After two impressive EPs, Perth act Segue (fka Segue Safari) unveil their debut album Primary Ties on Thursday, November 1. For songwriter Jeremy Segal the full length was an opportunity to create something that had more of a theme and narrative both musically and lyrically than previous efforts. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with Segal to get the word on how their sound has evolved, the unexpected circumstances that defined the instruments used on the record and how they will be bringing it to life onstage for the launch at The Bird on Friday, November 23.
Last time we talked you were just about to launch your second EP Salutations, how has it been different putting together a full album compared to the EPs?
I think that working on a full length album rather than an EP this time allowed us to be way more deliberate with the overall sound and themes of the record. We thought a lot more about the way the songs would interact with one another and how the whole album would flow if it were listened to as one piece of music. I think because we were still developing our sound on the first EPs, it didn’t feel like as much of a long term project as working on the album did.
And what do you think has changed in terms of your sound? You seem to have expanded your style somewhat and there’s plenty more layers of synthesisers going on for starters?
The album is definitely much less guitar heavy than our previous releases, particularly our last EP. Daniel and I each acquired an extra synth or two along the way, and we started making sampler instruments out of weird little guitar noises. It was kind of a strange process because I moved house three times while were recording, and I happened to use whatever cool gear my housemates had. In one house there was an old Yamaha Portasound and a nylon string guitar, in the next there was a Suzuki Omnichord and an 80s Casiotone. I was also using two different DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) this time, which meant different processes for different songs depending on what was called for.
Have you played these songs live before or are you yet to figure out how to replicate these tracks onstage?
We’ve played all of them live except for one at a handful of gigs through July and August, but it was definitely a case of working backwards and figuring out how to play what we’d recorded. We ended up getting an extra keys player, Aaron Goode, the goodest keyboard player ever, as well as a sample pad to make it all work.
Do you still have a go-to instrument for actually writing songs? Or does it depend on what it is you’re trying to create?
Making the album has definitely changed the way I write! I used to write pretty much everything on the guitar – most of the album was written that way bar two or three tracks – but now I’m writing mostly on my laptop and sometimes I’ll develop ideas on a little Casio keyboard.
You’ve been recording music with a bit of a DIY approach up to this point, did you retain that with this album or spend more time in the studio?
We initially thought that we were going to record most of the album in an actual studio, but after doing a couple of sessions I felt that the process of working at home would be much better for us. The overall feel and structure of a song usually comes together for me during the recording and sometimes mixing stages, and I felt that recording at home gave us the time and space we needed to really get to the bottom of what we were driving at. I’d really love to work in a studio at some point, but I’m not sure if we’d ever have enough money for the amount of time we’d like to have!
And in a lyrical sense, is there a particular narrative or message that you feel ties these songs together for this release?
There’s definitely a fair bit of anxiety in these songs, in both an individual and collective sense. I don’t think the album sounds particularly anxious all the time though – there’s a lot of reflecting on anxiety from a place of feeling safe and secure.
What’s going on at your album launch? Who else can we catch on the night and what can we look forward to in general?
We’ll be playing at our favourite place The Bird on Friday, November 23 with two of our favourite bands, New Talk and Pool Boy, as well as Didion’s Bible DJs. We’ll have cassettes for sale, and maybe a few CDs too! Head to the Facebook event page to find out more.