Coming off the back of great success with their last album, the Grenadiers have been hard at work, working on an album of epic proportions. Find Something You Love And Let It Kill You is a brilliant collection of grinding yet catchy as f*** punk rock. Unable to resist the curiosity the album provoked, we caught up with Lead Vocalist Jesse Coulter to chat about inspiration, hurdles and highlights of the Grenadiers.
New album, congratulations! How has the reception been so far compared to the previous albums?
It’s been really good! I guess the big difference between this album and the last (Summer), is that album sort of came out of nowhere for a lot of people, and we were introduced to a whole swag of new pairs of ears by Triple J making us feature album. Obviously since then and everything we’ve done in the intermediate period (means) we’ve built more of audience so there were definitely more people waiting for this one, which does add a bit more pressure. I’m pretty happy with this album, I think we all are, and we’ve got some good reviews coming back in. All the general talk from mates coming in is positive and there’s been a couple of surprises, with people saying what their favourite songs are, and they're tracks we wouldn’t have picked!
Like you said, there was a bit of pressure in getting this album out, were there many hurdles when it came to getting the album over the line and finished?
UH, yeah, Olympic level hurdles (haha). The writing and recording process was really sweet and easy, it was just the mixing process which we got super bogged down in and really fucked us up. You wouldn’t think its that hard from an outsider’s perspective, you track the songs, get good performances and then mixing in theory should just be getting everything at the right level and bouncing it out. But, anyone who is an engineer or knows an engineer, or recorded an album before knows its not as simple as that and a lot of work goes into mixing an album. So, performances are where the vibe of the album comes from, but the mixing of the album is where the sound comes from. We had a lot of headaches with it, we originally contracted a fairly big-name producer to do it for us overseas, but we didn’t really like what was coming back so we made the hard decision to start again and do it ourselves. That set us back a lot and then we had more set backs, faulty equipment, having to fly people around the place, poor timing and we had to just start again a few times.
When it comes to these kind of hurdles, what do you guys like to do to break the negative mindset and get back on track?
That’s a good question, sometimes it’s a really hard thing to do because you do get stuck in a negative mindset and it feels like its not going to be alright. The important thing to always keep paddling, be a shark, sharks die if they stop moving and I think that’s a fairly good philosophy if you’re in a band. Just keep going and doing stuff but try to remind yourself that ultimately you’re not curing cancer, you’re not colonising Mars, you’re not curing world hunger, you’re three dickheads in a studio putting together a punk-rock album that people in Australia are going to hear and probably no one else.
How do you find the time and space to get inspiration to put the songs together?
Funnily enough we don’t really write outside the rehearsal room, it’s not like I will write a song and bring it into the band and be like “Hey guys, I’ve got this song, let’s work it out.” I’ll come in with a riff or Phil will come with a riff, for example Suburban Life, Phil came in with the chorus chord progression and he’s like what do you think? And I was like that’s cool. The rest of it is just like, lets play that riff as a band and figure out what it (the song) needs to do as a living organism. That process to me is insipiring, more so than sitting on your couch in your underwear with an acoustic guitar on a Sunday morning trying to pick out something that people are actually going to listen to. There is inspiration of three people in a room vibing on something at volume, drums being hit loud, guitars playing through two quad boxes and an 8x10 fridge, pushing a lot of air! That sonic battle, that’s inspiring.
The album artwork for Find Something You Love And Let It Kill You is quite a cool piece, who came up with that one?
That was sort of a collaborative effort, Jimmy came up with the title and Phil came up with the idea of it being a warning label on a packet of cigarettes. We got it illustrated by our good friend Callum Preston he’s done a bunch of stuff for Parkway Drive and Violent Soho, does his own art exhibitions and owns a few restaurants, he’s a pretty amazing dude! He illustrated the cigarette packet, we got that back and decided it wasn’t really what we wanted so Jimmy had the idea of printing that illustration and actually physically making the packet, then photographing it. Once we had that concept, which became Jimmy’s brain child (the overall aesthetic of it), he relayed the overall ideas of it to Callum.
Having played together for a while now, what have a few of the highlights been?
It ranges to anything from just writing a really good song and you finish that session, you’ve been jamming for hours and then come out with something amazing. That’s just a little thing, the brass tac’s of being in a band. From that right up to the career defining things, the feature album on Triple J or doing Like A Version which is a pretty coveted thing in the Australian music scene. To playing cool festivals, meeting bands that you kind of idolise and to playing in a place like Arnhem Land. Those kinds of experiences that you get through playing in a band which you can’t get through normal travel (because) you need those in roads. You build a library of experiences whilst you’re in a band and as long as you don’t get dementia or something like that they stay with you for life!
Grenadiers will be playing a bunch of shows around the country early next year with the final leg of the tour being at the Crown & Anchor on the 17th of March.
The new album Find Something You Love And Let It Kill You is available now on Spotify and you can buy a hardcopy right HERE!