Something For Kate can’t wait to get back to playing live. They’re also pretty chuffed about their new album The Modern Medieval hitting the streets last month after an eight-year album creation hiatus. Not that they’ve been twiddling their thumbs since releasing Leave Your Soul to Science in 2012. Music and lyrics don’t just stop floating through your bones. Even COVID-19 can’t prevent those deep-down parts from burning.
I speak with singer/songwriter Paul Dempsey and drummer Clint Hyndman through the cybersphere while Stephanie Ashworth does . . . well, other things. Paul explains: “I think that’s a big part of what keeps us fresh. We all do other things. I have a solo career and work with other musicians. Clint runs a couple of bars and Stephanie has her own projects. But we’ve never stopped making music together. I think this way of doing things benefits the band. We bring back life experience and it works. We’ve been playing a lot of live gigs over the last eight years so it’s not as if we haven’t been making music. We can’t wait to pull out the instruments and play in the same room together again.”
Clint joins in: “The Modern Medieval was finished about a year ago, well before the pandemic, and then everything ground to a halt. My wife took care of the kids and I became a delivery driver for my business Wowee Zowee in Mornington during lockdown. Ha! We recorded the album in Byron Bay with American record producer Nick DiDia. We almost recorded our first album with him years ago, but it didn’t happen. He lives in Australia now and the pieces fell into place. The studio where we recorded the album overlooked the bay and we could see the whales in the distance. It was great.”
So why the title The Modern Medieval? Paul continues: “Life has drastically changed over the last few years. There’s so much information coming at you, and social media has a lot to answer for. It is like we are moving forward in some ways but going backwards at the same time. There’s a lot of tribalism going on, and surveillance. I always respond lyrically to what is going on around me and that includes the political discourse. All the songs on The Modern Medieval bring something different.”
EMI has pitched The Modern Medieval as “an electrifying salve for these strange days”, and I’d have to agree. It’s juxtaposition city. Crashing lyrics are crooned in mellow tones. Dedicated drums make the ground grind and shake. Guitar and bass charge ahead in energised chaos, then wash over you in calm disarray. Ripper!
Paul talks: “Music is a full sensory experience. I think we are getting better at what we do. It’s like you take years to learn to surf and then you know it. You just stand up one day and you’re there.”
All members of Something For Kate are self-taught musicians, and you probably know that Paul and Clint are Mornington Peninsula boys, which makes us like them even more. Check out the album and look for Clint on the streets of Mornington or Mount Martha.