Ambleside have returned to the stage after releasing their new single Still Life. With Stonecutters 2019 right around the corner on Saturday the 14th, Verse Designer Oliver reached out to local Ambleside members Jackson and Jono for some insight into their creativity, tour life, and future plans.
So, you’ve just been on your first headline tour in 3 years. How did it feel to get back on the road?
We honestly had no idea what to expect. We had just taken a year off to go write an album so we were a bit unsure if people would come to catch a show.
Stepping back onto a stage felt so familiar and exciting and we were stoked with the response we got after so long away.
What was the writing process like for your new single, Still Life?
Our general writing process will typically start with a skeleton idea of a song by either Jackson or myself. Once we get it to a level that we are personally content with we take it to the rest of the band and all work together on it at band prac and in a studio session.
Ambleside has always been creative at finding new directions for music videos. Could you tell us a little about the ideas behind Still Life and how you executed it?
We work closely with our good friend and 6th member of Ambleside Kieran Ellis Jones of Crystal Arrow Film to come up with concepts that represent both the mood and meaning of a song.
In this case, we were working on a small budget and wanted a simple yet visually powerful concept to match the song’s meaning and energy. The song gradually builds the entire time until it climaxes at the end. We tried to match the energy by programming vintage 80’s style lighting cans to follow the song as it intensifies. With the addition of smoke and wind, we were able to find the energy we were after.
The song being about falling back into bad habits and trying to escape them whilst enjoying them, we had a secondary scene where we see people frozen around the room in social scenarios to try have an element of the meaning of the track in their too.
What has influenced your sound?
We all listen to different types of music so influences draw anywhere from movie soundtracks to Hip Hop and RnB. Because our music taste varies so widely it can make the writing process a bit trickier but ultimately, I think it helps make our music a lot more unique.
Other than what we listen to in our own time we collectively draw a lot of influence from our friend’s bands like Trophy Eyes, Polaris, Ocean Grove and Movements, seeing their success is inspiring and they have helped us see that the sky is the limit.
What pre-show rituals have you got going at the moment?
I wish I had some kind of exciting ritual to share where maybe we huddle together and crush beers on each other’s foreheads but sadly not.
You can usually find Daniel in the toilet sorting out his pre-show nerves and generally, everyone will be having a couple of bevos hanging with local pals. We are all pretty chill before we play, maybe too chill? If we are playing a show there’s a 99% chance someone says ‘oh shit we are about to play I have to go get my gear ready!!’.
Might have to try crushing beers on each other’s foreheads for Stonecutters though, see if we can start some sort of tradition.
What experience do you look for when touring around Australia?
We have done a lot of touring over the past 5 years, lapping Australia over 10 times, each time bringing a different experience. I think mostly tour revolves around food so we are always looking for the best local food spots.
Who will you be keeping an eye on at Stonecutters?
Very keen to see Sweater Curse, I was a big fan of their last release. I also recently watched Teen Jesus and the Jean Teasers Baked Goods live session and loved it, looking forward to catching their set!
Excited to see a lot of the local acts too, our friends Colourblind and Ben David, and very keen to catch Teenage Joans, I saw them at Day at Clarity and was blown away, next year will be a big year for them!
What’s next for Ambleside?
Time to get busy! Recorded a lot of music this year and very keen to show everyone why we have been quiet for so long.
Words by Oliver White