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q&a: batrider

Adelaide-via-Melbourne-via-NZ outfit, Batrider, have just released their grungy, garage-y, sludgy (meant in the best way possible) fourth LP, Piles of Lies and are about to hit the road with a bunch of dates lined up around the country!

Lip chatted to front woman, Sarah Chadwick, just ahead of their tour.

How did you approach writing your latest album?
Half of [the songs] probably are ones that we figured out together at band practice and then probably the other half are ones that I brought into practice, kind of the basic parts of it, and then Ben and Steph added to it.

Was that a different kind of process to how you’ve written previous albums?
No I think we’ve always been pretty similar in how we do that kind of thing, even when it’s been a different line-up, it’s kind of always worked out that way.

You’ve all transplanted yourselves quite a bit over the last few years. What kinds of challenges has that posed both personally and as a band?
It’s been good in parts, it’s been good to do lots of travelling and stuff and play in different places and that’s always kind of been worth it. But it’s always a bit of a hassle to kind of pack up all your stuff and shift around. It’s been really good [but] when we’re a bit more settled, I always feel like we should be doing more travelling and then when we’re travelling, it’s always nice to have a while just to be at home.

Where do you consider home now then?
I’m not sure! We’ve been away from New Zealand for probably over seven years now. And I went back to New Zealand for ten days a couple of weeks ago, and I didn’t really feel at home anymore so yeah, I don’t know. I guess we don’t know at the moment but probably Australia more than anywhere.

Have you released LPs through labels before?
Yeah we’ve put out…I think this is maybe our fourth full-length and yeah they’ve all been put out by separate people. This is the first one we’ve put out with Two Bright Lakes and so far they seem really amazing, we met them all before we worked with them just through playing gigs and they’ve always been really supportive of the band. So that was really good to know that they were into it themselves…and a couple of things we’ve released ourselves, like we put out a vinyl ourselves that we used to sell at gigs but most of it’s all through labels.

Do you think that there is still a certain amount of uncertainty in the music industry? Like not knowing if a label is going to put out your next record?
Yeah…most bands do the recording and then shop it round, see who’s interested in putting it out. There’s always a chance that no one will want to and then a lot of bands will self-release stuff or sell it at gigs themselves, now especially with Bandcamp and things like that, most people will put it online and the money goes straight to them. It’s good having a label in terms of actually getting promotional stuff done, like getting people to come to the gigs in the first place and things like that, but I think mostly these days it’s probably a lot better to do it the way we’ve done it…like working with people that you know personally and that you’re kind of on the same page in terms of what you expect to do and what they expect to get out of you and not being too stuck with them…because in a working relationship like that, you  never really know until you’ve actually done it what it’s going to be like.

Do you find that the music industry is very different here as opposed to New Zealand and the UK?
I think everywhere has things in common and all the countries that we’ve lived in or played in, there always seems like there’s a really good live scene of bands being really active and doing a lot of stuff but without a lot of money behind them which is always really good. In terms of what we’ve done, I think it’s been pretty similar…I think London was a bit different, like there’s a lot more bands that just want to make it, want to be really successful, really popular. But I don’t know, there’s much of a muchness.

Piles of Lies is out now through Two Bright Lakes. Batrider’s tour kicks off in Brisbane tomorrow night, click here for more dates and venues.

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