The Inner Workings of Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

Interviewed by Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung

Perth psych-rock overlords, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets drop their debut album High Visceral (Part 1) tomorrow night at The Bird. Here's a chat we had when we sat down for a deep and meaningful with the band’s front-man Jack McEwan to talk dynamics, recordings and the boys’ upcoming national tour.

Jasmine: So tell us about Psychedelic Porn Crumpets and why do you think your band dynamic in particular, works so well?

Jack: Thank you for thinking that. I’d say simply it’s down to how we all get along really well, it feels comfortable when we’re making music, nobody in the band only listens to one specific genre so it’s easy to throw ideas around, sing ridiculous lyrics or just attempting to diversify into new styles that none of us have played before, it might end up sounding weird but usually that works, or we’ll at least try it. Then we’ll be on this moral high from jam and that energy usually transcends from rehearsal to the stage.

Your new album High Visceral (Part 1) is an eclectic mix of psych surf rock and intense noise jams, how did you guys fair during the production process? Were there any momentous occurrences?

The recording process was easily the best 2 to 3 months of my life. Me and Rish (Guitar) both got fired within 2 days of each other and thought it was the perfect time to work on an album.

I would wake up, make a cup of tea, turn the monitors on and record for 12 hours, it’d be 11pm and I’d think ‘shit, I haven’t eaten anything today’. Rish would head round and lay some guitars down and we would end up with the visualiser on which we’d hooked up to a projector that was receptive to the guitar frequencies, so basically whatever you played changed the image, it was amazing.

There were so many good vibes flowing through the band at the time of recording, sharing the stems and getting excited over with the early concepts of tracks but the most momentous feeling for me was when we finished Denamark/Van Gogh & Gone. That song is like my child, it was conceptualised in the technicolour fields of happy valley, Denmark and was born in the lucid barn of Southport. It sums the feeling of the album up perfectly, coming in from absolute silence to this ending that thunderously swirls and dances into such a beautiful dream like state that floods you with emotion. Hearing the raw stem with the strings on was one of the most complete feelings I’ve ever felt.

I really loved …And The Addled Distraction of Being from the new record. Whose idea was the melancholic outro? It flows so well into the next track.

Jelly who mixed the album had a lot to do with the outro of Addled, we spoke about how we could connect the 2 and he had some really cool ideas. The door closing is one of my favorite parts of the album, everything just dramatically stops and birds come in like you’ve just been thrown outside for whatever reason. Listening to that track come together was such an amazing feeling, adding those drone like washed out reverb guitars, then violins from Ben Caddy who’s a magician (I’ll catch him with a wand one day I’m sure of it), the bass harmonies and eventually vocals watching it build and build was so rewarding. I think I sat there at the computer when I was mixing it all like ‘IT LIVES! IT’S ALIIIIIIVE’!

What’s one thing that always gets you out of a writing block when it comes to your music?

Staying busy, keeping your brain active on other creative projects like designing or trying to conceive how the universe works usually pops a tune out. I like to write a bunch of songs that aren’t necessarily for one project but feel like they need to be made. Rish is the same, we both went on this strange electronic tangent for a while making Flying Lotus-esque bangers, he carried on with it for another month and eventually went mad. But then we’d return from our futuristic escapades, pick up a guitar and feel like it’s a completely new instrument with a treasure chest of ideas.

Now I’ve seen you guys play live quite a few times in Perth and you have an intoxicating presence on stage. What’s the most important aspect of stage presence in the band’s opinion?

I think just not faking it, everyone can see through a band who is bored of their songs or just headbangs because there contract states they need too (I have no idea if that’s a thing), but we just go out there and have fun and when we come off feeling really good everyone else is usually feeling the same. The world seems so much smaller now with music being so available that you can’t just copy The Beatles and be successful, musicians are being forced to write better, put on better performances, evolve sounds and create tracks that people are genuinely interested in and I love that, it’s real.

How psyched are you guys to be supporting Goons of Doom on the WA leg of their tour?

Rish pretty much wet himself, Ozzie Wright is one of his heroes so we’ve all been feeding off that buzz. I just can’t wait to head down south and feel that tour mentality again! When Rish isn’t playing with us he’s a sponsored skater for Soggybones so Justin and the crew are like our family, what they’ve achieved from that place is so inspiring and it’s definitely a strong motivator for the Crumpets to grow as a band. Props to them for everything.

What can the rest of Australia expect from your upcoming national tour for High Visceral (Part 1)?

That they’ll be taking work off Monday. And then hopefully forever so we can all build a traveling commune and open the band into a collective of interpretive thinkers who venture off round the world and eventually live in space broadcasting repeats of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia for the next thousand years.

Thinking about heading down to the album launch? Find the deets here.