Melbourne collective FREAKCLUB aren’t seeing what they want, leaving them no other option than to create it.
For most groups, everyone having different tastes in music might be an issue, yet FREAKCLUB flaunt it on their debut EP Bambi Vol 1, out now. The trick wasn’t making different genres work, but tapping into a deeper message, removing their output from the coordinates of genre altogether. Individually, the members of FREAKCLUB were looking for something more than what was on offer, together they made it happen.
Located somewhere between hip hop and emo, their music is lo-fi but high-concept. As a whole, Bambi Vol. 1 is a sonic glimpse of the realities faced with growing up in the modern world through tired, bloodshot eyes.
Following the release of the EP, BLUNT spoke with the band about how it all came together.
You set out to make something that hadn’t been heard from Australia before. That’s a tough place to start – so let’s start there! What were the next few steps once you realised that’s what you wanted to create?
Honestly, just making a lot of music. We had already spent time discussing what we liked and how we thought it could work, but all that changes when you actually start doing it. We all came into FREAKCLUB from being solo artists so initially it was making adjustments to mesh creatively as a group. The project took some time to take shape but once we had a few songs we were all happy with, the rest of the project came about somewhat naturally. Individually we all had the vision, it was just a matter of working out how to execute it together.
The music really does feel like a cohesive mash of ideas from the minds of people who listen to totally different music. How accurate is that read, or am I overthinking things?
Yeah, that’s pretty accurate. We all grew up in different parts of the country and had our own experiences and interests, so the foundation of the band is kinda built off that. We obviously have some similar interests and likes but we’re all different people and we each bring something different to the group, sonically and aesthetically. That’s why it works.
With already so much going on in the writing process, you added to the workload by self-producing Bambi Vol. 1. How important was it to you guys to be “in the chair” for your debut EP?
We are all producers and we knew exactly how we wanted the production to sound, so we just did it ourselves. There wasn’t really a point where we even considered having someone else do it because no one else was actually living it like we were. We wanted the EP to sound gritty and lo-fi, like a wall of sound, but there’s also just something about the process of working on it from start to finish we all found pretty satisfying.
You dropped four music videos ahead of the EP’s release, and while sonically they all head in different directions, the aesthetics of the videos seem to have a purpose all of their own. I’d love to know that purpose!
Having an in-house creative team allowed us to create accompanying visuals for every release. We wanted to build an aesthetic that felt consistent across the entire Bambi era, but left room for unique differences between each video. The purpose of the aesthetic was to encapsulate the teenage nostalgia that inspired the music. We wanted this to feel like a timestamp of our youth and teenage years. VHS was a constant theme and creative tool throughout the visuals. The VHS footage, textures, and transitions represented capturing memories and was another distinct link to the themes in the music. Essentially Bambi is a collection of our experiences, and we wanted the visuals to feel this way too.
With so many moving pieces, Bambi Vol. 1 is a lot of things at any moment. From the mind of someone who’s seen under the hood of the EP, what would you say are some of the common threads that hold it all together?
We were pretty concise in terms of what we wanted to say and the emotions we wanted to tap into and a lot of the themes were reflective of where we were at in our lives at the time. It was essentially the soundtrack to our own coming-of-age story about working through a lot of the same issues young people all face; moving out of home, finding and losing love, navigating your sexuality, finding yourself, managing friendships and finances… It’s really just a first-hand account of us finding our place in this strange world.
You’ve declared your intent to make an impact, and of course, Vol. 1 indicates more. What else are you guys scheming over there?
World domination is the end goal, but we’re starting by building a community bigger than ourselves. As the name suggests, we were never really popular people, but when you lean into those qualities that set you apart, you find there’s a lot more people like you! We want to use our experiences to empower others to feel confident in themselves. Backing yourself in the world we live in today is a powerful thing and if we can use our art to get that message across to the world then we’ve won. FREAKCLUB isn’t just the 6 of us, FREAKCLUB is anyone and everyone who can relate to what we’re doing. But to answer your question more directly, as Vol I. implies, there’s more of the Bambi story to be told.