Combining forces to blend their unique outlooks on storytelling, Sydney’s Jeremy Strother & Bobbie Lee Stamper are excited to be announcing their project Racing Birds, alongside the release of their debut single Rarely Never Loaded. Drawing passionate vocals from Jeremy, to eloquently sit atop bluesy rhythms from Bobbie, the duo have combined to create an emotive sound that is fleetingly familiar, but uniquely Racing Birds. Reminiscent of late night drives through Southern California in the ‘60’s, the band capture a raw and honest edge that is on show throughout Rarely Never Loaded.
Having plied their trade for years separately, individually the Racing Birds members have a pedigree that lands them amongst the top songwriters and session players in the southern-hemisphere. Jeremy has contributed to acts across all scopes, including I Am Apollo & Stellar Perry (The Voice Australia), alongside a publishing deal with New York agency Frisbee. Whilst the USA originating Bobbie cut his teeth as a guitarist for Jon McLaughlin, sharing stages with Sara Bareilles, Colbie Caillat & Bon Jovi. Closer to home, he’s performed with Australia’s finest, including Guy Sebastian, Human Nature & Matt Corby to name a few. Coming together they create a raw and captivating sound, pulling listeners into their story, creating vivid imagery of neon signs, fading tail lights & California skies. The band go in to further detail about the single.
Is it a feeling of relief that your debut single is out?
For sure. We’ve been waiting a long time to put this EP out. The songs were all finished, I think back in 2019. The pandemic, of course, and a few other factors held it up, but we are super stoked that it’s finally getting released and people can start to connect with it.
Can you believe how much work goes into a single release?
Absolutely. There’s a lot more to it than just hitting upload and drinking Coronas. We’re really lucky to have a team behind us that help synchronise all the moving parts. I think we’d be fumbling our way through without someone helping us stay across everything. And there’s a lot that artists have to do now just to get the music in front of people. There’s so much released all the time . . . a lot of it good.
What is the story behind the single Rarely Never Loaded?
Rarely Never Loaded is an homage to the culture of southern California in the ‘70s. It’s Hell’s Angels, leather jackets, love and dust. It’s reckless and jealous, and one hundred Harley Davidsons all in a row. The chorus is simple enough, “she’s my girl,” but in the sounds and the production we’re telling a bit more of the story. That’s the hope anyway.
What has the fan response been like so far?
It’s been great to be honest. It’s our first release as Racing Birds, so it’s literally building one fan at a time. One person who likes it and feels like adding it to their road trip playlist, plays it for their friends . . . it’s really cool when that happens. We’ve had a lot of messages from friends sharing the track and supporting the release, which is a good feeling as well.
How would you describe your music to someone who has just discovered the band?
“Good time rock and roll, and a few slow heartbreakers.”
Are you building towards an album and how is that coming along?
Yeah we are. The rest of the Lonesome Blue EP comes out mid April, and we’ve got a new record written and demoed that we’re really excited about. One of the positive outcomes of the delays with this release has been that we’ve had time to keep working on new songs, finding new ideas and sounds we like. We’re heading into the studio in May to record it.
Who would you say is the biggest shared musical influence/ inspiration for Racing Birds?
Creedence Clearwater Revival would have to be the biggest influence I think. The way the write and play, it’s incredible, earnest and fun. Followed closely by Tommy James and the Shondells, especially on the new stuff we’re working on. We draw a lot of influence from early rock and roll, country and R&B. Johnny Cash, early Elvis, Ray Charles.
What inspired the band name?
Racing Birds is a car reference. As in Pontiac Firebirds. I’m not sure where it started but I kept pushing it with Bob and it just stuck. We like the image. It’s a rock and roll band, and those old American cars are so cool, so loud, it feels like a good fit.
Are there plans to tour this year?
We hope so. I was on a holiday in March, and the Pacific Highway was closed because of the floods, so we had to drive back to Sydney on the New England Highway. There are some amazing towns out there that we’d love to play. So maybe a bit of a surf and turf tour could be fun. Wollongong to Byron- then we go inland and make our way home playing shows inland through all those cool towns. But wherever it is, we’d love to play more of these songs in front of people.
What’s something that most fans wouldn’t know about Racing Birds?
Racing Birds was first a song writing team. We would write songs to give to other artists and friends to record. We didn’t think Racing Birds would be a band. But as the songs and sounds started to come together . . . Bob was playing and producing them all with a certain feel, and I was singing them in a way that felt honest, it started to make sense that we would record and release them ourselves. And that’s been a great discovery. Now we feel really strongly about it, and we’ve come to love the band as a thing of its own, rather than just the two of us doing our separate strengths.
Interview By Rob Lyon