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Darwin indie-rock exports DRAFTDAY recently released their smashing debut EP When I Went Away, showcasing their new and unique spin on the classic Aussie pub-rock style we all know and love.
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But alongside the cracking tunes is a deeper narrative about returning home for a much-needed reset.
“I’d been living in Sydney for a few years and ended up deciding to move back to Darwin to reset a bit,” says vocalist Arran Barker.
“I think the whole EP itself, from a lyrical perspective, is me trying to understand change and my own personal faults. In everything that had faded away from down where I used to live, I’m trying to understand moving forward in a way where I’m not just complaining about it, but really trying to understand things for what they were and try and just let them be and have their place in the past.”
“When I Went Away was this process for us to kind of collectively what’s gone on in our personal lives over the past year or so. Transitioning from being no longer younger teenagers or kids anymore, moving into adulthood.”
It kind of went from there and we all went to Unify in 2018, and just started writing together and it all clicked very quickly.
[ Arran Barker ]
“For me personally, the lyrics and the concepts and the way it was approached, was why I left Sydney. I left my old band; I left a relationship and work and just came home to spend time with family.”
Although moving away from the city meant closing the door on many things in his life, it was upon Barker’s return when he linked back up with the other DRAFTDAY members.
“I’d known the other guys since we all went to school together. We started to run into each other at parties and shows with other Darwin bands like Tapestry and We Burn Bridges. We got talking, and there’d always be these late-night conversations like ‘we should start something.’
“It kind of went from there and we all went to Unify in 2018, and just started writing together and it all clicked very quickly. We realised we were onto something and we worked so well together.”
Taking inspiration from Trophy Eyes, Movements, Paradise Club and Gang Of Youths, DRAFTDAY found their spot in the incredibly diverse, self-sustaining Darwin music scene.
“The scene here is really, really good. It’s so varied, there’s so many different bands here in all sorts of different genres that work together, and since it’s such a small scene, everyone kind of has to cross over.”
“You might be playing a show with some indie bands, or a reggae band or a heavy band, so it is this incredibly diverse and supportive scene that we’re so lucky to have.”
“I think when it comes to reach down south, it’s great to be living in the current age where you can reach through social media outlets and through publications. The only problem is when you want to tee up tours and interstate shows.”
“Without shows, it can be hard to find new music so it’s really cool to see people taking the time to get to know new bands and supporting them in a time like this.”