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Interview: Anthony Zielke from White Summer


Not many bands can say their song was featured on a hit US tv show. but Melbourne rock act White Summer however totally can! These up and coming thrashers have just released their latest EP I Know A Place We Can Love. We had a chat with bassist Anthony Zielke about the new EP, their new-found success, and their surprise at finding out exactly what type of scene their music was featured in.

You’ve brought out the new EP, how does that feel?

Yeah, really good. We actually recorded it March of last year so, we’ve sort of been sitting on it for a while. It’s nice to finally get it out there and see what people think. It’s had a pretty good response so, we’re happy with how it’s been.

Awesome, and what do you think you’ve achieved with this release?

Mainly, I think we’ve grown our fan base. Which is really cool, we’ve had a lot more people contacting us asking us when our next shows are and stuff like that. So that’s been really nice. We just played in Sydney last night and there was a lot of people who turned up to our set and came to see us which is really cool. A lot of people who come to shows regularly said it’s been a real step up, the sound is better, the writing is better. Which is nice to hear considering we’ve been sitting on this EP for about a year. So you’re going “I don’t even know if it’s good or not,” but since we’ve put it out, it’s gotten a really good response.

Why did you stew with it for such a long time?

Well, we put out two singles from it first so it’s not like we didn’t release anything. We had a little two months break before we put out the second single and then after that the EP. There’s a lot going on. People often don’t realise there’s many things going on behind the scenes and so it doesn’t seem so long for us. I know when you’re waiting for a band’s release it can feel like ages.

Music wise, how do you think this EP has built off your previous release?

I think because we’ve been writing together for a long time now, every time we write we just gel better. And we’ve all got different music tastes but similar at the same time, so it works. We all have different influences. This time as well, we had a different producer. He was really good. Coaching us on not so much what we wrote but how to write it. Just how to be more efficient. We’re writing an album right now and it’s taught us to make things quicker without compromising anything.

People often say the second release is a lot harder than the first, did you feel that sort of pressure or anxiety with this second release?

Yeah, we did. Especially when you’re close to recording and you’re thinking maybe you’ve over did it, or maybe put some more songs on. But you’ve just got to trust what you do. Usually when we write we know if something’s good or bad straight away. If we don’t like something, we’ll get rid of it. We’re definitely happy with the step up from the last EP production wise. So yeah, it’s the big test now of whether people will like it, but we’ll see!

So, of the tracks off the new EP, what’s the one that you’re most proud of?

Probably Paradigm. That one was written really quickly. Yeah, we all jammed it and it fell together really naturally. We worked hard to get that sound to it and we’re all really happy with it!

Ode to my ADD is a very interesting title, what was the inspiration behind writing an ode to ADD?

Well, the thing is all of our songs have a lot of meanings. In the case of ADD, it’s kind of got a little bit to do with being in a relationship with someone and you know it’s probably going to be fun, but there’s going to be trouble with it..and I’ll leave it at that.

Wise decision by the sounds of it! And what about I Know A Place We Can Love?

Well, yeah that titles also a little bit misleading. Basically, I don’t know if you’ve seen the clip, but it’s about society being a very conservative environment and not being loose about sexuality, and it’s about leaving that all behind and being yourself. It is a bit of weird title. But yeah, that’s one that we wrote in the studio in about a day. So that’s was pretty fun, but kind of scary too!

A day? Did you write all of these songs in a short period of time?

Paradigm was quick. I Know A Place We Can Love was quick. The others weren’t. Just because we changed it around a lot. To the point where we were going “do we even like this?”. It gets to a point where you just want to release it. Because when you keep listening to it over and over, it could be the best song, it could be the worst song, you just don’t know.

You guys have also played with some really great bands like DMA’s and Kingswood, how have those experiences been?

Yeah, really good. DMA’s we played a few shows with kind of when they were blowing up, so that was really cool. They’re really nice dudes, aside from the fact that they never smile in their press shots. But they’re really lovely guys, it was really nice to play shows with them. Kingswood we toured with and that was really cool. They were happy to have us. It’s good to support those bands because it’s nice to play a show to a full room of people.

You guys are from Melbourne, and granted most cities have quite a tight-nit music community, but the Melbourne scene seems to be especially supportive, is that a fair statement?

Yeah, it is good. We’ve realised, after touring you go to other cities and they’re great too but Melbourne really does have amazing music. It definitely makes you appreciate it more. A lot of our friends bands are thinking of moving down and doing residencies. Sydney’s not so great at the moment, we love going up there, but the lock-out laws are killing it. It’s really sad when you speak to locals, there are a lot of venues shutting down. Like, even places that Nirvana played at. So hopefully they fix that.

Aside from the live scene, your songs have now been on the radio and on television, so how does that feel?

It’s very cool! We got an email one day from the people who make ‘Shameless’ asking if it would be cool to use one of our songs and we were like ‘ahh yes. That is fine’. We couldn’t figure out what sort of scene it would be in, I don’t want to spoil it, but it ended up being a really interesting choice. If you get onto our Facebook, you’ve gotta have a look.

What sort of scene were you thinking?

Well, they chose one of our heavier songs so we were expecting like a sex scene or maybe a fighting scene. So what it ended up being was definitely a surprise!

So you guys are working on an album, how is that all going?

Yeah good. It started out a bit slow, but we’ve gotten to the degree of writing now that we want. All of the choruses, verses and everything are coming together now. It’s good once you get the ball rolling. We’ve got 10 or 12 tracks to do, it’s not like an EP when you have only a few, so we have to get it all together. We’re lucky, we got the same producer who worked on our EP so we’re happy to work with him again!