The first time I came across Adelaide’s Down and Out only last month, I kinda kicked myself for not jumping onto them sooner. The five piece channel youthful, angsty lyrics with a nonchalant attitude, teamed up with energetic riffage and infectious pop punk hooks, rivalling heavyweights Neck Deep and The Story So Far.
However, the band’s brand new single presents to us a side of the band we’ve yet to witness. ‘Feigning Joy’ is an empowering anthem for putting on a brave face and keeping it together when times are tough, while you’re giving it your all in reaching your goals. It’s an interesting way of saying “fake it ’til you make it”, yet pushes Down and Out’s talent further than before, and I’m even more excited for the band’s prospects.
They were a last minute addition to our Pop Punk Class of 2021, and we couldn’t be more stoked to premiere ‘Feigning Joy’ to you today. Get to know your new favourite pop punk band, Down and Out below…
G’day boys! First up, tell us how you all came together to make up the band it is today?
Alec: When Down And Out actually started could be debated. Before the band existed, our singer and ex guitarist wrote and recorded all the songs and then thought, if they were going to release the EP they should probably fill the band out to be able to play live shows. After some time recruiting, the original guitarist decided to leave and that’s how we ended up with the group of 5 that we have today.
I hear your latest single ‘Feigning Joy’ marks a new musical direction for you guys. What’s the story behind this track and your creative direction here?
Alec and Henry: I wouldn’t say this is a new musical direction for us, but more a bit of a change of pace… When writing new songs, we don’t sit down and say, “let’s write a slower, more acoustic song this time”, that’s just now how we are able to write. Someone will bring an idea to the band and we run with it to see how it develops. As it happens this one evolved into something better suited to a stripped back acoustic vibe (at least for the most part).
Between ‘Feigning Joy’ and your last release, ‘Yesterday’, I can feel big things coming up on the horizon for you. How’s the response been to the band since ‘Yesterday’ was released?
Henry: As a fairly young Adelaide band there’s only so much of a splash we can expect to make, but the response has still surprised us. Being able to see the statistics and watching complete strangers share out music both locally and internationally is a great feeling. Our last two singles, Yesterday and Slipped Through My Fingers, have both been really well received and get great reception at live shows.
Who are your top 3 musical influences?
It’s hard to pick specific musical influences because all of us draw inspiration from different places. Blake has a more bluesy background but also loves the sound of the Foo Fighters, whereas Luke and Henry both enjoy a raw punk sound, and Alec and Brad both used to be into heavier bands like A Day To Remember. However, if we had to pick 3 artists to which we are trying to model our sound it would be the newer pop punk bands like Neck Deep, The Story So Far and of course we couldn’t forget Australia’s own Stand Atlantic.
I can definitely hear a little bit of all those styles fuse together through your music! Your last EP was released in 2019. Any plans for a follow up EP in 2021?
Alec: There definitely are. Through the dark times last year we used a lot of our free time writing and completing songs for upcoming releases. We actually have a lot planned for 2021 so, if everything goes to plan, this should be a great year for us and everyone who listens to us. Everyone should expect one or maybe even two big releases from us this year.
Awesome! I’m excited for you all, and Adelaide always impresses when it comes to good music. So what do you think makes bands from Adelaide stand out?
Henry: I think it’s a bit of a symbiotic relationship between two things. The first is the strong sense of camaraderie that you get when you’re a local Adelaide band. We’re the forgotten sons and daughters of the Australian music scene and it’s us against the world.
The second is the fierce competition that comes along with that – there are only so many Adelaide bands making it big, and everyone wants to be seen. The result is a bunch of bands pushing themselves to write the best music they can and put on the best shows they can, and at the same time helping each other out at every opportunity they can get. I can’t think of a better combination.
Sucha happy medium. Will we be able to see you guys live any time soon? What can one expect during a Down and Out set?
We have two shows booked in at the moment both at the Adelaide Unibar. The first is on the January 23rd to help Lickity Split release their new EP alongside SODA, and the other is our release show for ‘Feigning Joy’ which will be on February 19th alongside the legends in Mums Favourite and Memory Castles. We aim to deliver fun, high energy pop punk that people cant help but move to.
Amazing! Here’s hoping interstate shows are a little more of a thing this year, so the rest of us can witness the live action too!
Interview by Tamara May (@citylightstam)