Melbourne’s very own alternative rock outfit, The Getaway Plan, made a notable return to the music scene with the release of Requiem after an abrupt hiatus that, however brief, left Australian fans in a state of shock.
Now, after two successful albums and armed with their first new material since 2011’s Requiem, The Getaway Plan are touring the nation for what will be their most extensive and intimate Australian tour in over five years.
Their double A-side single ‘Lovesick/Mirrors’ awaiting launch later this month is to be released in the way rock’n’roll used to be heard – and, perhaps arguably, the way it is meant to be heard – on pure vinyl as well as in the form of the usual (boring) digital download.
We got in touch with lead singer Matt Wright, just before he embarked on the Lovesick Tour, and chatted about the group’s recent major announcements.
He tells me that long-time bass player Dave Anderson is no longer interested in the life of fame which inevitably interlocks with a successful career in the entertainment industry.
“Dave decided he wanted to try and have a normal life,” Matt explained.
“We had sensed it for a long time so when it finally came out, we’d all sort of come to terms with it. It was totally amicable and we’re all still getting along. He’s just happy doing what he’s doing and we’re happy for him.”
Their newest addition to the band, Jase Clarke, is a close friend of the boys and appears to have brought a fresh perspective to The Getaway Plan’s musical approach.
‘We’ve known Jase for a long time. He just fit in straight away. He’s brought heaps of life to the band, not to say we didn’t have a lot to begin with, but he’s a really positive guy. He also looks at things differently to us because he hasn’t been in the band for as long.”
What’s more is that for the first time in nine years, The Getaway Plan have restored themselves as an entirely independent outfit. Matt reflected on the impact of this change upon the group as a unit and how their new material doubles as a celebration of their newfound independence and freedom from having to answer to the demands of a record label:
“Organising every single thing from the ground up is tiring but gratifying … When it came down to it, as a band, we did have complete creative control over everything. It was more just having people in your ear all the time, them trying to tell you what they think is right, and feeling the pressure from them because those people have invested money in you. Not having anyone to answer to now is so much better.”
So a lot of changes of late, but I guess The Getaway Plan have always been a band full of surprises. Looking back to 2009 where they had seemed to be at the top of their game – playing a stretch of successful tours and their debut album having even hit No. 14 on the ARIA charts – it just didn’t seem to make sense for them to split so suddenly.
With everything having taken off so fast when the boys were still so young and hadn’t a clue of just what it was exactly that they were getting themselves into, they felt a little lost. Pulling the plug before they burnt out, it was not long before Matt Wright discovered he was clearly not ready to give the music industry the flick just yet.
“The breakup just gave us perspective on everything. It’s not to say we weren’t appreciative of what we had but because we hadn’t had anything else, we had nothing to compare it to. Now that we’ve had time to live normal lives, we’ve realised that being in a band is a gift. It’s something we shouldn’t take for granted and we’re all extremely grateful to be where we are.”
Close to two years following the abrupt hiatus and not having spoken to one another since, The Getaway Plan regrouped for a charity show run by an organisation called To Write Love On Her Arms. From early on in the rehearsal period, they realised they still had some more life in them, and so committed to giving the show the best shot they knew how.
And boy did they see results! Requiem, their comeback album, made it into the Top 20 of the Australian Music Charts and their single releases received extensive airplay throughout Australian airwaves.
As a result of their newfound independence, Matt admitted the new tracks differ somewhat from their old songs. He revealed that one almost acts as a bridge between their old stuff and the two soon-to-be-released songs, and another song hints towards what’s possibly to come of The Getaway Plan in the near future.