"BATS is the most honest and revealing collection of songs I've ever written."
Australian band Cub Sport have been releasing emotional, exciting songs since they began as a band, but as their lives evolved, so has the complexity in the music. On their recently released Sophomore album, BATS, the band enter new territory and more personal subject matter. The group is exploring who they are and how important it is to stand up for the things they believe in, too.
Lead singer Tim Nelson spoke with Popdust about the making of this record, their latest music video, and more.
How did you guys start making music together?
I've been writing songs since I was in school and once I'd graduated I wanted to start fleshing the songs out and playing shows with a band. I asked Dan, Zo and Sam if they'd be keen to play a show with me and we've been playing together ever since!
You're from Australia. How is the music scene there? What influence did it have on your band?
The Australian music scene is really amazing. It sounds like a cliché but it really is a community with a lot of support between artists. The Australian influence runs deep - we've collaborated and toured with a bunch of amazing Australian artists who have been an integral part of us developing as a band and getting to where we are.
You guys have also played music all over the world. What have been some of your favorite or most inspirational crowds?
One of our favorite shows we've ever played was in Salt Lake City in 2016. The show was at 7pm on a Monday night in the middle of summer, so we weren't really sure what to expect. BUT, when we arrived, there were already people waiting out the front who had driven 4 hours to come see us! Everyone was singing along and it was such a good vibe. After the show, we saw the most spectacular sunset over The Great Salt Lake - a seriously special evening!
Your sophomore album, BATS, was recently released. How did the writing and recording of that album differ from the first?
During the creation of BATS I came out as gay and came clean that I was in love with my best friend/bandmate Sam which was a pretty huge thing and was heavily inspiring. BATS is the most honest and revealing collection of songs I've ever written. I recorded and produced a lot of it at home - all of the vocals and most of the instrumentation is from the original demos, so it feels like it captures these specific moments of what was a very significant time in my life.
You have a video for the single, "Good Guys Go." What was the process of filming that like?
We shot it with one of our good mates Joe Agius. It was very DIY - Joe shot it in real time on a single roaming camera on the street outside his house. Sam and Joe worked on the lighting design together as we were filming and I styled the clip and sourced the vintage Mercedes off a fan on twitter. I really enjoy working with friends and just vibing our way through the video shoot.
This is the first single after Tim and Sam revealed that they were in a relationship. Do you think that changes any dynamics of the band?
"Good Guys Go" isn't actually about Sam and I - our previous two singles "O Lord" and "Chasin'" have been though! We'd been best friends for years before we came out and properly got together, so our being together didn't really feel like it changed much within the band. In saying that, the dynamic of the band has evolved as we've all grown - we've been playing music together since we were pretty much kids and now we run our own label together and manage ourselves, so we've developed really strong friendships and business relationships within the band.
Your band is also very vocal about speaking against homophobia. Why do you think that's important given the world's current political climate?
Zo, Sam and I are all gay and were raised in quite homophobic environments, so it's something very close to our hearts. I was ashamed of being gay for many years and I really just want to help queer people be proud of who they are. LGBTQI suicide rates are still among the highest in the world and I want to take every opportunity to improve someone's quality of life. I want to be part of the queer representation that was lacking in my world when I needed it. It's really exciting seeing more and more LGBTQI people standing proud and owning their queer identity - artists, sportspeople, politicians, actors etc. It all contributes towards queer people having a genuine sense of belonging.
What other songs off the album are particular favorites to play, most especially live?
"Hawaiian Party" is one of my favorites! It has some Mariah-inspired vocal ad libs over the last chorus which is always super fun!
What's coming up next for you guys?
I'm on the long flight to London as I'm writing this! We're doing some promo stuff and stripped back sessions while we're in London, then we're heading to the US to do more of the same - we're also shooting a music video while we're in LA which I'm really excited about! At the end of February we kick off the BATS World Tour which visits Australia, the US and the UK (also announcing European shows soon!). The Australian and UK shows have sold out months in advance which is super exciting!
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