit in the music and the songs reflect our personalities. We’re just being ourselves and trying to make some music for people to enjoy and get wrapped up in. 

Can you elaborate on the collaborative process within the band during the evolution of ‘The Plea’ and how each member contributed to its development?

I (Jaidyn) wrote the song and had a pretty good idea of what that ‘little world’ should sound like once we all played it together. Luckily for me, the other blokes in AN are very like minded, so expanding on that world was light work. Everyone learnt their parts and then added their own twist onto it. Pickers and Campbell added more melodic elements to the song overall by creating new guitar parts. This filled out some of the empty space we had in the demo. Tom just nails it every time with drum parts and we’re usually on the same page of how the drums should sound. Casper is just a musical wizard and could probably play any instrument that you throw at him. His bass parts on the track fit the song perfectly and it gives us guitarists an excellent playground to fiddle around on.

Where was ‘The Plea’ recorded, and who were the key individuals involved in the mixing and mastering process?

We did that with our mates from New Brain Communications! Dhare Labbe was the mastermind behind recording and mixing our song. He made the whole process super enjoyable, plus he’s a great hype man! We recorded the song live. All instruments in the same room, mic’ed up, playing at the same time.

After we got the recording and mixes done by Dhare, we sent them off to Joe Carra from Crystal Mastering to get mastered. 

How do you describe the development of ‘The Plea’ from its original demo to the final track, and what elements were added during this process?

I would say that it doesn’t stray too far away from home, which I think is pretty cool. We all thought the demo had something special about it and we wanted to capture that. I believe we did, but better. After rehearsing the song and playing it live, we kept adding new parts and harmonies (guitar sections, effects, vocals, a MEL 9 choir) to really emphasise the emotions that we wanted people to feel.

What does the band mean by “special sauce” in the context of developing ‘The Plea,’ and how does it contribute to the track’s overall sound?

It’s some kewpie mayo mixed with habanero hot sauce. Really gets that creamy, hot tang you want from a track. You can really hear it in that last section of the song in full force.

What is the significance of the statement, “We’re more than just a punk band from Brisbane. We can explore, we can expand, we can be ourselves,” as expressed by Jaidyn Harrison?

I feel like a lot of bands, artists and musicians get categorised into being one genre, which really never made any sense to me. Even from when I was in high-school, I wanted to write different types of music. I think this release in particular is us beginning to show our true colours on how we want to approach music.

How did Annoying Neighbours initially start their musical journey, and how have they evolved from playing in backyards and house parties to becoming a noteworthy presence in the Australian music scene?

Thinking back, not much has changed really. Except the amount of members. We started off as a 3 piece and have doubled it to 6 now. But I believe our ethos hasn’t changed. We just love playing music, hanging out with each other and providing our fans with a safe space to enjoy themselves. Whether it’s to 20 people in the backyard or a few hundred at a festival. We just always go out, give it our best shot and have fun. I might add though, I think we are definitely a lot better now than when we first started.

Can you provide details about Annoying Neighbours’ previous EPs, ‘Waterhole’ (2020) and ‘The Void’ (2022), and the reception they received from both tastemakers and fans?

‘Waterhole’ (2020) was released during a strange time in our world, with Covid-19 ramping up across the globe. We recorded the EP in January of that year and were waiting to release it. We had nothing better to do and decided to release it over the first initial lockdown periods. Playing to people sitting down was a fairly big change compared to drunken 18-20 year olds at house parties. We released the first single off that EP, a song called ‘Skyn’, and it did what we would consider really well. We had heaps of people booking us for shows, it was played on some local radio stations and is still our most popular song on streaming services. We also did a show to celebrate the release of the EP and it ended up selling out.

‘The Void’ (2022) ended up being the first step in a direction sonically that we would later persue (something we didn’t realise at the time). A lot of those songs were written when we first started releasing songs from the ‘Waterhole’ EP, so they have similar characteristics I’d say. But then there are songs that break that mould, for example ‘Chicken Joe’, ‘Parallel Convergence’ and some parts of the title track ‘The Void’. The first single off that EP was played on Triple J which was a first for us and really cool. The reception by the fans to the songs was really strong as well!

Both EPs have songs on them that are staples for our bands setlist now. It’s always awesome and bewildering to hear people sing the words to our songs with us live. 

In terms of live performances, what festivals have Annoying Neighbours participated in, and which notable Australian bands have they supported on stage?

Some of our favourites so far have been Best Night Ever with Violent Soho (2021), Spaced Out Fest (2022) and Summer Fest (2023). Some notable bands include Wolfmother, DZ Deathrays, The Bennies, The Delta Riggs, Luca Brasi and The Terrys. We’ve been so fortunate to play with and meet these extremely talented people! Here’s to more great shows down the road!


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