Music / Album of the Week

Album of the Week: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets

Every week we take you inside one of our favourite albums with the artists who made it. This week's Album of the Week is the third album from Perth rockers Psychedelic Porn Crumpets called 'And Now For The Whatchamacallit'.

Perth rockers Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have dropped their third album, a deliciously dreamy slice of fuzzy goodness called And Now For The Whatchamacallit. We’ve picked it as our album of the week, so we sat down with the band’s frontman Jack McEwan to chat all things creation, touring, and Perth’s stellar music scene.

Inside the creative process

Jack McEwan: “We all have recording setups at home where we spend most of our days. Most of the time I’ll finish a track at home and then shoot the boys a version with midi drums – it’s pretty average quality but we can all get the idea. Then when we’re in the studio, we’ll all work with Danny (drums) to find the best sound possible and rebuild the songs from there. For this album, I worked a bit more solitary to the rest but that’s because it’s a hobby – I get excited and enjoy writing music.

Down memory lane

JE: My favourite memory was everyone having a crack on the mellotron at Tone City Studios when recording ‘My Friend’s A Liquid’. The ending was all spur of the moment and it’s one of my favourite parts to listen to now. Obviously, getting my Grandad’s Mandolin and playing it on ‘Bill’s Mandolin’ was a nice moment. The whole album was created from personal experiences, so every time I listen to the tracks I remember our tours, meeting all the cookers at Party In The Paddock, jamming in San Diego with The Frankie crew, losing all my possessions in New Orleans. Some are warm but mostly they’re shrouded in fuzzzzzzz.

Overcoming struggle town

JE: “We had to mix the album while we were away in Europe and the USA. I bought some good headphones when we were in Brighton but then lost my phone two weeks later when it was crunch time. We were doing 10+ hours a day driving, playing shows, and at festivals and gigs most days – our ears were so fatigued.

“I had to buy a burner which sounded like a 1920s gramophone so I kept asking for the bass to be turned up, then when we got back to Australia and re-listened to everything from our home studios we realised we needed it mastered again. There were a couple of stressful days as all the vinyl records had been approved to be pressed. It all worked out though and I’m really glad we put the extra time in.”

Tell us the story

JE: “The theme for  And Now For The Whatchamacallit was originally planned to be a 1940s village fete re-imagined for a futuristic travelling circus, lots of strange noises but semi-nostalgic, distorted organs and a pinch of Hunter.S.Thompson. It’s kept the fun and upbeat quirkiness we wanted, but changed too much to call it a concept album. I think it’s more a sonic representation of life on tour, come ups, big rises, little to no rest and jampacked with experiences. A crumpet holiday highlight reel.

Audience takeaway 

JE: “I hope it’s a nice addition to the enormity of music that’s already alive. We all love the record, it feels like it captures how we were during our first year of touring properly as a band. I hope someone connects to it with a holiday or road trip and remembers those unique experiences every time they put the record on in a few years time.”

Musical release

JE: “There’s not really that much planning with singles from our end, we just aim to write albums. ‘Social Candy’ was released about six months after the B-sides came out, so we haven’t really slowed down too much. I’d like to release an album a year, which should be possible permitting we’re home for at least two or three months of the year. Touring takes up a lot of our time but you’re constantly expanding as a person, and as a band, it only adds to the writing.”

The Perth effect

JE: “Perth has been incredible to grow up in, especially the music scene. Everyone owes a lot to Tame Impala, they keep rising and influencing bands all over WA. When we were coming up, bands such as Pond, Love Junkies, Red Engine Caves, and Hideous Sun Demon would be playing regularly and you’d get inspired multiple times a week. If you went for a pint on a Wednesday there’d be a great band playing at The Bird or Mojos.

“There’s a huge cross over scene with art, design, skateboarding – it’s a creative breeding ground. Pretty much everyone I’ve met lives in a share house with two or three other friends, and you’d all go watch local music, meet a bunch of other strange people to jam with, and the creative broth keeps bubbling away.”

Take it to the world

JE: “The international tours have been incredible thanks. I never thought we’d be doing this, but life’s pretty weird, we’ll roll with it. We’ve got a new member, Chris who thickens the soup. It’s so fast-paced you forget where you are most days, but it’s all a nice blur. We’re really grateful and making the most of it, every night’s a journey.”

” It’s 100% influenced the way we approach writing and recording. If you went away and didn’t learn anything, then stay at home. We’re constantly finding out a lot about ourselves, it’s almost like a mad hatter boot camp. Then, when you return home you feel like Bilbo returning to the shire, no one really understands what you’ve just been through so it’s better to channel all those emotions and experiences into the albums.”

Say it in a sentence

JE: “And Now For The Whatchamacallit is a jubilant, sonic conglomerate of pickled tour experiences reassembled by the leftover matter our blotted synapses rely on to communicate.”

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets will make a brief return to Australian between a jam-packed year of international tours. Catch them at Lion Arts Factory, Adelaide on Wednesday 12 June, Splendour In The Grass from Friday 19 July, and Spilt Milk in Canberra (Sat 23 Nov) and Ballarat (Sat 30 Nov). Tickets to all these shows through our mates at Moshtix.

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