‘Oceanic, vast, otherworldly’ | Interview with The eight five two

Silence is deafening.
Shiver by The eight five two is greatly honest and stunningly melancholic. Read our discussion with the band below!

Describe your sound in 3 words

Oceanic, vast, otherworldly

Tell us a few things about your debut single Shiver. What is the story behind it?

In short, ‘Shiver’ is about the idea of not being able to let go – like there’s this current always drawing you back – memories always brimming to the surface. We first jammed the guitar riff with our good friend and regular collaborator Darcy Fergusson on the drums. It felt like this groove, this pattern that could go on forever – like floating in limbo. From there we got it in the studio and Nick wrote the top line and lyrics and Timm, John and I pieced together the instrumental. It was an unconscious thing – we ran a one take scratch vocal with Nick sitting in the same room with a SM57 and actually very nearly used that take in the final version. Everything about the song felt very fluid. We didn’t want to overthink anything, and let the track take its own path. The most official thing we did was record the drums at Hercules Street Studios on an old Neve console with engineer Ryan Miller who we’ve worked with on past records for other projects – that process was awesome.

Why is letting go so difficult?

I think it’s because that person, or that dream or whatever it is was so deeply entrenched in your being that ripping it out is like taking away a part of you. Any relationship is an exchange of energy, so when it’s gone, even if it’s a toxic relationship with a person, or work, or whatever, it leaves a hole behind that you feel like you need to fill.

Shiver is stunningly melancholic. Why does melancholy feel so good?

Thank you – I guess it’s like pressing a sore tooth – sometimes you can’t help going back for more. There is introspection in melancholy, a sadness that is also sweet and inspiring and moving – I guess that comes out a lot in Shiver and a lot of the music we have been working on.

What is your music background? Also artists and people who have influenced you?

We all found our way to music quite differently. John and I played guitar throughout high school and formed an alternative rock band shortly after, playing shows and releasing albums. Nick was playing football in Barcelona when he turned to putting out rap videos on YouTube and instagram – moving back home to Sydney when he realised music was his real passion. Timm grew up with us playing music around him, and after spending some time in Tokyo taking manga drawing classes he discovered Ableton and beat making.
Our paths have converged a heap, but The eight five two marks the first time all four of us have sat in a room together to write for a new project together. We each have a heap of different influences and I think that’s what leads the music into a kind of weird, genre bending space. There are definitely a few influences that seem to converge – appreciation for bands like Radiohead, Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, the Chili Peppers etc. We’re not huge on comparisons but sometimes it’s good when threads of the music can ground the listener in a place or style – that whole familiar but new thing!

If your music was a manga, which manga would that be?

Ahh damn, cool question. Timm and I always spent time together as kids watching Anime, and Timm is actually a freakishly talented manga artist. If it was up to me, I’d probably say Ghost In The Shell. The cyberpunk themes are epic, but also beneath it all there are some really deep questions about humanity and consciousness – those questions that we still don’t understand about ourselves projected onto a cyborg trying to rationalise its existence – super deep. I’d say The eight five two sounds like the weird birthing sequence in the beginning of 1995 animated film.

Is complete silence deafening?

Yes – I’d say more than anything. I’ve always been fascinated by the anechoic chamber at Orfield Laboratories – the quietest place on earth. Upwards of 30mins inside it you start to become disorientated, hear bodily functions and experience other unexplainable psychological effects. That idea that you can loose yourself in silence is terrifying, but it also makes all the things that fill the silence even more beautiful.

What the future holds for you?

To be honest, for us it’s really about the journey and staying inspired. We started this whole project without any expectations, just wanting to get together and see what happens – I think that comes out a lot in the music and art direction. Moving forwards, we want to keep a hold of that energy and continue to channel it. We’re focused on our current single ‘Shiver’ and working towards the release of our upcoming debut EP later in the year. We’re also excited about booking shows, working on new music and everything else that might come our way!

Thank you!

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