Since Beyonce introduced her visual album, Lemonade, in April 2016 musicians have been trying their very best to push the envelope when it comes to their musical platforms. Now I'm not saying that Enerate are better than Beyonce (because that would be blasphemous) but they have taken things to the next level, the ultra level, with their new interactive album come app, Good Times Airlines, which they've been working on for the last few years, so they kind of had the idea before Beyonce did...just saying.
These Sydney-based pop whizzers have created an interactive music video for very single song on their new album and let me tell you, it's pretty darn fun! We spoke with Josh who shared his favourite aspects of making this new-age appbum, shared a slice of his favourite place in the whole world and spoke to us about a jingle that he'd write inspired by the new doggo love of his life, Snarlz Barkley (as if that isn't the best dog's name in the freakin' world).
Who makes up Enerate and if each person was a type of food, what would they be and why?
Enerate is made up of Myself (Josh), Therese, Matty and Ben.
Josh (Vocals & Production) - I’m an Arnott’s lemon crisp. A quiet, introverted exterior with a sweet unexpectedly extroverted inside layer. Also because I’m addicted to them.
Therese (Synths & Vocals) - My mum used to say that if I ate too much of something I'd turn into it...so by that logic I'm pretty much pasta now.
Ben (Drums) – I’m a dumpling. Best served with a few beers.
Matty (Bass) – If I were a food, I’d be a dirty Hawaiian pizza. A little bit salty, a little bit sweet, contentiously debated whether he belongs with the other pizzas in the box.
Describe your ~vibe~ in just three words.
~Bouncy Colourful Feels~
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your new album Good Times Airlines?
The record in concept, and even in execution, is all about transformation. It's about how you’re in control of what happens next, all you have to do is take that next step, and be who you want to be. I think that’s it, haha. It also explores themes of relationships, time and distance. There’s definitely some heartfelt feels in there, but we always seem to dress it up in a fairly upbeat package! We can’t help it, it’s what we do. I was going through a few changes in my life at the time, and I think that comes out on the record.
What prompted you to build an app around your album? (very cool idea btw)
Thank you so much! We just wanted to have fun making some dope art, and make it a real 2017 album. I’m a director for film and TV, I’ve always been in love with music videos. They’re my favourite storytelling medium. Then, a few years back, game changers like Arcade Fire started coming out with these absolutely incredible interactive music videos. And it just got me thinking, why can’t we do that?
We wanted to change the game ourselves. We wanted to democratise the interactive music video, make a whole album of them, and package it up into a new format. The app is not a marketing tool for the album, the app is the album in it’s purest form. It’s as much film as it is music. Beyond ‘Good Times Airlines’ we very much see this as a new format for albums. I wanted to push ourselves creatively and technically and overall make something really fun and engaging. It was really challenging, but we haven’t only released our album exactly the way we envisioned it, but in the process we have built a programming framework, that makes these kind of things possible. I’m really proud of our interactive album. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done.
What’s your favourite visual on the album?
Ohhh, that’s such a hard one! I love the simplicity of Home. It’s so easy to understand, you can transform the age of the band members right before your eyes, and it’s really fun to play. It was weirdly emotional filming it, the SFX make up team (the amazing Michelle Beeckman and Ellen Gould) made us look 80 years old. It was really confronting! Like a window into the future. Like it really make you want to live every day like it’s your last!
I also love It’s Ok. Myself and Therese had too much fun writing all the interwoven storylines, and it’s actually the video that inspired the interactive album. It was the first interactive video idea I had and it works a treat. It’s based in the security centre of a building, and you can take a look into the 6 security camera feeds. It’s pretty dope! Oh, and the video game in Unstoppable is just too much fun! In answer to your question, I can’t really pick! : )
Other than through your music, how do you keep your creative tank filled to the brim?
The Interactive Visual Album, definitely kept my creative tank full. Perhaps even spilling over the top. I was creative directing the app, directing all the music videos, designing all the graphics involved, working with our incredible interactive developer, Seb Lecocq, and doing the post production and editing, and producing all the songs on the album. Haha, it’s safe to say I’m exhausted, but it was all so much fun.
As the visual side of the album took a few years to finish, there’s a huge backlog of new Enerate material waiting to be finished, so I’m so excited to start working on some brand new tunes in the new year! I’ve also got a few interesting collabs coming up, which I’m pretty stoked for. As long as I’m making music and visuals, I’m very happy. You can feel uninspired or creatively exhausted, but all you’ve got to do is listen to an amazing record you love, watch your favourite film, or go and eyeball your favourite painting, and it flows back in droves. Inspiration is a beautiful magic.
If you could write an advertising jingle for any product, what would it be?
Hahaha! Ok, well, my partner and I recently came home with a tiny little puppy. Snarlz Barkley. She is the most amazing little thing you’ve ever seen, and I’ll love her forever… buuuut she loves to wee on everything. EVVVERYYYTHING! The couch smelled like pee. No, It smelled like a pee museum. Not cool man. Enter the product that has changed my life. Urine-off! No more pee smells at my place! It changed my life so much I feel I should write their jingle on spec. “Delete the urine, and you’ll be fine.” Don’t judge... It’s a WIP. : )
"You can feel uninspired or creatively exhausted, but all you’ve got to do is listen to an amazing record you love, watch your favourite film, or go and eyeball your favourite painting, and it flows back in droves. Inspiration is a beautiful magic."
What’s the last song that you listened to that made your heart thump?
Ohhhh. The first time I heard MGMT’s brand newie ‘Little Dark Age’. Oh wow. Tune! I just connected with it. I literally listened to the song about 15 times on repeat on my way home form the studio one night. It was 3am and I hadn’t slept properly in days as we were in the final stages of completing the app. That final chorus with the claps and the synth marimba, oh god that makes my heart thump for days!!! It’s fragile, emotional, steady and dark. It’s pure nostalgia and super futuristic. It’s not too clean. WHAT A TUNE!
What’s the best song to listen to when you’re hungover after a night on the reds?
Oohh, definitely Ivy by Frank Ocean. My god this song gets me. Just don’t listen to it if you’re sporting one of those emotional type hangovers because it will put you in tears four bars in, based on it’s honesty and sheer beauty. Man, I vibe so hard on this song. It’s the kind of song you can float along to. Something about the sonic textures makes me feel like I’m in a place where gravity doesn’t apply. Float through an introspective hangover with this one. And then listen to something intensely happy STAT!
Describe your favourite place in the world.
It’s a place in my home town of the Blue Mountains. It has a thousand different names. But it’s a large flat sandstone outcrop just east of Wentworth Falls. You stand there and can look out over the mountains and see for hundreds of kilometers. It’s spectacular. There’s no railings or safety. It’s windy all year round. There’s something really life affirming about hanging out in this place, and I’ve had a lot of special moments here. I used to leave high school on Wednesdays and drive up there with my acoustic and just sing for hours. I feel very connected to the land here. Like the nature is speaking to me silently, it’s messaging loud and clear. It was a special meeting place to the Gundungurra people. It’s super important to respect that, and the landscape commands respect from you. And it will forever be my fave place on the planet.
Download Enerate's app here
Quick Fire Round
Late night or early morning?
Rain or shine?
Fold or scrunch?
Shot of coffee or a shot of tequila?
Favourite post gig feed:
Pad Kee Mao!
Socks and thongs, yay or nay?
Yaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy! I don’t do it. But I love the concept.
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Watch the teaser for Enerate's new interactive album.
Kate Neilson is the founding editor of Twenty Something Humans. She likes eating toast in bed, drinking gin in the afternoon sun and she's recently taken a liking to early mornings. She feels a bit weird writing about herself in third person. You can lurk her @katiepotatierose.