Local five-piece rock band with a conscience, Padre, are in the process of putting the finishing touches to their debut album, ‘Brown Town’, a concept album of sorts which focuses on the themes of domestic violence and its impacts on a small town regional Australian family.
As a precursor to the album’s upcoming release the band have just put out a gritty rocker called ‘Brown’ as a standalone single, which we review as part of this month’s New Music column.
As their recent hashtag #nomoresilencefordomesticviolence proclaims, the band have tackled the devastating subject head on, with their October 2020 single, ‘Furious’ raising almost $1500 for domestic violence charities.
Channelling both ramshackle indie rock as well as drawing a lineage to a classic Oz rock storytelling tradition, the band counts local legend Benny D Williams amongst its line up, and in the lead up to the forthcoming album release we chatted with Padre’s creative driving force, Jason Carter, about all things Padre.
Can you tell us a bit about how the Padre musical project came together and who’s who in the band?
Padre started out as a jam night. As I lived on acreage in northern Gold Coast (Pimpama), we used to hold regular jam nights with all our musical friends, which we dubbed ‘Pimparamas’. Early into the piece, Dylan Phillips and I were jamming on a riff I had written the day before and it turned into what will be the seventh track on the forthcoming album. I then started writing in earnest – sequentially from track 1, as the album tells a story. We recorded the songs one at a time as they were written, in my home studio. Dylan plays the drums, Phil Slade the keys, Mick Radjkovic contributed to the bass and after asking my good friend Benny D Williams to engineer/mix the album, I asked him if he’d join on lead guitar.
What’s your musical background prior to Padre?
Since high school I’ve always been in bands, always with Dylan unless it was a solo project/album. I self-taught guitar and then became a bit addicted to buying and ‘learning’ how to play lots of other instruments, at least the basics. The studio was full of random instruments and we tried to incorporate a lot of little things into the album (trumpets, banjo, percussive instruments, harmonica, etc).
Your first two singles (and recent fundraising drive) focus on the scourge of domestic violence. The statistics around it are truly shocking and confronting. What drove you to create a themed album around the issue – was it from a general sense of outrage and wanting to take a stand or was it more personal?
After living next door to a Women’s Hostel in Brisbane for a few years and occasionally chatting to the residents, it really triggered an itch in me. I thought about doing a traditional fundraiser or trying to get some local religious/charity groups interested in helping out practically, but it turns out that it’s a government funded facility and while that’s great, it makes everything a lot more complicated.
After stewing on it for a bit I then started writing songs, which turned into a story and then a full album. Besides this experience, some of the people closest to me currently and at various stages through my life have told me shocking stories about their domestic and family violence situations, past and present. The last year with the lockdowns has further exacerbated an already horrible situation.
On the subject of the album, how’s it shaping in regards to an official release – and will it tell a story (a la a concept album) or will the theme tie together a bit more loosely in relation to the tracks?
The album is completed. After Benny finished mixing, we took it down to Sydney to work with the talented Ben Feggans at Studios 301. We’ve just received our test pressing on vinyl and we aim to release it in the next few months. It is a story album from start to finish, focusing on a boy and his mother growing up with and breaking free of a violent, alcoholic father in small town Australia. The album is called ‘Brown Town’ (the name of the family).
Will you be looking to play some live shows around its release (COVID permitting)?
Around-ish. I’m actually stuck in Singapore (well gee, it’s a wonderful place to be ‘stuck’) for a few more months due to COVID, so unfortunately, we won’t be gigging until (hopefully) the second half of the year. We aim to do a post release tour of the east coast if conditions permit!
Be sure to follow and support Padre as they go about tackling domestic violence head on through the pending release of the diversely rocking concept album, ‘Brown Town’, which is due out in the second quarter of 2021.
In the meantime, you can wrap your ears around the albums second single, ‘Brown’, via digital streaming services, and check out the video below. Keep abreast of all things Padre via their website, padretheband.com
If you or someone you know is impacted by domestic and family violence in Queensland, call DVConnect Womensline on 1800 811 811 or Mensline on 1800 600 636. Nationally, call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au, or Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.