After six years away from the Australian music scene Australian punk band Short Stack are coming back with a brand new album & concert tour. Due for release on February 25 Maybe There’s No Heaven will see Short Stack display their growth & maturation as both artists & men. Speaking to City Hub before Christmas, drummer Bradie Webb reflected on how this album came to be, the maturation process of the band, how the shackles have been removed from their creativity & their excitement for the tour in June.
Six years ago, whilst they were at the top of the Australian music industry, Short Stack suddenly & shockingly chose to step away the limelight. When asked why they made this decision Bradie said, “quite honestly I think the three of us needed some time to look at where our lives were heading. All we’d ever really known was playing in a band, which is kind of weird to think about, but in a ridiculous way we were kind of child stars.” Given that Short Stack were so popular at the time we asked Bradie whether that was a difficult decision to make.
“Yes & no,” Bradie answered before elaborating. “It felt right to step away because it felt like we had run out of creative juices. We were also a little bit frustrated with the way the band was viewed…. We felt like everyone was wanting us to be a different band than what we actually were… I have zero regrets.”
Since the decision to step back felt so natural it was just as surprising for fans when Short Stack suddenly announced a reunion tour. For the members of the band this was another difficult decision, especially for Bradie.
“I think I was the one who was most hesitant at first,” he explained. “I liked where my life was heading. So when [the reunion tour] was first discussed it was almost like I was flashing back to the worst parts of the band & worrying that we might head down that way… But to be able take a break for a few years, get a house, have children & just be happy with our lives that allowed us to realise that we missed the band so much… Then as we started to do it again the stars aligned & it just seemed like a good fit to have that in my life again.”
Given that a significant amount of time has passed since their last record Bradie, Shaun & Andy are much more mature artists & men now, which has meant the music has also matured. As Bradie said with a chuckle perhaps the most noticeable change being that “Shaun’s voice has dropped a few octaves from when we were 16.” On a personal level though Bradie also explained that he was particularly proud of his improved drumming saying, “I think I’ve doubled my skills in the last five years.”
Perhaps one of the biggest changes with Short Stack & the direction of their music though has occurred behind the scenes, with the band signing to Unified as their new record label. According to Bradie this partnership has fostered a freedom in their creative process that they’ve never had before.
“Every time we’ve spoken with Unified they’ve just said ‘do what you want’. That is a really nice response to get when you are trying to be creative, and it feels like we’ve been able to do that. Hopefully lots of people like what we’re doing but at the very least this music is very sincere & honest.”
The debut single Love You Like I Used To is a prime example of the freedom Unified have afforded Short Stack on this record. The band has previously been hesitant to lean into their pop-punk past but this single does just that & acts as an easy portal into their new “unapologetic rock band” future.
“It’s definitely a more mature sound,” said Bradie. “The hooks are still there but I think some of the other tracks might surprise people.”
Whilst Love You Like I Used To acts as an easy portal into their new sound Bradie said ultimately the decision to release thing song came down to one fact – “it’s my mum’s favourite song.”
Finally as Short Stack look ahead to their tour in June the excitement & nerves are continuing to rise inside of Bradie & his fellow bandmates.
“We’re pretty nervous, to be honest, because the reaction to our music being released has been a bit overwhelming. Now it feels like there is a lot of pressure on the three of us.”
As Bradie explained that pressure comes from the significance of Short Stack in the lives of their fans. Due to this Bradie said, “to be able to play again now & connect with those people again is a really special opportunity that you can’t turn down.”
As we closed out our conversation Bradie also had something very important to say to the fans of Short Stack over the years.
“I want to say a very very sincere thank you, because in a way I never truely appreciated what we might have meant to some people. Until now. I work with children now & have realised how tough it can be to be a teenager who is going through really hard times at school or at home. So I just want everyone to know that I really appreciate the love & support through the years.”
July 15-17. Max Watt’s. 116-122, Building 220, The Entertainment Quarter, Lang Rd, Moore Park. $79.90+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.shortstackband.com