With the drop of their second album Dare, Northeast Party House returns with a mature and high-energy sound.
Jumping on board with Groovin The Moo for a huge chunk of their national Calypso Beach Tour, as well as a slew of smaller shows in major cities, guitarist Mitch Ansell seems seriously stoked with the response to the album. “Live is a big thing for us,” he enthuses. “It’s always been one of the top priorities, to make this electric, energetic on-stage scene. When we’re writing music we’re always thinking ‘How will this translate live?’”
It’s the Northeast Party House we know and love, with a developed sound and an excitement for what’s ahead, Dare is brave and full of fun; a memento to a great summer. “It’s kind of getting away with the cheekiness of the first album,” he smiles. “We’ve got six of us and we all write music… we do know what the Northeast Party House sound is. We’ll all write songs that we like and it might be this R&B track and then we’ll turn it more into a Northeast track. Listening to the album you’ll find that there are a heap of different genres on there.”
Ansell says that touring is a great opportunity to catch up with old mates and spend time with support act Mosquito Coast and some well-loved talent. “The Jungle Giants… that’s one band we are mates with and we have toured with them way back in the day when we were just starting out.
“We wanted to pick a band [Mosquito Coast] where our crowd and their crowd listen to the same thing, we thought it was a good mesh crowd-wise and date wise… You could pick a band or get your booker to pick a band that might be doing well in the music industry – it could be a choice that way, to sell tickets. But Mosquito Coast are awesome and we’ll just enjoy seeing them each night which is such a plus when you’re touring… just means that there is a sick vibe backstage and everyone is getting on.”
But it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for this tight-knit Melbourne crew. The band has experienced some significant changes in it’s lifetime, switch-ups with members have meant that it’s taken almost seven years to come up with the combination we know today. “The band started quite a long time ago… I remember we had our sixth birthday and that would have been a year and a half ago. That was back with Jackson [Shoe], Zach [Hamilton-Reeves] and Sean [Kenihan]; they went to a Steiner School. They started a band and I met Jackson numerous times and we partied together and ended up studying music together at MIT and they needed another guitarist. Then Nick [Lawrence] who was the drummer at the time left and we got Malcolm [Besley] who was recording our EP at the time.
“It was kind of good ‘cause when you are changing drummers the new drummer has to learn all the parts and know the songs back to front, the fact that Mal has been mixing and constantly listening to the tracks he just knew them already… it was a really easy transition. He’s also just a sick drummer.”
Alongside the album comes a killer clip for Heartbreaker and one for Calypso Beach in the works. Filled with hype and a bit of debauchery, what more could you ask for? “The film clip is hard… maybe it’s a daunting task for some bands and some kill it… Malcolm and myself directed and wrote it all,” he reveals. “Having that all up to us felt really good and really worth it at the end. It was really hard worth but we just had full control and could do what we wanted.
“For Heartbreaker we got all of our mates to a warehouse and told them that there was a lot of free booze and just got them real drunk and got them to party. We went through the songs like eight times and my guitar amp just got soaked with beer and stopped working after two songs. It was off to a good start and that’s the vibe and the rowdiness that we were after.”
The group’s sound is heading in a more nuanced direction, and with plenty of experience it would be easy to assume that the writing process is natural for them, but Ansell surprised me. “Definitely the toughest part of the whole songwriting process is finding the middle ground and compromising. We all want the same thing in the end and you might have to sacrifice some of the writing you might have done. You tour and play shows more than you write…. It’s really tough…. You’ve also got to have your space, my bedroom is the place where I can get really creative more than some hotel room, or the van.”
Groovin The Moo 2017
28 April, Adelaide Showground, Wayville, SA
29 April, Maitland Showground, Maitland, NSW
30 April, Murray Sports Complex, Townsville Cricket Grounds, Annandale, QLD
6 May, Bendigo’s Price of Wales Showground, Bendigo, VIC
7 May, University of Canberra, Bruce, ACT
13 May, Hay Park, Bunbury, WA