IT has been seven years since Perth rock band End Of Fashion released new material.
But the wait is almost over, with fans able to get their first glimpse of the new album-in-making at two intimate shows this month in Fremantle.
Frontman Justin Burford, currently living in Leederville, said while he never stopped writing songs, it was four or five years ago that he “bought a whole demo-ing station” that got him “back into it”.
“I was exploring lots of different genres and lots of different styles and re-exercising that writing and producing muscle,” he said.
“During all of that, End Of Fashion had been playing a handful of shows and I was getting suggestions from people like ‘get the band back up and get some new stuff out’ and I was like ‘nah, it’s cool. I’ve gone another way and trying out lots of other things’.
“Then it was probably a year ago, I compiled all of these songs – the work I’d done for the previous four or five years – and it was a decent handful of tunes that immediately struck me as having that End Of Fashion sound.
“I thought ‘this could easily be interpreted with a band’, so that’s what got me back on board thinking about End Of Fashion in that way again.
“Up until then, my answer was always no, because we’re a rock band but essentially we write pop songs and if you don’t have those songs then you’ve got nothing to put out.”
He described the new material, which is expected to be released as an LP in early 2020, as being the “sister album” to the band’s debut self-titled record in 2006.
“There’s an old saying that you’ve got your whole life to write your first record and then everything after that is done on the fly or feels a little bit more rushed,” Burford said.
“So we are recapturing that spirit of just being a band and being a songwriter in a band.
“There was something pretty special about that first record in that it’s not overly layered. It sounds nice, we had a great producer but it wasn’t worked to death.
“It sounds like a group of friends playing music together and that’s what we’re going for again.
“The new songs just feel End Of Fashion whereas albums two and three – Book of Lies and Holiday Trip of a Lifetime – … we became a pop group on those albums and this brings us all the way back to being a rock band that’s a little bit janky and maybe not completely polished. A little bit rough around the edges but the emphasis and the focus is just on writing really good toe-tapping songs with lyrics that mean something to us.”
With the same line-up for the past three years, Burford said they were “really, really excited” about the upcoming shows at The Aardvark (the basement of The Norfolk Hotel).
“So far there’s been a positive response but we also understand it’s been a while between drinks,” Burford said.
He encouraged fans old and new to “please buy a ticket”, with the hope there would be more touring to come.
“I love touring and I love being on the road,” he said.
“I’m not too proud to say we really hope this does lead to more things and we really hope we can find our audience again if they’re still there and still want some music.
“The new songs are sliding in really, really easily so that’s what people can expect.”
“And I’m curious to hear the feedback and get people’s reactions.
“As much as songwriters say they write songs for themselves, which of course you do, but that’s step one. You’ve got to please yourself, but then there’s an audience to consider.”
Who: End Of Fashion
When: July 26, 27
Where: The Aardvark, Fremantle