The Grates are back, and they’re going DIY. They’re gearing up to release their fourth studio album next month, they’re recording and they’re planning to do it on their own shiny new label imprint Death Valley. Giddy up!
Spearheaded by now-married Grates Patience Hodgson and John Patterson, the independent imprint partly spawned from the band’s desire to break away from the slow pace of the music industry. “As much as we’ve enjoyed the benefits of being in the big label system,” says Hodgson, “we’ve always struggled with the mechanisms of the record industry.”
Hodgson adds The Grates had become “unsatisfied” creating music in a stunted environment where their “albums collect 6 months of cerebral dust in our heads, before an audience gets to finally hear it”.
In the interest of speeding up the process, The Grates will record their currently untitled new LP over a two week period in November, give or take a few, and release it within the same month. That’s right. They haven’t even recorded it yet and they’re already announcing it. Ballsy!
The album will be produced by Straight Arrows’ frontman Owen Penglis and released via Death Valley, which is to operate as an independent part of indie label Create/Control.
“Working through Create/Control is a great opportunity for us to continue working with many of the kind and accomplished people we met while being on Dew Process,” says Hodgson, “And to begin working with other motivated and inspiring Southside staff in a new way. When the time’s right we look forward to working with other bands who share a similar philosophy to the release of records.”
Funnily enough the Brisbane band were inspired to go full-blown DYI on their next LP due to the success of the Hodgson/Patterson owned cafe, Southside Tea Room. “We’ve always really enjoyed doing things ourselves and after opening our shop in Brisbane two years ago, we were reminded of that,” states Hodgson. “It reignited a drive within us to take the reins with our band”.
It actually reignited the band as well, originally hiring new drummer Ritchie Daniell as a barista. Should keep some bounce in Patience’s stage moves while on tour.
So while we wait on The Grates’ follow-up to 2011 album Secret Rituals to come out, let’s kick it to some old stuff.