The computer age has seen a dramatic transformation in the recording side of the music industry. Just about any artist, despite location, genre or style, now has the ability to record and produce their own music, all from the comfort of their own homes. All you need is a laptop, recording software and some good ideas. Sydney-based up and comers Guineafowl are a prime example of a band being spawned out of a few song ideas, thought up in a bedroom and transferred onto a laptop. Their debut EP Hello Anxiety was originally conceived this way, written and demoed above an old antique store on a busy street in Bondi by vocalist, guitarist and core member - the man dubbed 'Guineafowl'.
On the eve of the Melbourne leg of their EP tour, Guineafowl, the man who shares the same name as his band, reflects back on those days in his bedroom, when all he had was his laptop and his ideas. "It was good. It felt like a little job," he remembers. "I'd get up in the morning and I finished at night and then I'd get up the next day and do it again. It was really relaxing to record on my own and to do it at my own pace and to do it as many times as I wanted and, when I finished a song, it felt so good."
Despite the freedom that came from recording alone in his bedroom, there were still a number of challenges that arose, most notably the noise that came from the busy street below. "(There was) furniture being moved all the time and there was a main road outside with a big heavy bus route with a lot of traffic, a lot of school kids," Guineafowl remembers. "It was not the most ideal place, but then at night it was dead quiet and so it became a perfect place to record."
After hours upon hours creating and perfecting the songs that would eventually bring Hello Anxiety to life, Guineafowl and the rest of his band then embarked on the next stage of the process which was entering a recording studio to lay down the tracks as a full band. It was a process that would throw up more than a few challenges for the group and a definite step up from the home recordings. "It was crazy - it was so different to what I had done before," he admits.
"We tracked for about 24 hours and we did that over two days, so we'd get there at ten then work till like twelve, then pack up for another two hours and get home at four then come back at ten. So it was pretty insane how long we had… but just being in a studio, like the natural progression was such a big leap from recording on my own to recording in BJB (Big Jesus Burger), which is a beautiful studio. It was a totally different ballgame and pretty overwhelming."
Although the band were afforded only minimal time in the studio, the fact that Guineafowl had all the songs written and ready to go saved a lot of time and took a lot stress out of the process. "Yeah they (the songs) were all demoed and written so I was really lucky in that regard that I recorded them already, I knew how to do it," he admits. "Like no band could write five tracks and record them in two days then mix them in another three days; that's insane!" he laughs.
"So we only got BJB because we had the songs demoed, we just needed to go record them. If I had to write stuff it would have been disastrous. I'm so slow," he laughs, "I'm such a slow writer… when I record I record things over and over and over again until they're perfect… so it's not really my style, but it worked. I mean we got something, I think, that what we've done it's incredible."
The hard work and hours spent in front of the laptop, slowly piecing together and perfecting the music, has certainly paid off it seems. Hello Anxiety has already received notable airplay on Triple J, earned the band a slew of high profile supports as well as a healthy swag of interest from the all-important punters.
As the interest in the band and their touring commitments increase, according to Guineafowl, they are one band that is more than happy to clock up a few miles in the van. "Yeah we're lucky, we're a band that really likes the road and really like travelling together. So doing that sort of stuff is actually really enjoyable; [it's] the best part about being in a band. Jumping in a car and being exhausted and swearing at each other and driving around the country."
It seems that for the near future at least, that's exactly what they'll be doing with more and more touring seemingly on the horizon. "We're going to go around supporting a few bands, we're going to do some more touring and then sort of towards the end of the year start preparing for an album," he adds. "Yeah, that's the goal."
GUINEAFOWL play The Northcote Social Club this Friday March 4 with Goodnight Owl and Kins. Tickets from northcotesocialclub.com, 9486 1677 or via The Corner box office. Hello Anxiety is out now through Dew Process.