Over this past year, with the exception of playing at various house parties, the band RABBIT was virtually unknown. However, from faking a band manager to score a headliner gig at Beetle Bar, winning the grand final of Exposed #6 at Ric’s Bar, and performing packed out shows alongside some of the rising stars of Brisbane, 2014 has seen the band take that jump from anonymity to becoming a band to watch out for. With their first EP about to be dropped this week (of which I was privileged to get a sneak preview of, and it’s BLOODY AWESOME!), and a music video currently in the works, I decided it was about time for catch up with RABBIT.
How did RABBIT come about?
RABBIT is.. a frame of mind that we wanted to capture musically, a state of indifference and knowing/unknowing. It’s sorta meant to feel like looking at someone out the corner of your eye and a certain emotion that doesn’t really have a name (yet), it started with Shadows Make Us Freeze which Ethan wrote when he was 17 – in high school… but we started how most good things start, in our parents garages playing instruments we didn’t fully understand and just having a good time.
Also what’s with the name?
Haha, secretly it’s quite deep.. normally we say something stupid or mundane but actually RABBIT is social commentary on perspective… people seem to always imprint the desires of their perspective onto others and it’s sorta stupid.. our name is basically just pointing that out, a rabbit in the wild is something people can fawn over and want to covet but the animal, any wild animal really doesn’t understand that and realistically couldn’t want to be further away from you regardless of your desires – it doesn’t care.
How would you describe your sound and lyric style?
Pseudo-nihilistic alternative garage… lyrically none of our songs are about love or anything like that because there was a point where none of us really cared about that stuff… ironically we all have girlfriends now. Our lyrics are really just observations of other people and other times I guess it’s an emotional message saying ‘stop buying into your emotions so much’.
Who would you say are the band’s main influences?
Well we’re trying to develop our own sound more now and taking from stuff we like personally… we like drinking assam bold but recently sean cook, the producer we worked with on DID WE? – our new EP put us onto this crazy new tea called lapsang souchong which is smoky black. Uhhhh after realizing we just listed tea as influences – initially we’ve been described as garage-y Interpol – Arctic Monkeys and Bombay bicycle club influences as well, all rolled into one.. with our own elements in there too.
You’ve had a very interesting six months as a band, care to share some of the journey so far?
Yeah! It’s really weird… we all moved to the city just last year, and for the first year were completely unknown but managed to make friends by playing house parties all around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast where we did the hard yards.. our first ‘real’ show was earlier this year in March when we made up this fake manager alias ‘Simian Lacei’ and managed to con Beetle Bar into putting us on as a headliner, to which we packed out the venue and played an awesome set.. people were asking us to sign posters and shit.. crazy … and then it went from there.
Earlier this year you won Exposed #6 at Ric’s Bar, how was that?
Awesome! Really awesome contest and the competition this year was incredibly tight, in the grand final we were up against Baskervillain, Youth Allowance, and The Keepaways with Dead Wolves frontman Bones who basically destroyed the entire bar during their set. I remember this crazy moment when Bones chewed through the giant poster and wore it as a poncho, then proceeded to scream ‘EVERYONE GETS A PIECE OF RICS EXPOSED, YOU GET ONE, YOU GET ONE’ while chucking balls of poster at people… blew our minds.
What are your opinions of band competitions? Do they have their place?
Band competitions are really important and really useful, winning Ric’s helped us believe in ourselves and the music, to have people really dig a song you wrote at 17 in high school in your small home town is a crazy thing and we’re really grateful of the support we got from people to win Ric’s and where it’s helped us get to now in terms of putting us on the radar. The only downside is I think after you win a competition like that your friends and supporters sort of go ‘you guys did it! You made it’ and pat you on the back and send you on your way, but in reality the journey only just began.
So you just finished recording your first EP, any hints at what to expect and when will it be released?
This week! Our three-track EP ‘DID WE?’ drops on all good platforms this first week of August – right in time for our headliner show alongside Youth Allowance at New Globe Theatre this Saturday.
Also you guys have been busy working a music video, when should we expect to see that?
Not too long we hope, we’ve shot at two locations out of the three we have planned, so just one more day of shooting and then the editing process begins – keep an ear out mid october.
Any advice for upcoming bands?
Have fun and enjoy it and don’t try to be other people – think for yourself.
What can people expect at your live gigs?
Teenage wasteland is how I like to think of it, energetic yet careless.
Funniest live gig experience to date?
Just putting on a banger of a set and having 6 people in the room to watch it, I always find that funny.
We’ll still perform our best regardless of what the crowd is like.. once we got asked to play this dismal houseparty but still put on one of our best sets ever… waste haha.
If you could play on the stage with one band, who would it be?
Well, we’re from the same town as the DZ Deathrays boys so that would be awesome and funny… but we’re also huge fans of NZ band Die! Die! Die! – playing with them would be really sweet, locally we’re big fans of Morning Harvey, The Belligerents and Big Bad Echo.. check em out.
Do you have any upcoming gigs in the near future?
Yep! We’re currently booking heaps of shows and a few promoters & venues have started to take interest in us, but you can catch us this coming Saturday at Apex Art & Music Festival August 9th and at Ric’s Bar August 23rd on the second day of Valley Fiesta!
Where can people check out your music?
Everywhere good like soundcloud, youtube etc. but we’re putting the whole EP up for free on triple J Unearthed so go and have a listen and leave a rating and review, it helps us more than you think in terms of getting recognised and it’s a neat platform to support artists.
Be sure to keep up to date with all things RABBIT by clicking HERE!