Perth, Australia four-piece Spacey Jane were meant to be in the UK right about now for sets at The Great Escape, Live At Leeds, Hit the North and more. Instead, the garage-poppers are sat on their mum’s sofas (we assume), eating biscuits (probably), and waiting for the release of their debut album ‘Sunlight’. Caleb Harper (vocals) and Kieran Lama (drums) fill us in.
Hi Spacey Jane! How’s it going? What’ve you been up to today?
Caleb: Hello! Doing pretty well all things considered. I did some exercise this morning. It’s the first time I’ve done any in 3+ years so I’m hurting right now but now’s as good a time as any, I guess.
Kieran: Hi! I’ve been locked in an apartment playing ridiculous amounts of Mariokart and trying to do yoga. Pretty crazy stuff, I’m enjoying it.
How’s Australia at the moment, are you all self-isolating?
Caleb: Things are feeling mostly under control after a couple of weeks of denial people are generally adhering to most of the rules, which is great! Yep, we’re all self-isolating in our respective houses, definitely missing the gang. Ashton and Kieran are living together at the moment – I’m very jealous.
How has that impacted your plans, have you had to pull tour dates?
Kieran: It’s impacted our plans in a big way, I suppose like all touring artists around the world. We’ve had to cancel our first shows in the UK and Europe, and postpone a bunch of Australian dates which was pretty heartbreaking. It’s shit, but we know everyone’s in the same boat and toughing it out together. Well, in isolation, but together.
Tell us about your band then – who are you all, and how did you get together?
Caleb: Kieran and I have been playing together since 2012 in high school. We moved down to Perth from Geraldton (a tiny coastal town in West Aus) to study and started looking around for bands/bandmates. We met Ashton and Meils through mutual uni friends and it sort of clicked straight away. Meils left in mid-2019 to study medicine, and after some pretty desperate searching we found Peppa who’d just moved to Perth, she’s fit in perfectly!
Have you always wanted to be a performer?
Caleb: I think so, I at least can’t remember wanting to be anything else. Maybe a pilot when I was really little. My stepdad is a great muso, and I grew up in church around a lot of music, so I’ve been playing and performing since I was 12 or something.
Can you remember the first song you ever wrote with the band? Is it still kicking about?
Caleb: I think it was ‘Still Running’, which was also our first release as a Spacey Jane. I wrote the song in high school in 2012 or around then, so it’s been kicking about for ages. It’s definitely still a regular in the live shows, we don’t really write any heavy bar chord stuff anymore, so it’s nice to have it in the set for a headbang.
What’s been the highlight of your time with Spacey Jane so far?
Caleb: Playing shows is easily my favourite part of being in the band. We recently wrapped the Laneway Festival tour in Aus which was amazing. We got to hang out with acts like DMA’s, King Gizz and BENEE and play to our biggest crowds yet. It was really special for me.
Kieran: Yeah, the same for me, always the shows. I think my highlight so far has to when we played at a pretty iconic venue in Brisbane called The Tivoli. It was our first ever ‘theatre-sized’ show and our biggest headliner, sort of when things started to get real for me personally.
Congrats on reaching your debut album, ‘Sunlight’ – does it feel as though it’s a long time coming?
Caleb: Thanks! Yeah, it really does, it’s been close to two years since we set out to try and release an album and much longer than that since we wanted to do it. We didn’t realise the number of moving parts involved with releasing a record, so there’s real satisfaction in having it all ready to go.
How did you approach curating the record’s tracklisting?
Caleb: I can’t remember if we had any solid goals with the tracklisting. We cut 17 songs down to 12 just based on what we liked the most and then tried to order them in a way that would feel natural. Our producer, Parko, said if an album feels shorter than it is and you don’t think about how it’s put to together then you’ve done a good job with the tracklisting. Hopefully, it worked!
Kieran: I’m surprised at how little we argued about it. We’re all pretty stoked with the way it runs through!
What do you most enjoy writing songs about?
Caleb: I mostly write about how I’m feeling as a means of processing things. I’m terrible at talking about what I’m going through, so I pour it into songs. ‘Sunlight’ tries to trace experiences of leaving home, starting and dropping out of uni, a few failed young adult relationships and figuring out how to be a better person. I hope some people can easily relate to it.
Who do you think is the most exciting band or musician around right now?
Kieran: I’ve got a few! From Perth – Carla Geneve and Jack Davies are two of the best songwriters in the biz. Couldn’t recommend them enough.
From outside Aus, I’m a massive fan of a band called Kiwi Jr. I think they’re Canadian, super great left-field indie rock in the vein of Pavement and Parquet Courts. Their album is rad.
Anything else we should know?
Kieran: My Nintendo Switch friend code is [redacted]. Let’s race.
Taken from the June issue of Upset. Spacey Jane’s debut album ‘Sunlight’ is out 12th June.