Spotlight: The Playbook

Melbourne pop-punk's The Playbook have an impressive resume. Notching up the touring miles, they've supported heavyweights such as Real Friends, The Story So Far and Man Overboard, amongst others, on top of their own run of successful headline shows around the country. Having already released some quality pop-punk, they're currently gearing up to release their debut album All I Am Is What You Left Behind, due out December 2017. We caught up with the talented group to talk about their emotionally driven single 'Locked Away', the huge amount of work involved with their debut album, and their future plans.

Tell us how The Playbook started and how you all met?

Brent and I started the band after bonding over our mutual love of early Rise Against records. He had a friend that played the drums and I'd just met Jenkins who knew some Pennywise riffs. Parker, our original singer, came for an audition after meeting Brent at Fist2Face and by the end of that day, we had formed the band that would later become The Playbook. Stu jumped on board as our new drummer a few years later after he recorded our second EP (check out Time and Place on Spotify!) and Laura was the last to slot into our current line up after auditioning for the band once Parker called it a day. This is a very brief version of what is actually a really long story!

The second single from your upcoming album, Locked Away, is quite an emotionally vulnerable song, and explores fairly heavy subjects. Where did you draw inspiration from for this song?

Laura wrote the lyrics to Locked Away. She has explained that her inspiration came from the heartache of being torn apart from someone you love and the life changing moments that become tainted by painful memories. It's essentially a song about lost opportunities and heart wrenching let downs. Locked Away means a lot to her personally. If you watch the music video, you'll be able to gain a greater understanding and insight into the song, so we encourage you to check that out on YouTube.

You also released a video to accompany your second single, what was the filming process like? How did you come up with the concept for the video?

The filming process was super easy for us as it was the first music video we've ever done that didn't require the whole band. We worked with Sean Fox earlier this year to film our previous single, 'Reach', so we gave ideas on how we wanted to scatter lyrics throughout the clip and then left the rest to him and Stephen to do their magic.

Your debut album, All I Am Is What You Left Behind, is out December 2017. How long has this album been in the works and what was it like recording it?

This album has been a very long time in the making. We're generally a pretty DIY band and our drummer, Stu, has spent countless hours recording our parts, particularly Laura's vocals which took the best part of a year smash out. The two of them got together every week to workshop vocal melodies, improve lyrics, bust out harmonies and everything else in between. We've all worked very hard on various aspects of the band, but when it comes to the recording process, Stu has been absolutely phenomenal. We're now waiting patiently with fourteen finished songs and artwork, incredibly excited for you all to hear what we've created!

What are your musical inspirations as a band, both personally and when writing your own music?

As a band, our taste in music is eclectic and the answer to this question could honestly change from day to day. I mean, you would find our whole band singing every word at a New Found Glory concert, but then you'd be listening to John Mayer albums in my car, hear Stu talking about Death Cab For Cutie, watching PUP video clips on Jenkins' phone, flicking through Brent's collection of Anberlin vinyl or spontaneously busting into Green Day sing alongs with Laura. We just love music.

Any plans to tour off the back of All I Am Is What You Left Behind's release?

Touring is easily the most enjoyable part of being in a band. Once the album is released, we plan to tour as much as we possibly can. We've already got some trips up our sleeves for later this year including Tasmania for the first time and our long overdue return to Western Australia, but once the album is out, we would love to be able to head overseas too. The dream!

What does the rest of 2017 and 2018 look like for The Playbook?

A lot of time in a van or a plane, some very sweaty clothing after giving everything we've got on stage, a new record in the hands of anyone willing to listen and mic grabs to songs that you haven't heard yet but will very soon. It's very exciting for us!

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