If you haven’t heard of Spacey Jane by now, where have you been?! Forming in 2016, from Fremantle, WA, the band have certainly made their mark in only a few years. Since releasing their first EP, No Way To Treat An Animal in 2017, they have been sharing new music every year, including a recent single ‘Straightfaced’, which is set to be on their new album Sunlight, available on 12 June. The band have also performed at various festivals around the country, such as St Jerome’s Laneway Festival, Splendour in the Grass, and Yours & Owls. Their music consists of up-beat, indie pop-rock sounding tracks, and there is no doubt they are on an absolute roll!
We caught up with Caleb, singer and guitarist, and Kieran, drummer and also manager for the band. We discuss the hows, whats, whys, whens and wheres in their career and current industry issues. Now, let’s get to the questions!
1. What inspired you to pursue music as a career?
Caleb: My stepdad is an amazing musician and all-round lover of music; it was always a pillar of his life I think and I picked that up pretty early. I can’t really remember when I knew it’s what I wanted to do but it feels like it’s been there my whole life. Ashton and Peppa also grew up around a lot of music/musicians so it’s been a big part of their lives in much the same way. Kieran took an interest in drums after tapping along to a Foo Fighters album when he was 12.
2. Besides making music, what have you done to get to where you are?
C: We’ve all had to make sacrifices to get here, it’s really hard to hold a job and/or study while trying to get your band off the ground. Music isn’t exactly a lucrative career at this stage but it requires a lot of time and energy and takes you away from home often for long periods of time so we’ve had to be driven but the love of music and being in a band together.
Kieran: On the management side of things it’s been a lot of happy accidents since day dot. Just sort of feeling things out and learning the ropes as we’ve grown, with a few hints and pillars of support from here and there. I guess I’ve got a Marketing degree too so maybe that’s helped with but really who’s to say.
3. How do you approach developing timelines for your career?
K: Most of the time it’ll involve all of us sitting down with our booking agent and really plotting out the touring plans for the foreseeable future of around 12-18 months. Then we loop in the rest of the team on the label & publicity sides and work together to achieve those goals! Obviously it’s tough to predict where things are going to get to but we try to make educated guesses based on ticket sales and streaming stats, how well things are going at the moment etc. Next to that we’re just constantly trying to carve out time to record and Caleb’s working on new songs, more or less around the clock. It’s interesting because I can’t think of the time when the band started operating this way, it just sort of happened as soon as we got more people on board the team and started to take it all a bit more serious as a potential career path.
C: As individuals there hasn’t been much “career planning” or anything, we’ve just tried to ride the wave for as long as we could sort of always expecting it to end at some point. From a band perspective we’re really lucky to have an amazing team around us who understand how best to time and manage what we’re doing. It’s our job to write and record as much music as possible and hit the road whenever we’re told!
4. What is the most significant challenge you have conquered in your career?
C: I think recording an album is what we’re most proud of. It was an almost year long journey that took a lot of time and money and we went into it having never put an album together. I get a bit emotional when I listen to it because of the achievement it represents to us.
K: Hardest thing we ever did was agree on the track listing of our second EP. I have no idea why it was so hard, we just couldn’t figure it out. What’s funny is we never think about it anymore, but it mattered so much to us back then, that sort of thing seems to happen a lot as a band. We’re all pretty stoked with the album track listing though!
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5. What will musicians discover from touring and how should they prepare for it?
C: I’d say the biggest shock is that you can’t just party and sleep in every day – it isn’t like the movies. It can be really exhausting and it’s easy to miss stuff so make sure you or your TM keeps a tight schedule. Don’t miss the lobby call, get as much sleep as possible and eat heaps of fruit! The best way to prepare is making sure your show is the best it can be so rehearse heaps and practise those transitions.
K: God there’s nothing worse than being tired and hungover on a day you need to travel to a show. Just be smart and go to bed at a reasonable hour if you have a plane to catch and a gig to get to the next day. One or the other is fine but I think both can be a nightmare. Also don’t weigh your luggage down with books if you’re not going to 100% actually read them. I’ve made this mistake too many times.
6. Should people educate themselves on current industry issues?
C: 100% yes! In the early stages, especially, loads of people will try and tell you they can do amazing things for you, and some can but there’s a lot of opportunism surrounding young bands. In our case we’re self-managed by our drummer Kieran, so he’s had to work extra hard to get himself up to speed having no prior experience. At the very least I think you need to know enough to know whether someone offering up any service in exchange for your limited cash is going to give you value for money.
7. How have you integrated modern technology into your content process?
K: There’s a pretty crazy plethora of options for releasing and promoting all sorts of content these days thanks to the internet. I think at a bare minimum people need to be aware of their options. Something I feel we’ve had a lot of success with is Ads Manager on Facebook and Instagram. Just consistently targeting people we feel will gel with the music has given us a pretty big boost in terms of listenership and record sales, I think. In terms of producing content, I try to outsource a great deal of the visual stuff, working with as many different creatives as possible and getting a reliable team together, people we can call on for anything we might need e.g. music/lyric videos, photos, banners, album covers etc. With the lockdown happening right now, live streaming has been proving a great tool for keeping everyone connected. I just invested in a capture card to possibly stream an open Mario Kart tournament and we’ll definitely be doing another Instagram live session. Maybe even some Netflix Party stuff? Who knows, it’s all ideas at this point!
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