Private Life – Q&A

Private life (Renee Cassar and Jamie Barlow from the Melodics) have been busy digging their teeth into the Melbourne music scene with gusto of late.  Their single, ‘Follow The Sun‘ launches on May 11 at the Workers Club in Fitzroy, with their single currently the feature track of the week on Triple J Unearthed.

Renee took some time out to tell us her thoughts on the Melbourne music scene and what to expect at their upcoming show. You can also catch her at Red Bennies every Thursday in May doing an intimate solo gig starting at 8pm.

private life photo

1. Renee, you have been in the biz a long time. How has the journey been so far?

Ha… haaaaaaaaaaaa. I don’t know why, but my natural instinct was to laugh at this question. Not in any kind of rude or arrogant way, just in a gosh I really have been doing this a long time and I don’t know how to describe it in any answer that isn’t slaved over, in one of those sweat dripping from the forehead kind of ways. But if I had to sum it up, these would be the words I would use; interesting, fun, shit, frustrating, challenging, intense, THE BEST, horrifying, crazy, random, bone crushing, soul destroying, but it is not, boring.

2. How did Private Life start? Describe your sound.

It’s interesting really because Jamie and I, didn’t know a whole lot about each other before we came together to form Private Life. I don’t remember how we even got on the topic of being in a band together, but I think it must have been myself striking up a conversation on facebook saying something like “rahhhh I really want to be in a band, I’m sick of the solo thing, I want to make really interesting music, with thought out lyrics and rad synths, kinda like Bob Dylan mixed with Little Dragon.”  HA, they really are two of my greatest influences! Anyway, we met up for tapas at Naked for Satan and then we had beers and then we wrote a song called ‘Honeymoon,’ I think we where both pretty sure straight away we wanted to make music together.

I haven’t really figured out how to describe our sound yet, it’s synth, bass and lyric driven, no, it’s melodic indie, no, people hate that word “indie” now right? It’s melodic, synth driven, pop, maybe.


3. What have been some of your highlights as a band?

I feel as though I have loved everything about the Private Life experience, this makes me feel very lucky to have found Jamie and his extremely talented musical mind. I think that the show we did with Gossling and Owl Eyes at Prince was really great, they had the room set up all beautifully with ferns creeping round the joint and smoke machines. I also loved the last show we did at the Workers Club on Brunswick Street with Neighbourhood Youth, we really love that band and it was just a rad night. We actually have carried on the love and asked the guys to support us at our launch May 11th, should be a repeat of bliss!


4. How does being in Melbourne influence you as an artist and the band?

Melbourne is so nice. It has so much culture and great music that you don’t even notice yourself being influenced, but I’m sure that I would be subconsciously.


5. Do you think there is a ‘Melbourne Sound’ happening?

No, not really!


5. What is your take on the Melbourne and Australian music scene generally?

I think the live scene is GREAT, I think radios are fucked…. The 3 most popular stations, don’t want to give new artists a chance. Triple J cant really do it alone, PBS and Triple R, are also rad but its just a bit of a shame that the majority of Australians would rather listen to American pop songs. It’s the pop stations fault though for weaning people onto a sound.


6. You have been in the studio recently, tell us a little about recording process.

Well Colin Leadbetter with whom we have recorded with before, is an absolute delight to work with, super nice guy and knows what he is doing. Jamie and I basically produce the tracks, I find the hardest part about the whole thing is reproducing sparks of magic that are so present in the demos, how do you recapture something you cant even pin point. Apart from the frustration of that though, the recording process is truly wonderful!


7. Who are some of the local artists you are listening to and checkin’ out live that you’re in to?

Again Neighbourhood Youth, Ainslie Wills, she is pure bliss that woman, voice like, well unlike anything you have ever heard or will hear. If you see her at a great venue with great gear and they get her vocals right, then you will feel as though you have died and gone to heaven! Dirt Farmer are cool, The Messengers, we supported them a few weeks ago and loved the vibe. There are so many!


8. What would be your advice to up and coming artists?

Mmmmmmm I guess have fun and work hard and write your name and number on all your gear, so if you leave your Takamine guitar on the side of the road, one day, for no reason, just because your vague and easily distracted then someone might have the chance to call you. They probably won’t call you anyway if their an asshole, but you want to give them the chance.


9. What can we expect at the launch of your single?

We are working so hard on this launch. I am personally sewing up 200 cd covers, made out of vintage material and sheets of weird fabric from this old place on Bourke street. Neighbourhood Youth are playing and THNKR, really great bands. We have two never before heard tracks we are busting out, we will dance and sing and be merry.

AND we MIGHT just play our new video for Follow the SUN that we are shooting on the 23rd.


10. Fave drink in fave bar?

Chambord on the rocks with a little lime at the Carlton Club.


11. Three Fave Melb Venues?


Carlton Club