sundays promo

After a string of catchy singles, Procession are set to release their debut album "What This Life Could Be" through Team Glasses Records. Procession is the partnership between two guitarists perhaps better known for playing in bands like Rage, swapping their guitars for synthesizers. We caught up with one half of the duo in that of Jarrod Birch for a chat.

At what point did you make the decision to form the band and how did it all come together?
I think for a lot of hardcore kids in your late 20's you either double down on hardcore and become a Hatebreed die-hard or you develop a bit of an unhealthy obsession with New Order and learn to play the keyboard. I followed the latter path and have tried my hand at writing different new wave style songs over the years that never really hit or were worth pursuing. My new wave obsession really reached its peak though on a summer road trip at the end of 2021 where I made my girlfriend endure hours and hours of Ceremony, Death Bells, New Order, David Bowie, Joy Division and Cold Cave while driving up and down the south coast. We came home from that trip, and I decided to just write some songs by myself during the rest of my work break and work on them myself. I sent some demos to our friend Blake who had a play with the files and then sent them on to Gavin to see if he would be interested in singing over them with his amazing Ian Curtis-style voice. Everything on the demo was either programmed on my laptop and then recorded either in my loungeroom or Gavin’ s place. Just like Ceremony, our name comes from a New Order song.

Was the move from playing hardcore to synth pop inspired by Ceremony or Cold Cave at all?
For sure. I love them both greatly. I've discovered so many other artists through those bands and have learnt so much about writing and putting songs together in different ways and with different instruments.

Do you prefer early flat-out Ceremony or modern-day synth Ceremony?
All Ceremony is beautiful in its own way.

You’re still playing hardcore though, with new band Fuzion. How’s playing in that compare to Procession?
Yep, Fuzion started up slightly after Procession. We’ve all done bands before and are just messing around with this one Sunday arvos for a bit of fun. We have played a couple shows now and hopefully this year we'll do a record. The difference between shows is night and day. Fuzion shows are a lot more lively and it’s much easier to fake your way through a hardcore set because you have the cover of loud distortion and drums if you make a mistake. I’ve learnt that when your synth is plugged right into the P.A system it's a bit less forgiving. I've also just started up a new hardcore band called Discount Code which is like a fast/grindy hardcore band that will start playing shows this year. The three-track Fuzion ’23 Demo is up on Spotify.

In your own words how would you describe the sound of Procession?
It's always changing. Some days it is guitar-based post-punk, some days it is electronic rock, some days it is strictly synth pop, some days it is dance music. It really just depends on my mood and what I'm listening to at the time. I guess at this point it’s electronic post-punk.

What bands are influencing the sound of Procession?
For me when writing the music, New Order, Cold Cave, Drab Majesty, Death Bells, Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk all to different extents.

Blue Monday or Bizarre Love Triangle? Why that one?
Blue Monday. An amazing song that was basically made by accident. Hugely influential, changed so much. BLT is a huge track too though.


What would be a dream line up of bands to play with?
New Order, Confidence Man, Cold Cave, Ceremony and Procession. MC’d by Nick Cave and a hologram of Ian Curtis.

How did you find adapting to playing live as a two-piece synth group compared to the usual bands you’ve played in?
Lucky for me Gavin did most of the set-up work, he is so clever and talented and thought-up our live set up within moments of our first discussions. We're using a lot of backing tracks now which are supplemented by synth leads and Gavin's vocals. I'm still learning to play the synth properly which means I have to focus really hard when we play and can't look up really at all or I'll hit the wrong notes but we're getting there.

Being traditionally hardcore scene oriented, how have you found trying to play in a different scene and audience?
It’s been tricky to get established compared to a hardcore band. I have a strong DIY mentality from hardcore which I try to apply to Procession, but it's definitely been tricky to make connections and sort shows within this style of music as we’re starting from scratch with weird music and a weird live show. We play a lot of shows with our mates in Poltergeist 9000 from Newcastle who we know because their member Jaxon played in Tassie metalcore band Break Through previously who we used to play shows with a bunch. They are like an insane mix of the Sex Pistols, Devo, and the Beastie Boys, and are Newcastle’s next big thing. In addition to playing with those guys though we've got to meet a bunch of other synth rockers and post punkers around us like Soyboy, Hylif, and Ohna who we've been lucky enough to play with.

You’ve announced the upcoming release of your debut full length, "What This Life Could Be". Give us the full rundown on what people can expect and how it all came together?
I started writing the album the week after we finished our demo in 2022. I was pretty determined to make an album and for a while the songs came quickly and naturally. We started putting the album together but as time passed found that it wasn't the style we wanted to pursue at the time, so we revisited the songs and replaced powerchords with pianos, guitar solos with synth leads and bass parts with synth bass lines. The Midday Movies single we put out last year came from the original album sessions and is a lot more guitar based than the new album will be. After we reshuffled all the songs to fit the newer direction, Gav took on the role of producing, mixing, and mastering the album. He did a great job and the songs have ended up a lot more electronic and some of the songs I think could pass for pop songs if they weren't about how depressed we all are. The album is a big mix but share common elements inspired by post-punk, synth-pop, dance music, and indie rock music. We are going to drop it on my 30th birthday which feels a bit special. The whole process has taken a lot longer than I expected and I feel like it nearly killed Gavin but I'm so proud of what we have put together. This is the third album I've written across a couple of my bands now and it probably took the most work and love of all of them but it's almost out.

Got a fave track on the album and why that one?
I love Moonlight. It almost didn't make it on the album, and I wrote it to follow whatever we did after the album but I'm really glad it's on there. Gavin has these huge vocal belts on the song, which is unlike anything we've done before, almost like musical theatre belts. It’s very different!

You’ve released the first single from the album in that of “Sunday Scaries”. Can you explain what the Sunday scaries are exactly and do you suffer from it?
The Sunday Scaries are the gross anxieties you feel about work/life/whatever, that kick in Sunday afternoon and that stop you from sleeping or enjoying the night. 100%! I managed them a little bit better last year but it's always a work in progress.

Procession has released two covers recently in that of Wham’s “Last Christmas” and Sia’s “Chandelier.” What was the appeal of those two tracks?
Gavin suggested the Chandelier cover when we were getting ready to play shows. When you just look at the lyrics it's about someone who is almost over partying, someone whos' best friends are only around when you're partying or off your face entertaining everyone. I think as my friends and I have started to get a little bit older and a few of us have quit drinking it just gets a little bit more real and relatable. As hardcore kids, it's easy to overlook pop songs as meaningless until you really dig in and have had new experiences that inform your perspective a little more.

Last Christmas we did because we really thought it would be a laugh. When you play in hardcore bands, it’s pretty likely to play a Halloween show or cover from time to time and we decided that it's time for Christmas to get some love in the world of alt music. To be fair though, that is another pop song that seems shallow on the outside but a bit darker when you look closer which is perfect for us. We also barely had to change anything for the song because it's already a synth pop classic. We were blessed by the spirit of Christmas and George Michael to get out in time before the big day.

What else is in store in the foreseeable future for Procession?
We are releasing our album February 7th, 2024, online and probably physically through Team Glasses Records in Brisbane. We are doing a little launch show February 9th at ECP Studios on the Central Coast with Newcastle's Poltergeist 9000 (previously mentioned Sex Pistols/Devo/Beastie Boys mash up), solo artist Ohna (Newcastle's Frank Ocean) and local producer / dj Midsized Sedance (another hardcore kid making electronic music). We’re planning some remix releases for this year and maybe a split record if we can bring ourselves to make more music this year. Besides that, we're just kicking back and seeing what happens.


How can people get in touch or keep up with what’s happening in the band?
Jarrod: Hit our Instagram @processionpop it features an eclectic mix of updates, photos, and hilarious memes.

Any last words or shout outs?
Jarrod: Thank you, Ryan, for having us and always sharing our music in this band and our other bands. Thanks to our friends and supporters who humour us in all that we do. Special thanks to Team Glasses Records for everything they’ve done for us. Thanks to our partners who don't mind when we disappear for hours on end playing with different synth sounds on our computers. I’d encourage you all to check out Soyboy, Dreamboat, Poltergeist9000, Onryo, Hylif, Ohna and Midsized Sedance. Final shout out to all the punks learning to play the keyboard because they heard Blue Monday and fell in love. Go stream our shit!


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