The Terrifying Lows

by the partae

Where are you currently based?

Melbourne, VIC

How did you first start playing music?

My dad is a singer and my sisters and I were singing young too. I took to the guitar when I was 13 and that was it for me. By 16 I was playing bass, gigging in bands with guys a bit older than me in pubs and clubs around Wollongong and Sydney (I grew up in NSW).

You’ve just released your self titled album, what influenced the sound and songwriting?

After I released my first couple of songs I started to really try and write music that felt a little more authentic and just a little more “me” in general. I’ve always gravitated towards a darker sonic scape and that’s what seems to come out naturally. I was just aiming to make something that I would listen to, something with artistic merit rather than radio potential. Also it may surprise some people to hear that hip hop is a major influence on my music. I love the way that hip hop has this amazing ability to be mid or down tempo and cruisy but still bop and slap.

How did you approach the songwriting process?

More often than not I fall back on my roots as a bass player and start with a drum and bass groove. Then comes a vocal melody. After that I spend a bit of time realising the story I’m about to tell which makes room for lyrics. Ideally I don’t slave too much over the lyrics as I’ve just spent so much thinking about what I want and am going to say that it just all flows out pretty quick. If it doesn’t, I probably haven’t fully realised the narrative yet. Finally… dead last… come the guitars and keys etc. It really is all about the bass drums and vocals for me. And to reference your last question… CRUISE. BOP. SLAP… rinse and repeat.

What does this album mean to you?
It means the world to me. Honestly. It feels so incredible to have my own body of work out in the world. As a session musician, I have played a part in making many records over the years. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to do my own. But maybe if I had approached it any earlier I wouldn’t have had the insight or maturity to make something of this calibre. I’m so proud of it. It really is an amazing record.
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?

The album was recorded over 3 years! Mainly due to the pandemic. I started at the end of 2019 and finished up mid this year. Mainly recorded at the Aviary but some parts at drummer Pete Marin’s home studio, my home studio and a studio at the school where I was studying.

Please tell us about the recording process:

The first sessions were with Josh at the Aviary in Abbotsford. We cut the first 2 singles not thinking they would be a part of something bigger. Maybe A and B sides of a 7 inch. Then the pandemic hit and I was thrown into isolation with the better part of a year on my hands in lockdown. So I started recording the rest of the album. I got drummer Pete Marin (Dan Sultan/Passenger) involved who had a studio at his house where he tracked the drums remotely. I then recorded the bass and some other parts in a studio at the school I was studying at. Most of the guitars, keys and vocals were tracked again at the Aviary with Alex.

What programs/equipment did you use?

It was all tracked and mixed on Protools. Using a whole bunch of different gear. A lot of awesome high end stuff is available at the Aviary, including a nice 1970s MCI console and whole smattering of awesome analogue gear. Too much to list! I will say that we used a lot of analogue gear. It’s a pretty traditional recording.

Who are you listening to at the moment?
The Strokes new album (I just bought tickets to their show next year). But in general a lot of The Black Keys and Dr Dre.
What do you like to do away from music?
Away from my own music I’m generally working on someone else’s in some capacity but away from music in general… I’m getting reacquainted with the beach and I make a mean masala.
What’s planned to support the album and for the rest of the year going into 2022?

Definitely some live shows for The Terrifying Lows on the horizon. I’ve been holding back and seeing how it would all pan out post lockdowns but it seems like the coast is clear. I also start recording my next album in March at Newmarket Studios in Melbourne.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

At the moment I’m trying to dial back on the meat a bit so there’s no better veggie than Indian food. And definitely a good beer garden now that the sun is shining and the pubs are open again.

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