Smoking darts with Northeast Party House
Sam Rankin | On 19, Mar 2015
Not many bands swing as effortlessly between clean, heart-breaking songwriting to fuzzed out disco punk as Northeast House Party. Since breaking through in 2010 onÂ Triple J’s Unearthed with their track, Dust, the band have blazed across Australia with their wildly renowned high-energy live shows. We got the chance to chat with the group before they head on tour with garage-rockers Food Court on their Double Darts Tour
IÂ preferÂ the term “durries” to “darts”Â when it comes to bogan terms for ciggies.
Fags seems to have fallen out of popularity.
Can you tell us about your artwork, especially the “Double Darts Tour” illustration? It reallyÂ encapsulatesÂ the sticky floored, heaving mass of a Northeast House Party audience.
The art is done by Mikael Hattingh. That description isÂ very similar toÂ the outline we gave Mikael, so he must have nailed it. IÂ love a good mosh. Sometimes they can be horrible, but when your in the headspace for it and itâ€™s a good crowd a sweaty pit is cathartic. A mosh in some ways is like a turkish massage. Vigorous, hot, probably unsafe, andÂ usually involves hairy men.
Do you try and push your songs in a different direction when playing live, or is it about sticking close to the original?
It’s about finding a balance of both those things, which is actually difficult to get right.Â We are better at learning how to find that sweet spot after each tour. I donâ€™t like seeing a band live and the singer is changing the melodies and rhythms of the vocal parts. It seems really self indulgent. While it may be interesting for them they are not catering to the majority of the audience who probably haven’t seen the band before and have waited a long time to do so. On the other hand Itâ€™s good to bring a new aspect to the live show and pleasantly surprise the audience.Â We try to enhance the aspects that lend themselves to a live setting, for example we have extended certain sections of songs to make them more dramatic or more danceable.
TheÂ albumÂ swings from some pretty heartfelt moments to off-kilter party tracks. DoÂ you feel yourselves moving in a certain direction in the future, or do you like the balance now?
We are progressing. The new material is sounding different, a bit more open and subtle in parts, but it will definitely have enough similarities to our current material.Â As for party or heartfelt it’s really just a matter of what comes out. At this stage we are not putting any limits on the writing process, it’s a matter of going with what comes out in the moment.Â We love playing music that gets people dancing so I think that will remain a substantial element of our music.
What parts of the country are you keen to get back to on this tour?
Sydney, being Australia’s biggest city makes it an exciting place and we always seem to have a good time there. We also have some great buddies in Brisbane and Adelaide Adelaide, Adelaide shows always go off. This time around though I’m most excited about Perth and Hobart as we have done little to no touring there before. Iâ€™m really pumped to see how those shows go.
AnyÂ surprisingÂ reactions from places in the past?
We did a show in Wollongong in a 50 capacity room. The handful of punters who attended put in 100% though, it was as if it were New Years Eve at a festival, but just a regular week night in the middle of winter in Wollongong.
Do you have a pretty rigid set list, or is it something that changes from night to night
It’s mostly rigid.Â We just want to make sure everyone gets a good show.Â We put a lot of thought into the order of the set.Â A good dj will read the room and play tracks according to the crowd response, we try to structure our set based off positive past shows. We have a few interchangeable songs we might swap between depending on the MoodÂ of the room.
How did you guys get into Food Court?
Just word of mouth from mates really, they look like a fun bunch of guys to bring on tour.
It feels like it’s going to be an excitingly contrasting set-up – upbeat garage rock and thenÂ somethingÂ to dance to. Both you can smoke durries to.
Cheers, we are psyched! We listen to a lot of garage stuff in the tour van, we take a lot of influence from old garage and punk when it comes to guitar parts, and we like to put on a hectic show, so I guess we don’t see ourselves as too different from that. Canâ€™t wait to play some shows and get rowdy.
Check out their Facebook page for dates.