Key Out Interview

by the partae

Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?

We’re from Sydney. The scene feels like it’s in suspended animation while everyone works out what the new world is going to look like, when venues will reopen, and how long the government will be able to get away with playing at culture wars and try to starve the arts.

How did you first start playing music?

Year 3 guitar lessons (if you don’t count recorder lessons which you shouldn’t) 

How did Key Out form?

We’d crossed paths over the years playing in bands like Ides of Space and Sounds Like Sunset, and had free time and demos a few years ago.  

Your new album ‘Anthropomorphia’ will be released on the 26th of June 2020, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

The sound fell into place while we were recording. The experience of making our last record with Greg Walker, and talking to him about micing techniques and his different approaches to catching interesting sounds was a big influence. We did a lot of de- and reconstructing of songs and playing around with different elements. The songwriting is influenced by an interest in animals and life in the suburbs. They are the two recurring themes throughout the album.

How did you go about writing ‘Anthropomorphia’?

We worked on sketches over a few months – some words here, a line of guitar or synth there – until we had versions of the final tracks. We then spent a weekend recording some live takes which we planned to overdub a few parts on, but we ended up spending the summer pulling them apart and putting them back together. A good part of the writing happened while recording and messing with structures and arrangements. 

Where and when did you record and who with?

We recorded ourselves at home. The self-recording process gave us time and space to experiment a bit more than we have in the past. We had no real expectations and just followed what seemed right in the moment. The song Dog for example was tracked as an angular dirty guitar number, but just fell into place when we muted drums, switched out some loud guitars for an acoustic and let the extra space be part of it. 

Once we had tracked everything we handed it all over to Wayne Connolly to mix and master it, which really helped to organise the songs and straighten out some of the messes we had made. We couldn’t be happier with the job he did.

What programs/instruments did you use?

The main pieces of the puzzle were a homemade Jazzmaster style guitar, a Yamaha FG180 acoustic (Elliott Smith’s early guitar of choice), an old FM synth called a Yamaha DX7 (with 64 classic 80s sounds used on Twin Peaks, by Van Halen, Aha, Tina Turner and more) a MPC sampler and a Rogers drumkit. 

What did you find most challenging and rewarding during the creation of the album?

Learning technical elements on the job was probably the most challenging and rewarding. Things like programming the old synths, sequencing drums, and the tracking itself. Doing that gave us a different perspective about the songs we were putting together and shaped where we ended up. 

How did you come to release with Half A Cow Records?

We’ve been big fans for a long time, and probably caught Nic in a moment of weakness when we sent him our previous record and asked if he’d help us put it out!

What do you like to do away from music?

We variously enjoy writing about performance and politics, watching rugby league, eating vegan food, and getting involved in other minor creative endeavours. 

Who are you listening to at the moment?

As I type, Don’t Look Back by Kotomi & Ryan Elder, which was Rick and Morty’s wistful season 4 closer is on. But spinning this week has been Built to Spill Plays the Songs of  Daniel Johnson, Joyce Manor – Songs From Northern Torrence, Kate NV – Room For The Moon, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Sideways to New Italy and 070 Shake – Modus Vivendi.

What’s planned for 2020?

Hopefully playing songs off our new record to people in some public places, and improving our shaky grasp of the new instruments we’ve discovered while making this record so we can use them properly to make another.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Gigi’s Pizza Newtown and Petersham Bowlo.

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