Interview ~ Tennyson Nobel of The Lovely Days

Those feel good lads from Melbourne are back with their infectious grooves and catchy beats! The Lovely Days haven’t slowed down a bit as they are keeping busy producing fresh musical content for their fans to enjoy. They just released a new EP entitled Arms Wide Open here in the US and it’s set for a June 2 in Australia. The “all killer, no filler” phrase definitely applies to the EP as it is solid from beginning to end. The band consists of siblings Tennyson (keys/vocals) and Holden (bass/vocals) Nobel along with Stephen Dickie (guitar/backing vocals) and Jackson McIvor (drums) and they’re perfected a sound that is all their own. In a world plagued with negativity and bad news seemingly every time you turn around, it’s great to have these guys offering you an uplifting escape through their art that they are creating. We sat down Tennyson Nobel recently on the eve of the US launch of their new EP and we discussed everything from touring to making the EP to pancakes!

I feel like I just blinked since the last time that we were over there in the states. It’s great to have some fresh tracks out in the world again.

Any news of when you guys may head back over here?

Hopefully soon; we’re going to see how things go over next six months. We’re putting this EP out and then we plan to put another one out later in the year in September or October. Hopefully, we can try to come over early next year and try to play some shows while we’re over there. I think we just want to keep putting some records out and wait and see what comes back. We’ll just keep wading the waters and if a big tidal wave comes through, we’re going to jump on it!

I read that you guys knocked this EP out rather quickly.

We split it into two halves; we did five days in a rehearsal room that we use in once or twice a week here in Melbourne. We decided to build a little studio inside that room; we shut the door and lock ourselves in and get to business. We get most of the bedrock down in there because the rehearsal room is part of a massive backline of gear and guitar company. Our drummer and his dad both work there, so we’re able to be like these little kids in Santa’s workshop. At night, we run into the keyboard room and pick out any synthesizer, guitar or amp that we want. We did the next half at Jackson’s house; I guess we like to work quickly. We think about it a lot before we get there, but I don’t think we like to sit on ideas for long. We’re always getting new ideas, but this batch of songs represents where we’re at right now.

As with the last EP, there’s an infectious, feel good vibe, even “One Day in Heaven” is uplifting. I’m still waiting on that dark, gritty, goth like song to pop up!

I think we have those darker shades in us and I think they’re starting to pour out now in our newer stuff. I think we’re experimenting now with some moodier tones and stuff, but we love feeling optimistic about things. I think it must subconsciously just channel through the music. The “One Day in Heaven” song started out quite sad and written to be this type of slow ballad. I came to the conclusion that she would hate it if we released this somber, dark, sad song. She was into disco and she loved dancing; we had to find a way to channel a bit of that dance ethic into there. That was kind of a nice turn because it really started out so differently than the way it finished up on the EP. Maybe we’ll just do a record one day that’s called Minor Chords and it’ll be all minor chords and discorded melodies.

How did you choose “Mornington” for the first single?

We have a really good team with our manager and the two cats that run the record label here; we have a bit of a musical family now I guess. Those decisions are thrown around pretty democratically here, but most of the time we just all know when we listen back to it. There’s a certain energy or feeling on one track and there’s a general consensus that the track would be a great way to introduce the record to everyone as the door opener. “Mornington” really had that vibe to it early on and I think we all knew that it was going to be track number one to be released to the world. You develop relationships with all of the songs and you want all of them to be singles, but I think “Mornington,” like you said, had that uplifting vibe. There was also a new texture that we were playing with in there as well.

How has life changed for you since the release of the last EP or has it?

Not a huge amount;  I think we’ve just been doing the same thing that we would have been doing but I think everything is going at a bit of a faster pace. We feel pretty blessed that we’re able to release stuff and now we have some plans to head over to Germany at the end of the year and we’re releasing this EP now. I think your work ethic shifts a little bit and your mindset is that this is kind of like a job now. There’s a lot more time put into the process of putting stuff together and just wanting to invest in hat artistic life a little bit more. For me, this year for me has been the least that I’ve ever worked in a day. I quit my day job when I got back from overseas; I was doing a little bit of freelance work from home that would pay my bills. Randy Newman said this great thing in an article that I read years ago about treating songwriting like any other day job or factory job. You get up at the crack of dawn like everybody, you put on your big pot of coffee, your suit or whatever it is and you sit down at the piano or with your guitar and you just start writing. Some days it’s poring with ideas and then there are weeks of just waiting for something to appear. I like that committed nature of working even if stuffs not being produced the whole time because you’re still invested in that artistic way of living. That’s been really nice because I haven’t lived like that before, outside of living at home.

You mentioned going to Germany later in the year; have you guys ever played there before?

It will be our first time and we’re so excited! We’re playing with these guys that we grew up with in Byron Bay and they moved over there about three years ago. They play in a band called Parcels and they’re just insane; they’re killing it over there. They’re sort of a disco, Bee Gees meets Daft Punk sort of vibe that’s a really cool sound. I think we’re going to do about ten shows with them throughout Germany and Austria. The idea of playing overseas is a trip and we can’t wait to get over there. I think it’s going to be cold, but we’ll figure it out.

Don’t forget to pack your long johns or whatever they call thermals in Australia.

I think German beer is very warming, so if we have enough of it we’ll be ok (laughs).

Something tells me that there will be no problem doing just that!

There will be plenty of good times for sure and by that time we will have another record out. My plan is to try to keep putting out as much content as we can and by early next year we can put out a full LP out for you guys in the US as well as here in Australia. I like the idea of putting out a whole album as soon as we can.

The attention span of the average listener keeps shrinking, so I love the idea of keeping fresh content out there is a great idea. Is there anything about the US that you found yourself missing or craving after you got back home?

There was a certain culture around live music and we spent a lot of time in New York, so we got to go to a lot of live venues there. We heard a lot of cool gigs in different parts of town and we loved the relationship between the artists and the audience. It felt very open and equal; we do get that in Melbourne, but it felt a little bit different over there. We’d love to get over there and see more music as well as experiencing the feeling of playing live music over there. Americans are just so friendly and Australians are as well, but it’s a different kind of thing. I think it can take a little while to be accepted and brought in here, but we didn’t feel that over there.  I’m not sure what it’s like for someone who was born and lives there, but we felt that energy in all the places that we went to over there. We felt it in different ways, but everyone we met and spoke to was a real pleasure. That and the pancakes were definitely the two things that stand out.

I’m sure everyone loved the accents as well.

(Laughs) Yeah, but how can you not?

Is there anything else on your radar that you want to mention before we wrap this up?

We’re launching our EP here in June at Bar Open in our hometown of Melbourne! We’re just so excited to be able to have some new music to give to everyone. Hopefully, we’ll have a lot of people there to help us celebrate which could be good. Otherwise, just enjoy the new songs and we hope you dig them; we really hope to be back over there in the US as soon as we can to spend more time with everyone there.

And to enjoy more pancakes.

(Laughs) Yeah, day one there will be a stack in front of me man!

Click image to listen to or buy ‘Arms Wide Open’

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