BIGSOUND 2022 was a blast. Across three wild days, we caught up with legends from this year’s epic line-up, including The Terrys, Death by Denim, Tulliah and more. Check out some of the highlights!
HAPPY: Congrats on your latest single, Situation 99. Love your work!
HAPPY: What’s it been like playing the new track live at BIGSOUND and getting fans’ reactions?
LUKAS: People know the words already which is pretty sick!
JACOB: Yeah, I think it’s funny, like, we always jump the gun and play songs that are coming out before they’re out, and the crowd is like, “oh that sucks,” but by the time it comes out, they all know they words and they’ve gained a liking to it, and yeah, they sing along!
TRENT: They’re like, yeah, it doesn’t suck that much!
HAPPY: Is it your first BIGSOUND showcase this year?
JACOB: Yep! Sure is.
HAPPY: What’s the experience been like so far?
BEN: Oh, fantastic! I mean, we only got here yesterday, but it’s been pretty fucking awesome. Like, the set-up here is incredible. We were very under-assuming.
JACOB: We didn’t know what to expect! So yeah, it’s been rad.
HAPPY: I saw you guys run into Dicko from Idol?
BEN: Hahahaha yeah! He helped us load out, the legend.
JACOB: Yeah, Dicko’s an absolute legend!
TRENT: We’re doing a Battle of the Bands and he reckons he’s going to be one of the judges for it too, so!
JACOB: Yeah, we’re putting on our own Terrys’ Battle of the Bands and the winner gets to come around the country with us, and yeah, Dicko said that he would judge with us, so…we’re bringing back Australian Idol! He said he’ll do it, as long as he can be the mean judge.
BEN: Yeah, and we’re also probably going to be so nice, so it would be good to have a bit of aggression on the panel! We need a bit of a strict one because we have to choose a winner.
HAPPY: Whose shows are you loving from this year’s line-up?
CAMERON: Adam Newling!
JACOB: Teenage Joans, they were hectic!
TRENT: What was that other band we saw?
JACOB: Press Club! Yeah, Press Club were awesome.
LUKAS: Is that where we met Dicko in the first place?
BEN: No, that was at Selfish Sons.
LUKAS: Oh yeah, Selfish Sons!
BEN: Yeah, they were really interesting. They were mad. And yeah, so we’ve been around. We’re keen to see Beddy Rays tonight! They’re playing right in between us, so.
JACOB: There’s this rapper, YNG Martyr. I’m so keen to see him! We just ran into him before and he said g’day, so.
HAPPY: What’s on your agenda for the last day of BIGSOUND tomorrow?
BEN: So, tonight’s our last show here. We’re playing on the weekend in Byron Bay.
TRENT: We’re going to watch Violent Soho’s last performance tomorrow night!
JACOB: Yeah, and probably a whole bunch of sleep, and a chill-out sesh.
BEN: Oh yeah, if tonight’s anything like last night, we’re going be very, very fragile tomorrow! Tonight’s a big one too, I think.
CAMERON: Oh don’t say that!
HAPPY: What time are you guys on tonight?
TRENT: We’re playing at 5:30pm at the Constance.
JACOB: Yeah, and then we’ve got one at Summa House at 10:30pm!
BEN: That’ll be a good one.
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HAPPY: If you guys could collab with any other act from this year’s line-up, who would it be?
TRENT: Rebecca Black?
JACOB: I mean, she wasn’t really on the line-up, she was a bit of a special guest, but we can go with Rebecca Black! I’d say if we could cop a verse from someone though, it would definitely be that rapper guy, YNG Martyr. If we could get a verse off him for whatever Tezz tracks, that would be lit!
HAPPY: Can we expect any more new music to drop sometime soon?
BEN: Yeah we’ve got a big announcement!
JACOB: So True Colour, our debut album, is coming out on the 7th of October!
BEN: We’re fucking stoked! We love it, it sounds great, we can’t wait for everyone to hear it.
LUKAS: We like it, so hopefully everyone else likes it.
TRENT: We’ve got Bliss n Eso on one of the tracks!
JACOB: Yeah, we went full rap song for one of them.
BEN: It’s a dynamic range.
JACOB: We’ve got a whole mix of stuff, lots of crazy shit going on, lots of synths, and then we’ve got a classic Tezza surf-rock tune amongst the whole shebang!
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HAPPY: How did you guys connect with Bliss n Eso?
BEN: It’s interesting, so it was actually just Eso. We met him on a plane.
TRENT: Yeah, me and Salvo were sitting behind him, and Salvo was like, “Oi, I think it’s that Aussie rapper!” I was like, “who?” and he was like, “from Bliss n Eso!” Turns out, it fully was.
BEN: We met him and he was such a nice dude!
CAMERON: I went full fanboy and got a photo with him and stuff.
BEN: He was such a lovely person and we were just on a high for the next couple of hours. And then we were making this rap song, and we had spots for rap verses. The stars aligned, and Jacob hit him up.
LUKAS: We had someone else lined up, but they sort of didn’t reply and stuff, and so I said to Jake, “dude, we should get Eso on it,” and it just happened, aye? He was keen!
BEN: Which was just crazy, like, a fucking blowout for us to have our own music, and then have someone so iconic be that keen to work with us.
TRENT: Yeah, we’ve all done our fair share of Bliss n Eso listening!
HAPPY: Keen to give the album a spin in October! So my last question for you guys is, what makes you happy?
CAMERON: When we’re all together!
BEN: Yeah, exactly. Having fun, kicking back. We don’t take life too seriously, so we’re having fun a lot!
LUKAS: And the Meriton’s good!
TRENT: The sauna!
BEN: Yeah hahaha! And seeing everyone froth out, too. Like, it’s just one big happy froth-out sesh.
JACOB: We get happy from seeing other people getting happy…and a cold beer in the hot sun!
BEN: Honestly, life is so awesome and we have so much fun. I mean, everyone goes through highs and lows but we’re so fortunate to have the opportunity that we do, and it’s just super fun!
LUKAS: Yeah, and Happy Mag makes us happy!
HAPPY: Oh, we love to hear that! Thanks so much for the chat. We’ll catch you at your show later!
BEN: Our pleasure.
JACOB: No wokkas!
True Colour launches on October 7. See tour dates here.
DEATH BY DENIM
HAPPY: Thanks for coming down to chat! How’s your day been so far?
PALLE: It’s been alright, bit of a slow start. Couple of late nights out in the town! But we’re good, we’ve been playing some Super Smash Bros as well.
NIKOLAS: I went for a nice walk.
HAPPY: What other bands have you guys checked out since getting here?
PALLE: We saw a fair few last night!
NIKOLAS: Teenage Dads, The Terrys…
PALLE: We saw Rebecca Black! Oh, man…so good!
HAMISH: We think she stole our logo!
GEORGE: It’s actually ridiculous.
HAPPY: Congrats on your latest album, Moonbow. How’s the album tour going, and what’s the experience been like playing those tracks live at BIGSOUND?
PALLE: It’s been good! We actually didn’t get to play the title track, Moonbow on Tuesday night, but we’re hopefully playing it tonight. People seem to really like that one. We’re also playing a brand new song that’s unreleased on this tour, so people are enjoying that one as well!
HAPPY: Is there a release date in mind for that one yet?
PALLE: Not officially, but we’re looking at end of October.
GEORGE: It’s fun to play, but it’s also hard to play. We do this every time! In the studio, we just put down a bunch of stuff, and it sounds great, without putting much thought into how we’re going to pull it off live. So we all kind of have our hands full. I know Palle definitely does, cause Palle’s now working with a synth, and he’s got a sample pad, so he’s having to press keys and stuff. But I think it gets better every time we play it…we just need four more people in the band to take an instrument! But it’s good fun when you get it right.
HAPPY: So what’s on the agenda for you guys after BIGSOUND?
NIKOLAS: We’re in Sydney on Friday, Melbourne on Saturday, and then Mornington Peninsula on Sunday. So yeah, it’s going to be a pretty busy four nights! It’s been a busy ten days, really.
GEORGE: Yeah, we’re like, five days into the tour and we’re already battling.
PALLE: I’m alright!
HAMISH: It’s been great, but yeah, it does kind of push you! I think a lot of artists are feeling that around BIGSOUND, we’re all kind of on the same boat. But it’s good fun! And then I think once we can relax a bit, we’ll work on new stuff.
HAPPY: Is this your first time playing at BIGSOUND?
PALLE: Yes! We were meant to do 2020 which didn’t go ahead, but it’s been good to do it this time around, because there’s such a big buzz since it’s back after three years!
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GEORGE: It’s been nice being able to hang around our management team as well. It’s mostly just been Zoom calls, so it’s been nice to just share a couple of bevvies.
PALLE: And there’s actually so many cool venues here, I didn’t realise!
HAMISH: You can see why they do BIGSOUND here.
NIKOLAS: Yeah, definitely. I couldn’t believe it. Just walking around the neighbourhood, and then literally around the next block, you’re at another amazing venue.
HAPPY: If you could collab with any artist from this year’s line-up, who would you want to work with?
EVERYONE: Rebecca Black!
GEORGE: Well, she’s technically not on the line-up.
NIKOLAS: But we share a logo!
PALLE: That’s actually right, so we’ve already collaborated, really. It’s already done!
HAMISH: And WIIGZ, obviously!
NIKOLAS: Also, we missed them, but EGOISM would be sick. We couldn’t get to the venue to watch them, but yeah, working them would be sick!
HAPPY: One last question for you guys, what makes you happy?
GEORGE: Jeez! HUGE question!
NIKOLAS: Umm, a really good Bloody Mary, and beating these guys at table tennis. George?
GEORGE: Well, my dog, and running for very long distances, even though my body can’t take it…Oh! and that first dip in the ocean when the weather gets hot!
HAMISH: Taking a really good seat. Like, sitting down somewhere with a coffee, or a really good beer, when you need it most. I think that’s the cream on top for me!
NIKOLAS: It’s the simple things in life.
HAPPY: Whereabouts are you playing your last show tonight?
PALLE: 11:30pm at The Outpost…gonna be a bit of a dance party!
HAPPY: Thanks so much for chatting with us!
PALLE: Thanks for having us.
HAPPY: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us!
TULLIAH: Thanks for having me!
HAPPY: So you’ve been teasing your upcoming album during the festival, what’s it been like seeing the first live audience reactions to the new music?
TULLIAH: It’s been so exciting! The whole album has a full orchestra across it, so we spent a lot of time just pulling every song apart to create just cello, keys and vocal parts, to keep it simple for the three of us to perform! It’s been really fun so far, and I guess we’ll expand from there. I was mainly just excited to finally share some of it last night! I guess, once you release something, you’re kind of like, “oh, now we’re onto the next thing,” so it was really fun to just finally get to play those songs, and give everyone a little taste of how the new album is going to sound.
HAPPY: When can we expect the album to drop? Is there a release date yet?
TULLIAH: Not really, but hopefully March! At the moment, we’ve got the 12 tracks, and my producer Dean and I have got them to a spot where we love all the songs. Now we’re just sending it off to New York to get the strings recorded. So it’s just a process of going back and forth with what we like and don’t like, but we pretty much like it all cause David Kahn who’s doing it is incredible, and he just has this crazy taste in music and does a lot of soundtracks, so it’s quite cinematic as well.
HAPPY: How exciting! That sounds amazing, we’re definitely keen for it. Is this your first time performing at BIGSOUND?
TULLIAH: Yeah, first BIGSOUND! It’s pretty crazy, so much fun, so busy! I did manage to take a nap though.
HAPPY: How many shows have you got on?
TULLIAH: So I played one last night at King Lear’s Throne, and the next one’s tonight at BLVD. The month before I found out I was coming to BIGSOUND, I was stressing hardcore! I was like, holy shit, there’s all these people here. And especially because I’m showcasing the new stuff. It’s like, oh, what are people going to think? Your mind goes crazy. But then, as soon as I landed I was like, oh this is so chill! Everyone’s here to just talk and check out the music. I haven’t met one person that’s made me feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. So yeah, it’s been really good! And I’ve got my mum here as well, and my producer, because cause my manager’s overseas. And my friends just came up yesterday to play. So it’s been great!
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HAPPY: What’s on your agenda for the final day of BIGSOUND tomorrow?
TULLIAH: I’ve hardly gone out at all to protect my voice, so tonight I’ll go out and watch as much music as possible! I’ve only seen two shows so far, Folk Bitch Trio and Andy Golledge. Love him, he’s a really cool country artist. My shows have been clashing with some of the artists I’d love to see, so tonight, I’ll just go out. And tomorrow? Who knows! I am heading home at like, 12, so I guess we’ll just see what else is happening here.
HAPPY: Are there any acts local to you that you’d consider a dream to collab with?
TULLIAH: Well, Folk Bitch Trio live in Melbourne, and I met them and they’re lovely people with beautiful voices! They do these amazing three-part harmonies, and I’d love to be the fourth for a collab!
HAPPY: How would you describe your new music to people who haven’t heard it yet?
TULLIAH: It’s got this gypsy vibe, with bossa novas and latin guitars. It’s got a full orchestra across it, but each bit of production is focused on the lyrics and voice. Everything else is just moving around it, to create space for that story to come through. So yeah, gypsy and cinematic.
HAPPY: What have you got coming up after BIGSOUND?
TULLIAH: I’m playing at Hinterland Festival on the Mornington Peninsula in August, which is where I’m from, and then I’ve got the Borderline Music and Arts Festival in Wodonga in November. And then pretty much just working on the album from there. So yeah, next year will hopefully be all the shows, and I might be able to go overseas and do some showcases there too which will be cool!
HAPPY: Awesome, thanks for chatting with us!
TULLIAH: No worries, thank you!
Interviewed by Amy Davidson