We chat with Sam, lead singer of The Paper Kites, about their new album, released August 28th!
Hi Sam, Just saw the video for the new single, Electric Indigo, from your upcoming album, starring Laura Brent (The Chronicles Of Narnia, A Few Best Men)! Loved it- what is the story of the video?:
“It’s actually part 1 of a 3 part trilogy! What we’re wanting to do is 3 videos that are all set between the hours of 12 and 4, all in different towns, with different characters, almost like an 80s version of Love Actually. Just a bunch of different stories coming together and that one was the first one we did. We wanted to do a video with more of a narrative and I’ve wanted to do a video with subtitles for a while now.
We didn’t even realize that Laura was aware of our band and when she just showed up at our audition, we were kind of like “Ah, aren’t you a little bit well known?” And she said she was a big fan of the band and wanted to be involved."
Your new album, twelvefour is released on August 28th and you refer to it as a concept record, tell us a little more about that concept:
"The whole idea was to try and create something strictly the hours between 12 and 4, an attempt to change up my way of writing, because I think most people write within normal hours, and I wanted to do something different for this record. I’d heard about this theory that an artist’s most creative hours are between 12 and four.
So I did it for about 12 months and essentially reversed my sleep pattern, tried to kind of deprive myself of sleep just to see if it would change my writing. I ended up with about 30 songs, all sounding really different. I think there is definitely some truth to it, but I wouldn’t want to try it again."
So it was worth it?
"It was definitely worth it! I had to stop in the middle because my body was saying ‘you need to get some sleep!’, so I stopped a little and got back to normal hours. If you can adjust to it, go for it, but I found it hard to get back to normal. Totally worth it though!"
While you may never use that tool again, creativity is obviously something important to you, do you think you will continue making sacrifices like that for the creative process?
"I would like to think that I would always be open to try something new. I think when you start getting comfortable and things start to get familiar with what you are creating, whether that is music or painting or writing, I think your art starts becoming a little predictable and you’re not challenging yourself. I think you need to put yourself in new situations and new experiences. When you do that, you are creating the best stuff because it is all new and unknown. I think I would always like to keep looking for new ways to experiment I suppose."
Sam, what is the stand out track for you personally from twelvefour?:
"Ooh big questions. There would be two! The one I have listened to more than others would be Revelator Eyes, just because I really love it. It is a really lush, guitar driven , almost 80s track which I really dig. But probably my favourite track is called Neon Crimson. I think just lyrically it really captures that late night mood. It’s about drifting around New York and things aren’t going so well at home. It really captures that lonely, solitary confinement of locking yourself in a room for hours. I think it just sounds like the hours between 12 and 4. I really love that song!"
What advice do you have for other young people looking to develop their musical and creative skills?:
"You need to try and be authentic and as honest as you can. I think when you are sort of writing these surface lyrics like “I love you” and “I miss you”, everyone is saying that and you need to find a way that is different.
So many young people think that to make it in the music industry, you need to go on a talent show, which is the worst possible thing to do, because it’s not the way to make it and go on as a respected artist. It’s not about wanting fame or money, (which you may never get in the music industry anyway), I think you need to write as honestly and authentically as possible."
You went all the way to Seattle to record this album and work with producer Phil Ek! What was that experience like?:
"It was fantastic, we had planned to record outside of Melbourne anyway, maybe somewhere like Byron, we thought that was far enough. But then we ended up getting this call from Phil saying that he was interested in working with us and he said ‘I’d like you to come to Seattle’ and we thought, ‘Oh why can’t you just come here? There are 5 of us and 1 of you.’ But he was really keen on working in his own studio in a place that he knew he could get the sound that he wanted. So we all ended up getting on a plane and flying to Seattle.
It was so awesome to get away from Melbourne because we’ve only ever recorded in Melbourne."
Having toured with City and Color across North America, you’re now touring Australia and hitting up places like Perth and Margaret River, what are you looking forward to with your upcoming Australian tour?
"We always love playing in Perth WA, because Dan our bass player is actually from Perth. It’s just good to get out on the road. We haven’t toured in about 14 months, so we always look forward to taking a new record out on the road. This one is a different sound to what we’ve had before, it’s a lot bigger and everyone has been giving really great comments on the songs we have put out, so it will be great to catch up with friends and fans we don’t normally get to see and haven’t played for in a while."
SEE THEM LIVE!
FRI 16 OCT | AMPLIFIER, PERTH WA
Tickets available from www.oztix.com.au | 1300 762 545 | All Oztix Outlets