Party Dozen discuss the inspirations behind upcoming album ‘The Real Work’
Australian sax-and-drums duo Party Dozen will release their new album, The Real Work, on July 8 via Temporary Residence Ltd, and they've just shared the skronky, danceable "Fruits of Labor." "One side of Fruits of Labour is about the rewards of effort," they say. "There’s an idea there about learning to love the feeling of work and leaning into it without hesitation as it can ultimately lead one to infinite glory. The other side is a little more lighthearted. Work can be fun, it can be dumb and it should always be undermined." Listen to that, and check out a few more tracks from the album, including one featuring Nick Cave, below.
We asked the band to tell us a little about what influences might be behind The Real Work, and drummer Jonathan Boulet and saxophonist Kirsty Tickle gave us a list of 10 items, including musicians, artists, filmmakers and more. Check out their commentary below.
THE PARTY DOZEN - INSPIRATIONS BEHIND THE REAL WORK
Steven has been a dear friend for over 20 years. He has always been involved with the art and design of almost every Party Dozen release and a whole bunch of other projects. He is also one of the coolest mother fuckers we know. His taste, style, attitude and creativity has always been a source of influence for us. Without Steven, Grupo Records (the platform for our band along with many other creative endeavours) would never have been realised. We’re humbled to be associated with you, thank you so much, I love you Steven.
Odetta - "Hit or Miss"
First off Odetta is a boss. And secondly, the drums kick in on this track with such punch and clarity. It was a reoccurring reference for me when recording ‘The Real Work’. Trying to use less and less mics to capture a kit was the result of referencing endless 60s and 70s productions. The main drum sound for this record comes from a stereo pair of mics buried in the kit near the snare and kick. It’s like sticking your head in the middle of a drum kit.
Sludge and Doom
‘The Iron Boot’ was obviously influenced from our love of sludge and doom. Bands like Sleep, Sabbath and Weedeater come to mind. We wanted a big song that wasn’t super fast and crazy, but we couldn’t help ourselves and threw in some fast and crazy anyway.
The films of John Cassavetes
I spent some time over the lockdown exploring more of John Cassavetes films. There was a rawness to them with the locations, the lightning/colours and the visceral performances. I think we’d imagined some of the tracks from this record ("The Big Quit," "Major Beef") fitting into that world.
Morley Power Fuzz Wah
On our second LP, Pray for Party Dozen, I used some wah on a track. Then I stepped it up on The Real Work by putting the sax through a Morley Power Fuzz Wah pedal. It’s a beast of a pedal and I love that the fuzz circuit comes before the wah to make a wild sax sound.
Flock of Geese Flying
I have definitely on more occasions than one, brought up this YouTube video of a flock of geese flying to reference sounds for Party Dozen songs. Sometimes it’s best to open multiple instances of it for a thicker sound. Nature is metal.
I’m a big bath guy. The only way to truly recoup, recover and relax is in a steaming wet soup of your own filth. I like to run the epson salts, candles, incense, and war jazz from the 1940s and imagine myself having returned home to my loving family. It’s best to run 10 minutes in the boiling hot until it’s almost unbearable and then if possible 1-2 minutes of cold blast in the shower and repeat. After a while my brain clears and focuses the creative ideas I have bouncing around in there. I will always come out of a bath with renewed motivation and some good ideas.
The Stooges - Raw Power
It’s almost cliché at this point because every band seems to have a moment with this record. This was my third time around listening to it obsessively and it got me excited to be in the studio again. All the tracks are so feel-based, which is something we tried to lean into more on The Real Work.
I find myself on this website quite a lot. When we’re thinking of ideas for video clips or even just searching out feelings, this kind of smorgasbord of visual delights is just the buffet the brain needs for some weird and wonderful ideas.
Obviously the concept of work was a big influence on this record. Tedious, redundant and energy sapping, but also rewarding, gainful and glorious. For us, this record is more about the rewards of effort and how work can be a chisel for betterment.