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:: Spotlight :: Interview with Something With Numbers

By: Amanda Joy Robb

Australian rock outfit Something With Numbers are definitely doing something right. With three albums, six hit singles, and a Top 20 chart debut for their current album “Engineering The Soul”, they are becoming one of Australia’s finest rock bands.

With the release of their new single, “89 Freedom Street”, the band - comprising Jake (vocals) Dave (drums) Scott (bass) and Lachlan and Tim (Guitar) - are about to begin their last national tour of 2009, hitting all of their favourite cities and regional areas. I was fortunate enough to catch up with Jake before the tour began.

So, this is Something With Numbers last tour of 2009. How has the public been receiving this album so far?

Yes, I think people like the record. The feedback has been pretty good. We generally base it on how many people come to our shows, and we have been happy with that, so I think we have raised the bar with this album.

What’s the preparation process before going on tour?

We block out a few days beforehand and do mass rehearsals and set list preparation, just to make sure we are completely ready to tour. Hitting the road is great. It can be just a few hours before our first show and whether we are in a plane or car, the adrenalin just starts pumping and we get excited. That’s pretty cool!

How would you differentiate your sound now, compared to when you first began? I'm guessing there have been some changes within the band about the music you want to produce?

Yes, for sure. When we started out on the Central Coast, we were a pop punk band. I guess like any pop rock band, their have been so many changes to our sound. We went from pop punk to pop rock to almost heavy metal, then back to pop rock. Who knows, we may even do salsa next!

Can you tell me about the writing process with the band?

It really differentiates over time, changing from record to record. Sometimes I will be at home and I will put together a song which in rehearsal we will put music to. Other times one of the guys will come up with a good riff and we will write a song from that.

Does it become any easier lyrically?

I am definitely finding it an easier process now, which is from experience. Lyrically, I am building whole songs now. I sometimes write a couple of songs a week, so I can practice and progress. The lyrics can come from a single word or sentence that someone has said to you in passing, and you just hold on to that particular word and remember it, and a song takes place.

In saying that, are you the kind of musician that writes your song ideas on beer coasters whilst out?

Haha, I have actually upgraded from a beer coaster, and carry with me at all times a mini video camera. So if I'm out drinking and I get an idea for a song, I just go into the toilets and sing it into my video so I wont forget it! I do use it at home, so I can remember what chords I strum to lyrics. It’s great to watch after a couple of weeks, I'm always like, “Oh yeah, I remember this!” and work from there.

What’s in the near future for Something With Numbers?

After we do this national tour, the guys are going to take the rest of the year off and do their own thing; relax and hang out with friends and family. Then we will go back into the studio and begin recording again at the start of next year.

It is hard to transition from constantly being in the public eye, to having a break? I imagine maintaining a balance can sometimes be difficult…

Personally I find it hard to have a break. I'm still doing other things when the band is on a break. So for me, nothing really changes, except I'm just not playing on stage. I'm actually working on another project for the rest of the year, with Sean Harris from The Matches, which I’m really looking forward too.

Will it have a similar sound to the work you have produced with Something With Numbers?

No it is completely different sound, style and everything!

Any standout fan experiences from the tour so far?

We have this one exceptional fan called Kerry Anne, who is our biggest fan ever! She comes to every single show she can, which so far has been around 200 gigs. She will follow us from Perth to Northern Queensland. It is really cool, as she obviously believes in our music.

Do you ever get her up on stage?

Yeah we have actually a few times!

What can we expect from a Something With Numbers show on this tour? Any tricks up your sleeves?

Yeah we do actually! I will be doing a solo acoustic performance of the last song on Engineering The Soul, which I'm really looking forward to doing, as it's something different. We will also be playing a few songs we have never played live before as well. We are really looking forward to this tour

Are these new songs?

I'm not telling. Come and find out. We need to leave some of it a mystery!

'Engineering The Soul' is out now through Virgin Records.

Check out the dates for the national tour here

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