Indie, Punk, Rock
Luca Brasi, The Hotelier
Callum - Lead Vocals/Guitar, Gerard - Guitar/Vocals, Madi - Bass/Vocals, Mitch - Drums
The Menzingers, Modern Baseball, Joyce Manor
Unearthed artists we like
“Delivering countenance of truths we all need to hear, Brisbane rockers Semantics blend the seriousness of R U OK day with Ben Lee’s We’re All In This Together optimism to check in with the mental health of humanity on their sophomore EP, If You’re Not Alright” - Music Is My Muse.
True to punk-rock philosophy, Semantics spares no effort to connect with their listeners on a personal level on and off the stage to remind fans that it’s alright if you’re not alright.
Since their pivotal stand-alone single, ‘Cemeteries’ debuted on triple j’s Short.fast.loud last year, Semantics have been hard at work refining their craft to match their newfound direction. Describing their sound as “somewhere between punk-rock, indie, emo and Aussie rock” the Brisbane quartet returns with their sophomore EP, ‘If You’re Not Alright’.
Sounding like the likes of Luca Brasi, The Menzingers & Title Fight, each song is unique, containing its own lyrical message within the overarching theme of the challenges of maintaining one’s well-being while transitioning into a working-class lifestyle.
Get to know this week's triple j Unearthed Feature Artist and this year's Bigsound comp winners, semantics!
Tell us about your music. How did you develop your sound?
We started off the same way most young punk bands do. Lots of Green Day, Against Me, The Menzingers etc. We were all high school emos. That has always played a part in our sound, putting us on the melodic, emotive side of punk more so than the chordal, political origins of the genre. The sound is still developing as we grow. We listen to grunge, hardcore, folk, dub reggae, trance, world, blues, and lots of country. It’s fun to listen to what people outside of your immediate genre are doing that makes them special.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration for making music?
Listening to more and more music every day. In recent years, the online accessibility to new obscure music is so cool, we can digest music from all over the world and sift through music we otherwise never would have found. More people are pushing boundaries and saying goodbye to genre “norms” and that is super inspiring to us. We never feel like we’ve got to stick to a certain concept.
What can punters expect from a semantics live show?
Lots of yelling, lots of headbanging, a couple of tears and way too much fun! Energy is what makes a show, so we won’t always play our parts perfectly, you can listen to our tunes at home and enjoy precise recordings, but we aren’t sacrificing a punk rock performance for that. I don’t think its what people come to our shows for.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given and who was it from?
The best advice we have received is to barrage Unearthed with our activity. Our incredible friend Luke Morgan stressed the opportunities we could gain if we took this seriously and let the curators know we exist. Since then, no one has reciprocated our efforts better than triple j and Unearthed.
What Australian track would you play to cheer up someone who was crying?
I’d blast the entire Novos album by The Gooch Palms. I break out in dance every time I listen to it. There’s something about the surfy, punk reinvention of The Misfits, The Ramones and Elvis Presley ballads that is just irresistible.
What Australian track would you play to someone to make them cry?
'Boys Will Be Boys' by Stella Donnelly is a tearjerker. The lyrical depth and intensity tied in with her sometimes delicate delivery and belting vibrato is almost too much. Incredible song, gives me the shivers every time I play it.
You’re the DJ at a party. The dance floor is pumping. What Australian track do you put on next?
Easily 'Broken Leg' by Blue Juice. Most underrated song of the 2000’s.
What was the last local gig you went to? How was it?
Half of us went to the Waax album launch at the Triffid, all we can say is… wow. Insanely energetic band with mountains of talent and fresh musical ideas, they’re a band we really look up to.
Tell us about the bands or people in the Brisbane music community that inspire you.
Brock Weston (drummer of Bugs and producer at Bedlam) is an infinitely wise and creative individual with great taste and pure enthusiasm for music. Bugs in general are a pretty incredible group. They have given us a hand spreading the word about us and are one of the most talented and deserving groups in the country. We’re also head over heels for Voiid who are long-time friends of ours. Seeing them grow and kick milestone after milestone so unrelentingly is so inspiring and so much fun to be around.
What are your plans for 2019?
We’ve got our gigs booked up for the rest of the year with some amazing bands (Press Club and Lazy Susans notably) and we’ll be writing new tunes in the interim! This year has been hectic already, we want to keep the ball rolling and hit 2020 prepared for even more action!View Profile Hide Interview