Following hot on the heels of last month’s exciting album reveal, Brisbane favourites Dead Letter Circus have now announced a huge summer tour and plans to drop a brand new piece of music.
Kicking off in November, the Dead Letter Circus Album Tour will see the band bring their fierce live set to stages across Bunbury, Margaret River and Perth, through to Adelaide and Canberra and the east coast – with regional shows in between. These dates will be the first run of shows since the band’s small intimate club run back in June.
“We’re so psyched to finally give this album over to the people” says frontman Kim Benzie. Taking all these new songs on the road to some of our favourite places in Australia will be a blast! This is the beginning of a whole new chapter for the DLC family and we can’t wait!”
If the personal really is political, then Dead Letter Circus’s self-titled album – their fourth full-length of all-new original material, but fifth overall – may well be the band’s most political statement to date. For a group that has, on previous records, taken a strong ethical stance on issues such as fracking, Dead Letter Circus strikes at the heart of what makes humans tick, and the insecurities and psychological foibles that can make us all so fragile.
Jen got the chance to talk to Luke Williams about the new album.
To start Luke and I have a chat about how we are and the terrible weather in Melbourne. Having a 30 minute interview is great, loads more time to chat. Although I still had 10 questions I left out. Luke can talk! I met my match.
Congrats on the sound and meaning of your self titled album. I love it. This is an album that needs to be heard. With the potential to assist people with mental illness. The album is out in a week today. Are there any last minute nerves about releasing an album?
There is always a little bit of apprehension, you really want people to enjoy the record because it is like we’ve created a baby and we hope that no one would take a shit on it! ( both laughing) It is an unfortunate age that we live in where everyone voices their opinions even when they’re not so nice. We can’t let that get in the way, as if we are always worried about what people might say you would never release anything out into the world. We think that we have the process of writing an album to a fine art now.
This album we recreated the recording process almost identically I guess for which was our previous record Aesthesis, to this one, we did it all the same way with all the same personnel and was a really fun process for us. Before it used to be kind of difficult.
It must be easier with this album as you have maintained the same line up for consecutive albums.
Yes the lineup has solidified and it just feels right. I mean it would be lovely to have the past members in the band that people’s lives get in the way sometimes. That makes it difficult to maintain being in a band. Most people don’t realise that they can be quite taxing on relationships and financially to be in a band at this level. Not that we’re touring that much any more. We used to be touring all the time and that can be taxing on the partners. It can seem all rosie from the outside and that we are living the dream, which we kind of are in most aspects but there are a little reality check sometimes.
I mean that can be stable but new members bring a different eye on things.
True. With different members can have a different chemistry. We have tried to keep true to the DLC sound. Many people like are all stuff more than a new stuff.
Saying that your last album was in an acoustic and strings-laden style that was a different than your previous sound.
The band hardly classes that as an album. If people ask me how many albums have you got out I will say that we are about to release our fourth record.
Well that is kind confusing!
The press release says that the new record is our fifth record but that was all old songs reimagined, old material just worked into a new format. It was fun for us.
There was some criticism of this sound.
Yes, I did read some criticism on Facebook but I thought that the original version was still there, so listen to that one rather than the newer version.
This album certainly has a theme of human fragility. Was this a planned theme from Day 1 or a more slowly developed theme?
We have always been about that, we have always been about awareness of things that people might not know about in the world. We detours where we supported Lock the Gates Alliance and Sea Shepherd tours. Kim has always written songs that are a pretty fragile point of view. He wrote about his relationship breaking down with the mother of his first child, that was the first EP so that was really emotional. The first record was about as being angry at things that was happening in the world.
We then had a good chat about how bad the media can be and how it can be faked, like the video of the reporter that day hardly being able to walk in the wind of a hurricane when two people walked behind him normally. Also the Strawberry and pins incident. Scare tactics of the news.
You guys certainly write relatable songs not just for a few people but everyone that really listens to your songs. Take ‘The Armour You Own ‘ for example. (This song about living with anxiety is a song that needs to be heard. It is a motivational song for those that do suffer with Anxiety. Being able to protect ourselves is great but to step out from the comfort is also important for recovery.)
Yes we all have bad things happen to us but there is the way that we react to them, the people who you think are really cool and don’t worry are people had away to deal with it.
Releasing such a powerful song about mental health do you ever feel a sense of responsibility to your fans knowing that many of them do or will suffer from mental illness?
I wouldn’t say it’s a responsibility it is more like if you want to listen to the music and takeaway from it positive things that will be awesome. We are not in this music to help people that is a side benefit. It is like what Kim speaks about, most people will relate to what Kim writes. Everyone has their own meaning of the words. I guess Kim has the most responsibility in that regard as he has to deal with it. At shows people come up to Kim and say your music has saved my life, you have literally stopped me from committing suicide. Kim might feel more responsibility in that way. I mean I don’t think my strumming of my guitar will save lives. Or maybe you would I don’t know, it might inspire somebody to pick up a guitar and play and that might pull them through a bad period in their life. Feeling a sense of responsibility you could actually impede the creative writing process. We almost can’t help what we do and any true artist will agree. Helping somebody is just a nice little side benefit. I think anyone really wanted to help other people would become a social worker.
That is true.
Good question though.
Thanks, I have two favs on the album. Too hard to decide! I mean ‘The Real You’ is an easy fav. Clearly is relatable to most people as in today’s society we seem to have to put on a fake smile and not be ourselves. It really spoke to me.
Yes, it will really speak to a lot of people. If you really get into the lyrics you can see how some people actually are unhappy because they are trying to condense their lives into a highlight reel and put them on Instagram or Facebook. They are projecting an unrealistic view of their life. That would be taxing, no it would be exhausting trying to maintain this Internet persona and trying to be perfect. I see a lot of certain people, you know you really only get the highlights and the good camera angles and the best filters. Kim is talking about our dependency on devices and you really need to have a balance. Sometimes you just need to put you device down and live in the moment.
We then chat about how annoying it is to go to a concert and see people filming the experience than actually living the experience. Luke pointed out that he is not anti social media. It is about balance and being real.
Luke, I also really like ‘We Own the Light’ I guess I like meaningful relatable songs! Can you discuss this a little?
Ah we called that Hellie as a working title and that is my favourite song on the album too. It is in the time signature 6 8, what we call a swinger because of the feel of it, is like a jazzy feel. That chorus fucking pops! The verses are really like.. (making bass noises) and they are really light and cruisy, then you have the chorus and then you have the heavy bridge again. It is a really nice dynamic ride. Kim’s vocal in the chorus is just like super hooky.
Are you thinking of releasing that song?
I would really like it to be the third single personally actually I wanted to be the second single bad ‘The Real You’ was a bit more accessible, and bit more of a pop arrangement. Hellie is Luke’s fav and mine as well as Vinnies. We worse super stoked with that one.
The title… It is unusual for a fifth album to be self titled. Why did you go down that road?
Yes, to be honest we just couldn’t think of any title that was a fitting. (both laughing) we were throwing around titles and each one just didn’t feel right and then someone just suggested we do a self titled album and we thought okay. we are not saying that this is our defining sound, that is not what we try to say, it is a really simple thing we just could not think of another title.
Classic! Love it, people did have some thoughts on that on facebook so I will let them know.
Come and see our show and say G’day.
I will do, thanks Luke.
DEAD LETTER CIRCUS ALBUM TOUR
Tickets on sale 9.00am, August 30. For full ticket details see www.deadlettercircus.com
November 29 – Bunbury Tavern, Bunbury WA
November 30 – Settlers Tavern, Margaret River WA
December 1 – Amplifier Capitol, Perth WA
December 6 – Coolangatta Hotel, Coolangatta NSW
December 7 – Sol Bar, Maroochydore QLD
December 8 – The Valley Drive In, Brisbane QLD
December 13 – Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle NSW
December 14 – The Metro, Sydney NSW
December 15 – Uni Bar, Wollongong NSW
December 16 – ANU, Canberra ACT
December 19 – Taphouse, Bendigo VIC
December 20 – Barwon Club Hotel, South Geelong VIC
December 21 – 170 Russell Street, Melbourne VIC
December 22 – Governor Hindmarsh Hotel, Adelaide SA
One of Australia’s most loved bands Dead Letter Circus have released their brand new single ‘The Real You’ into the world today. To coincide with the release, the band has also shared eagerly awaited details on their forthcoming self-titled album.
Dead Letter Circus was recorded over a six week period at Studio Circuit on the Gold Coast and will be released worldwide via BMG on September 21. Available for pre-order now, the album will be the band’s first set of all-new material since 2015’s (ARIA # 2) long player Aesthesis.
Dead Letter Circus repeats the winning production combination of Forrester Savell (Karnivool) and Matt Bartlem (Jarryd James, Matt Corby), arriving at the most organic album of the band’s career. Light on digital programming but riddled with giant hooks.
Dead Letter Circus perfectly merges the quintet’s trademark combination of ethereal atmospherics and towering riffs. It just might be the band’s most political statement to date.
Lyrically, the album strikes at the heart of what makes humans tick, and the insecurities and psychological foibles that can make us all so fragile. This is never more evident than in the band’s anthemic new single ‘The Real You’, which sees frontman Kim Benzie examining the culture shift brought about by social media.
“The Real You’ was me absorbing the cultural changes that have grown around Social Media” says Benzie. “Life should be a journey towards letting go of the mask you create with your insecurities when you’re young. It feels like we’ve accidently created a culture where the concept of the mask is now what you aspire towards. The song is about craving an interaction that doesn’t have a filter.”