What are your names and roles within Sametime?
Sam Aitken – Vocalist
Tim Aitken – Vocalist, Keys/Synths, Guitar
Where are you currently based?
Caloundra, Sunshine Coast
How old are you both now?
Tim (22) and Sam (19)
How did you first start playing music?
We started by busking at the local markets here in Caloundra. We would set up out the front of a nail salon and play from 8am to 1pm, almost every sunday at the ages of 12 and 9. We entered any busking competition that we could and won, using the prize money to buy better gear.
What’s been happening recently?
We’ve just released a new song called ‘Moving On’ which is on the EP we are releasing on September 2nd. We’ve been fortunate enough to play some gigs during COVID here in QLD but we are very used to booking gigs, cancelling, rescheduling and cancelling again.
We are doing what most small independent artists are doing post-release, hitting refresh and hoping people listen to our song.
Please tell us about the instruments you play and how you came to play multiple instruments:
Tim: I was about 10 years old and my toy batman quad bike broke so my parents bought me a guitar and put me in lessons. When we started busking, guitar lessons became the hour every week that I could learn new songs for busking. I was never taught anything technical on the guitar, I just learnt songs and from those songs I learnt the chords/shapes.
We also had this crappy keyboard at home that my Dad would play. He taught me some basic chords and how to use a sustain pedal. I taught myself the rest of what I know by just experimenting with chords and notes and playing till something sounded good.
Sam: I used to bang two paintbrushes on everything when Tim would play guitar so I was put into drum lessons when I was about 7. When we started busking I played the Cajon but when we started playing in pubs, I moved to a stand up cocktail drum kit. This was so I could still be at the front of the stage as a lead vocalist but also be the drummer of the band.
You write and collaborate with numerous producers and musicians, how do these collabs come about and how do you usually approach the process?
Before COVID we would fly/drive down to Sydney for a week and do sessions organised by the Sony publishing team. Every collaboration is different, everyone is unique with their songwriting approach in one way or another. We always go into a session with songs to reference, recent projects to give direction (if needed) and a big fat smile on our face because our job is to make music.
You both signed a worldwide deal with Sony Music Publishing at 14 and 16 years of age, how did this come about and how has the experience been?
We had just done a charity concert that was filmed and recorded properly. We played most of our original songs, one being our first ever single “Where The Wind Blows”. Dicko (our manager) was in Sydney catching up with the team at Sony Music Publishing and showed them the video of us playing the song. Two weeks later we met them in Brisbane and signed with them that week.
The experience has been great, we were allowed the time and resources we needed to develop our sound into what it is today. Without Sony we wouldn’t have met a lot of our friends and close collaborators. We wouldn’t have had the session with Fletcher Matthews that led to ‘Get To Know Ya’ and then the rest of the EP.
The team at Sony Music Publishing are the best and we are so thankful for everything they do. One of our goals is to become the most versatile songwriters on their roster in the next couple of years.
You’ve been playing together for ten years, how has your musical relationship evolved over that period?
When we were younger, playing music together was probably the only thing we liked to do together. We used to say it was the only time we got along, which could’ve been true but back in our prime busking days you would’ve thought we were the best brothers.
Playing music together for so long means words are no longer needed, we both know each other’s patterns instinctively, we both know what to do if the other is struggling to sing. You wouldn’t expect a 22 and 19 year old to have a decade of gigging experience under their belt but our live shows prove it to you.
Off stage, the relationship has evolved from Tim being the primary songwriter to now both of us. We are both good enough at producing that we can make our own good quality demos. Music is no longer our hobby, it’s a full time job for us so we both want to make this work and one can’t do it without the other.
You’ve just released disco infused gem ‘Moving On” how did this track come about?
I think it was when we were exiting the eye of the COVID storm when we wrote this track. We are all booked and ready to go down to Sydney to work with Fletcher on writing two more tracks and finish the EP. The borders were then closed due to another outbreak and we were forced into yet another Zoom session. By then we had a streamlined process when writing and recording via Zoom as we had to do it for two tracks earlier in 2020.
Being the fourth song we had written together, there was a level of trust and respect there that led to getting more personal. We told Fletcher a couple of things that had happened to us over the last couple of years, one being the story that would then become ‘Moving On’. It was another ordinary night out when someone made a decision that would result in something far worse than a hangover the next morning. The song is about moving on from that time in our lives.
Your EP ‘Maybe We Can Get High’ will be out on September 2, what influenced the sound and songwriting?
We took a lot of influence from acts like Daft Punk, Parcels, Jungle, Dua Lipa, Troye Sivan, Years & Years, PNAU and many more. The high falsetto group vocals are a big trope of disco pop and something that we really enjoy the sound of. We wanted our music to physically move people so every song has a big fat drum and bass.
How did you go about writing the EP?
At the start of 2020 we took a trip to Sydney where we had our last few in-person writing sessions and on our last day there we wrote what was our first single off the upcoming EP ‘Get To Know Ya’. After that everyone went into lockdown and the only way we could have sessions was over zoom. So this whole EP was written and recorded over zoom, which we think is pretty cool.
Where did you record/produce/master and who with?
We wrote and recorded everything via zoom from our house in Queensland with Fletcher Matthews who was in New South Wales. Fletch did an amazing job with the production of all the songs and Paul Blakey did the mastering of all the songs.
How did you approach the recording process?
It was definitely a whole new way of recording, but was something we had to adapt to pretty quickly if we wanted to collaborate with others because there was no other way of doing it. We managed to get used to it pretty quickly which helped a lot when making these songs.
What’s planned for the remainder of 2021?
We are just like every up and coming band trying to make it in this crazy industry, we just want to get out there and play live as much as we physically can, make people dance and have a good time doing it. We are going to keep writing and recording new music and start thinking about the next project.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
Between the two of us here’s some artists we are listening to at the moment together or separately;
The 1975, LANY,. Anderson .Paak, Troye Sivan, Phoebe Bridgers, Luke Hemmings, Holly Humberstone, Rich Brian
What do you like to do away from music?
We are polar opposites which is kind of funny, I (Sam) love to hang with mates at the beach, play golf, and party. Tim loves to sit inside and play video games with the occasional basketball game.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Sam- The list could go on forever but i do love a good KFC feed and then go hangout at the beach.
Tim – Mexican food….I could eat Mexican food every day for the rest of my life, I’m a big spicy food person. Home is my favourite place to hang out, whether it be alone or with my friends. I’m a hermit and proud.