Paper Kites’ Savvy Seven

The Paper Kites General use

Not every band can boast their own self-featuring film, but for Melbourne outfit The Paper Kites, this seems to be taken well in their stride.
It’s been an eventful year for the five-piece, the upcoming release of their sophomore album twelvefour exploring the relationship between an artist and the creative witching hours between 12 and 4am – something which lead singer Sam Bentley took to heart when he sacrificed his sleeping pattern to the theory, and something that caught the attention of film maker David Cox, who documented the creative process behind the album as The Paper Kites traversed the world on tour.
The album’s due to be released on August 28, with the first taste ‘Electric Indigo‘ already available.
Sam (or Raz) was nice enough to give us his two cents.

The best live music venues in my area are…

There are some GREAT venues in Melbourne that are very special to the TPK story. Honorable mention goes to the Toff in town, but the two most important venues in Melbourne are the Northcote Social Club and The Corner hotel. These institutions are the Route 66 from obscurity to credibility, the Nullarbor from nothing to something, and the Tour de France from garages to festivals. What I’m saying is, these 2 are the venues you do, and do well, to get noticed. Not only that, they also rock. I’ve watched countless bands at these joints and they always sound killer, and when you’re lucky enough to play them, you know you’re going to be looked after, and treated well.

The music scene in my hometown is…

Exciting! The last couple of years have seen a number of Melbourne acts hit the big time. Courtney Barnett, Vance Joy, Chet Faker. Ever heard of them?? I saw every one of these acts opening a bill, to a small crowd, for probably like 100 bucks (total) and half a dozen Carlton Draughts within the last few years. Right here in their home town. Melbourne has a lot of talent, and a lot of credibility. And if indie/mainstream J pop isn’t your jam, you’d be surprised at the quality you could stumble across in venues like The Workers Club, Howler, and The Toff.

My top business tip for new artists is…

Righto here we go, pay attention to this….. It’s all about the songs.

 Does a manager help? Damn straight! Do you need a strong social media presence? Absolutely! Booking agent? That helps.  Label? Publishing deal? Shoe endorsement? Etc etc..? All of this stuff has its time and place but should NEVER be your starting point and is not worth even thinking about until you are creating songs and a sound that means something.  Pour every ounce of effort and heart and soul and blood and sweat and tears into your songs and how you present them and the rest will roll on.

So don’t try and do it yourself?

I think I’ve made my point. It’s all about the music. Once you’ve got the sound and the tunes in the bank, and the friends-to-strangers ratio at your shows is generously pushing the latter, then maybe you could think about getting a little help, but don’t go looking. When it’s time, they’ll find you. It’s a waste of energy trying to convince them over the phone. Convince them by doing well.

In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is…

Many say that streaming is the biggest issue. Does it suck that people don’t by CD’s anymore? Yes! Do artists get ripped off by streaming? Yes! But has discovering new music ever been easier? No!

When on the road, my favourite pit stops are…

We’ve spent a pretty solid amount of time in North America over the last year and a half. The old diet can take a bit of a hit at times, so whenever we are anywhere near a Whole Foods, we will always pit stop. Dave and I always start in the hot sauce aisle, Christina usually emerges with some kind of obscure, dried, super-food, packet-of-goodness, will-change-your-life, seed pod, Josh will find some exciting juice, and Sam will walk laps for ages and eventually buy something he regrets. The point is, Whole Foods is really fun, and often provides some much needed excitement and stimulation on the road.

My biggest career mistake has been…

I don’t regret much. We’ve been very blessed so far.

 There was one time up in Brissy, after playing a show at the Tivoli, I thought I’d lost the merch money. Apparently I got a bit frazzled (I maintain I played it cool) and it was that night that the nickname ‘frazzle razzle’ was coined.
The merch money was recovered soon enough but I’ve never lived it down.


My best general advice for emerging artists is..

I think I’ve made that pretty clear. Songs and sound. Don’t start anywhere else but songs and sound.


See the first taste of twelvefour below – Electric Indigo


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top