It’s been a while since we’ve spoken to Tim Nelson from Cub Sport, and they’ve been up to a fair bit in that time- from international label signings to the announcement of their debut album- so we caught up on what we’ve missed.
Signing to Nettwerk Music is huge, and you’re alongside a number of great acts- particularly the Aussies there. How does it feel to now be included on that roster?
Yeah it’s cool! Nettwerk have done great things overseas for Australian acts like Boy & Bear, Julia Stone, Passenger and The Paper Kites – we’re really excited to be working with them.
You notably took your time to get this record together. What can you tell us about your time between releases?
After we finished touring the Paradise EP in Australia, we did a tour of the US to support its release there. We returned home and tracked the whole album, excluding ‘Only Friend’, in July 2014. Then we had a bit of a false start with the mixing process of the album which led to a longer than planned break between releases. We kept ourselves busy fostering rescue dogs and writing more songs (album number 2 maybe?). It feels great to be sharing new music and to finally have a release date for our debut album.
You mentioned that you used the vocal takes from your bedroom recording. Did the feel of those takes really set the tone when the band entered the studio?
For some songs on the album, like ‘Only Friend’, the original demo vocals just worked. I think there’s something honest and intimate about those takes and they don’t feel over-thought. When I first started demoing for the album, I didn’t have a proper mic and I was using my apple earphones to record vocals. We had to re-record most of those but some of them actually did make the cut!
A lot has been said of your development in sound, moving somewhat away from the sugary pop of Paradise, and ‘Only Friend’ has a distinctly ’80s vibe about it. Was this evolution something that came about quite naturally?
Making this album was really the first time I had recorded my own demos as I was writing. It gave me a lot of freedom and I was able to experiment with different sounds, melodies and harmonies without the pressure of anybody else hearing it until I was ready. I think that this new approach to song writing meant that the evolution in the sound did come about pretty naturally.
There seems to be a greater maturity in the single, too. Is this something of a theme of the record?
It was really important to me that the songs on the album had depth and actually meant something to me. I wrote the songs on the album about my friends and myself, dealing with relationships, anxiety, growing up and life in general. It’s much more personal than anything we’ve released before, which I guess has resulted in more mature themes. Sonically, there are still upbeat, bright songs on the album. There’s a lot of happy-sad going on.
And you’ve also spent a bit of time touring internationally. How do the crowds compare to those locally?
We’re genuinely so surprised and happy when there are people overseas that have come especially to see us. We’ve always been really lucky to play to warm, receptive crowds. An Australian crowd takes a lot of beating though!
Cub Sport‘s debut album This Is Our Vice is available in Australia from March 4, 2016.