The Pierce Brothers have a lot to be excited about at the minute being on an extended regional Victorian tour, releasing a killer new album Into The Great Unknown spawning four singles from the album in Brother, It’s Alright, Dentist and Kanko. Recorded at Jan Skubizeski’s Red Moon Studios in Gisborne between the two Victorian lockdowns in 2020, the new album explores previously uncharted territory for the twins as Jack explains.
Was it a feeling of relief having the new album come out?
Absolutely!! The first track from the album we released was Kanko, and that was right around the start of COVID, and we had no idea what was to come next! We had plans to record the rest of the album up in Byron with Garret Kato (as we did Kanko) but we had to radically change plans and find a new producer. We couldn’t believe how lucky we were to have Jan Skubiszewski jump on board as producer, and we basically recorded the entire album at his studios in Gisborne, VIC. The rest of the album changed dramatically from what we originally envisioned, and we’re absolutely stoked about it!
Did you ever wonder with everything going on that you would get to this point of releasing an album and touring?
No. Actually when we were recording it, we had a plan just to release the album track by track, stretching it out as long as we could so that by the time the album was released we’d maybe be in a position to be able to play some shows again. Victoria’s lockdowns certainly did make it seem like touring was not an option again, but with things opening back up, and the likelihood of international touring so far out of sight, we’re looking much more at regional touring around Australia. Already we’ve played places we haven’t been to in years to absolute SOLD OUT shows! I think regional touring is going to be the new normal, which is great!
How much have you missed playing shows?
SO much! It’s actually a bit weird getting back into it, especially with seated shows being the majority of our returned gigs which has always been a strange thing for us! We’ve made it work with playing new tunes and changing up the way we perform, which is something we should be doing anyway!!
Did you think you might be a bit more nervous for the first show of the tour?
Definitely was. The first gig we played was split into four different shows in Mornington and we were ROUGH! But you need to shake off those cobwebs sometimes! It’s always healthy to get a little nervous before a show, that’s why we do it!
Have you been pleased by the fan reaction Into The Great Unknown?
We’ve been thrilled with the reaction! Since we released it, the album has had over a quarter of a million streams on Spotify, with people really responding in great ways! I’m stoked that we were finally able to get out tracks like One and Brother, but from what I can tell everyone really loves the work and craftsmanship that went into Reflecteur and Trouble. That was mainly all Pat and everyone seems to have great gotten into it!
Sonically, how would you compare it to your debut?
Into The Great Unknown is a much more ambitious album. Sonically we have explored avenues that we had not previously looked into! With strings sections in some tracks, female backing vocals with the help of the AMAZING Tig Leischke, and even really exploring the folk vibe more than we ever have with some banjo. I think the fact that we lived on site for an extended period of time is really made clear here.
Have you kept writing during this enforced break?
Yeah I actually started writing much more during the break, with a friend of mine Luna and I (Jack) getting through the first lockdown doing a song writing challenge every day. That’s how the track Dentist came about, and is one of my favourites on the album. It’s a song that really talks about vulnerability, written during a time of great vulnerability, through the metaphor of a dentist trip.
Did you find lockdown hard and did you pick any new hobbies/skills?
Song writing was something I focussed on, but I got very much into the Chris Hemsworth app Centr and was doing it five to six times a week! (Jeez, I really need to get back into that!) Mainly my new skill I picked up was becoming a father as my wife and I had a baby girl at the height of the Victorian lockdown in August 2020. So I enjoyed spending time with Rowan Winter, and got to know her. I was incredibly lucky to have such a time with my family and I was able to make the most out of it. I know that others were not so lucky so I’m extraordinary thankful for that.
Any plans to head to Adelaide this year?
There definitely are plans! We’ll be there before too long! The last time we were supposed to play in Adelaide was opening for Rodriguez which got cancelled like two weeks before the tour! We ARE coming back, and not just once! We can’t wait to come visit again!
What’s next for the Pierce Brothers?
We’re already working on our next single, and doing something really special, but I can’t say what yet! Watch this space! Until then we’ll be touring fairly extensively releasing this new album out all over Australia! Come say hello!
Interview By Rob Lyon
Can the Pierce Brothers on the following dates…