The Getaway Plan has emerged triumphantly from their hiatus with a brand new album and an extensive national tour with Break Even and Gatherer kicking off later this month, and are poised and ready to retake their position at the forefront of the Australian music scene. We caught up with guitarist Clint Ellis to talk about Requiem, Big Day Out and the band’s hopeful vision for the future.
How was your time spent during the hiatus?
I saw it coming but I didn’t know it was gonna happen then, so I just went straight into writing mode and tried to start a few new projects. I was trying to start as many bands as I could. At one point I was in about four bands, and then Amity asked me to join, and that was a full time thing. Basically it was a bunch of writing and the whirlwind of joining Amity.
What drove the band to reunite?
I’m not too sure. After some time apart from each other, we got to do a bunch of things that we wanted to. I guess we realised that what we really wanted to do was The Getaway Plan. We got offered the one-off reunion, and then after rehearsing for that, we really noticed that there was still a spark there. One night I just asked Matt and the others guys if he wanted to get the band back together, and they said yes straight up.
Has transitioning back into touring, writing and recording as a band been smooth and harmonious?
More than I expected actually. We did one tour in February. I guess we’re not exactly where we were before as friends, but in a way it’s stronger. We did a show in Perth, that was just a weekend thing, but it was really fun and things are a lot better than they were before which is reassuring.
What are the unifying themes explored in the new album?
We didn’t really know what the new style or the new songs were gonna be, but we wanted to go a bit more darker, that was the one unifying thing that we all agreed from. We wanted to take it not so much that it was in a heavier place, like more metal or anything, but we wanted it to be darker. That was the main thing we wanted to get across, just because we’ve all been through some heavy times since the last record, so we’re trying to express that.
The band moved away from a heavier sound with ‘Other Voices, Other Rooms’. Will the band’s sound continue to evolve with Requiem?
Yeah, a lot of us don’t really listen to that style anymore. I still listen to a bit hardcore here and there, but I don’t think we were ever that great at it even though a lot of fans love the old stuff. There are a lot better bands out there, so rather than more screaming and a heavier style, we’re leaving that behind.
The band chose to record in Canada with veteran producer David Bottrill. What was it like and what influenced the decision to record overseas?
We like to record overseas to get away from our personal lives, which I guess can be disruptive but it’s the best way we work. That was already established, so then we just put out a bunch of names. David Bottrill was our first preference and he was really interested in doing it, and it was the best thing ever and one of the best musical experiences of my life. He’s just such a great person as a producer and we’ve started to become good friends.
So you’re really happy with the sound that he was able to get out of the band?
Yeah, I love it dude. I’ve listened to it so many times since I got the master back. I’m really happy with it.
What has the response to Phantoms and Reckoning been like?
It’s been really good. With Reckoning, I guess there are a few people that aren’t into it, saying there should be screaming and stuff, but a lot of the fans love it and we love it too. We’re happy with the response. Phantoms has been pretty good too, I’ve heard that on Triple J a couple of times and we’ve been playing it live in the last few shows, and the fans seem to really enjoy it.
What was the inspiration behind the provocative, violent imagery shown in the Reckoning music video?
It basically came from a movie called Anti-Christ. There’s a scene in that where there’s a girl running through the woods, and Matt brought up the idea that we should do something based along that. He said it was tied into the lyrics and we were all for it. Then we gave it to a director and went ahead of it. There have been a few complaints here and there that it’s a bit full-on, but I think it works really well with the song and we’re happy with it.
The band is touring with Break Even in support of the new album, which is an unusual mix of styles. Was this a conscious decision?
Yeah definitely. We’ve been good friends with them for a bit, and our drummer Aaron played drums for Deez Nuts on their European tour, and that was with Break Even, so he became pretty close with them. With supports for the tour, we just wanted to take friends and something different. At the start it was almost hard to get them and we were really pushing for it, but they said yes. They’re a great band and we love their music so it should be rad.
The band is set to play Big Day Out for the second time this summer. What do you love about playing the festival?
I love that there are so many bands on there. Because we’ve been touring around for a bit, we’ll probably be good friends with a lot of bands, mainly Australian bands. It’s good to be at this huge festival with these awesome bands from all around the world and knowing you’re a part of it. I used to go to the Big Day Out as a kid and it was just like a dream to play that, and to get that opportunity again, I’m just over the moon for it. It’s just good to get to drink beers in summer and play music.
So it’s kind of like a band holiday for you guys?
Yeah, exactly. It’s just grabbing a bunch of friends, travelling around the country playing music, and it’s fantastic.
What are the future plans for the band beyond summer 2012?
Well at the moment, we just want to re-establish our position in Australian music, just touring around and doing some festivals here and there. Then, hopefully we’ll look overseas to try and get some action over there. We especially want to go to the UK and Europe and do some shows over there halfway through next year.
Do you have any closing statements you’d like to finish on?
We’ve got a bunch of festivals and shows coming up, so hopefully we can see and meet some more fans and people every day.