We caught up with the Ocean Party’s keyboardist and vocalist Jordan Thompson before the band hits the road for a packed album tour that takes in Sydney, Melbourne and everywhere in between – including their legendary hometown.
Broadsheet: Where are you all from?
Jordan Thompson: We're all from Wagga Wagga, NSW – the city of sporting legends.
BS: Where do you live in Melbourne? Any favourite haunts you can tell us about?
JT: Until recently we were all moving around together. We went through a few houses together in the northern suburbs for years. Recently we've all split into separate places, still around the north, though.
As far as favourite haunts go, we're pretty fond of grabbing a drink and just walking off together, you just choose a direction and go. There's always something you haven't seen before – a storm-water drain, a hill, or just a nice street.
BS: How do you create music as a six-piece? Where does a song start?
JT: We work on a very collaborative basis. Everyone writes music and lyrics and everyone has input on every song. When we lived together we could have impromptu song-writing sessions at any time, which I think really kick started our productivity.
A song can start as small as a few chords or a melody, or it can pour out quite well formed. Either way the process from there on is very inclusive. We all seem to take on the role of producer at various times, rather than having any set roles.
BS: Apart from music, what inspires you?
JT: The inspiration for any artwork comes from a million places, some completely outside of the art form.
Books, movies, paintings, performances: these art forms are made to be affecting, so it's hard not to take something away from them.
On the other hand, people, buildings, places, animals: these things are equally affecting, just less packaged.
BS: Earliest memories of being on stage/performing?
JT: Some factions of our technology high school were pretty keen on competing with the performing arts high school on the other side of town – so there were ample opportunities to get on stage.
We all took part in the obligatory Year 8 Silverchair cover and things like that. Pretty chilling stuff to revisit.
BS: What can we expect from your forthcoming shows?
JT: We're going to be hitting the road for a pretty solid stint this month. 20-plus shows, so we'll be well-oiled, especially by the time we get back home for our Melbourne show on the 24th.
The Ocean Party’s new album Light Weight is released Friday October 9. They play The Tote on Saturday October 24.