Billie Eternal releases Moonlight Paradise / Astronaut double singer ahead of Debut Album: Interview

by the partae
Where are you currently based?
We’re in Sydney – Northern Beaches and our wayward drummer is over by some other identical looking beach on the other side of town.
How did you first start playing music?
When they said my lips were too big to play saxophone in Year 2. I assume Matty and Chappo were born with instruments in their hands and music in their blood, the freaks.
What’s been happening recently?
We’ve been writing millions of songs, trying to pull them out of the ether and playing a few shows here and there. Shaping up our album that we’re dropping next month, and looking ahead to the next project.
Your double single Moonlight Paradise Astronaut is out on Jan 25, how did the idea for a double single come about?
Smoking pot. Government issued medicinal. These seem to be everyone’s favourite songs and they want them now now.
What influenced the sound and songwriting for each single?
Moonlight Paradise is shaped by the land it came from, down the south coast of NSW under a moonlit dusk with a gang of kangaroos bounding around in the bush – the song just started coming. Also, Weezer, Prince and the Pumpkins.
Your album ‘Billie Eternal and the Jetcats’ in March, how did the songwriting process take place?
There was a long period where we were forced to never leave the house in Sydney. For a release, I would turn on amps and speakers and plug in a whole lot of noise making equipment into a three-track loop pedal and go absolutely apeshit. These songs, for the most part, come out of those cathartic solo jams.
I had demos where I would just stick an iphone in the middle of the room while this mess was happening around it and my friend Adam Bozzetto from Heaps Decent asked me why all the music sounded like it was underwater. So I put them together properly, laid out some tracks in some hideous 2D sketches and sent them over to the boys and we got in the rehearsal room where they absolutely ripped them. Great air drumming album.
What influenced the sound of this album?
All those great guitar bands from Washington, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Massachusetts and California and that little island way up north.
The long-shortlist looks something like this: Pixies, Nirvana, Lemonheads, Veruca Salt, Jebediah, Grinspoon, Hole, Silverchair, Pavement, Built to Spill, Dinosaur Jr, Modest Mouse, Prince, The Strokes, Powderfinger, The Cure, The Beatles, Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins, Oasis, Weezer, Sonic Youth, Garbage, Jimmy Eat World, Fugazi, Children Collide, Queens of the Stone Age, Jimi Hendrix, Violent Femmes, Elliott Smith, Michael Jackson, Alanis Morissette, Custard, Jeff Buckley, INXS, Killing Heidi
Where and when did you record/produce/master and who did you work with?
Our fearless bass player Matt Stewart is an absolute weapon – he played bass, sung backing vocals, recorded, mixed and mastered all of our tunes at A-Sharp Recording Studios in Riverwood where he is the Head Studio Engineer. Pretty convenient, great studio and he somehow made our scrappy pop thrash sound a million bucks.
The great Nick Hatzakos assisted in engineering.
It was early last year or the year before or something (time is dead) and we smashed it out in a day – a pretty immense feat of drumming.
What do you have in store for the launch of the album?
We’re having a party in the city with a few of our favourite bands. Stay tuned for details. We’re going to give it a bash up and down the coast in the months after.
Please tell us about the 8-bit style video game that you’ve come up with:
We wanted to make a movie like Interstella 5555 and be like Beyoncé with a visual album, but that shit costs a great deal of money and the checks aren’t in yet. So we made this sweet computer game that’s soundtracked by 16-bit versions of our songs and has the full album in it in a record store. It’s a bunch of mini-games based on old computer games that rip like Commander Keen, California Games and Donkey Kong and it’s about a kid called Billie who has to save the galaxy from black hole monsters by shooting everything in sight and going surfing. It might be a metaphor for depression or something. It’ll be out on Steam and Itch the week before the album’s out. so the album will actually be released as a video game first.
Who are you listening to at the moment?
I’m far down the south coast of NSW right now with a busted phone, so I’m rocking a bunch of dollar CDs from Manly market. Pumped Exile in Guyville on the way down here, Blood on the TracksJimi Hendrix Greatest Hits. Back in the big city, there was a lot of The Zombies and Destroy Boys going on. And Prism Bitch.
What do you like to do away from music?
Fearless drummer Jack is the world’s most social man, so you will find him at a baby shower, wedding, family event, organising a charity cricket match or at one of his 40 best friend’s birthday parties. Matt has gotten deeply into his Muay Thai and has become something of a gym rat and is now quite a commanding presence for someone who is generally thought of as the nicest man in the world. I like finding new swimming spots or going to the same old swimming spots with my dog. Basketball is making a comeback.
What’s planned for 2023?
Album out, shows about, back in the studio to put down new tunes. Due to recent events, we’re living life to the Pepsi Max and will accept nothing less.
Favourite food and place to hangout?
Pizza is Earth’s favourite food and anyone that says otherwise is a liar. We’re simple people, you can find us at the pub on the water or the other pub on the other water.

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