Homesick1 

Sydney's HOMESICK have long been at the forefront of producing high quality, intelligent and melodic hardcore. The band just released their second LP "Terra Nullius" on Resist Records, so we figured it was high time we caught with frontman Peter Jackson for a chat.

All live photos by Nicole Goodwin.

 

Let’s start with a brief rundown of how the band came to be and how the lineup has been shaped over the band’s existence?

So, everyone in the band were mates before we started. When Civil War was ending, Joel (guitar) came to me and asked if I wanted to start something new. I love music and I love that dude soooo that’s pretty much where that all began.

I knew TJ (bass) wanted to do something new for quite a while also, so we asked him to jump on and same for Kelso (guitar). Now the hardest part of any band… finding a drummer!

I posted on Facebook that we were looking to kick off a melodic hardcore band and was in search for someone to bang on things fast and loud, now we have Sutto. We were all mates from shows beforehand, so that made it easy.

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When the band started, was there a particular style or sound you were aiming for? I seem to recall you telling me it was Pennywise influenced at the time of forming?

We all took influence from our own places, but originally, we were aiming to mix 90s So Cal punk with melodic hardcore.

As the band progressed and we all started writing with the emotions we had, with whatever life was giving us at the time and this is what we ended up with.

Was Homesick as a band name, referenced from Pennywise or something else?

Homesick as the name was directly referenced from Pennywise. I love that band!!!

In your own words how would you describe the sound of Homesick?

Ah man that’s hard… I would say we are a fusion of sad but angry, heavy but soft. Ha-ha, I don’t think that really helps, but I would say that’s a pretty good description.

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In the four-year existence of the band, you’ve managed to pump out two full lengths and a demo. Who is pushing the songwriting along so rapidly and how do Homesick songs usually come together?

If it wasn’t for Joel, Kelso and Tj getting together every weekend, having big overnight writing sessions, we would definitely not have achieved what we have! I have lots of pre-existing songs lyrically that I usually write at random times.

Once those lads have written some songs, they usually record them at home and send them off to Sutto and I. Those lads generally program drums in as a template for them to play along to and Sutto will break it all down give suggestions to flows and progressions once we get into practicing the songs.

You’ve just released your second full length, “Terra Nullius”, how did the record come together and where was it tracked?

So, the lads really wanted to record with Jay Mass (Defeater, Death of a Nation) so we sent him an email to see if it was something he would be keen to fly to Australia to do. He liked the pre-production tracks we sent and we went from there.

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Any lessons learned from recording the “Won’t Let Go” LP that helped shaped this recording session?

Massively, we learnt how to work really fast and efficiently. We also prepared a lot more going into recording by mapping out all the time signatures in each song and have pre-clicks made beforehand. Also having all the settings we wanted for guitar and bass sounds ready, so we could pretty much walk in, plug in and start recording.

Given this is the third really active and regularly recorded band (Persist, Civil War, Homesick) you’ve now sung in, are you comfortable in the studio with vocals and does the sound of your own voice still freak you out?

Oh man… I cannot stand the sound of my voice! To make it worse I get real shy and embarrassed singing in front of people, believe that or not ha-ha. So definitely freak out!

Got a fave song on the new record? Why that one in particular?

Depending on my moods it changes. But I really enjoy “Free” and “Epitaph Part 2.”

Prior to the album’s release, you previewed two tracks off the record, “Nura” and “Never Ceded”. Lyrically what are those two songs about?

“Nura” and “Never Ceded” are pretty self-explanatory songs. They both go back to pre-colonialism, when our native indigenous people were free to live and roam, as they had done for thousands of years. It also gives a little insight into the cultural song lines and how astrology was used to map out directions, not to mention the co-existence and understanding of humans and mother earth.

It then goes on to touch into the immediate halt that came and the dark past that colonialism brought with it. Rape, deceit, lies and massacre.  And now society’s expectation is that, “well now this happened, sooo get over it and assimilate, even though we don’t value you anyways.”

  

What about the artwork for the album, how did it originate and does it hold a specific meaning or representation?

Joel’s cousin, Josh did the art work for us. We are all stoked with how it came out. I am not sure what his art represents for him, but when I look at it I see the connection between Aboriginal people, spirituality and astrology.

Before google maps, our people would write songs about where the stars where located, these were called song lines and we could find our way anywhere by singing these songs. Also if you look at the mist that sits behind the milky way, that is the smoke. Whenever anyone passes over in our culture, they perform a smoking ceremony to take them there. In that haze or smoke is where Baiame lives and your spirit stays there for a few days before you reincarnated into the trees, flowers or stones.

That’s what I think when I see it anyways.

Obviously the album title is a reference to the discovery of Australia and the bullshit claim it was an uninhabited island, but to help enlighten the readers out there, can you explain the co-relation between Terra Nullius and the calls for an Indigenous Treaty?

The word 'discovered' implies there was no inhabitance pre-colonisation and it is so frequently used when talking about Australia. The reason we decided on Terra Nullius, is sort of a sarcastic middle finger.

When Kevin Rudd decided to apologise to a nation for the mistreatment of its indigenous people, that not only I feel gave more bigots excuses to go…. “Well we said sorry… Get over it.” But worse. It made any chance of a treaty happening irrelevant because now… “we have publicly acknowledged what was done to your people and we have taking responsibility for it”… there is no need! And that’s evident in people’s “get over it” attitude.

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As the band has progressed, personally you really seem to have embraced your own indigenous background in your lyrics, discussing Aboriginal history, language, struggles and experience. Is this connected to a desire to learn more about your own culture?

Even in Persist I touched on the issue with the song “1788.” We were even featured on an indigenous documentary called “Men Don’t Cry.”

But in saying that, working alongside a lot of the community and connecting a lot more with culture and community, I have most definitely committed to being a lot more outspoken.

How difficult is it to retrace your family line given the reluctance to recognise and document Aboriginal history and culture in our so-called “official” Australian history books?

It is extremely hard. If you haven’t been brought up in community for whatever the reason, people are reluctant to help you and with the lack of paper work it makes it almost imposable. I have been fortunate to work alongside a lot of people from community that knows our family name and where they were from. But at this stage, the family is pretty much all deceased.

Advice for anyone looking… just go into communities and work alongside people. It takes time, but if your intentions are to just be a part of community, then do it. Become an active member in your community!

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If you could pick one theme, issue or topic discussed, what would you hope people learn or come to better understand from listening to the new record?

Honestly, from me at least… I just want to connect with people and make them feel, maybe they’re not the only ones feeling a certain way. Whether that is sad, angry, lost or confused, maybe we can shed some light on an issue they have heard about and are not sure about.

We are all lost, sad and or angry about something, so let’s be that together.  And if anything I say has the power to make a positive change in someone, then my job is done.

What’s in store to launch the new record? Plans to head interstate?

Yeah we are definitely looking at booking some tours around Australia for the release. We would love to head overseas next year also. Nothing like hanging out with your best mates doing what you love!

How can people keep up with what’s happening with the band?

If anyone wants to keep up with what we are doing, you can follow us on Facebook or Instagram.

https://www.facebook.com/homesickau/

https://www.instagram.com/homesick_hc/

Any final words or shout outs?

Shout out to all our beautiful friends that have supported us, anyone who has ever stuck around to watch us play, anyone who has taken the time to check us out or send us love and anyone who has tagged their friends in our posts and shared the love. Also, massive thanks to Resist Records for all their help with this record.

You can stream the new Homesick LP below and order a copy over here.

 

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