Hangin’ five with The Upskirts

Play testing their harsh melange of shoegaze and garage rock through constant singles and gigging for the past two years – including two trips to the Gold Coast – has given Sydney four-piece The Upskirts priceless feedback for their impending EP. Over burgers in Brisbane while launching their single Nothing Happens in Roseville, Jake Wilton caught up with the band to fill in the gaps.

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You’ve been signed to Inertia Access – one of the country’s biggest labels. What does this spell for the band?

They handle all the promotion and distribution side of things now. The EP was already done when they signed us, all we needed was a good PR team and Inertia easily provided that. It’s good to take the weight of those jobs off our shoulders and let someone else, handle it. We can focus predominately on the music.


Seeing you play live and hearing your records are two totally different experiences – something critical for all shoegaze bands?

We don’t realise how loud we are – our drummer [Tom Kell, not present at the time] plays so loud. With that shoegaze sound, Harry [Tuckwell, guitar] and I [Nick Stillman, guitar/vocals] have bought more gear and developed that sound moreso in the studio, recently. We recorded new single and [previous single] We Could Be a Team in the one batch so they share quite similar sounding themes of shoegaze.


The latest single, Nothing Happens in Roseville? Discuss. 

The song’s not specifically about the suburb Roseville in Sydney. It’s really about growing up in the suburbs but Tom, who wrote the lyrics, chose the name Roseville because it’s got that Pleasantville vibe around it.


Tell me how the rest of the EP Barely Moving, will sound?

It’s incredibly versatile. You’ve got the shoegaze side with songs like Where and Nothing Happens in Roseville, and then there’s a couple more psych-pop sounding songs – breaching on that ‘60s and ‘70s classic groove. Having that diversity is really important because listening to straight shoegaze for an extended period of time gets incredibly tiring. Unless you’re listening to [My Bloody Valentine’s] Loveless, that’s an exception. All the songs [on the EP] have that wall of noise in some shape or form, even in the more pop songs.


Some songs on the EP were recorded back in 2013. Do you hate that they’re only now getting a release?

It’s just the way it worked out for us. We’re so busy with other stuff so we had to record it over stages. The plan is after this EP we’ll look at doing an album and we’ll definitely look at recording that in one block. Up until now everything has been a learning curve for us – just doing what we could with the time and money that we had. We’ve finally gotten our heads around recording at home, being more resourceful and independent in that manner.

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Barely Moving, the new EP by the Upskirts is available from Friday 29 May.

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