RINSE's debut EP, Wherever I Am, is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.
Image: James Caswell
Brisbane artist RINSE has unveilied his debut EP, Wherever I Am. Featuring the singles Tamaryn (Wherever I Am), Without You, What Hell I’m In and the dreamy, heartfelt ballad Back Into Your Arms, the release comes complete with two new tracks.
The musical project of Joe Agius, RINSE's debut EP was written and recorded over a five year period, threading together sounds shoegaze, dream-pop and post-punk to create a genre-bending listening experience. The release sees the musician refine your sonic sound, with the body of work representing the development of Agius' musicianship and songwriting prowess as a solo artist
Wherever I Am is out now! Read our interview with Rinse below.
Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey...
I played a bit of music in high school but didn’t give it a real serious thought until I made it a couple of years through university and hated it. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do but knew I really enjoyed making music, so I took a year off to give it a shot and haven’t really looked back since.
Wherever I Am serves as a compilation of songs recorded over the past few years, across many different locations. How did the release evolve and change over that five year time period?
Thanks! I’ve been playing in bands and recording for a long time now so I had a pretty clear vision with what I wanted to do in RINSE from the beginning. I really want this project to not be or sound like one thing and I think the EP shows that. It’s a real mix bag from heavier shoegaze kind of stuff to dream-pop to post-punk and everything in between. Because it was written and recorded over so long I think it naturally all really falls in different places too. I’d probably describe it as a mixtape more than anything.
You explore a variety of themes and concepts on the release, what prompted you to explore and document them within your music?
I guess writing about things helps me process them better. Songwriting can be a bit like therapy sometimes.
You directed the visual for Tamaryn (Wherever I Am) and Back In Your Arms as well as creating the artworks. How did you conceptualise each project and how important are the visuals to you when it comes to conveying the story and meaning present on the track?
I’ve been working in graphic design and video since high school, so everything that surrounds the music is just as much of a passion for me. The Tamaryn video was something I had in mind for a long time that I felt really translated the meaning of the song visually in an interesting way. I literally just got the idea for the Back Into Your Arms video by accidentally stumbling across an old stage prop house and talking to the owner.
Could you tell us a bit about your creative process when writing and recording this collection of songs?
Everything starts from a melody and some basic chords and just goes from there. I don’t generally write full songs in one sitting so the process can be quite long waiting for the perfect final part(s) to strike me. I like keeping the recording process as quick as possible for that reason once it’s done. I can keep working on a song forever so I have to be quite strict myself to stop sometimes.
If you had to pick one song off the EP to play to someone who had never heard your music to make them an instant fan, which song would they be and why?
Probably Back Into Your Arms, because my Dad really likes that one, which usually means it has more of an instant connection.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from the EP?
I guess I’d love for anyone to just connect or find meaning in any of the songs, whether it’s in what I wrote them about or just in relation to something in their own lives.
If Wherever I Am was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be and why?
A coming-of-age film and soundtrack.
How do you find it differs writing and recording in a band environment vs solo where you’re completely in charge of the process and outcome?
I think the process can be quicker and often funner with other people or a band but I find creating music quite personal most of the time and something I prefer to do by myself. Writing this EP was quite lengthy and exhausting at times though so I’m looking forward to collaborating more on future songs.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?
Ultracrush from Sydney are a really great new band I’m really looking forward to seeing again. We were supposed to play a show together right when Covid struck here and everything was cancelled. The Harpoons are no longer active, but are another one of my favourite Australian bands in recent years.
The current pandemic has obviously put a halt to touring and performing live, what are your touring plans post pandemic? And what can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
I’m looking forward to doing some shows around Australia when the timing is right, for sure. I’m about to start reworking a live show so I’m able to get on the road easier as my band of about 7-8 people currently is kind of impossible to take anywhere. I’m really keen to create something unique visually with my own shows. I’ve been working on some holographic projections at the moment, which are looking really cool.
The Cure, Pale Saints, New Order, Jesus And Mary Chain, Joy Division, Primal Scream
Album that has had the most impact on you?
This changes all the time but as a teenager I don’t think I played anything to death more than The Strokes - Is This It.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Dark, Dreamy, Dizzy
A musical release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Back To The Future
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
Primavera in Barcelona with Hatchie
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Bowery Electric - Lushlife
Best concert you have been to?
Last concert you went to?
The last proper concert I went to was New Order just over a year ago
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
Elvis - Unchained Melody (Live in Rapid City 1977)
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
New Order or The Cure