Meet The Spaghetti Stains, a recipient of triple j Unearthed’s Level Up Grant

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Meet The Spaghetti Stains, a recipient of triple j Unearthed’s Level Up Grant

Photo by Chelsea Sienna
Words by Bella de Almeida Reis

Band members: Pantjiti Lawrence, Emmah Hellings, Rose Verey.

Tell me a bit about the band and what you’re up to at the moment.
Hey, we’re The Spaghetti Stains, you might also know us as the spag stains, spags, spaghettis, we cop many nicknames. We’re three gumnuts who grew up in Central Gippsland, GunaiKurnai land, and are now residing between home and Melbourne/Naarm.

We came about as a little bit of a joke after Emmah and Rose had chatted about bringing a new band to life. I, Pantjiti was quickly recruited as the guitarist just a few days before our local FReeZa Group, Propellor’s, monthly open mic night. We then went on to play at the local Battle of the Bands, and won, which took us on to play on the Push stage at St. Kilda Festival 2019. The rest is history! At the moment we’re all flying pretty solo because we haven’t been able to see each other in so long, but we’re patiently waiting for lockdown to be over so we can record our debut album!

How have you been keeping inspired during isolation? Who are you listening to?
Pantjiti: Remaining inspired in isolation is so hard! I usually gain inspiration from my mates and general human interaction, but without that it’s been super difficult and exhausting. I’ve been trying to revisit old lyrics and chords that I have written down, but it’s hard without the other girls and that space to bounce ideas off one another. I’ve been trying to listen to all the new releases as they arise and have been loving the new albums from The Beths and Bananagun.

Emmah: I’ve moved back home from Melbourne during iso but being back in the bush has helped me tap into my creativity. Without my bass guitar, I have returned to my trusty childhood acoustic piano, which has been really healing. My music taste buds have been diversifying lately – exploring lots of electronic music. Amber Ale Sky released their debut EP and that’s been on repeat. It’s been nice to see our mates continuing to release new music as well, like The Grogans and their new single ‘Dead Weight’.

Rose: This time has been really useful to delve into song writing and all sorts of forms of creativity. I go through many creative ruts, but I find giving myself small goals like coming up with some lyrics in the shower or playing drums once a day has kept me going. Lately I’ve been getting into African drumming, afrobeat and jazz, exploring wild, assorted drumming sounds.

What advice would you give to other musicians who are struggling for creativity?
Finding a group of creatives around you is super important and can absolutely foster motivation and engagement in this scene! If you’re struggling for creativity, try having a look at a bunch of genres you wouldn’t normally listen to, this seems to get our minds going about the type of music we’re making. There’s also nothing better than a solid sing and dance in the shower when your family/housemates are away on their weekly grocery store run.

What’s been the hardest challenge making music in this climate?
Unfortunately, we’re spread across the state at the moment, with one of us in west Melbourne, one in East Melbourne, and one back home in Gippsland. So, apart from the occasional Zoom catch up, it’s been really tough. After receiving our Level Up Grant from triple j Unearthed, we were so keen to get stuck into our album, but with stage four restrictions we’ve been unable to do this. We’re trying to remain creative individually and communicate those creations through voice memos and lyrics while we’re unable to jam. We’re in a touch of limbo at the moment!

Should we expect any new releases from you soon?
Our debut album is expected for release in late 2020 but be sure to follow us on our socials to stay updated!

Find the Spags on Instagram, Facebook and Triple J Unearthed.