Maybe We Can Get High? is out now!
Earlier this month, synth-pop duo Sametime made their debut with the release of their EP, Maybe We Can Get High?. We caught up with the brothers to unpack the release, their collaborative creative process and so much more!
Tell us about your background in music and what prompted you to launch Sametime…
We started off busking when we were 9 and 12 years old, playing from 8am-1pm every Sunday. Ages 14 and 11 we were playing bars and pubs, then small events to then festivals. Around when we were 17 and 15, we wanted to stop being a cover band and become a real band. We came up with the name Sametime, won’t tell you how but i’m sure you can figure it out.
Congratulations on your new EP Maybe We Can Get High? The release meanders through upbeat tracks and more solemn sonics that documents that transitionary period between adolescence and adulthood. Could you walk us through the themes presented on the release and why you’ve documented them on this release?
We’ve always found it easier to write based on experiences. We’re both young, we both like to party and have fun but we’re also at the age when you realise it's not all sunshine and rainbows. The main theme explored is youth hedonism. It’s the main ingredient in all of the songs but each having their own twist and turns.
How did you arrive at the overall alt-pop based sonic exploration and sounds present on the release?
We were in Sydney in February, 2020 to record what we thought at the time was going to be the next single. We knew we wanted to move into a bigger pop sound but we really weren’t sure what that was until we met Fletcher Matthews. The day before we flew back home, we had a writing session with Fletcher and we had no idea what to expect.
We went in there ready to experiment and just see what happens because in our heads, we had just recorded the next single. We were sitting around discussing ideas when Fletcher started playing the sample that started Get To Know Ya. Instantly ideas came flooding out and a couple hours later the song was done. The whole flight home we were more excited to hear the demo we had done with Fletcher than the finished version of what was meant to be our single. It was the first time we both agreed that this was the sound we wanted and it kicked off an awesome working relationship with the very talented man that is Fletcher Matthews.
Could you talk us through your creative process when writing and recording this collection of songs?
Get To Know Ya was the only song that was written together in person because right after we got home from Sydney, COVID struck. We knew that we wanted to keep working with Fletcher but we had no way of doing so until he suggested we try Zoom. The first session via Zoom was strange considering none of us had written let alone recorded a song remotely.
The first two sessions we wrote Something To Feel and Til Ur Not OK. Something To Feel was quite slow originally so we actually put it on the shelf thinking it wasn’t ready whilst after countless revisions Til Ur Not OK was sent straight to Spotify for release.
We then decided that we wanted to do an EP which led to us speeding Something To Feel up and then writing two more songs. By the time Nothing I Can Change and Moving On were written, we had a very streamlined way of creating music online.
How did the EP evolve and change as you were creating it, and were there any tracks left on the cutting room floor that you think might have a life in the future?
Something To Feel was originally quite slow to the point that the song almost didnt make it on the EP. We sped it up and made it real thick and bassy and it quickly became a favourite. As for the songs that didn’t make it on the EP, a fair few of them are in our live show so they get their life on stage.
What’s one line from the EP you find at times could be stuck in your head? Or a line that you come back to?
TIM: “waking up on Tuesday thinking it’s a new day, knowing that there's nothing I can change”. Some days I feel disconnected from the world and I question everything going on around me. I always come to the same conclusion before snapping back to reality, everything is temporary and there's nothing I can do about it so why not just have a good time whilst I’m here. This line is pretty much that.
SAM: Mines similar but it’s “Waking up on Monday thinking that it’s Sunday hoping that theres something I can change” not for any reason really, i just think it’s catchy as fuck.
Which song off Maybe We Can Get High? would you pick to play to someone who had never heard your music, to make them an instant fan?
Nothing I Can Change. It’s a big rounded sounding pop song that’s riddled with bacteria. We’ve always enjoyed sitting in no man's land, right in the middle of commercial pop and left-field pop. I feel like Nothing I Can Change is the perfect example of that.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?
Cosmos Midnight are an awesome band of two brothers making bops left right and centre. What's not to love about those guys? PNAU are great, we love how physical their music is and it's something we aspire to. Lime Cordiale are another band of brothers doing amazing things at the moment, very inspiring to watch and learn from them.
You’re set to hit the road next month for a string of shows, lockdown pending. What can audience members expect from this set?
The shows are going to be big, fun and packed full of energy. COVID has kept us locked up for too long now and we’re ready to go. Expect to leave the shows a bit sweaty from all the dancing.
The past eighteen months have taken its toll on the music industry, specifically the touring sector, but also in terms of making that in person connection with audience members and creating a shared feeling and experience. How important do you think live music is not only for yourselves as musicians showcasing your art, but also for the audience members who resonate with your music?
We’ve been performing live since we were kids, its been 10 years since we started. Having the ability to play live taken away from us was devastating and frustrating especially since it all happened as soon as we figured out we wanted to be a dance pop band haha. It did give us time to further develop our live show and really make it into something we’re proud of. Nothing heals the soul better than a good live performance for listeners and for the performers. There’s something about a bunch of humans in a room all moving their bodies to the beat of your music, we love seeing people just relax and express themselves.
I feel like Dua Lipa would be the right collaboration for a release but in terms of just writing a song probably Matty Healy.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
TIM: ‘I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’ - The 1975
SAM: What Tim said.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Physical, Energetic, Happysad.
Best song of 2021 so far?
TIM: That Funny Feeling - Bo Burnham
SAM: The Walls Are Way Too Thin - Holly Humberstone
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
We feel like it’s every musicians dream to do a song for a James Bond film
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
TIM: Miley Cyrus. One of the best female voices in pop music today IMO.
SAM: ¿Por qué no los dos?
What was the first song you loved to sing?
TIM: Landslide - Fleetwood Music or Stop This Train - John Mayer
SAM: Grenade by Bruno Mars
A song you would love to cover on tour?
SAM: The Sound by The 1975 because it will forever be my favourite song i've ever seen live and one of the best moments of my life is when Matty got everyone jumping up and down at the end of the song and i want to experience that for myself.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
TIM: Punisher - Phoebe Bridgers
SAM: ILIWYSFYASBYSUOI - The 1975 or When Facing The Things We Turn Away From - Luke Hemmings
First concert you went to?
Taylor Swift baby!
Best concert you have been to?
TIM: Liam Gallagher - Fortitude Music Hall, Brisbane. I’m a big Oasis fan so seeing a legend of rock n roll in the flesh was amazing, especially in a smaller setting. He was in good form that night as well, it was a special gig.
SAM: Probably sick of me saying it but The 1975, although i will give an honorable mention to The Weeknd cause that shit was sick.
First album you ever bought?
TIM: + by Ed Sheeran, the reason I started writing my own songs.
SAM: Speak Now World Tour Live Taylor Swift. I had the dvd version of it as well and watched it every night before bed and learnt every word, even what she said in between songs.
Would you rather be a Spice Girl or a Backstreet Boy?
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
TIM: Hermit Spice
SAM: Lanky Spice
Most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
It was a free entry gig at Solbar on the Sunshine Coast. The room was packed and we got everyone down and the ground and then made them jump and go crazy. It was the first time we ever experienced something like that and it was thrilling.
Guilty music pleasure?
TIM: SAMETIME…. I listen to myself a lot and I feel guilty about it.
SAM: Ariana Grande.
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
It would be silly considering all the answers above to not answer with The 1975. If you haven’t noticed yet, we’re fanboys.
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
Ed Sheeran is definitely up there. I mean the man is the biggest pop star on the planet and plays an acoustic guitar with a loop pedal. He’s written back to back hits not only for himself but for some of the pop music elite. Every working musician on the planet started looping trying to be like him. The best part of all is that he is doing all this whilst staying completely genuine.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
It takes years and years of hard work to become an overnight success, keep working and it’ll come.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
TIM: When I realised I could make people laugh, cry, dance and wonder with music. When I realised how truly important music is to every single human being on the planet. It makes the world go round.
SAM: Damn I didn't know Tim was going to have so many deep answers, I knew as soon as I found out if I told a girl I could sing they seemed a little more interested.