Birds Of A Feather
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Birds Of A Feather

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia | SELF

Adelaide, South Australia, Australia | SELF
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Birds Of A Feather

Diversity on the same bill is a romantic concept that may very well be dead amongst the local scene. It's why the concept of Scorcherfest is something of a challenge for your average punter nowadays; the prospect of seeing metal, hip hop, folk, rock and hybrid bands that you can't pin beneath the overarching 'indie' umbrella, all at the same event, represents a concept that people appear unwilling to embrace, with international headliners an exception.

However, for a relatively new band like Birds Of A Feather, Scorcherfest is a stirring prospect. The opportunity to be a part of an established festival is not the only lure; the idea of meeting and networking with likeminded musicians is a very welcome proposition, especially when your making music on the fringe of what's popular on the scene right now.

"We formed just under a year ago, and our contacts are kind of limited to the friends we know who also in bands," explains lead vocalist and guitarist Carmine Spagnoletti. "We wanted to go and enjoy the opportunity to play a full day festival, and also meet likeminded musicians from different genres. It's also a great self-promotional tool where we have to get out and sell tickets if we want to make more of a profit for ourselves."

Unheralded by the standards of local independent mainstream acts, Birds Of A Feather are proud to represent their brand of music. Their debut EP, set to be launched in September, is a combination of grunge and rock influences with a twist of funk and jazz contributed by Jamie Seyfang (guitar), Miles Sly (drums) and Jake Haysman (bass), who have a history together all the way back to being a part of jazz bands in high school. Accompanied by Spagnoletti's untrained rhythm guitar, the band has found it easy to write together, but not so easy to find a scene to associate with.

"We're still playing alternative music, but we come from a 90s alternative background," states Seyfang. "We've also played together before and can slip in a few more technical things that perhaps your typical indie band. We're not quite full on rock, so we can't always play The Cranker, and we're not quite indie enough to always be billed by The Ed Castle."

"It's hard to fit into genres so we try to make our shows flexible," Spagnoletti continues. "If you're not part of a mainstream indie sort of crowd, then you feel a bit of an outsider, but we're not interested in playing for a crowd that isn't open to whatever kind of music is out there. We're confident in our music. Our songs are our songs and we're proud of them. Indie is in, but at Scorcherfest people can go and discover something different that opens their mind and gives them the opportunity to see part of a scene they wouldn't usually see. Maybe they'll like it?"

Despite only being together for a few months, the band were buoyed by early demos and a positive live response, culminating in arrangements to record their debut EP being made quickly. Completed at SAE with upcoming engineer Luke Bourne during a single 15 hour session, the band believe that it was a crucial first step to raising their wider profile.

"We had a lot of debates about whether or not we should do the whole lo-fi thing," Seyfang laughs. "We listen to some lo-fi stuff, but our sound is more polished overall."

"Luke was brilliant. He initially listened to some of our rough demos then came and saw us play live so he knew what we were about," Spagnoletti explains. "We developed a really good relationship and by the time it came to record it we were really feeding off one another. I think it's an old school thought that you can just gig hard, get your name out there and see what happens."

"We were doing some gigs around town and getting some great responses and good energy," Sly adds. "Now we've got the EP and it's turned out well, we need to make sure we use it effectively to draw a few more fans. We're being passed around by friends already, and we've heard good feedback from people we've never met now, which is encouraging."

Even more encouraging is the fact that the band has got a full calendar leading up to Scorcherfest. No doubt this should help them refine their live set and boost their confidence leading into their EP launch soon after.

Birds Of A Feather will play Scorcherfest at The Duke Of York on Sun 27 Mar.

By Ryan Winter

- db magazine


Still working on that hot first release.



Adelaide quartet Birds of a Feather have arrived in a hurry, with urgent music beautifully crafted in vast, dramatic sound scapes, rich in emotion and power – setting them apart as something unique on Adelaide’s indie rock scene.

Only a year ago, he was learning the rudiments of guitar on his telecaster. Even at this early stage, Carmine Spagnoletti immediately started writing his own songs, inspired by a big, raw American sound – Jeff Buckley, Patti Smith, Smashing Pumpkins – and the more intriguing and challenging of the British indie rock outfits, namely Radiohead.

Now, with the added input of seasoned young musicians to form the quartet Birds Of A Feather, these songs of have taken flight – the best of them now to be released on the Adelaide band’s first five-track EP in early 2011.

Early in 2010, Carmine began jamming with bass player Jake Haysman, and threadbare song structures began to gain form and muscle. Jake enlisted further help his former band colleagues Jamie Seyfang (guitar) and Miles Sly (drums) – together they had played in tearaway teen grunge band The Milton Experience, with the technical ability of serious jazz chops but the surging power of influences drawn from Smashing Pumpkins to Nirvana.

Once this quartet began rehearsing in March 2010, the seeds of Carmine’s song ideas quickly burst into full bloom. Within weeks, Birds of a Feather had launched onto the live scene playing all original material. Their sound swirled with rich textures and explosive dynamics from a bold, courageous rhythm section that benefits from five years of familiarity, providing the perfect platform for a huge sonic curtain of soaring guitar figures. Never satisfied with the ordinary, this quartet stretches the songs and arrangements into a surprising array of grooves, moods and atmospheres, earmarking them as one of Adelaide’s most interesting live bands.

After six months of busy gigging around Adelaide, the band went into the SAE International College of Music studios in Gouger St, Adelaide, to cut its first recordings with engineer Luke Bourne. At the end of only one gruelling 15-hour session, the quartet emerged with an exciting collection of five completed songs – and the fruits of that session have taken shape as the Birds of A Feather CD.

“It’s exceeded my expectations,” says Carmine. “Those songs are very personal to me, and to hear how they have come alive on the five-track CD in the hands of these fantastic musicians is truly inspiring. And the more we keep playing, the stronger we get. We love doing it – and because of that I can see good things happening for Birds Of A Feather.”