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RED JEZEBEL Joyful Probabilities

Red-Jezebel-16-9-EXPORT-2011

After eight years of nothing much at all, Red Jezebel have hit 2015 with gusto. CHRIS HAVERCROFT spoke to singer, songwriter and all round good chap, Paul Wood, about the band’s new (and somewhat unexpected) album Coup De Grâce and plans for taking this beast on the road. 

Red Jezebel went from being the scene’s underdogs to everyone’s favourite band with the release of their debut album, Revelations

Major labels came knocking but after a brief dalliance, the quartet returned to releasing their own music in the form of How I Learnt to Stop Worrying. The band continued to be a going concern but operated mostly under the radar.

“I have no idea how that happened,” concedes singer/guitarist, Paul Wood, of the dramatic success of the band’s debut. On the making of this new record he responds, “Eight years didn’t seem that long for us because we were constantly working on the album, being in the studio a couple of nights a week. Members moved around Australia from time to time, but there was always at least a couple of us in the studio pulling our hair out.”

There are some tight and punchy moments on Coup De Grâce that bring up thoughts of the band Spoon. Wood is a fan of that band, and in particular the way that they build their sound. It is a method that he describes as throwing the kitchen sink at the songs, but then using those efforts sparingly instead of constantly through the song. It is the advantage of having a studio wizard like Dave Parkin as a member of the band that has allowed the layering of sounds that Red Jezebel have become known for.

“If we didn’t have Parko we probably would have finished the album quicker, but we wouldn’t have had anywhere near the result that is for certain. I guess when we all get together we don’t like to settle for something that is just ‘good’. We tracked 40-odd songs for this album and scrapped a lot of them. The songs on Coup De Grace span as far back as 10 years or so, too.”

Eight years is a long time in any business and certainly a lot has changed in the music industry in that time. Coup De Grâce was featured by double j last week, a station that didn’t even exist when the band started tracking the record. Wood admits to knowing nothing about the state of the industry outside of the cocoon he resides in as part of Red Jezebel and his other band The Ghost Hotel, but says he doesn’t need to as he is in good hands with the band’s manager, Luke Rinaldi who is their ‘knight in flannel armour’.

“We thought the record would come out and people would say ‘who?’. It was more of a selfish album as we weren’t too interested in what other people would think, we just wanted to get it out there so as we could all listen to it and see it on vinyl. It’s great that it is a double vinyl too. It looks impressive.”

Live shows have been as rare as rocking horse shit for Red Jezebel over the past few years but after opening for Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks at the Chevron Gardens they have a few more things pencilled on their dance card. There is a show at The Bakery on Saturday, April 11, for locals to enjoy, before they tear off to Adelaide to open for good mates, Jebediah. After that point, things haven’t been mapped out.

“We’ll probably enjoy the spoils of this one for a few months, but then we’ll get antsy and head back into the studio in a couple of months. That tends to be the way that it works for Red Jezebel. Hopefully it won’t be another eight years before we have something else out.”

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