After a seven year split, Brisbane punk-rockers Speedlab made their triumphant return to music with …
For all that Rackett’s latest single is snappy, boisterous and bubbly in its sound, Tried To Quit has some darker themes in the undertow.
“The song has a darkness to it,” says the band’s rhythm guitarist and vocalist, Rebecca Callander. “The production is also set in this gritty environment.”
The song is an artistic way for Rackett to describe the torn feeling inside of wanting to quit something but not really having full intentions behind there. “I guess it’s about indulgence,” says Callander. “As the years have gone on since I first penned that chorus, those indulgences and addictions have varied anywhere between drinking though to consumerist behaviour, using single use plastic … anything like that.
“I think as a whole it’s to tell people, you might be going through a hard time, you might not be able to quit something, we understand, we get it. You’re not the only one.”
Quitting anything is difficult but of course, if you’re exposed to the more debaucherous side of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle, particularly in your job, that’s only going to make an addiction stronger, and be fuel for the fires of your song writing. In essence, Callander and her band’s song are saying it’s okay to be in rock ‘n’ roll without being a stereotype in your involvement. “The ultimate rebellion is to be physically and mentally strong,’ she says, “and that doesn’t involve drinking and taking drugs and operating on a low mental health level.
The ultimate rebellion is to be physically and mentally strong.
[ Rebecca Callander ]
“The ultimate rebellion I’ve learnt from years of trial and error is to be present and healthy.”
It’s a pretty profound message but Callander isn’t worried her words might be interpreted as judgement or an attack on other musicians on the scene who are living that stereotypical lifestyle–in fact she hopes her experiences and decisions can encourage others. “All I can do is put it out there,” she says. “I don’t hold judgement on anyone because I’ve been there, and I’ve done that–I’m probably a bit older than a lot of the bands circulating on the rock ‘n’ roll scene right now.
“But I guess it serves to say, ‘I’m here, you can reach out if you need support,’ but ultimately my intention is to raise humanity. I genuinely care and have compassion for humans in general. I’d hate to see them hurting themselves, suffering.”
Callander isn’t out to be preachy, she comes across as a very open and accepting person, very laid back. Rackett’s sole mission, particularly within the structure of this single, is to promote to younger generations that there is enough rebellion in the music itself to sustain that form of angsty expression. “That’s a real human emotion.
“I go to so many gigs, completely sober, to listen to rock music, I get off on that. I’m there for the music and the music, if it’s good enough, will serve that expression–I just don’t have a hangover the next day!”
Callander conversation is accessible and so is her music. In Tried To Quit, Rackett not only sing about a blanket journey for many people going through addiction–addiction doesn’t have to mean something like drugs, it could be as simple as eating way too much ice cream—and that message, particularly as Rackett are in the midst of touring in support of the single, Callander hopes the ears will prick up given the extent of their efforts. “A lot of the time in live music venues,” Callander begins, “you actually can’t always hear the lyrics of a track, so you get the gist of it, particularly as there are a lot of visual things going on–so you might not be receiving the essence of the song.
“But our general response from people who are seeing us play live is very exciting, very engaging, and I do think some people come out of their shell and [we] invigorate them in some way, so if we are able to do that, it’s great.”