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Minor Premiers take major step forward with release of debut album

Culture

More than three years since Brisbane indie-rock quartet Minor Premiers hit the studio with ARIA Award-winning producer Wayne Connolly, the band’s debut album Sheets in the Garden has finally being released.

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Comprised of singer/guitarist Luke Daniel Peacock, drummer Jhindu Lawrie, bassist/vocalist Ayla and guitarist James Watson, Peacock told InQueensland the band started life as solo project.

“Me and Jhindu had made a solo album of mine and that’s what was kind of leading into these Minor Premiers songs, they could very well have been a solo thing too but we quickly realised that it was really a band effort and a band sound, so I wasn’t comfortable putting my name on it, to be honest.

Peacock, who plays in alt-country-tinged eight-piece Halfway and is also an acclaimed solo artist, having won the 2016 Billy Thorpe Scholarship among a raft of other awards, said he met Ayla, who is a rising alternative-pop singer in her own right, when he and Lawrie began recording demos for the album.

“We were doing some demos at QUT and Ayla was a student there and she was recording them and ended up singing on them,” Peackock said, “and we just asked her if she wanted to join the band.

“We bonded well with Ayla and she sang so well over the songs and we asked her if she could play bass and she said no, and then we said, ‘good, you’re playing bass,” he laughed.

“We don’t play very hard songs, so we knew she was capable of doing it, even if she didn’t been capable of going, even if she didn’t know that herself, so she jumped on board, which was great.”

Peacock joked that Watson, who plays bass for 2019 Queensland Music Awards Song of the Year Award winner Clea, “basically forced himself upon us and told us that we needed him”.

“It’s great, because myself, Ayla and Jhindu are really quite introverted, pretty chilled kind of people and James is not by any stretch. He’s a ball of energy and it makes rehearsals a lot of fun and lifts the dynamic really, because he’s so entertaining.”

“That whole group of songs, I don’t think I went too deep, I was enjoying doing the indie rock thing and kind of thinking back on youth and things like that. It wasn’t a huge nostalgia trip but I think I was just trying to access emotions that you deal with in your youth.

The album was released last Friday and all of the first-week sales revenue the band generates through sales of the album on music site Bandcamp will be donated to the Justice for Yuendumu and Justice for David Dungay Junior funds.

“We just wanted to try to fight injustice and just do what we could to change this stuff because I think everyone agrees that’s it’s horrible and a lot of people say they don’t really know what they can do,” he said.

“Myself and  Jhindu have been pretty active in the First Nations community for a long time and I just felt like an opportunity … we knew we weren’t going to raise a hell of a lot of money but I think it was more of a way of setting an example and  kind of encouraging other bands to kind of see what we’re doing and maybe see that as a way that they can help.”

As social restrictions continue to ease, Peacock said the band was looking forward to dusting off the cobwebs and getting back into the rehearsal studio, and ultimately back on to local stages again.

“It was only sort of last week I was speaking to James and we realised that we’re probably like allowed to rehearse again and we were talking about how much we missed it, so we’ll get back in and start rehearsing.

“It’s not like it was part of a whole plan to put the record out and make some money to then expand our careers as members of Minor Premiers or as a band, because we never really intended on doing that, we always just wanted to play Valley bars and hang out with their friends and have fun.”

Click here to purchase Sheets in the Garden from Minor Premiers’ Bandcamp page

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