For the past decade, Safe Hands have been slowly etching out their place in Australian rock music with a successful debut album and EP, as well as a number of support gigs alongside the likes of Norma Jean and La Dispute. In this interview with Jackie Smith, vocalist Benjamin Louttit discusses the highs and lows of his musical career, a new line-up, and what to expect from their latest album Tie Your Soul To Mine.
Congratulations on the upcoming release of your latest album, Tie Your Soul To Mine. As September 23rd draws nearer, are you nervous for how it will be received?
Can’t say there’s any real nerves this time around. It’s been what feels like an eternity since the first album and we’re just going at our pace now with no deadlines or pressure or anything like that. There’s more so an immense sense of relief that it’s finally going to be out there for people to listen to.
What’s the reaction been like to your single The Great Affair (especially it is a little different from your usual songs)?
It’s been really nice, generally very positive. We’re getting a lot of good feedback in relation to the video too which has been gratifying. The sound change might’ve taken people aback a little at first but there’s still elements of the old style in there for the small amount of long-time listeners. There’s just a different focus now. With the rest of the album and pushing forward we’re working within this style so it’s simultaneously a departure and an indication of where we’re heading.
Is there a particular concept or inspiration behind this album as a whole?
There’s a few different threads running through the album but the main focus is on the passage of time since the last album. I’m now a husband and a parent trying to work my way up in a long-term career and now the band takes a backseat to all of that.
A number of the songs explore the idea of whether it’s a good idea to push forward trying to fulfil yourself creatively in the face of common sense saying you should be knuckling down, working and providing for the life you have now and in the future.
Can you talk me through the recording process?
The whole thing took about nine months. We started mid-2015 with our friend Mat Taylor behind the boards. The drums were recorded in a day in a holiday house at Smiths Lake that we converted into a studio for a weekend. From there it was a laborious struggle getting everything else done, fitting around both the band and Mat’s work schedules. Recording sessions took place in our rehearsal space (aka a storage locker) and Mat’s house sporadically and we finally got it all done and dusted in March of this year. Mat’s partner was also having a baby so it was a race against time to finish a lot of the guitar parts before the birth. Continue reading