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In a Pre-Show interview The Puppets Show Their Depth as Artists

Sydney band the Puppets talk to us about their influences, their creative process, and the message they hope to convey with their music



The Puppets have already zoomed through the first round of the festival and are now getting prepared for the semi-finals. They don’t go on stage at The Factory Theatre until the 1st, but in this pre-show interview with the band, they explain what’s behind their music and reveal their depth as artists. They reveal the themes they explore in their music, the creative processes that take them there, and what their message is that they hope to convey as a band.

CAN YOU INTRODUCE US TO YOUR BAND THE PUPPETS?

The Puppets are a four-piece band from Chatswood on Sydney’s North Shore, made up of Joey Scro, Scott Henry, Sean Loughland and Mark Loughland. The make up of the band has changed a lot but Scott and I have been playing music together for around six years, and the band culture and psyche hasn’t really changed.

TALK TO US ABOUT YOUR MUSICAL AND NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES AND INSPIRATIONS.

Musically we’re strongly influenced by the indie rock and Brit-rock sounds of bands like the Arctic Monkeys, The Wombats, The Killers and Franz Ferdinand but there’s a real lyrical focus in our work and a depth to our lyrical meaning that’s probably more heavily influenced by an interest in artists like Bob Dylan and Don McLean. Scott’s also a passionate photographer and filmmaker and consequently there’s a real focus on imagery in each of our originals, I’d say.

WHAT THEMES DO YOU EXPLORE IN YOUR SONGS? WHAT'S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS LIKE?

A lot of our songs revolve around the beauty and despair of growing up where we have on the North Shore. We’re lucky to have great friends and places to party, but there’s a lot of fabrication and drama as well and I think a lot of our songs are sort of crying out for a greater level of understanding about what’s really important, and some are sort of poking fun at modern culture. Again I’d say we start with an image or a concept and the rest of the song sort of writes itself.

WHAT WAS THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE FIRST ROUND FOR YOU?

For me the highlight of the first round was playing our originals before a very responsive crowd. It’s what you dream of as musicians, and it felt great to get such a good response back about something you’ve worked hard at and are really proud of.

WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO BETWEEN GIGS AND WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN DOING TO PREPARE FOR THE NEXT PHASE OF THE COMPETITION?
We’ve been writing a few more tunes for the EP, which we’re eager to play at the next round of the Emergenza festival, and we’ve started the recording process for some of our older tunes. We’re hoping to have the EP done by early next year.

IN WHAT WAY DO YOU THINK YOU'VE GROWN AS A BAND SINCE YOU FIRST ENROLLED IN THE FESTIVAL?

I’d say we’ve changed in the way we approach gigs. Seeing how bands like Ocean Alley and Cryptic Scorn take sound check, set list and warm up quite seriously has inspired us to do the same – despite the slacker attitude, around live music those guys have a sense of professionalism that we need if we’re going to be successful.

SO HOW DOES IT FEEL BEING ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE EMERGENZA FINALS?

It’s daunting because we know we’re up against quality bands, but we’re really just looking forward to being up on stage again and sharing our music with a new audience.

HOW ARE YOU PLANNING TO PROMOTE FOR YOUR UPCOMING GIG?

We’ll probably try to ask our friends and family to spread the word, send a few emails and try a bit of Facebook promo. We’re hoping to get a good little crew down for support.

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST ABOUT THIS ROUND IN THE SEMI-FINALS?

Really just looking forward to hearing Ocean Alley again, those guys are heaps good! No, we’ve got a new original to play and I think I’m most looking forward to seeing how people to react to it, because it’s quite experimental but we think it’s cool.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO ENROLL IN THE EMERGENZA FESTIVAL?

I guess we were just looking for a way to promote the band that allowed us the chance to play a quality live gig, and Emergenza offered us that. It’s been a great experience for us and we’ve learned a lot as a band, I’d say.