I caught up with Adelaide’s Nocturnal Animals recently. Brandon, Dylan and Stuart filled me in on what their first year as a band has been like for them, especially starting out right before a pandemic hits.
Coming from Adelaide I can’t believe I have never heard of you guys let alone not seen you play….
Brandon: To be honest we have played a couple of times this year, but we’ve actually not been to crazy on the gigs side of things
Well you better tell me all about Nocturnal Animals then
Dylan: We’ve only been around since the beginning of the year, so we are pretty fresh and green
Stuart: Speak for yourself
Dylan: We’ve all been in bands before. Me and Stu were in a band together and Dan was in another band, but we all used to play gigs together. Both our bands kind of fell apart and then the three of us came together.
So you’ve not even been together 12 months?
Dylan: Yeah with the three of us. We started Nocturnal Animals with another friend originally and we had some different music going on. Then he left and it was just the three of us.
Brandon: We decided to redefine our image and our sound.
Dylan: So with the three of not even a year
And you’ve already released three singles?
Stuart: That’s right and another one coming out this month.
Yes I’ve heard that one!
Dylan: What did you think?
I really liked it
You guys have already go to play with bands like Private Function.
Dylan: Yeah that was maybe our second show.
Stuart: Yeah that was our second show.
Dylan: So that was at The Grom House which is a guy from the local scene who just loves music. He hosts these gigs.
Yeah I know who you mean. He posts on YouTube or Facebook.
Dylan: He has videos of it
Brandon: Every time he has a show he puts it on Twitch
Dylan: Yeah he streams the shows live, it’s pretty cool thing that he does. He pays for it all off his own back. He does a great job of trying to keep that fire going in the scene.
I actually have a feeling No Zodiac played there when they were here last
Stuart: He’s had a couple of choice bands come through his place.
Are these singles coming off of an album or EP? Or are they just stand alone singles?
Dylan: So we have an album we are recording so we are still in the process of that. We are probably 70% there. So the singles are all coming off that record. Obviously the way things have been we have had to readjust every time something has happened. Now we are going to have to start replanning again because we don’t want to drop the whole thing when all this is still going on. It’s become a game of singles. We weren’t putting four out originally it was only meant to be three singles. Now we are thinking it might be five before the record comes out.
(The day I spoke to the boys we had a new outbreak of Covid here in SA)
It’s been a different way to get new music this year. As a band and as a fan.
Stuart: It has a little bit. Covid has been a blessing and a curse. It’s given us lots of opportunity to record where we probably would have been playing gigs. So doing that sort of thing and doing media. We got to record instead and came out with some nice stuff I reckon. It’s actually not worked out to badly.
Dylan: We have put a lot of time into the online content. We make a lot of little promo videos, skits and stuff. If you go to our Facebook page and particularly our Instagram we have a whole lot of content there. That has all kind of come out of this as well because in a world were you can’t be playing shows you need to be in peoples faces somehow getting them to want to follow you.
Have you noticed that your fan base has gone up?
Dylan: For sure. Since we have put out more music definitely. And people know the videos that we do now. People who already follow us are asking when the next skit is going up. It’s starting to become a bit of a thing for us now.
You’ve got your own marketing thing happening now that people are keen to see.
Dylan: Yeah that’s right.
Stuart: It’s nice to get to flex your creativity in other ways as well. It’s fulfilling in a different way.
What’s the story around your latest single SFOS, So Full Of Shit!?
Stuart: That’s right, you got it!
Only cos I got the promo!!!!!
Dylan: That was a song that we wrote this year just as the Covid thing was kicking off wasn’t it.
Stuart: That’s right
Dylan: The whole idea of it essentially I really wanted to try and capture that transitional feeling that you have with a break-up like being upset about it, being depressed to fuck you. So hopefully it captures that feeling of it’s the end of the world to actually things are going to be better.
What about the other songs that you have released. Did you do a lot of promo around them?
Dylan: We did. Particularly the last single LHW but the other two not as much because to be hones we were still finding our fee with it all. Right as Covid was happening we dropped our first song. So do you want to explain Rocket Girls Brandon?
Brandon: Well we are called Nocturnal Animals and basically we become a bit animalistic at night time. We do like the party scene, pre-covid we were out in town every Saturday night. There is a place on Hindley Street called Rocket Bar. Lovely place, we think it is the number one place of all time. We’re men and we like females, and females like us and there are some relationships that have happened, some ups and downs, but good ones mostly. As musicians I think you always just revert to writing about love and what-not. The song Rocket Girls was encapsulating that night out on the town, finding that girl in Rocket Bar and you know, don’t trust her.
Stuart: There was a certain type of lady that frequented Rocket Bar. There were some lovely ones but there were also some not so nice.
Dylan: It’s a bit observational as well. There is a personal experience linked there that the three of us have all had. It’s was also hearing other people’s stories; it was like there is a real link here of things that happen to people a lot. It was trying to sum up what your experience may be if you go there. Also we did an interesting thing with the song. On the bridge there is like a girl/boy section, almost like a bit of a Grease thing. So although we are males, and everything is going to be through our perspective lens we wanted to have that female side back at the guys too. Hopefully people catch on to that as well. The main bulk of the song is because we are three dudes but there is also the other side of it. That came out on Valentines Day.
Stuart: We were pretty happy with that actually.
Dylan: That eventually led to our second single which was Cold and Blue.
Brandon: It is personally my favourite song.
Stuart: it’s got a little place in my heart too.
Dylan: That was a bit of an interesting one. Stuart and I had travelled to America and while we were over there I had met a girl and went through a whole little experience and so that song was kind of about that. That came out in June. We then actually got lucky enough to play a show, that was out first gig back. We had played one show at The Exeter beer garden and somehow managed to pack that out. Then Covid happened and it was nothing. The shows we had lined up just kept getting pushed back and back. Eventually in July we did our show for Cold and Blue at The Metro. Under restrictions but we still managed to fill that. That was a weird night because we were turning people away at the door. It was almost bittersweet because we could finally play a show and we had to turn people away. Then that took us through to…
Dylan: LHW. Our third single LHW was after that. Do you want to sum it up Brandon…
Brandon: Ahhhh what’s the song about again (laughs).
Stuart: LHW is another personal one for Dylan in particular. Sort of …. Maybe you’re better off telling Suze about it Dylan.
Dylan: Essentially the song is more about how you can meet someone, feel a connection and then it all goes to shit. You feel terrible but after a bit of time passes you realise how silly it was because you only knew the person for a week or two. But you know how quickly you can have someone come into your life and then they are gone. Once obviously reptile brain stops functioning and you get back to human brain you start to think how ridiculous it was.
So what does LHW stand for?
Dylan: It does but I will never say what it is.
Stuart: His lips are sealed
Brandon: He still hasn’t told us what it stands for.
Anything else we need to know??
Dylan: Our single SFOS is out now on all platforms. Hopefully if this Covid outbreak doesn’t go any further in the next two weeks on December 5th wee have a show booked at Adelaide Uni Bar with Agapanther, The Maxheadroom and Down and Out.
Beyond that we are still recording. We have a lot of stuff going on and we are pretty excited about it. And like we said before we have lots of online content for people to check out. Three music videos that we are really proud of, they are all on YouTube. The songs themselves, our skit videos and we have also created a bit of a world around the band, like an atmosphere. We have colour themes in everything, we wear skeleton make up when we perform. Pretty much anytime we do something in the band we have the make up on. That has a whole meaning behind it as well.
Is that for public sharing or is that secret as well?
Dylan: Bran explains that well so he can answer that
Brandon: All of our songs are in relation to love, despair and loss. The person you would take a bullet for in a sense. Once you have that breakup and you feel like nothing in this world is worth living, you feel like your heart and organs have been taken away from you and you are just left with your bones. Us playing a skeletons on stage represents that, you can listen to us and you can hear us, but I also think its good as a band that you have visual representation of what your songs actually portray as well. Lastly with the pink, our colour co-ordination is pink, white and black, the pink is a representation of love, romance. Then it is killing you and the love is bleeding throughout your body. If you see any of our music videos, especially Cold and Blue, you will understand that quite well.
Dylan: The other colours obviously have meaning to them too and when we play we bring all the colours with us. We wear black suits; we have elements of white placed around the stage and we also have this thing with pink flowers. So when we play we have a big stage set up. We have skeletons onstage, neon lights. It’s a pain in the ass setting it all up.
Yeah but you are setting yourselves apart because that is going to be your ‘thing’. People will see that and automatically know that it is you guys.
Dylan: Yeah exactly. I feel that is something we learnt as well. The important part of our story is also the bands that we were in. We all played in bands that played three or four times a week for three years. We did the grind I guess you could say, and we saw the results of that. Just being the same guys in converse and flannies and stuff like everyone else. Part of what we are doing is the result of having failed in other bands really. We want to be different and we want to people to be able to recognise us even if you don’t come to our shows. Even just from the online content we want to be recognisable. And if you happen to walk in on one of our shows we want people to leave thinking that they haven’t seen that before, especially from a local band.
Brandon: Unfortunately in this day and age just playing music isn’t going to cut it. Online there are so many bands. How the hell are you even going to put your name on the market is another question in itself.
Dylan: With our live show we really think that it’s not just a set with a bunch of songs that we think are cool, we have interludes and all these things that we play. Like movie dialogue that plays between songs. There is not a dull moment, everything is connecting. We hope that when people come to the shows they can start to piece together that there is actually a story flowing through the set. Everything connects. That has been fun, people are slowly picking up on it. It’s cool watching that happen in front of us.
Now that the guys have filled me on their stage show I am super pumped to head off to this gig in December. Checkout all the content that the boys have online through the links below.