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STACCATO Finding the Sky Blue Sound

Perth three-piece Staccato are celebrating the release of a new album Searching for Sky Blue and video We Wait with a launch at Mojos Bar on Wednesday, May 16. The group have an intriguing history, combining members of popular Perth bands spanning back to the 90s including Hard MarshMellow, Mystic Twist and The Jesus Sandals. The trio have had varying involvement in music over the last decade, but were united with a common desire to get back in the game and challenge themselves with a new project that combined their shared appreciation for funky bass lines, smooth beats and catchy melodies. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with multi-instrumentalist Scott Arnold-Eyers to find out how after four years of navigating the waters of their collective ambitions, Staccato have found their sky blue sound.

So how did Staccato come to be and what inspired the project?

After playing in a heap of bands and taking a break from music, I came to a place where I felt a bit stale but I wanted to keep playing. I met Peter Twiby at a gig I was doing with Cappuccino Orchestra and we got talking. He was pretty much in the same space as me. I suggested that maybe we needed to do something out of our comfort zone. I knew a guy who was doing a bit of hip-hop and rap so we contacted him and had a jam. It was a pretty exciting with a fresh and really interesting sound.

The group is made up of some members that we might also recognise from a number of popular acts, and especially some from a few years back?

Yes I was the front person for The Noise, Hard MarshMellow and also The Jesus Sandals. I was also a founding member of Prickle as their lead guitarist. Peter Twiby played bass guitar in Mystic Twist, Tormenting Jane and Minus 24 and also did a stint with Effigy. Ricky Willsmore has spent most of his time doing session and studio work but was also the front person for House Red.

So in all your associated acts you’ve put out a heap of albums but this will be your first in since 2005. How was it different coming back to that now, especially given the changes in recording processes and your own personal musical development as well?

Since the concept of the band was foreign to Peter and I, we knew we had to take a different approach in the studio. The first thing that was different was the fact that we were using electronic beats rather than a drummer so we decided to find a specialised studio for this and came across an old friend Andrew Wright at Gold Dust Studio. It was not always easy to explain our unique visions to each other let alone the engineer. We argued and debated this early on. When we were about half way through, we started to tidy up tracks and introduce backing vocals. It was then that it became much clearer that we were on the right track with what we wanted to achieve. The project ended up taking over four years and I think it was because we probably over produced everything early so we just kept going back in to sort that out.

And what was it you were hoping to capture with this album? Is there a theme or message running through it all, lyrically or otherwise?

Ricky Willsmore would be the one to answer that as he writes most of the lyrics.  In his words, “the album Searching for Sky Blue is about a day of escape. From the first thoughts of freedom through the emotional ups and downs of reflection and celebration. The term, “Searching for Sky Blue”, is also a metaphor for looking for the good in hard situations, so we tried to capture the feeling of freedom and reflection.”

You’re launching the video for We Wait at Mojos on Wednesday, May 16. What can you tell us about the video and how was it putting that together?

As a band it’s hard to agree on everything so we decided that we would put out one video each and individually be in control of it. The only rule we made was that we as a band would not be recognisable in any of them. Peter Twiby thought the writing process of the song We Wait was really old school, so when he found some old footage from his sailing club he thought he could embrace that. Ultimately it was a retro approach with no frills and captured that really chilled out vibe.

And so is there a release date for the album yet? When can expect to hear some more music from Staccato or catch them live?

Since the project took some time, we tried a couple different studios and have not put out all the songs we did from the first recording. We are more than half way through a second release but I think we need to make sure all the songs work together before we put it out. The first album is available on Drop Card now and a modified version will come out on disc in a few months.

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