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SPOTLIGHT ON PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets' new album, SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound is out now! We chat to frontman Jack McEwan about the release and more!

Image: CapturaObscura / Matthew Puccinelli.


Perth’s Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have hit the ground running for 2021, unveiling their fourth studio record, SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound. Recorded between songwriter Jack McEwan’s home studio and Tone City Studios in WA, created the album during the COVID-19 pandemic, after their touring plans were cut short.


The four-pieces fourth studio album SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound is a carefully curated narrative of psych-rock that delves deeper into the sounds presented on their previous releases. There is a refinement to the records production, providing a more dynamic quality that is still laced with the frantic and energetic sounds that are a staple within the bands music.


Laced with influences ranging from The Beatles, to Kings Of Leon, to Nirvana, the record still authentically Psychedelic Porn Crumpets. The band nestle deeper into their signature sound, whilst also pushing its boundaries and creating a more defined sense of control, albeit within an erratic soundscape. Read our full review here.


SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound is out now! Read our full interview with Jack McEwan below!



Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey…


Dads record collection was a big influence, Led Zep, Sabbath, The Beatles. I got given a bass guitar which I’d twang about on but it wasn’t until we moved to Perth I got my first real six string. Then the local scene blew me away and now I’m a crumpet.



Congratulations on your new record SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound!


Cheers.




The production on this record has more of a refined and dynamic quality to your previous releases. Do you think your time off touring allowed the space and time to explore different avenues of crafting the sonics of the record?


Yeah for sure, every time we get back from a tour I feel like a newb trying to remember how to record again. So the longer we’re back and the more songs I’m writing I’ll eventually work out a flavour or certain technique that I’ll sprinkle over the record. There was quite a few different avenues and styles I was trying all last year, metal tracks, folk jingles, 90’s nu-metal stuff, I was just having fun while trying to spiral around a theme, then after I’d finish writing Mundungus, Pukebox and Mr. Prism it all fell into place nicely.




The record fuses together a variety of influences, sounds and genres. There’s nods to The Beatles and Kings of Leon, everything from haunting strings to heavy guitar riffs but never feels too overwhelming or a sensory overload. Was that something at the forefront of your minds when creating the album? And how did you go about fusing these different elements to create a cohesive body of work?


Thanks! Yeah, that’s definitely the goal. We’d like to be known as an album band if that makes sense. Singles are fun but there’s something about hearing a good album for the umpteenth time and feeling just as excited as you were on the first listen that makes the craft special. It’s like a sonic jigsaw, some songs work great after others if they step up in BPM or abruptly change key, or you could add an old school sample that ties two sections together, there’s endless ways in endless genres. For me the best albums seem to have enough of those changes that dictates the pace of a record, MF DOOM does that well, same with ‘Songs For The Deaf’, Avalanches first record is a great example, constant flow with little obstructions, the listener can sink themselves further in and all of a sudden you’re lost in someone else’s world.




Was the experience of working on the record during the pandemic more challenging, or did it allow you to carve out time and space to immerse yourself completely within creating?


I actually found it was a great help. When you’re on tour constantly as a musician there’s not too many time-free/guilt-free opportunities, so I felt really relaxed and excited to work on something more extensively. I got myself into a nice routine and spent a few months writing as much as possible, it was a dream haha.




Did you find the prospect of releasing a record during the COVID-19 pandemic scary or challenging considering you wouldn’t be able to undertake a traditional album rollout?


Yeah, it’s unfortunate but there was always going to have to be a release date. We pushed it back a fair chunk as well, but we’re keen to keep writing and moving on fairly swiftly after Shyga! With a follow up record later in the year. If we’ve got the time, might as well put it to good use.




If you had to pick three songs off SHYGA! The Sunlight Mound to play to someone who had never heard your music to make them an instant fan, which three would they be and why?


Pukebox, Mundungus & Mr. Prism, I feel like those three songs are the backbone of the record and capture the overall flavour of the album pretty well.




You’re on your fourth studio album! It’s been six years since writing and recording High Visceral, Pt. 1. What new knowledge and experience are you bringing into the sessions working on the new record, that differs from creating your debut album and subsequent albums?


I often ask myself if we’ve even learnt anything haha. It’s a weird one, cause our knowledge of recording is better but the more you learn the worse you become, not technically but mentally, we were so young and naive when recording the first record it’s a miracle it came out the way it did. Now we’re understanding more about frequencies and song writing, what instruments work well together, what doesn’t. It’s all trial and error really, but I do feel like we’re getting better which is a nice feeling.




And so what do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?


Stick to carpentry.




Could you kind of talk us through your creative process when writing and recording songs?


The writing and recording is usually the same process. I’ll just dabble about on the guitar until I find a riff I like, I’ll record that through Guitar Rig into Ableton and then put a bass part to it, or another guitar layer depending on what it needs. I’ll put some placeholder machine drums down with my launch pad and mess around adding bits until that one section’s complete. Then I’ll work linearly throughout the track adding more sections and then when I’m happy with what I’ve got I’ll cut and paste bits, take stuff out, add minor transition sections and then lastly i’ll add some vocals. Then we get Danny (Drummer) into a studio to replace the midi-drums and re-amp some of the DI’s or do them again, redo the bass and vocals to the tighter kit and that’s usually it. Then spend 3 months mixing the bastard.




You’ve just released a trilogy of visuals for Mr. Prism, Tally-Ho! and Pukebox. Although they weren’t initially intended to be part of a series, how did you conceptualise the visuals with Oliver Jones and create the warped world of ‘Sweetsville’?


We came up with the Mr. Prism video idea together over a zoom call, just riffing with each other about possibilities. Ollie’s so talented, such a brilliant animator, I’ve got huge respect for the man. With Tally-Ho and Pukebox he literally just went to town by himself. He drew up a storyboard with the concept, asked if we liked it, we said yes, both times, then he spends a month or two crafting away, one frame at a time. Claymation is unreal, such a time-consuming task but the detail Ollie manages to pull off is why it feels worth it.




You guys have consistently released great music videos and visuals for your music. How important are the visuals to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track and how involved are you in the creative process?


I think it was important for Shyga! We knew the album had a nice theme to it and wanted the videos to portray that as well. So, when we spoke to Ollie he suggested a trilogy and we loved how involved he wanted to be in the project. I think it’s our best work to date, it feels like we complement each other really well which is nice.




You’ll be hitting the road this August with Ocean Alley! Do you have any headline touring plans for 2021? And besides from new music, what will you be bringing to these new shows to really amp them up after over a year of live music taking a back seat due to the pandemic?


PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS: Yeah, can’t wait to hit the road again! Hopefully we’ll have a brand-new set down, new visuals, better livers. We’ll do our best to make it as wonderful as possible.




RAPID FIRE



Biggest influences?

UMO.


Dream collaboration?

Liam Howlett.


Album that has had the most impact on you?

Lonerism - Tame Impala.


How do you define your musical style in 3 words?

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets.


A release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?

New Mild High Club hopefully.


If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?

The Notebook.


Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?

Miley.


Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?

CSNY - Deja Vu


Best concert you have been to?

Desert Daze.


Last concert you went to?

Wave Rock Weekender.


If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?

Spicy Spice.


Guilty music pleasure?

Skrillex.


If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?

Skrillex.


An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.

David Bowie.


What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?

Don’t get a dog.


The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?

Playing pots and pans to Simon and Garfunkle, 5 years ago.




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