“As you get older you start to stop writing about ‘my life’s hard’ and ‘fuck the man’, and start writing about real things and real problems, which is great. It’s always refreshing when you’re listening back to your music and not cringe at what you are singing about.”
It’s been a crazy couple of years for Declan McKinnon, the lead singer and songwriter of Dec McKinnon and The Knockabouts. Since releasing a seriously impressive debut EP in 2015, Dec and The Knockabouts have gone on to smash out live gigs all over the state, work on new recordings including the brand new single ‘Smashed Pints’, as well as beginning work on a debut album.
“This album is going to be called “It’ll All Be Okay” and it’s kind of been written from a more adult/adolescent perspective, than coming from the teenage angst approach. There is a lot more lyrical content based around money issues and substance issues, it’s interesting,” Declan says.
“Everyone in the band or that has ever been in the band has always seemed to struggle with a lot of aspects of every day life, so I’ve taken a lot of that and put it into the album because I feel it’s important that people listening don’t feel alone because there are tonnes of people in the same boat. Sometimes it’s just nice to know that you’re not alone when you have four dollars in the bank living off two-minute noodles and porridge – porridge is actually a pretty good meal when you’re just scraping by.”
Along with Declan’s growth lyrically, Dec and The Knockabouts will also be heading in a different direction with this release, after admitting they were unhappy with the finished product of their first EP.
“Our last EP was a bit over-done, it was too over-produced. It sounded really good, but we just weren’t really happy with the finished product. This time we sort of just booked out Kubu [studio] and did it really bare bones with like four mics on the drum kit and that sort of thing. This ones heaps looser, and a bit more garage rock this time around so we are really stoked with it.”
With an upcoming single launch at Kubu Studios, Dec and The Knockabouts will be performing his new single ‘Smashed Pints’ for the first time live in the same setting it was recorded in. Coming along for the show is Von Stache, another local band who features an ex-member of Dec McKinnon and The Knockabouts, as well as a handful of other local acts.
According to Declan, the support between local bands around Geelong and Melbourne is something truly unique.
“It’s insane. There are people that we see constantly coming to our shows and being incredibly supportive, especially the groups of bands around Geelong and Melbourne that we have played with a few times who are all of extremely high quality. All of those bands have been pulling their mates along to our shows and we have been doing the same for theirs, so there has been a really nice community shaping up,” he says.
“The Geelong scene was dead a couple of years back before we started gigging – at least definitely for this genre, so it’s been really cool to see all of our mates bands coming up and actually killing it.”
When & Where: KUBU Studio, Geelong – March 24 & The Brunswick Hotel, Melbourne – April 29
Written by Alex Callan