Interview: A Chat With Methyl Ethel's Jake Webb

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Methyl Ethel's Jake Webb continues to reaffirm his status as one of Australia's most talented songwriters and his third album Triage, which is released today, showcases some of his best (and complex) work yet. We had the chance to talk to him about the album and the importance of creating continually.

Triage is out on the 15th Feb, are you ready to set it free?

Absolutely, couldn't be readier.

Awesome! Now 'Triage' is a rather meaningful word. Why did you choose it for the title of your third album?

It seemed appropriate, it seemed appropriate in many ways. A lot of the ways we are still realizing but it is one of the joys and powers of titling things.

How would you describe the physical space that you wrote Triage in?

A living room, converted into a recording studio, is how I would describe it.

Sweet, and did that work out well?

I think so... Do you think it sounded ok?

Absolutely, I think it was done really, really well. 

Good.

You have gone back to the same sort of set up as your first album?

Well, it is the same because I basically did it 100 per cent on my own and then mixed it over in London. Yeah, it was really good to get back into the hot seat.

Did you gravitate to other art forms whilst writing the album?

I think I am always trying to do that — trying to find it from all sources. I actually try to avoid listening to too much other music because it's too scary to think that you have accidentally borrowed too heavily from someone else, so I usually try to find things from books, or films, stuff like that.

Was there anything specific that did that for you?

Nothing too specific, just always trying to be present and consume it all. That sort of stuff.

Were there any new things that you sought to experiment with, that you hadn't before, on the new album?

I sort of did a bit of study on things like classical techniques and harmonic study. I was sort of a bit more bookish in that way, rather than going on 'vibe' with this one.

And have you ended up having a favourite song off the album?

That changes a bit. I really like 'All The Elements' and 'No Fighting' I'm a fan of. But yeah, it does change a bit.

Methyl Ethel is your creation. How important is it to have the input from the rest of the band once you have written the songs?

Well once they're done, they're kind of doIt's Its more the input on a technical side of things, like how we can best replicate it in a live setting. I think the input from them as humans and as players is the most important thing when it comes to being a band and that's something that I enjoy a lot. Playing with these guys, everyone brings their own set of skills, so its kind of its own thing.

I hear along the grapevine that you are working on some new material. Is that correct?

(Laughs) That is my grapevine that I seem to be spreading — every time I have a record out, I seem to be talking more about the new stuff that I'm working on. Yeah, so I have stuff, you know, in the bank and working on it further. It's just fun you know, and I love doing it, so I will always be working on something.

So is this something that will be turning into an album that we will be able to hear soon?

I don't know how soon, but yeah it will be heard. It will definitely get heard.   

Great. How important is it for you to create constantly and keep that fire burning?

Very important! It's not so much a fire, as a muscle, it just kind of fades away or disintegrates if it's not exercised appropriately. Not to mention it's also kind of an addiction. I'm addicted to writing music.

Well, as long as its a healthy addiction and you keep turning out great tunes like you have been then that's awesome. 

(Laughs) Sure thing.

Thanks heaps for the chat and I absolutely love the new album, I think it's gonna do great!!

Thanks so much, nice chatting to you.

Written by Emily O'Brien

Check out our full review of Methyl Ethel's album Triage here 

You can catch Methyl Ethel on tour at the below dates. Presale tickets are available today 15th February, and general sale is on Monday 18th February.

Saturday, 15th June - The Astor, Perth
Friday, 21st June - The Forum Theatre, Melbourne
Saturday, 22nd June - The Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Thursday, 27th June - The Gov, Adelaide
Friday, 28th June - The Triffid, Brisbane