A Chat With…Playwrite

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Folk-pop quintet Playwrite have crafted a diverse and powerful debut album. Cathedrals has been on high rotation for us since its release, so we threw some questions to lead guitarist Patrick Holcombe.

Firstly it’s got to be said, Cathedrals is a stunning debut release. For an album three years in the making, how did it feel to finally hold the finished product in your hands? It feels hard to believe that it is finally finished but it also feels hard to believe that it took so long!

The recording of the album took place at various locations. Was there a particular reason for this? Or was it due to timing and availability? We wanted to have the freedom to really explore different ideas in our own time and sometimes paying big money for a studio doesn’t allow that kind of freedom. It was important to get the drums and bass down in Sing Sing but then recording at other locations really shaped the songs in ways that we didn’t expect.

When it comes to songwriting, is there one main writer? Or do you all contribute? I’m also curious to know, what was the first song written for the album? Lady Oracle and Drivers Seat were written by Jordan and the rest are mine. By the time we are finished each song I forget who wrote what though because we all put in so much. Animals Housed was the first track I brought in to the band sometime in late 2009.

The photos that appear on the cover art were taken by Patrick’s late parents (who sadly lost their lives in the Black Saturday bush fires). Given the nature of the songwriting, I feel like it’s a fitting tribute, and a nice final touch. When first discussing artwork, was there an intention of having it linked to Patrick’s parents? Or was it a result of finding those photos? There was never an intention to use them specifically. I remember flicking through old photos and thinking it might work to use them so I gave Jordan the old albums and let him choose which images he liked.

Can you tell us about some of your favourite Melbourne acts? Hayden Calnin, Dorsal Fins, Hiatus Kaiyote, #1 Dads, Ainslie Wills, Sweets.

And Melbourne venues? We played a gig in an old hall behind ‘1000 pound Bend’ called “The Church Of Bang Bang Boogaloo”. That was a cool space. Also we are excited to be playing at the Shadow Electric on Friday!

The band have been kicking around for five years, if you could give past you some advice about being in a band, what would it be? Don’t focus too much on the goals and outcomes. There will be some milestones you reach and some you don’t. Just try to keep enjoying the process. That will keep you together.

We’re starting to compile our Best Of list. What Melbourne releases (albums/EPs) have been on rotation for you this year?

Paper Kites – Twelvefour
Hiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon
Tulalah – The Flood
Oh The Gold – Ainslie Wills

What’s in store for the remainder of this year, and early next year? Do you have plans to tour the album outside of Melbourne? We are playing a gig on a tram on Sunday and then an acoustic set in the international airport! We are putting together a couple gigs up the coast for early next year.

Playwrite‘s Cathedrals Album Launch is happening this Friday November 27th at Shadow Electric Bandroom with support from Hayden Calnin & Slow Turismo. Tickets are available here.

Cathedrals is out now digitally via iTunes & Bandcamp. Out November 26th physically via Bandcamp.

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