Barely a year since they released the critically-acclaimed ONE GOOD SHIRT HAD US ALL FLY, Spit Syndicate return with ORBIT, their most progressive work yet, featuring guest appearances by Tuka, Turquoise Prince, imbi the girl and Kai (Jackie Onassis).
To celebrate, the duo will be embarking on a huge 20-date national tour, kicking off on May 19 at Darwin’s Bass In The Grass. Spit Syndicate will be hosting their trademark One Day-style block parties in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, to serve as a warm-up for what promises to be their most explosive live show yet.
Ahead of all this musical madness, we managed to catch the boys for this week’s Savvy Seven.
1) Who was your first musical inspiration? Why? Who inspires you now?
Super cliche but Tupac. I was an eleven-year-old kid living in Summer Hill who discovered Tupac Shakur and it fucking blew me away, I’d never heard anything like it before. These days I’m inspired by the artists / friends I have in my immediate circle, more than anyone else.
2) What advice do you have for someone who is about to set off on their first tour?
Remember your manners. Treat the people who you’re working with (venue staff, in-house engineers, Uber drivers, the person checking you into your flight or hotel) with the utmost respect and a smile, and everything will go easier. And you should treat the people who pay money to come and see you play even better.
Enjoy the experience and definitely milk it for all the fun it’s worth but remember that if you’re trying to build up a touring business or turn your act into something which can be a sustainable operation, it’s gotta be more than an excuse for a party. Treat it like a job, give touring and performing the music the same attention you would give to crafting the songs themselves.
3) What has been one of the most defining moments in your career?
When you’re grinding as hard as we try to, there’s not huge amounts of time for reflection. Selling out our first hometown show back in 2008 was an amazing feeling. F**k, that was a decade ago. The One Day project a few years ago was an amazing experience, especially when the album debuted at #2 on the charts. Watching One Day Sundays go from an idea amongst friends to something much bigger, something which is so special to so many different people, is definitely something I’m super proud of. Our new album also represents a defining moment, I think: we created it and released it independently within a year of our last record, a monster effort by ourselves and our incredible team, and I believe it’s our strongest work yet.
4) How has your music practice changed over time?
As in rehearsal? Or the way we practice our craft? I think the answer to both would be: we’ve always approached with a lot of care, attention to detail. But more now than ever before.
5) My top business tip for new artists is…
Take complete control of your operation, especially the business side of things. The industry has been built on there being a disconnect between artists and the commercial workings of their operation. Most labels and managers prefer it that way as it has traditionally given them power and justified their existence. Take control of your own shit, be empowered about the decisions you are making. If you don’t understand something, Google it ffs. Surround yourself with people who are going to push you to be better, both in artistic and business sense.
6) My biggest career mistake has been… What would you do differently now?
Well, there’s certainly been a few. But I believe you often take more from a loss than a win. Momentum is key, taking too long between releases can put you back several steps. Don’t assume that because you’re talented, you won’t have to grind any harder than the next artist. Talent alone doesn’t cut it, unfortunately. Never assume that anyone is going to care as much about your music as you do.
7) In my opinion, the most important issue facing the music industry is… What do you think can change that?
Lack of diversity in leadership positions / line-ups / radio playlists etc, mental health, the celebration of excessive alcohol and drug consumption. These are all issues which Australia as a whole is facing.
Keen to get amongst it? You can grab tickets to the tour here.
Did you enjoy the industry wisdom this week? Check out other Savvy Sevens in the archives!