I N T E R V I E W
Jared Ipsen of Barracks
By Arpie Shirehorse
HUP caught up with Barracks vocalist Jared Ipsen to talk about the release of their latest EP 'Lovestay', life in the band, and all things good here in The People's Republic of Hamiltronia. There's also a very interesting take on a question that leads us to the possible super hero alter-egos of John Key and Donald Trump! As we are utter professionals, we started by talking about the music...
Tell us about Lovestay - where did you record, with whom and where can we buy it? Nate tracked all the drums at this cool little studio in Tauranga - we had a bunch of songs the boys had demoed out, maybe 20 or so, so we chose 5 and just went for it. We did all the guitars and bass in Martin’s garage in Rotorua. The songs sort of evolved as we went - they were just jamming and trying new shit, so the process took a little longer than expected, but I'm glad we did it that way cos we were really able to take our time with the songs and ‘wank over them’ as Nate would say. All the vocals were done in his dungeon over a few weekends. After we finished I realised I hadn't sworn at all in any of the lyrics - it wasn't on purpose, I just didn't actively think about putting them in. I even thought about going back in and just sliding a sly ‘fuck’ in there. The whole EP is coming out on October 13 for free on Bandcamp and also Apple Music and Spotify and all that shit. We probably won't do physical CDs, or if we do they'll be pretty limited. We don't really care about making heaps of money off of Lovestay, we just want people to hear it.
How was the recording process for you? Painful, joyous, or somewhere in between? It was pretty cool for me this time because there wasn't a lot of screaming so I didn't feel like I was gonna die when we were tracking vocals. The amount is a really cool place to go and it was sick being able to go down to the beach and get ice cream after recording.
What plans have you got to support the EP - individual shows? tour!? Physical copies? We are in the middle of sussing a new drummer so we haven't been able to book a tour yet - probably some more acoustic shows for sure, we've gotten pretty positive feedback for the ones we've done recently. We’re gonna do tapes. We just did a live to air for bFM which was so fucking cool, shout out to them for having us. It’s on our YouTube (below - Ed) or their site if you want to have a geez as.
How does the writing process work in Barracks? Lovestay has been really cool to write because we all had a hand in the songs - with Ghosts, some songs were more Hunter or Tom or Martin’s track, but these songs have parts of all of us in them. I'll usually get the tracks as a demo with drums and all that and record rough vocals over the top, and from there we can change the structure or melodies to make it more ‘song-y’.
If I understand correctly not all of you live in Hamilton - how often do you get to jam together and is it a pain in the arse travelling all the time? Yeah, I live here in the promised land, and the rest of them live in Rotorua, although we've been in Auckland, Tauranga, Whakatane.. It isn't really a big deal for us. I see everyone in the band as my brothers and sometimes there's more important shit than jamming every weekend and being able to get together for photo shoots. I actually like it this way because we’ve been able to meet and play with amazing bands from all over the place - I don't think we would have had some of the opportunities we have without all being from different places. I've seen some of the coolest bands over my time with Barracks - Super Narco Man, Dad Jokes, The Gaze, Reaving - bands I probably never would have come across if it wasn't for being so spread around the place. We also get to go do a lot of cool nature shit which is mean.
Name 5 must visit places in Hamilton for people that have never visited (Cafes/shops/parks whatevs..)
1. Best coffee from SL28 in the new Riverbank Mall, go have a geez if you haven't already and Browsers is there now too. Rocket in the CBD and Grey Street Gardens are all goods, and Crate makes a good brew (especially on $2 Fridays).
2. The Arboretum over in the Dale is like the secret gardens but they have chickens and other cool shit too. Trees and shit.
3. Thai House Express on Victoria Street is our go to for dinner when we do gigs in Hamilton. Cheap as and quick for when you didn't realise you were on in half an hour.
4. A little biased seeing as I work there but come and check out Zeal - we have a performance space, recording studios, practice rooms, a cafe area and a screen printing press which is pretty cool.
5. Shoutout to Lola in Dinsdale for always feeding us after a show. If you’re even keen for brunch, go check them out.
Do you remember your first live show in Hamilton? I think the first show I ever went to was at Upsett Records on Victoria Street - The Warpath played and I was like 13 and all I remember is just being scared of them, I know the singer now but I'm still scared of him. I saw Zed at the lake but that doesn't really count. The first proper gig I ever played here was with my high school band at Yellow Sub which was the coolest venue, those were the days with like Defy and shit, you could get those belts that you could spell out words on, and Salmas in Garden Place, and Havok and that shop that had Slipknot and Metallica shirts.. I think we are actually pretty lucky that we are in this little city on an island at the bottom of the world and still have all these sweet venues and such a cool little scene.
Who would you rather gain power at their next general elections - John Key or Donald Trump? It really depends what you mean by power. I would love to see them both infused with super powers, like hero powers. I feel like John Key would be a really campy guy, like Adam West or something. Nah, he’d be like a mix of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy from Spongebob. Do you know what I mean? Trump would be like Jerry’s Mytholog from that Rick And Morty episode or like an orange Jabba The Hutt, not so much in personality, just body type.
If you could put on a show anywhere in the world and have any three bands playing...who/where/what are we drinking? I want to see Hammertime three times in a row at Biddy’s.
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