Sydney noise duo Party Dozen, saxophonist Kirsty Tickle and percussionist Jonathan Boulet, recently released single The PDD taken from their second album Pray For Party Dozen, and announced rescheduled dates for the postponed June tour.
Pray For Party Dozen is a typically DIY affair, produced by Jonathan to be released May 22 on their own label, Grupo. The album is the follow-up to their 2017 debut The Living Man, which established Party Dozen amongst Australia’s foremost sonic adventurers. Since then they have played incessantly, performing at festivals as varied as WOMAD, Dark Mofo, Falls, MONA FOMA and Farmer & The Owl, and playing shows with the likes of Liars, Viagra Boys and Tropical Fuck Storm. The band answer a few questions for Hi Fi Way.
Congratulations on your second album. Is the second album blues something that is talked about as a band?
No way! We’re stoked. We had such a great time writing and recording this record, and we’re very proud of it. It’s better than the first and we’re super excited for everyone to hear it. For the first record, we were really trying to figure out who and what party dozen was, but Pray For Party Dozen feels more realised and more concise as a body of work.
How much more complicated has the COVID-19 crisis made things for the band?
We are a band who love to play live, so it’s made things a little bit tricky. But we’ve managed to do some live streams and move our live shows back to November. We’re lucky we have a studio that satisfies the social distancing rules, so we’ve been able to jam lots! All in all, I’d say we’re feeling pretty upbeat and positive, despite our schedules looking rather different to expected for the year.
Does the creative process continue on during this period of time?
It does, but we haven’t put any pressure on it. I think it’s silly to think just because everything stops you have to be pumping out heaps of songs. We’re jamming a bit and making some new things, but it’s all at a pace that feels good.
Sonically, do you think the sound has changed much between albums
There’s a broader range of sonic ideas and colours on Pray For Party Dozen. We wanted to make a record that spans further than just noise and heavy music. It’s a lot more groove based, and probably more palatable because of that.
Was this as challenging as you thought to make?
Nah. We love making music together. There’s no stress with making Party Dozen, because it’s just two people having a good time on their instrument, experimenting and trying things out. Just making and then making some more, really.
How do you push through writers block?
Writer’s block isn’t something either of us feel. If we don’t feel like doing something specific when we’re in the studio, we just do something else instead. Maybe it’ll go somewhere we really like, and maybe it won’t and we’ll start again the next day.
Have you been surprised by the reaction, particularly overseas, to the new singles?
It’s always surprising that anyone loves a sax and drum improvised band. But it’s sick – we feel lucky! I suppose there’s an element of validation when someone overseas in a bigger market says “hey, what you’re doing is cool”. It keeps the fire burning bright.
Does anything stand out as significant as influences for this album?
Lots of conversations about cults, looking at posters from film noir movies, conversations about life and death. The usual, really.
Are you raring to go when the green light comes to start touring?
We are ready. The minute our manager (and the government overlords) says ‘Go!’, we’re gonna blow through your eardrums.
What’s next for The Party Dozen?
Touring. Hopefully overseas at some point. Record three. More touring. Record four. Rinse, repeat, etc. etc.
Interview By Rob Lyon
A limited edition pre-order pack featuring a vinyl copy of the album, a tee shirt and an exclusive Party Dozen prayer candle, lovingly handmade by the band, is available.
The original June dates have been rescheduled to the below:
November 19th – The Lansdowne, SYDNEY NSW
November 20th – The Grace Darling, MELBOURNE VIC
November 21st – The Bearded Lady, BRISBANE QLD