Slowly Slowly are busy busy. Touring their behinds off in the UK recently, recognition for the Melbourne punk rocker’s explosive sound and bitter-sweet melancholia has grown rapidly this year. And of course, in the words of frontman Ben Stewart, it only makes Slowly Slowly feel really awesome. “We revel in the painstaking bits as well,” he says, “it’s a bit more conducive to the funny stories when you’re in a tired state – kind of like a sleepover at high school and everyone’s laughing – it’s been like that, it’s awesome.”
Releasing their second album St. Leonards earlier this year, phwoar! Talk about them feels. You’ve gotta hear it to feel it. Releasing this album has, Stewart says, has taken Slowly Slowly on a more rabid journey. “It sounds weird to say but the first album we made, it was done entirely in my bedroom and I recorded all the instruments myself.
“The first album, Chamomile, gave us a bit of a springboard. Me and Alex [Quayle] we’ve been there since the start but with Albert [Doan] with us on St. Leonards, it’s got more of a band feel, you can hear the personalities on that record.”
Creatively, St. Leonards has been a step in the right direction for the band, Stewart says, feeling their songwriting abilities shine through more these days. “The way it’s been received has been mental,” he says, “It’s absolutely a rollercoaster since the release.”
Slowly Slowly’s two albums are each awesome in their own right, but the latest release really puts a spotlight on the changes in sentiment and delivery the band have adopted, particularly since the addition of Doan. “The other boys in the band help with the arrangements toward the final stages and bring their character to it with the performance,” says Stewart, “but most of the songs are still almost written entirely in my bedroom!
“Some songs are a bit of a rabbit hole, and it’s really nice to have people to bounce ideas off and we end up somewhere we didn’t expect it to. That’s been really cool.”
Going from what essentially began as bedroom rock to playing stages like the likes of Torquay Hotel Summer Series, where Slowly Slowly will appear next month as part of the venues epic saga of summer shows, has been a pretty easy yet wild transition, according to Stewart. “We started out playing to 15 people and over the two years, it’s built gradually.
“I’m shocked sometimes when I do an interview like this, I look at some of our achievements and I’m like, ‘Woah, I can’t believe we’re doing that!’ We’re rolling with the punches and then you start running, you don’t stop to look up. Step by step, we’re trying to keep our heads above water.”
When & Where: The Torquay Hotel, Torquay – Friday January 11.
Written by Anna Rose