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Interview: Down and Out Talk Up Their Latest Offering, ‘Lost [In Exposure]’ feat. Emmy Mack

Tandanya/Adelaide-based pop-punk band Down And Out have unveiled their latest single ‘Lost [In Exposure]‘ – produced and mixed by ARIA-Nominated producer Stevie Knight (Stand Atlantic, Yours Truly, RedHook) and mastered by Grant Berry of Fader Mastering. We had a chat with the band to find out more about the new single. 

Congratulations on the single ‘Lost [In Exposure]’ – how does it feel having the track finally out?

It feels AMAZING! We’ve been sitting on this one for about 6 months now, so excited for other people to hear it, and now it’s finally happening! The time between finishing songs and releasing them is always the worst because you just want to release it all, you want the world to hear it, but you know you’ve gotta keep your cool and wait until the time is right. And the time is finally right!

Emmy from RedHook and Potter from Stand Atlantic both play a part in the new track. Can you tell us a bit about their involvement and how that process was collaborating?

It was kind of weird and surreal for us to get two musicians from two of our favourite bands to feature on one of our tracks, but obviously very cool and exciting!

We were just doing what we do in the studio and Stevie (our producer, who also works with Stand Atlanticand RedHook) said to us, “Ok we’ll put a guitar solo in this section”. Somebody jokingly said, “Just get Potter to lay a fat solo over it”, thinking that was a comically out of reach scenario. Stevie then just goes “Oh yeah we might be able to do that”, and then it happened! It was pretty much the exact same situation with Emmy. We’re friends with the RedHook crew but we didn’t actually think an Emmy feature was something we could do until we joked about it and then it happened somehow. So, I guess the moral of the story is to believe in yourselves, kids, nothing is out of reach. I mean, for you it probably is, but not for us because we’re incredibly talented and successful rockstars.

How do you approach writing and drawing on inspiration when creating new music?

It’s a very hard process to describe but basically, we get a bunch of ideas, good melodies and themes and what not, and then we wrestle it all into a structure/format that makes sense. There are certain structures and songwriting tricks that you need to adhere to for a song to make sense, structurally and narratively, but once you’ve got that figured out you can go nuts. So, for ‘Lost [In Exposure]’, I heard some song (no idea what it was), and I thought “what if the melody did this instead?” and that was the entire process of writing the verse. Then, I did the same with the chorus and put a basic chord progression under it, before the song at that point was basically done. Sometimes a song will take forever to come together, sometimes 5-10 minutes. Fortunately, this was a quick and easy one!

How does this single differ from your most recent one ‘PaperSkin’?

I think it’s definitely got a more distinct feel and sound. There’s an acoustic outro which we recorded with a 12 string Rickenbacker with one string removed, a huge guitar solo, a ripping feature from Emmy and a lot more drum break beats and hip/hop influences than Paper Skin.

When we go into the studio, we want to make sure every song has its own identity and pushes the boundaries in some way and in a different direction to all the other songs (while also just sounding good and being a good song), and hopefully we’ve achieved that with this one.

Of all the shows you’ve played, what has been your favourite performance to date?

For me, it would be our EP launch in Adelaide in February of this year. It’s always so sick to play a hometown show. We sold out the Crown and Anchor (cranka) and played to the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to. It was kind of weird to hear people singing back lyrics to Down And Out songs in the quiet sections when you can hear the crowd more, like the intro to ‘Paint Me Gold’, for example. I never thought anything I would write would ever resonate with people enough for them to bother to learn the lyrics so it feels great for that to be happening!

Do you have any upcoming live plans?

For sure! It hasn’t been announced yet, but it might be by the time Lost [In Exposure] comes out (if not, it will be shortly thereafter and you can get a little inside scoop right now), but we’ve got a show in Adelaide on the 9th of September. We’re also trying to get some shows cooking in Sydney and Melbourne in September or October but we’re also recording again in September so it’s a bit of a jigsaw puzzle to get everything to fit together! If there are any other cities y’all think we should play, let us know and we’ll see what we can do!


Written by John Zebra