The Jezabels | Interview

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We wanted to make songs that worked live this time round.

The Jezabels have had a whirlwind career so far – hitting the number two spot in their native Australia with debut album ‘Prisoner’ and gaining worldwide exposure by winning the esteemed Australian Music Prize. Now hoping to take the UK by storm out on tour with new album ‘The Brink’, all eyes (and ears) are on the hottest four-piece to come from down under.

With the band having earned their stripes through support slots for Depeche Mode and The Pixies; ‘The Brink’ is the culmination of life on the road, a more mature and intense focus on songwriting and the expert insight of producer Dan Grech Marguerat (Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, The Vaccines).

In true undefined Jezabels style, this second offering is a complete mixed bag – sometimes pop, sometimes gothic rock, sometimes slightly disco – but it certainly isn’t just easy listening. Audiences are forced to absorb and ponder vocalist Hayley Mary’s every word in a crescendo of cymbals, keys and Shakespeare’s Sister-esque vocals which linger in your subconscious. ‘The Brink’ is an eardrum-smacking of haunting lyrics dissecting love and romance, growing old and bitter and holding desperately onto hope to get you through it all – which will either leave you feeling like you can take on the world, or slightly sobered by the experience. Let’s hope it’s the former.

The Jezabels have a few shows left in the UK before jetting off to take on Europe; I caught up with Hayley on the road.

Your sound has been described as indie, alternative rock and disco pop – but you describe yourselves as ‘intensindie’ – could you define this for those who have not yet been introduced to your music?

That was sort of a joke, which arose out of people seeming to be at a loss with what to call our music, and it sort of stuck. I guess there are elements of all the above things, but none of them really represent us properly. We are an indie band in the sense that we’re independent, but we also have a few more gothic sounding rock songs. I guess people need to put a genre on things, but most things don’t really fit perfectly into any genre anyway.

Where do you find you get the most support from fans, at home in Australia or overseas?

Well we’ve been touring Australia for a lot more years and it’s definitely stronger there, but we’re seeing a lot more people turning up at shows in the UK, North America and across Europe. We seem to have a lot of really supportive fans overseas which feels exciting.

What is ‘The Brink’ about and how does it differ from ‘Prisoner’?

I think the main difference between writing ‘The Brink’ and ‘Prisoner’ was that we wanted to make songs that worked live this time round. It’s not a concept album in anyway, as ‘Prisoner’ sort of, accidentally, turned out to be. It’s about songs. Sure there are recurring themes in the lyrics, but that’s just the kind of shit I like to sing about.

The Brink, along with new single ‘Look Of Love’ is out now.

Watch the video for ‘Look Of Love’ right here: