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WIFECULT

Wifecult play on Thursday 18 April at Bad Habit / Old Ambo with Melbourne rude punks GLEN, Big Pineapple Custodians Extrafoxx and local inventors of Rock n Roll WORK?

This gig marks the beginning of Bad Habit Records and Collectables’ big Birthday Weekend, celebrating one year at the Old Ambo. Heaps of very good things happening across four days. Find out more here.

Nathan Leitch, Bad Habit Cultural Director, interviews Jarith Hughes, the curly-haired hotboy from Wifecult, whilst Bradley Vander Lugt watches.

Nathan Leitch: Where have you guys been lately? Being a supreme know-it-all means I kinda know that there has been lots of life stuff and other band stuff happening, but can you describe what your last twelve months has been like?

Jarith Hughes: The last 12 months for Wifecult have been a rollercoaster! About this time last year we released our EP Kindness In Clarity, we were rehearsing for two back to back Australian tours with La Dispute and Thrice, and Jarith was deep in hypno birthing classes awaiting his first baby. 

The EP did really well, generating more attention than we anticipated. We played our biggest venues and crowds on the tours, including a sold out show at the Forum Theatre in Melbourne, one of my bucket list venues!

Days after we wrapped up Joey flew to Italy for an elopement wedding followed by eight weeks of trekking through Europe. Brad and I slid back into work and some much needed family time.

We reconvened at the end of the year, released a cover of Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Xmas Is You’ and have begun working on our next batch of songs.

In classic dualistic fashion, the beginning of 2024 felt like it came to a screaming halt. We had not 1, but 4 big shows lined up that were all cancelled for various reasons. In some ways this felt like a stalling false start to the year for us, but amongst work, family and the generally poundings of life, we’ve taking the last three months to write, plan the next recordings and shows for the rest of the year and be a little more present with our day to day lives.

This Bad Habit birthday derby show on the 18th April will be Wifecult’s first show back of 2024! We’re coming at it hard and with a couple new doozies to sample on yas before they’re released!

NL: Amazing. Sounds like lots of growth and positive change. You mentioned Joey going to Italy, and also the La Dispute tour, and it would be remiss of me to not mention that I also went to Italy with Brad, who is the also the drummer for La Dispute. While we were there he wouldn’t stop talking about rock n roll. So, what’s it like having such a high calibre professional on the tubs?

JH: Haha absolutely. Our relationship with Brad is super special and a fine line to walk between friend and super fan. Both Joey and I came up on and took influence from La Dispute’s music. That band has something truly magical about their music.

As a basic rock drummer and songwriter myself, the dynamics and breadth of LD’s musical vocabulary is wiiiiiild. 

Brad’s drumming in particular is so textural and groove heavy.

Roping him in to play drums in Wifecult was a major step up for us. He brings such a fresh energy and a tonne of experience to the table.

Brad’s more than a drummer though, he’s a brilliant composer, recording engineer and synth wizard! It’s a hard thing to write good songs, it’s another thing entirely to be a good band. Both Brad and Joey work tirelessly on locking in, building dynamics and kick/bass patterns. 

Having my best friends also be my favourite musicians is stupidly rare and not for a minute taken for granted. For all the ridiculous ambitions I have for Wifecult, I’m really learning to simply enjoy the process and experience of writing songs and playing rock dawg shit with my best mates.

NL: Hell yeah. I’ve definitely seen Wifecult’s dynamic live, and it’s pretty amazing. The in-store at the Old Bad Habit shop is still spoken about as one of the sickest sessions there. What kind of shows do you think you guys like to play the most?

JH: That was such a fun show! I dig tight sweaty ones.

Honestly, I really love all shows but the bigger stages are definitely a special treat. We’re a loud band, it’s three piece rock shit but the more space we have the more we can crank it up and still hear ourselves, especially vocals. There’s space to move around and natural reverb rules. 

NL: Well, that bodes well for the show on the 18th then, as we’re in the ramp space at the old ambo. It’s gonna be loud as fuck. What can people expect from the Wife Gang? T-shirt cannon? Smoke and lasers?

JH: Definitely cage dancers. And maybe spontaneous combustion. We’ve been previously unsuccessful, but woollen sweaters will help. Also I do that roll-the-crystal-ball-around-my-hands thing that Bowie does in The Labyrinth.

NL: Yeah that’s what I assumed, but didn’t want to just say that. You said you’re trying some new stuff at this show, and you’ve been working on new stuff lately. Does that mean there’s a new record incoming? Tell us about that, and how you’ve overcome the anxiety of making a shit record.

JH: You saying our last record’s shit? Hahaha 

With the music streaming world ever evolving it’s a constant conversation we have about slowly releasing singles or going old school with an album. We’re all album guys, so I think regardless of release strategy, it’ll be an album in its final form.

There’s always a bit of anxiety around making a record. Insecurities, self-doubt and comparisons always plague the mind. But I think now that we’ve put records out before, the anxiety now probably lies more around the production and sounds we can achieve over the songs themselves.

All the previous Wifecult recordings were written and performed by me. As a Jack of all, I managed to put on all the hats and come up with something. Now that Wifecult is a more established band, the new material is much more collaborative. I’ll still write the core of the songs, but we jam them out and the other guys can put their stink on it. Because we’re inspired by such diverse music, there will be a lot more to pull from with these new songs. Some softer tracks and some even harder tracks. 

The stress for me can also be from overcooking the demos. Having 15 guitar tracks when we’re only a three piece. I can hyperfixate on tones and shit and then be unable to replicate it on a tight budget recording schedule.

We need a homie who can write grants to help us out with some tax dollars so we can have adequate recording time [multiple love heart hand sign emojis].

NL: Excellent. I’m super keen to hear the new stuff, as well as the old stuff, which isn’t shit, but I did wonder if your insecurities would translate that as an attack. Thanks heaps for this chat mate. Is there anything else you’d like to tell people about Wifecult, or anything at all? And yes I can help with grants if you get your dad to fix my guitars for free.

JH: Hahaha that’s perfect dude! Thank you so much.

I’ll fix your guitars bro! Super glue and gaffer tape fixes everything.

NL: Deal. 

See Wifecult play on 18 April at Bad Habit / Old Ambo with Melbourne rude punks GLEN, Big Pineapple Custodians Extrafoxx and local inventors of Rock n Roll WORK?

Make sure you get along to all the shenanigans at Bad Habit Records and Collectables’ big Birthday Weekend over four huge days in Nambour. The details for your diary are:

Thursday 18 April
Wifecult, Glen, Extrafoxx, WORK?
Bad Habit/ Old Ambo
Doors 6pm – Tickets

Friday 19 April
Katorga (Melb), The Meat (Bris), Skirmisher (Bris), One More Billy (SC)
Bad Habit/ Old Ambo
Doors 6.30pm – Tickets

Saturday 20 April
Record Store Day at Bad Habit
Tons of new records out, Bad Habit RSD exclusives, Dedlee DJing in the shop
Doors open 7am – Free entry

Saturday 20 April
Cimiterium (Melb), Fat Dog and the Tits (SC), Exit Ploom (Bris), Gudgeon (SC), Schkeuditzer Kreuz (Syd), Moth Trap (SC), Flogg (SC), Double Sided Nail (SC)
Bad Habit/ Old Ambo
Starts 12pm midday – Tickets

Saturday 20 April
Carcinoid (Melb), Malignant Aura (Melb), Cerebral Erosion (Bris) and Slowcut (Bris)
The Presynct, 15 Ann St, Nambour
Doors 8pm – Tickets

Sunday 21 April
Record Fair and Vintage Market at Bad Habit/Old Ambo
Doors 7am – Free entry.

Sunday 21 April
Block Party at Quota Park
Jalang (Melb), Sick People (Bris), Pussy Jane (SC). Skate jam, street art, community.
From 2pm – Free entry, donations to the bands welcomed.

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@lanceksinclair is djing this Saturday morning in the shop. Lance is an underground lifer and singer for @grieg_the_band .
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