At the height of Splendour In The Grass hype last week, Atticus Chimps had their eyes on a different prize. Their new single Lead, Pretend had hit the airwaves for the first time, and love for the Gold Coast’s newest alt-rock ensemble is already flooding it.
A few days before that single dropped last Friday, we caught up with frontman Sam Bray to find out what it was all about.
Atticus Chimps aren’t messing around on Lead, Pretend, an ensemble of sharp songwriting, righteous riff-work and an awe-inspiring alt-rock edge.
HAPPY: Hey there guys, how are things? What are you up to at the moment?
SAM: Hey! We’ve been playing loads of gigs lately. We’re just in the process of organising an EP tour for the end of the year so we might tone things down a notch and try and ramp up preparations for that.
HAPPY: Are any of you heading into Splendour this year?
SAM: Any and all funds we have are being invested into the band at the moment. As nice as it would be to chuck some overalls on and summon our inner flower child for a day, unfortunately, we just do not have the time or resources to make it to the festival. Not only does being in an emerging band not make you any money – it costs you money.
HAPPY: Digging the sound of Lead, Pretend. Talk us through who you were listening to when this came together?
SAM: A lot of punk and alt-rock. I think the chord progression might be inspired by a BodyJar song, and funnily enough, we’re almost convinced that the melody was inspired by a Tooheys New beer commercial from about 10 years ago. Both of these revelations came to us long after the song was written.
HAPPY: How do you say it differs from Bee Stung Lips, from your perspective?
SAM: Bee Stung Lips is slow and somewhat monotonal, and Lead, Pretend is upbeat with more vocal range leading into the chorus. It’s a lot more punk than it is funk; bar chords instead of riffs.
HAPPY: It’s about getting someone to see your point of view, which I’ve found to be pretty much impossible. Was this a frustrating track to write?
SAM: Songs are never frustrating to write, they’re always fun. It’s almost healing in a way because you’re not really trying to hide anything or convince anyone of anything either. They’re just lyrics at the end of the day and when you’re in that process you tend to mine things from your psyche that you otherwise wouldn’t talk about.
HAPPY: Would you say you’re good in an argument, or nah?
SAM: Depends on the player and the ball.
HAPPY: How different are these two recent singles to what we’ll find on your upcoming EP?
SAM: They’re certainly indicative of what’s to come. We have two more funk/grunge songs and one more punk song. There’s a lot of range in the style but we still think it’s cohesive enough to be an EP.
HAPPY: Did you also work with Brock at Bedlam Records for the rest of the release? What was that space like?
SAM: Yes, we did. It was such a relief to finally be in a studio with a producer who knew what he was doing. He wasn’t afraid to tell us if he thought something needed to change. Every time he pointed something out we’d kind of go, “yeah, that is shit” and we’d fix it.
HAPPY: Well, we’re looking forward to it! Thanks for the chat.
Keep an ear to the ground for Atticus Chimps’ debut EP. Lead, Pretend is out now.
Friday 3 August – Bloodhound Bar, Brisbane
Saturday 4 August – Schema Festival – East Brisbane Bowls Club, Brisbane
Friday 24 August – Currumbin Pub, Currumbin Waters