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Greenthief on getting people moving with their third album, ‘Mirror Lies’.

“People often like to create an illusion about problems in their life and try to point to the outside world, as opposed to maybe acknowledging that it’s them.”

Leaving behind progressive elements of the past, Greenthief are keeping it simple. Their third album Mirror Lies rolls out punchy grooves which are designed to get people moving.
 
Julian Schweitzer not only fronts Greenthief but now records and produces the Melbourne three-piece. Although relatively new to producing, the last year saw Schweitzer employed on many projects at Hothouse Studios in St Kilda and he came to know exactly what he wanted to achieve with the production of Mirror Lies, and how he might go about it.
 
Schweitzer believes an important part of getting across a strong dance-worthy groove for Mirror Lies was in a crisp and punchy drum sound. “The crispiness factor comes from drum references like that Amy Winehouse drum sound, that real crisp hi-fi sound,” he says. “And Tame Impala has that, and it’s also by just simplifying drum arrangements.”
 
The recording of the drums was a crucial element to the success of the album and was meticulously planned. “The awesome thing about this record was that I could ask Liam [Burgan], the drummer, to do this or that, in terms of the way he actually hits the drums for me to record. He was really understanding and we spoke about it for months leading into that recording process. We had rehearsed a certain way that was how we wanted to record it once the microphones were up, which allowed me to mix it in a way that would achieve that.”
 
‘Hope’ is the second single from Mirror Lies and its film clip has garnered an overwhelming public response. Shot by local filmmakers Moonhouse, it starred Yoann Parejaa whom they believed was perfect for the clip.
 
“He’s a mutual friend of a dude we knew who made film stuff for us in the past,” says Schweitzer. “He’s a transgender advocate and he obviously does a lot of performance art himself. The filmmaker was doing a two-minute spotlight on heaps of people and I saw one on him. I thought it would be a really cool concept of doing a Beastie Boys-esque take on the track but in a different light. From there they put it together themselves and made something really cool, which was awesome.”
 
Greenthief is a band not only imbued with social consciousness but capable of poignant social commentary. The theme of the title track ‘Mirror Lies’ deals with a personal failing which affects some people more than others. “It’s the idea that people often like to create an illusion about problems in their life and try to point to the outside world, as opposed to maybe acknowledging that it’s them. That’s essentially what it’s about.”
 
Touring Mirror Lies has taken Greenthief to some old haunts and will soon wrap up in Melbourne. Although it’s a brief tour compared to previous jaunts, it has been more than worth the effort. “It’s been good. We did a lot less dates than we have done in the past. We concentrated on cities and it’s also a tricky time of year to get more dates because it’s such a crazy time, November, with everyone doing stuff. But it’s been great playing at some of our favourite venues in various cities – it’s been a good response. We’ve been playing with a lot of bands that we’re good mates with so we’ve had a blast.”
 
Early days of Greenthief had strong elements of progressive and psych-rock and they described themselves as the lovechild of Nine Inch Nails and Jeff Buckley. With this new album, Schweitzer is happy to change that to Queens Of The Stone Age and Tame Impala to reflect their fusion of elements displayed by those bands – where they’ve tried to create something fresh and dance-worthy. “We tried to capture big fat guitar tones but tried to do it in a way that sounded cool. And I think that’s where the simplified drums came from. I thought maybe it’d be a bit fresher to take one extreme of one thing and then take one extreme of the other thing and then fuse it.”

Greenthief will take over Cherry Bar on Friday December 8, supported by Yes, Yes, Whatever and Murphy. Mirror Lies is out now.