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Riflebirds are more rock than ever before

“Just keep your goals in the creative sphere and everything else will sort itself out.”

A couple of weeks on from the release of his band’s third album in four years, Riflebirds’ vocalist and guitarist Rowan Roebig couldn’t be happier with the direction they’ve taken their music.

In the lead up to the release, Riflebirds’ drummer Bon Krunic heard some feedback about the band’s previous two releases – this particular punter had liked what he’d heard, but didn’t quite think the studio recordings matched up to what Riflebirds does live – so the band set out to create a more rockier and up-tempo album. Enter: Ain’t Ever Going Home.

“I think it was a pretty conscious decision to musically have a little more guitar presence and a little more capturing of the live sound,” Roebig says. “There’s definitely a more consistent theme musically to step on the distortion pedal and up the tempo and keep that energy happening like you’d have in one of our live shows.”

When a band starts out, they don’t really know the direction their music will go, and as they progress, so does their sound. This evolution is something Riflebirds have been conscious of throughout their career.

“Sometimes it takes a while for things to evolve and for you to find out what you’re supposed to be,” he says. “It will keep evolving again, and then there’ll be the next progression, but I think we’ve definitely made the right album for us right now – to capture what we’re doing right now. Riflebirds are the kind of band that want to be reasonably prolific – releasing three albums and a single in four years. Roebig even thinks they’ll head back into the studio after this year’s touring. “You’ve got to stay interested and invested in what you’re doing and be excited by that, and for us that’s new music,” he says. “We’ve just finished this one, but pretty soon the cycle will start again and we’ll start demoing again."

Their upcoming show at The Labour In Vain is a return to the band’s spiritual home of sorts. It’s a venue the band started playing not long after forming, and a stage that’s hosted some of their greatest shows. “The crowds are always fantastic, really responsive and when we were thinking about venues for this launch, we thought, ‘Let’s stay true to who we are, the kind of band we are, and let’s play at our favourite pub.’”

There will be no support acts on the day; instead Riflebirds will play two sets. “You play your first one and you get into it and get warm, take a bit of a break and then come back and you’re always in great form for the second set.

“The crowd’s a bit more warmed up and a few more drinks have gone down. It extends over a longer period than if you were just playing one set. Hopefully if all goes well, there’ll be a nice big crowd in there for us and it’ll be an awesome night.”

Roebig likes to think that Riflebirds set themselves the right kind of goals to carry their music and keep them motivated. Thanks to a strong focus on their creative goals, the band have recently found themselves having new experiences such as playing at festivals and live radio sets.

“Our goals are to keep writing songs and keep playing live, and keep making records. I think if your goals move away from that into some other marketing territory or something like that, you just get off course,” he says.

“Just keep your goals in the creative sphere and everything else will sort itself out.”

Riflebirds will be performing at The Labour in Vain on Saturday October 13. Ain’t Ever Going Home is out now.