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MusicNT presents DRAFTDAY

DESPITE LOCKDOWNS AND GLOBAL PANDEMICS, Darwin group DRAFTDAY is having a strong start to 2020. MusicNT spoke to the band’s vocalist, Arran Barker, hot on the heels of an EP release and sold-out launch at Darwin Railway Club.

For those who haven’t heard it before, how would you describe your sound?

Honest, an uncensored burst of catharsis. Every song is incredibly personal in how we approach the lyrics and sound. Genre wise, I’d say we probably fall under the blanket of alternative – we’re highly influenced by bands like Trophy Eyes, Slowly Slowly and Gang of Youths.

You released your single ‘Mess I’ve  Made’ in early June – can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind it?

‘Mess I’ve Made’ was the first track we wrote specifically for this EP, shortly after finishing our initial single ‘Soap/En Soi’. It pivoted away from the sounds of those songs into something more upbeat. It’s a bop – something we didn’t think we’d write originally! The lyrics came, in part, from a page of writing that I’d put down shortly after moving back home. I’d scribbled “left alone to fix the mess I made” at the bottom over and over. It was such an honest thought that had to be extended with the band.

You mentioned a semi-recent move back home; do you think living in the Top End affects your music?

Not really. I think when you start to depend too much on your environment to influence or affect your process, you start to try and mould yourself into a specific sound relative to that location. Or to directly try and fit into the culture surrounding it.

The NT definitely provides a freedom to not feel pressured in competing with a thousand other bands, which is really nice. You’re left to do your thing individually – that’s hard to come by in the larger scenes.

What other NT artists are you digging at the moment?

Stevie Jean is incredible and really taking interstate by storm, and Kuya James (James Mangohig) is a producer I admire. And, of course, Tapestry – those guys have left a solid footprint in the scene here and are continuing to grow in Melbourne. Their latest release is on a whole new level!

If you could work with any other NT artist, who would you most like to collaborate with?

I’d say James Mangohig. It’d be cool to explore influencing our sound with his method of production and R’n’B background. With whatever we do next, it won’t remain in the same sonic vein of the current sound.

That sounds exciting! What else can we expect from DRAFTDAY in 2020?

Currently we’re focusing on writing EP number two, but that’s all that’s planned for now – that we can talk about! Keeping ourselves creatively busy is the main aim for this year, developing on what we’ve built.

Lastly, what’s the best piece of advice you’ve received you’d like to share with the world?

My Dad used to always say to me “you should always remain humble”. I think that perfectly – and incredibly simplistically – summarises an ethos that myself and the other guys in the band have adopted.

Remaining in a constant state of gratitude and humble appreciation for whatever comes your way, it keeps you grounded. It keeps us focused on why we do what we do.


Photo: Kyle Ford

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