Jamie Hay on Conation’s 15th anniversary vinyl release and gigs

By Danger Coolidge 
Unbelievably Bad Editor 

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Conation’s status is “officially broke up but gets together on occasion”. This time the occasion is a 15th anniversary vinyl release of The Dichotomy Of Earth And The Human Race.

Originally released by Deplorable Recordings in 2001, The Dichotomy… is being issued on wax for the first time by Braindead and Black Wire Records, and the sporadically active Newcastle screamo swashbucklers are back out of cold storage to play the album live from start to finish.

Their tour starts in Newcastle on Friday (November 25) and the Sydney gig is already sold-out, so dilly-dally at your peril, punk.

UB speaks with Jamie Hay about the belated launch and stuff…

 

So Conation’s status is “officially broke up but gets together on occasion”?
Haha yeah that’s pretty much us, I guess! We “broke up” in 2006 because I was moving to Melbourne and felt like Conation had run its course. We got back together in 2009(?) when we finished The Clouds Are Gathering EP to tour it and we’ve been coming back at least once a year since then. We love playing together and as long as it’s fun and people still enjoy it, why not, huh?!

What’s the occasion this time?
Murray [Ruse, drums] hit us up earlier in the year to play Scumfest, which we thought would be fun, we then added a Newcastle show because we all needed to go there to rehearse anyways. One thing led to another and we got the conversation going with Chad [Braindead Records] and Tom [Black Wire Records] about releasing Dichotomy on LP. I said if we can get it done in time that we’d add more dates and do a tour for it. This conversation has been happening for a few years now and it wasn’t ’til these couple of shows were locked in that we finally made it happen. The opportunity was there and we all just pounced on it and I’m stoked that we did because I’m so fucking stoked that this album is getting a vinyl release!

Is it always easy to pick up where you left off? Who gets rustiest between times?
We’ve all continued to play in bands so we get back on the bike without too much trouble with the exception for my voice, which I would say is the rustiest “instrument”. That stresses me out a great deal to be honest. When we done the Clouds tour, I struggled immensely. It not only took a toll on my voice but it also took out of me physically (insert “old” joke here!). Since moving back to Newcastle myself, we’ve been jamming every week and it’s been great to get the opportunity to shred my voice box into submission! I’m feeling more confident about it now.

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The Dichotomy Of Earth And The Human Race came out 15 years ago, has time offered you the chance to listen to it more objectively? How do you think it “holds up”?
I think it holds up pretty well to be honest! I had some pretty solid ideas on the way I wanted this band to sound and I think this was the first time we’d nailed it so I’m proud of that. Lyrically, it’s a bit of a snapshot in time for me. Good and bad. I always tried to write with my heart on my sleeve and in doing that I don’t think you can go wrong, right? Aaaaanyways! I’m still happy with this record.

How much preparation / rehearsals have you done or will you need to do to play the thing live from start to finish?
Well, as I mentioned earlier we’ve been lucky enough to have been rehearsing each week. This has been great but it also brings everything under the microscope that much more. Dale [Townsend, bass/vocals] and I have scratched our collective heads at some songs trying to remember what the fuck we were doing there but luckily they share lots of the same chords, haha. At times relearning old songs is like putting a puzzle together. Once a few riffs come together it’s easier to put the rest together.

What are the hardest parts of the album to replicate live?
The vocals, that’s for sure! We’re even thinking of bringing an acoustic along so that should be fun. I want to get a stand like Richie Sambora used and just walk up and play it when it’s needed, haha.

Will there be didge?
There will be no didge, unfortunately.

Listen to The Dichotomy Of Earth And The Human Race:

Conation dates:
Nov 25 – Croatian Club, Newcastle
Nov 26 – Scumfest, Adelaide
Nov 27 – Black Wire, Sydney
Dec 2 – Crowbar, Brisbane
Dec 3 – Reverence Hotel, Melbourne

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