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The Creases

Last September, The Creases’ debut single I Won’t Wait was picked up by iconic UK label Rough Trade Records. That’s a hell of a coup for an unknown band from Brisbane with an average age of 20. The only problem was, The Creases weren’t exactly a band at that point.

“Before the Rough Trade deal The Creases was pretty much a joke band,” says Joe Agius, who recorded the song and its B-side Fun to Lose with fellow guitarist/vocalist Jarrod Mahon. “Our other bands at the time were our serious things. The first two songs were more fun and light-hearted and we weren’t too serious about them.”
 
It’s now nine months on and The Creases have just released their debut EP Gradient this Friday. Shortly after inking the Rough Trade deal, Agius and Mahon added bass player Aimon Clark and drummer Gabe Webster to the lineup, and the foursome got stuck in to expanding their repertoire.
 
“We’re definitely more invested in these songs on the EP,” Agius says. “It wasn’t hard to step it up because the first songs were just recorded with drum loops and the guitars plugged straight into the computer. It was just recorded in a basement.”
 
Indeed, the EP’s sunny and relatively slick production quality is a marked sonic advance from the tracks that initially brought them attention. Gradient was recorded last December with Philadelphia Grand Jury’s Simon Berckelman (aka Berkfinger) handling production duties. This was still only a couple of months into the band’s existence, but Agius explains that getting immediate offers to go on tour fast-tracked the development process.
 
“Those first tours, where we were just thrown in the deep end, taught us heaps, live-wise. That first Jungle Giants tour really forced us to get our shit together live. We literally only started rehearsing a month before that tour, so we just practised nearly every day up until that tour and learnt a new song every week until we had a whole set of songs.”
 
Stylistically, the EP steps beyond the jangly garage pop of I Won’t Wait to align itself with acts of the shoegaze and dream pop ilk (Yo La Tengo, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Ride). While Agius says these artists are a major interest, adopting that sound happens subconsciously.
 
“We have influences when we come to recording – especially with mixing, we’ll look at other bands and be like, ‘Hey, we like this sound’ – but all the songs and the style and everything is just completely natural for us. We’ve always played like that.”
 
As for the songwriting itself, this responsibility continues to be shared by Agius and Mahon. But all four members sit on the same page when it comes to what they want the band to represent.
 
“We all listen to different kinds of things and have different influences but we meet in the middle about most things,” Agius says. “Aimon and I had another band and Jarrod also played in that for a bit, so we’re pretty familiar with each other and what we like. Gabe’s pretty new to the band but he listens to the same kind of stuff. He used to play in Gung Ho, so not too much of a difference.”
 
On that note, The Creases are the latest in a seemingly interminable succession of quality guitar bands to come out of Brisbane in the last five or six years. And they’re proud constituents of the hometown scene.
 
“Brisbane is definitely, in my opinion, and everyone in the band’s opinion, the best place for music, community-wise, in Australia,” Agius says. “It’s a really collaborative place and everybody helps out with everything.”
 
BY AUGUSTUS WELBY 

THE CREASES’ debut EP Gradient is out now through Liberation Music.