As 2019 comes to a close, many of us are reflecting on the year – and decade – that was. For Brisbane based four-piece Cub Sport, this marks ten years of music making; from humble beginnings to becoming one of Australia’s most beloved dream-pop outfits.
Originally Tim Nelson and The Cub Scouts, the band rebranded three years later to the Cub Sport we know today. Many of us have grown up with them, following their journey from This Is Our Vice, to Bats and, finally, their self-titled record which came out earlier this year.
For frontman Tim Nelson, it’s been just as much a personal journey as it has a musical one. Having turned 29 last month, Nelson is feeling particularly content and confident entering this lap around the sun.
“I’m feeling really good,” he says. “I feel like I’ve already changed a lot around this birthday, and I’ve been feeling really inspired.
“I’ve had a whole lot of lessons and things that I’ve been learning over the last couple of years that I feel like I’m really starting to understand.”
The past few years have been tremendously eye-opening for Nelson, and he’s undergone a lot of self-discovery. He came out publicly around three years ago, announcing his relationship with bandmate and long-time friend Sam Netterfield. The pair were engaged shortly after, and finally tied the knot in August last year.
Living and working together might be too much for some couples, but not for Nelson and Netterfield.
“We really love it,” Nelson gushes. “I like to be around Sam as much as I can be, so it’s really perfect for us getting to tour and getting to make our dreams come true together.
“As cheesy as that sounds, it is what we get to do, so we’re incredibly grateful for that.”
Getting to a happy and comfortable point in his life has allowed Nelson to really lay everything out on the table with the band’s third record, Cub Sport. Lyrically, it’s beautifully honest, and explores his newfound strength and personal evolution.
“The biggest difference going into the third album was my level of confidence,” says Nelson. “I think that that has a lot to do with being out and feeling less pressure to be less cryptic in some of the things I was saying.
“Going into writing an album with the freedom of feeling like I didn’t have anything to hide anymore, that was quite freeing.
“Also, I’m always kind of gaining confidence with my production and recording skills as well. Learning to believe in that was another part of the development.”
The album release saw the band jet off for a myriad of tours, but Nelson’s creative brain was still whirring. He penned their latest single ‘I’ve Never Cried So Much In My Whole Life’ around the time the record came out, enlisting Savage Garden’s Darren Hayes to add some vocal texture.
“We met Darren when he came to our show in LA earlier this year,” Nelson recalls. “It was a few weeks out from releasing the song and I just had the idea come to me that Darren would sound unreal singing it and I thought, ‘Well what have I got to lose?’.”
“He replied straight away saying that he loved the song and that it made him cry and that he’d love to record on it. He sent back a recording of him singing the whole song over an instrumental a few days later, and we were on tour in Europe at the time.
“We were driving into Paris and listening to this recording of Darren Hayes singing a song I’d written. It was like one of those moments where it’s just like, ‘How is this happening?’.”
Getting to this point full of happy tears and pinch me moments hasn’t always been easy, but Nelson isn’t one to look negatively on the past.
“I’m so grateful for every weird and hard twist and turn, because it’s all brought me to where I am now,” he says.
“I am who I am because of all those things I’ve had to grow through.”
Cub Sport hit Beyond The Valley at Lardner Park (sold out), from Saturday December 28 to Wednesday January 1. Find out more via the festival website.