Luke Vaessen – Vocals
Joel Hallam – Guitar, Samples, Keyboard
Owen Broad – Drum
Ryan Barker – Bass
It seems it is Tasmania’s turn to turn for new music! Dark Alt Pop band SPKEZY (pronounced Speakeasy) have just released a new single ‘Dopesick’ and announced their debut EP “Midnight Club. Having already released two standalone singles earlier this year, ‘Dopesick’ is the first single off the forthcoming EP ‘Midnight Club’. I spoke to vocalist Luke Vaessen to find who SPKEZY are and what we can expect from them.
So this song is a little different to your other songs?
I would probably say a lot different. When we first started the band we essentially wanted to try and incorporate rock music, because we were all brought up on rock, with today’s modern type of RNB/Rap music. With this EP, more so with ‘Dopesick’ than the rest of the EP, we tried to incorporate more of our 80’s influences. I think that the main thing for us was to have each band members influences more prevalent than what we have before. The EP is a more cohesive of us as a band than the two stand alone singles we previously released.
You said that your influences are from the 80’s?
Yes. So our guitarist, who is also our producer, is very influenced by 80’s sounding music. It’s more so him that has brought that influence to the band. Especially Huey Lewis and the News, he said he just really wanted to write something that has that sound. We’ve all played in rock and metal bands over the years. Tyson our bass player leans to more that sort of stuff. Our drummer has a very broad range of influences, but he is more dance music orientated whereas I am a lot more hip hop and rap.
You’ve definitely got a lot of genres covered!
I just think that for myself I was finding it hard to write music in a band when I wasn’t listening to that particular genre of music. So for us it was just being able to write music that we enjoy and that we hope other people enjoy. People obviously listen to a lot of different stuff. And I guess when I first started playing metal I was listening to lots of metal. Over the course of when you are touring you are listening to metal bands night in and out and you get to the point where you need to listen to something else. I guess that is where it got to for me, and probably the other guys too. We just needed to do something else.
I have a broad range of musical taste even though I mostly listen to metalcore.
It’s good to have that broad range of musical taste because you get to experience all these different emotions listening to all types of music.
Is the writing process a group thing?
It’s definitely a group thing. We get together at least once a week at our guitarists house and that’s where we will record and write all our stuff because that’s where his studio is. He has taken a much bigger role on in the band this time around. When we had our lockdown he spent a bunch of time relearning all this stuff so we can do everything in-house. It’s made it a lot easier I guess because we know what we want the music to sound like, it’s a little bit harder when you are sending it to someone else and they don’t fully grasp what you are trying to do. It has been good just to be there with each other and just write and if it sucks it suck and if its good its good.
There are more songs floating around than?
Like I said we get together once a week. This EP, while it is probably not the most optimal time to release because we can’t tour with it, we are really proud of the way that it sounds. We want other people to hear it and we hope people enjoy it. For us just to get it out there is the main priority so that we can move on to whatever it is that we are going to do next.
I don’t know that not being able to tour has been really detrimental because most people are in lockdown or some form of quarantine at the moment. Bands releasing stuff are probably getting more attention during this time. There are no gigs, so people are looking to the online content.
I guess I hadn’t thought about it like that. That people can actually connect to it more and spend more time with the product because at the moment they don’t have a lot else to do.
Even though you can’t gig you’re actually building an audience for when gigs return. Laying those foundations for when the world returns to some normality. Bands are interacting with fans more too on social media and making those connections which is awesome. And Australia has such amazing talent.
We really do. It’s become more evident to me over the last couple of years. Obviously there is always good stuff from overseas, but I’ve noticed more really good bands coming out of Australia lately. It’s a very good thing.
I think Australia are leading the way at the moment.
100%. I feel like a lot of the bands that are coming through, and they are all really young which is really good, are really putting Australia on the map.
‘Dopesick’ has obviously gotten some traction because you’ve already had over 6k streams on Spotify in a week?
We’ve received really good feedback on the song. How it’s written, how its been recorded and all that. But also just on the song itself. People seem to be really enjoying it which is always nice.
What’s the story behind the song?
Essentially it is a conversation between two people, one of which has had substance abuse problems all through their relationship. It’s that person promising to try and get better for the sake of their relationship but realising how hard it is especially with all the outside influences.
Is there a common theme in the EP?
It’s not about substance abuse or anything like that it’s more so a collection of love songs really. However way you want to look at how that love is being portrayed. Essentially they are all love songs but from different views.
How long have you guys been together?
We’ve been together as SPKEZY for about 18 months or so. But we have all played in bands together or in other bands for the better part of 15 years.
Have you played any gigs as SPKEZY yet?
We’ve only played two as SPKEZY and both were in Tasmania. In our previous band we toured around Australia.
Which band was that?
Save the Clocktower.
So is it basically all you guys but with a new name?
Yes essentially, there is one less member. Our bass player joined Save the Clocktower just before we broke up.
I guess you are keen for Covid to end then so you can tour again?
It would be very nice.
Have you got gigs happening over in Tassie?
They have just started up again, but you have to be seated and no dancing
Seems to be the same in every state that has gigs.
Anything you want to tell us?
Just that as a band we really hope that people enjoy the EP. That’s our main aim is for people to enjoy what we do and can find some form of connection to it.
‘Dopesick’ is a dope track with it’s cruisy vibe and made my Sunday morning coffee just that little bit better.
‘Midnight Club’ will be released on 13th November via all platforms.
Spotify – https://tinyurl.com/yxqdlmfg
Apple Music – https://tinyurl.com/yyfoea2f
Deezer – https://tinyurl.com/y3ypvbs5
Google Play – https://tinyurl.com/yylr46nm