NINE SONS OF DAN
SAM GEORGE-ALLEN interviews NINE SONS OF DAN frontman JAY BAINBRIDGE.
Gold Coast pop-rockers Nine Sons of Dan’s second EP is called The New Kids – and you can see why. “We’re so young, and we’re pretty new to this, so I guess we’re still trying to figure out what we’re doing and how we write music,” says their lead singer and Orange County import Jay Bainbridge. New they might be, but with one EP already under their belt, the quintet have managed to get their new single Diamond Skin mixed by American producer J.R. McNeely, of Paramore and Anberlin fame. “He just has this really awesome sound; this American mixing sound. I’m originally from California, so I like the sound of US pop-punk and he does that so well.”
The songs on The New Kids nail this kind of California sound – clean guitar leads, American-accented vocals, and the kind of teen-anthem choruses I can see the fourteen-year-old me really enjoying. But the band’s conscious decision to keep pretention to a minimum – the impetus for Bainbridge to leave the O.C. in the first place (“I was turning into one of those Newport beach kind of kids who only care about fancy cars”) – also makes for a more authentic record. Bainbridge is quick to play it down, “We’re just a rock band, so when it sounds closer to the live show it’s just so much better.”
After supporting the Darkness in Brisbane with an admirably laissez-faire attitude, they’re on their way to perform as Simple Plan’s sole support on the North Queensland leg of their tour. “It’s just Simple Plan and us. It’s so cool but I’m sooo freaked out!,” he says. The’ve also just completed a six-week jaunt around the schools of Victoria and New South Wales with the Rock the Schools Tour; a learning experience for everyone involved. “There are just so many interesting kids out there who are interested in music and it’s so cool and so positive,” he explains. “We’d meet up afterwards with the music classes of the school and do a question and answer thing. I learned a lot from just answering the kids’ questions. I’d learn about how we do things just by explaining it.”
The lyrics might be obvious and the tunes not exactly cutting edge, but the youth and freshness is hard to fault. Bainbridge is humble, the music is full of energy and they’ve successfully mastered the art of fan interaction with the ingenius installment of a band phone. “It’s basically a phone that we carry around with us on tour and people will call us all the time,” he says. “We just chat to them about what they’re up to and what music they’re into. When we’re on tour, they’ll call before the show and talk to us before we go on stage.” Looks like the new kids are making friends already.
NINE SONS OF DAN play The Hive on Sat August 4 (all ages) with Rawr Vanity, Adventure Land and D At Sea. THE NEW KIDS is out now. www.ninesonsofdan.com
SAM GEORGE-ALLEN is a Brisbane writer, postgrad student, and musician who can be found being disappointing @samga