This week, Melbourne band The Stained Daisies released Individuality (Is Fine As Long As We Do It Together) — the first single from forthcoming EP Give It To ’em, set for release in late February 2022.
Following six lockdowns, a couple of hoe-downs, a naughty rub-down, and at least one meltdown, The Stained Daisies are back for another bite of the biscuit with their most exciting release to date.
A musical exploration of the confines and traps of identity politics, focusing on ‘the group’ versus ‘the individual’, Individuality (Is Fine As Long As We Do It Together) is the band’s first foray into poetic punk. In the words of bass player and vocalist Jack Davison:
“‘Individuality (Is Fine As Long As We Do It Together)’ aims to make people realise that at a base level, we’re all just kooky little individuals trying to figure out this big bad world.”
With a sometimes collaborative, sometimes individual writing process commonplace for The Stained Daisies, bass player and vocalist Jack Davison took the lead for this track. After waking up one morning with the chorus in his head, he swiftly recorded all of the instrumentation before jotting down the lyrics to the verses. Three months later, after playing the track live several times, Individuality (Is Fine As Long As We Do It Together) was recorded by the entire band at Max Duckers ‘Cellar Sessions‘ studio in Coburg.
The track’s title is a quote from an episode of American war comedy-drama television series M*A*S*H — in which army Major Frank Burns famously declares the statement while discussing military uniforms and the army’s attempt to make its personnel look, talk, and act the same. Davison explains:
“When I first heard the line, I thought it was so clever, so I pocketed it away in my brain for later use. Then one morning, it just popped into my head, and Bob’s your uncle.”
Conceptualised during the lockdown of 2021, when, to keep sane, Davison immersed himself in film and literature centred around the rise of identity politics and the positives and negatives that it ensues, he began to delve deep into the homogenisation of groups and labels at large. In Davison’s own words:
“Sweeping generalisations such as; ‘all teachers vote labour,’ ‘all Black Americans vote Democrat’, ‘all left-leaning Australians watch ABC’ and ‘all right-leaning Australians watch Sky News’ can be dangerous. The prevalence of these types of stereotypes makes it easy to forget that groups encapsulate individuals, and, at an individual level, everyone is different and unique.”
With varied musical tastes and influences within the band, the single is a sonic shift away from the band’s usual style of blues and rock — with Davison taking inspiration from punk outfits like Dr Sures’ Unusual Practise. On his influences for the single, Davison continues:
“We’re good mates with Dougal Shaw [of Dr Sure’s Unusual Practice], and he has always inspired us in the way that he writes about politics. In terms of the lyrical content, he was a major influence for this track and the body of work that will follow”.
The artwork for the single is by local Melbourne artist and graphic designer Emily Wright. Her depiction of seven identical humans standing in a line, with one unique being emanating from another, perfectly encapsulates the track’s core theme: the group versus the individual. In Davison’s concluding words:
“The track is a floor stomper, intended to be listened to loud. If you wanna feel the driving rhythm, then crank it right up!”
Individuality (Is Fine As Long As We Do It Together) is available on all major streaming platforms now. The Stained Daisies will launch their new single at The Tote Hotel on March 11. Details HERE.