Aussie surf-punks SKEGSS have a bit of a task on their hands when it comes to following up their debut album 'My Own Mess'. Released back in 2018, it peaked at Number 2 in their country's album chart after building a swell of nationwide support. Jonny Lani (drums) introduces their second full-length, 'Rehearsal'.
Is Australia doing ok at the moment?
Everything's pretty well under control at the moment. Living in a small town, away from the city, if you don't check in on the news you would hardly know the pandemic is happening. Guess we are pretty lucky over here compared to some countries.
What's your day-to-day like mid-pandemic?
Day to day, I have just been doing a little stone work here and there. I was a stonemason before the band, so I've been getting back into a little bit of that. Going to the pub, cooking lots of BBQs, haha.
Has it impacted the process of putting together your new album much?
Not really, we finished recording in January last year, so shit hadn't really hit the fan yet. It's had more of an impact on release dates and planning touring, though. Ya don't really want to be releasing an album and not be able to tour it. Looks like we will hopefully be able to get something going in Australia at least by mid-year.
What did you set out to do when you started work on 'Rehearsal'? Did you have any specific goals?
Nothing too specific; we knew we were going to live record a lot of it, so we did a fair bit of practice before actually going into the studio. We wanted it to sound good; that's a goal, I guess, haha.
How quickly do you guys put songs together? Do they come easily, or do you spend ages agonising over them?
Benny [Reed] writes most of the songs; he usually works on them over a fairly long time, then sends iPhone recordings so we can learn them and usually demo them again and go from there. Once they are at the demo with the whole band, we usually don't agonise over them too much. It's good having demos and just listening to them a lot; it gives you an idea of any changes that need to be made.
Were there any lessons you learnt from your debut that came in handy?
Not too much; the process was pretty much the same, it was the same studio too, so it all felt pretty familiar. Personally, I practised a lot more before the second album. Didn't want to waste everyone's time doing thousands of drum takes. Still ended up doing a fair few though.
'My Own Mess' obviously charted really well in Australia, what was the impact of that? Did it spark any unexpected opportunities?
We got a gold record in a frame for one of the singles; it looks pretty cool. Still not 100% sure what a gold record means or how exactly ya get one.
If you end up at Number 1 this time, what will you do to celebrate?
Coupla beers for sure!
Taken from the April issue of Upset. SKEGSS' album 'Rehearsal' is out 26th March.
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