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Byron Shire
October 18, 2021

Interview with The Ninth Chapter

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Ninth Chapter – pic by And the Trees Photography

Launching The Ninth Chapter!

The Rails, Byron  |  Friday 12 April  |  7pm  |  Free

The Ninth Chapter possess a powerful ability to groove. Layering elements of funk, blues, and folk, the Australian six-piece revels in exciting songwriting that takes listeners on a diverse musical journey.

With over a decade of touring and three EPs to their name, the band has just launched their first full-length album (self titled). Renowned for pairing heavy groove with thumping horns, and able to sculpt a vast landscape of sounds, moods, and tempos – the album is a definitive representation of where The Ninth Chapter’s musical evolution has taken them. Led by Jaz Munro’s bluesy vocals and slinky guitar, it is a showcase of The Ninth Chapter’s dynamic sound: the driving rhythm section of bassist Daniel Bowland and drummer Zac Page, the expansive percussion of Glen McClymont, and the richly layered horn section of Dillon Carlsson and Tom Hilliar.

Describe the last six months for Ninth Chapter?

Completely unique. After so many years together it becomes harder to find yourself in new territory and the album has certainly tested us on many levels, bringing with it a weight that until now has been unknown within the band.

How have you honed your very distinctive sound?

Good question. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how we have honed our sound; however, creating an atmosphere where we can all bring as much or as little as we can fit into our lives is certainly a factor in its evolution.

Tell me about your debut album. I’m always intrigued why bands self title. Is it because you can’t decide on a name, or is it a thing?

In our experience the self-titled album is usually the first long play, and for us, even though we have been together for over a decade now, this album represents our journey as a band from a three-piece with more folk influences to the six-piece deep groove outfit we have evolved into. So I guess it seemed fitting.

What is the core strength of this new album?

Prior to heading into the studio we knew we wanted to represent what we all bring to the band individually, and that breadth of influence resulting in elements of funk, blues, folk, and jazz, which in itself would be the strength of the album. From a lyrical standpoint the album is as much about our journey as individuals as it is about the band’s sound.

Tell me a bit about the recording process with Geoff Wright at Lucky Boy Analogue. Why did you decide to go non-digital?

We love to change it up for each studio recording and the opportunity to work with Geoff was fairly random. After recording one song in 2017 we decided to continue the project at Lucky Boy. Over three weekends later in 2018, we enjoyed the vibe he created for us. Recording analogue is much warmer and less produced, creating that natural sound we like.

Did it change much do you think, about the sound of the album?

Yes it did. Not only do you hear a warmer sound with the inevitable background noise of recording to tape, but we found ourselves simplifying the sound and stripping our instruments back to their natural elements, which compared to recording digital where you tend to tweak things in post-production and lose what you created live in the studio. We tried hard to keep that raw live-essence throughout the album and be okay with some flaws which came from that.

You guys say your band is about mateship – a brotherhood of creativity. I love that. Can you tell me a little bit more? Is it a six-way chemistry?

It’s absolutely a six-way chemistry. Bands are volatile creatures and after a few years of playing together we decided from then on it has to be about enjoying playing live with each other, and once that disappeared we would re-think things. Fast-forward to today and some of our most memorable gigs have been our most recent for how we enjoy each other’s company and connecting with the audience during that process. This has been our number-one priority throughout the journey, and who knows when it will end…

What can we expect for your upcoming gig?

New music, same vibes. It will be a funk-driven show full of our signature style, mixed with new material that is still forming. Kind of a balance of the new songs finding their feet, and the old faves bringing it home.

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