Sydney’s New Navy have hit the scene recently, balancing crisp guitars with frontman Ben McInerny’s smooth vocals, delivering strong bass-lines and breezy grooves to great effect. They have received impressive early support from radio and media with comparisons to Foals, The Whitest Boy Alive and Cold War Kids when talking about this promising young 4-piece.
Releasing their debut EP Uluwatu on 10 inch vinyl in September, and online release in October, it’s received rave critical success, touted as a strong release (considering it’s a debut), and one that the industry here will not fail to slather with buzz and attention.
We caught up with them to talk about the EP.
Music Feeds: So you’ve had the EP finished for the last two months pretty much; how are you finding it now after some time has passed? Are you still happy with it?
New Navy: No complaints here. There will always be things we wished we did differently, but that’s just how it is, that’s how the songs go now. To be honest, none of us have really listened to the EP since we finished it; we heard it enough during the recording process! Once we got that mastered version back, listened through it once (or twice), we were done.
MF: Finishing, or knowing when to finish is often said to be the most difficult part of recording, of knowing when to stop before you lose perspective; was that something you struggled with on the EP at all?
NN: Definitely. You could get hung up on a snare sound or a guitar delay for days if you let yourself. It’s about finding a balance, once you’re happy with something, move on. That’s where Jono Ma was a massive help, an ‘outsiders’ ears, and some experienced ones at that.
MF: You guys self produced the album; can you tell me how that process worked and is self production something you’ll continue to do?
NN: A producer is something we’ve never even thought about using, I guess because we couldn’t afford one. We’re pretty particular in what we want, sound and structure wise, it would be difficult to have someone tell us what to do, no matter who he was. Although it would probably save a lot of arguments amongst ourselves in the studio, a ‘he knows best’ kind of vibe.
MF: There is a strong African influence on the album; who are some of the African artists who inspired you here? Obviously there are touches of Afrobeat’s father Fela Kuti, but the overall vibe was much more high life to me; did you listen to a lot of that style of music when making this EP?
NN: Who the fuck is Fela Kuti? Haha
MF: You guys are starting to get a lot of attention with this EP; you got 5/5 from Richard Kingsmill, which is essentially the modern day equivalent of being blessed by Christ; are you excited about the future?
NN: We’re always excited about the future, with or without the King’s blessing. Although it does make it all the sweeter! We’re amazed at the attention we’ve been receiving, more than any of us expected to achieve with our first EP.
MF: Where do you see yourselves in five years time? Where would you hope to be? Where would you not hope to be?
NN: Scary question. No idea, probably washed up and homeless with a sign that reads ‘will play percussion for food’
Hopefully we’ll still be making music, I can’t see us stopping in the next 5 years. We’re still pretty young … except for James, he’s over the hill.
MF: Why do you make music?
NN: Because we love it, it’s fun, it’s rewarding, and chicks dig it.
MF: If all of a sudden nobody cared about your music, what would you do?
NN: A Christmas Album.
MF: What should we be keeping an eye out for in the next few months?
NN: Lots of shows. Playing the Gaelic in Sydney on the 10th of December, Peats Ridge over New Year’s Eve and Field day on the 1st of the year. We’ll be working on some new material too, so look out for some photos of us posted on Facebook from an exotic location, equipped with a guitar and a cool beverage.