Last week, when Sydney outfit Octave Inc released their self-titled debut album, we were immediately immersed in their sprawling jazz-laden sounds.
So fresh off the album’s release, we caught up with the band for a track by track run-down.
Fresh off the release of their incredible self-titled debut album, Sydney five piece Octave Inc give us a run-down of each track.
This is a jam that never panned out into an actual song. It’s sort of a slower take on the theme from Cut and Run. We wanted to open the album with some sort of intro song and this was just the perfect jam.
Cut and Run
This song has been around since the band’s inception. Andrew and I were having a jam and I played him the sax riff. I wanted a groovy, rocky guitar bit underneath and Andrew played that guitar line straight up; it all just worked right away. It’s one of our favourite tunes to play because the song is constantly evolving into something different. Even in this track, the second half with a half-time feel is something new for the album.
Catch Me If You Can
I teach private sax lessons during the week and I grab every chance possible to slip in a bit of practice, whether it’s between lessons when students are setting up or if a student doesn’t show up at all. This tune was born out of those mini practices. I played it for the band during a rehearsal and everyone chipped in on their parts and it came together in a matter of minutes. One of the easier songs we have written.
Hide And Seek
Another song that has been around since the band started. The intro to this song is actually the original tune. We played it that way for a long time but I was never happy with the way it sounded. So we pumped the tempo, set a groove underneath and built a more ‘washy’ soundscape.
The ballad of the album. It’s a simple riff with simple chords. For the longest time the title of this tune was ‘Untitled #56’ because I couldn’t think of a title that best fit the song. I was at a school fete one day and saw a kid playing with a balloon and he let go and off it went, never to be found again. I remember thinking how sad that kid looked. How simple and sad it is to have a balloon float away from you. It turned into the perfect track title.
This is my favourite track on the album. I love the feel, love the chords. Jesse lays down the perfect piano part to this. The first time we ever played this song was at a live show. I had a three note lick in my head and I told the guys one chord to play through and asked Ricci to play some sort of R&B groove. It clicked so well at that show. Since, we have added a few more chords and parts and it’s a staple in our set.
This is our no-nonsense, bop/pop tune. Our bass player Mitch, who is also our resident title creator, coined this one. So aptly named because at any point this thing can run off the rails.
No Guns in the Valley
I have a slight affection for old country/western guitar playing. The twangs, the verb, the chorus effects. Being from Nashville you kind of have to like it. I think I stayed away from country music as long as I could until I wasn’t living in Nashville any more. Then I realised I missed it. Not the country pop nonsense that comes out of there now, but the older, more real, gritty guitar stuff from the ‘50s – ‘80s. This song pays a bit of homage to those old cats with the twangy guitars.
Another favourite track of mine. This song came together for us quite quickly. I wanted to embody the spirit of street-side sax players, always having New York subway performers in mind. I just wanted a cool, chilled tune that everyone could have a happy jam over.
This tune was originally titled Captain Stitch And The Magic Fish. I wrote it with three different parts in mind to be somewhat of an epic. I have a story in mind when we play this song but I never talk about it. I love finding out what stories people come up when hearing this song.
I love pop/rock saxophone. My major influences are Clarence Clemons of Bruce Springsteen fame and LeRoi Moore of Dave Matthews Band fame. I was hearing these guys as a kid on the radio and thinking “whoa, sax players on the radio? I can be on the radio playing this instrument?” Those dudes had such killer lines in those bands. I wrote this for them. Thanks Roi and The Big Man.
Octave Inc’s debut album is available now. Listen above.