During my most recent interview with Georgia June, I learned that the group’s two earliest singles, Cool and Broke, are no longer on the internet. At first, it seemed odd, but after listening to three of the group’s members—Georgia, Joe, and Jack—talk about their music for a little while, it made perfect sense.
Over the past number of years, the Sydney outfit have developed into something significantly different, and significantly more well-developed, than what they were when they first broke onto the scene two years ago. Their music now leans more heavily into the world of pop, the hooks are far stronger, and their consistently great live performances tie all this up into one neat package.
So before the band finish up their most recent single tour, and before they perform at Festival Of The Sun in December, we caught up to dive deep on the journey that led to their current position, tackling difficult themes in music, and cheap soft drinks.
“This is what we’re going to be doing for the foreseeable future”: Georgia June chat their upcoming debut album and the journey that led them here.
~I began recording this interview during a discussion about Mountain Dew~
JACK: I didn’t realise Mountain Dew was still on the market. If we had to promote a drink, what would it be?
HAPPY: Yeah okay, first question of the interview: if you were to be sponsored by one soft drink, which would it be?
JOE: LA Ice.
HAPPY: What, like the $1 Franklin’s cola?
JOE: Yeah man, that’s the good stuff.
JACK: What were those small little bottles that used to exist? What where they called?
JACK: No, sorry, definitely not Schweppes. We’re talking real cheap stuff here.
HAPPY: Real bottom rung. We used to have a Franklin’s across the road from our school, so we’d load up on those 50c cans.
JACK: Franklin’s. They are two syllables I haven’t heard in a very long time.
HAPPY: Frank-lins. Who needs Woolworths? Let’s take it back to basics. But enough of that, let’s talk about the new single! Congrats on getting it out.
GEORGIA: Thank you!
HAPPY: There have been a string of singles now… are they going to be a part of something larger?
GEORGIA: Yeah, so Try Again and Prove Myself are two of three singles off the album.
HAPPY: A full album?
GEORGIA: Well, it’s a mini-album. It’s eight tracks. EP, LP, call it whatever you want. It’s eight tracks.
JACK: Yeah, no one really cares anymore. Do whatever you want.
HAPPY: Yeah, fuck em all! Call it a double album.
JOE: Yes! We’ll call it a deluxe EP.
JACK: We had this huge whiteboard in the studio, and it was a bit of running joke. We’d written ‘album/EP/soundtrack/story of my life’… it went on forever.
GEORGIA: It’s super exciting though. That’ll hopefully be out early next year. We’re just focused on releasing those, but also on getting album number two up and running.
HAPPY: So you’ve already started thinking about the next one?
GEORGIA: Well yeah, we’ve already started thinking about songs for it.
JACK: And we started on this one last June. It’s that thing everyone talks about, of being so far behind, but also far ahead.
HAPPY: Do you find it difficult to sit on material for a prolonged period and stay passionate about it?
JOE: Yeah, it’s super interesting though, seeing how songs evolve. You might have a set of tracks recorded, but they end up being quite different live. But at the same time, those are two different worlds, and each will progress in its own way.
GEORGIA: It’s quite tricky emotionally as well. Most of the record I still resonate with, but there are tracks that I probably won’t resonate with as much in couple of years. That’s why I’m just so keen to release it all.
HAPPY: Lyrically, when there’s a bit of time between writing and releasing a song, what’s it like looking back on those snapshots of your life?
GEORGIA: Some of them, I can say that I’ll probably still feel that way when I’m 40. But then, for others, they represent a time and place of the past. And that can be nice to look back on, but I definitely feel like we’ve grown past a lot of that. It’s still nice to have the memento though. It’s like a photo album. I can’t wait to get the album out. I’m really glad we pushed to do it, instead of just doing more singles.
JOE: They all work well together as well. We didn’t really cut too many songs. Maybe one or two, but it was pretty solid.
HAPPY: So what was the timeline for recording this album? Cool wasn’t recorded in this session, right?
GEORGIA: Oh nah, Cool and Broke are no longer on the internet.
HAPPY: You’ve stripped them?
GEORGIA: Yeah. Long story short, I recorded those on my gap year by myself, pre-band. It didn’t make sense having them there, because they weren’t a representation of us as a band. Pressure is a bit different because we all really enjoy playing it. Those were recorded three or four years ago. Then when we joined as a band, we started writing together. Then, in May or June last year, we went into the studio. And we went way over time. What started off as one week ended up being months.
JACK: And we still haven’t finished the mixes either. It drags on.
JOE: It’s like a house, there are always renovations to be done.
HAPPY: Every street’s got that one house – the jobs never done. Now that there is five of you, what does the writing process look like? Is it a lot more collaborative?
GEORGIA: Yeah, it’s definitely a lot more collaborative. The songs are everyone’s. It always starts as a skeleton. I might come up with the idea, or the emotion of the song, then I’ll bring it to the band and we’ll workshop it. It really depends on the song. Sometimes it’s months of workshopping it.
JOE: Yeah, some definitely come quicker than others.
HAPPY: You’ve spoken about crafting the emotion or the feeling of a song. After that, is it a matter of capturing that feeling in the sound of the track?
JOE: Yep, everything’s connected. Everything goes back to the meaning of the song. It’s all about serving the song.
HAPPY: Let’s talk about Try Again. What was the core feeling of that song when you first brought the idea to the table?
GEORGIA: That was actually one of the hardest songs to write for the record. That and the next single were the two hardest to write, lyrically. I’m not a push-over, necessarily, but I don’t like conflict. So I think that was at the core of the song. It’s about having a friend who’s really self-destructive, but you keep on forgiving them. And you hate yourself for not stopping the cycle. That’s what the song’s about. And that’s hard… admitting that you’re also to blame.
HAPPY: You say that Try Again and the next single were the two hardest to write. Do you think its coincidental that the two hardest songs to write on the record ended up being two of the lead singles? Is there a power in the difficulty?
JOE: Yeah, and I think they’re outliers. They were two songs that went through one phase, then returned for another. But the emotion always held up.
GEORGIA: Also, I think these songs are a good signal for the next record. This is what we’re going to be doing for the foreseeable future. And the most emotional songs are usually the ones that people connect with.