Last year, Aussie rock band Baby Animals released their first studio album in twenty years and it was worth the wait. ‘This is Not the End‘ is arguably their best work yet and, just to prove that point to those who might have been hiding under the proverbial rock at the time and missed it, the band has rereleased the album and thrown in a few extras to make it even more enticing.
I had the pleasure of catching up with singer/guitarist, Suze De Marchi recently to talk about the reissue of the album a year later. “We are releasing it with one extra track,” she explained. “Plus a DVD, a live recording and also our rockumentary as well. Just a bunch of extra bonus stuff. The rockumentary is snippets from the last year; some of making the album, some stuff on the road, some interviews that we did and we just put it all together. I always like looking at behind the scenes stuff. I find that stuff really interesting.”
‘This is Not the End‘ was a self-funded project. A fact that Suze is proud of. “Yeah, it was nice,” she admits. “When you’re funding for yourself and you’re calling all the shots, you have more responsibility for it and I think that kicks in for the whole process which is not a bad thing. It sort of makes you grow up a little bit. It’s not somebody pouring money your way. It’s your money. You’re more mindful of it and I think it’s a good thing.”
Will the next album also be self-funded?
“We’ll see, ” she replies. “I’m not opposed to people investing in us at all. It just depends if it works; If it’s the right collaboration with someone. I think, at this point, we always need to have some creative control. We know what we’re doing at this point hopefully. I don’t think we need to be hand held too much.”
With the exception of ‘Hot Air Balloon‘, all the songs on the album are written by DeMarchi and guitarist Dave Leslie. Suze collaborated with Noiseworks’ Justin Stanley on ‘Hot Air Balloon‘. As the singer explains, “I was in L.A. for a long time and he and I worked together from time to time and we just wrote that in my backyard one day. I love working with Justin. He’s fantastic.”
But Suze and Dave are basically the songwriters of the band. “We pretty much always have been,” she confirms. “I love the way his mind works musically and we know each other well now. It’s a nice combination and I’d like it to continue.”
The ‘Feed the Birds’ Tour saw the band performing songs from the current album as well, of course, as the hits that everyone knows. “It went really well,” she says. “We hit some towns we hadn’t been to for a long time. It’s nice to get back out there and reconnect with people. Every gig is different. It’s always nice going back to Perth. We don’t get there enough. I think Perth is always a bit of a highlight for me, when we do finally get there and I have family there and that’s always nice, playing to family.”
‘Feed the Birds’? The name of the tour came from an incident that took place during a gig the band did. “It was just something that happened perchance one night at a gig,” she explains. “I was swigging a little bit of wine from a bottle and one of the audience members just leaned over and asked to be fed and so I obliged.” As you do. “Yes, as you do,” she laughs. “And then everyone was asking for it at a gig. But that was that tour. I’m not going to do that on the next tour.” She thinks about it for a moment then adds “Well maybe. We’ll wait and see what happens.”
And how long will we have to wait? “We’re doing some shows towards the end of the year,” Suze tells me. “But, as for a full blown tour, I’m not sure. We’d like to start work on a new record and you have to focus on that while you’re doing it. We might throw a few new songs in here and there before we record them but not sure exactly when that will be. I don’t want to plan too far in advance,” she says. “We’ve got ideas for lots of other little projects but we’ll see… One thing at a time. It’s always a bit of a juggling act so you can’t take too much on or you won’t do anything right. I think I’ve learnt to just try and stick to doing one thing and try to do that well rather than put too much out there but at the end of the day, playing ‘live’ is what we love the most.”
by Sharyn Hamey
Copyright © Sharyn Hamey 2014. All rights reserved.
The Deluxe Fully Loaded Edition of ‘This is Not the End’ is out now.