Words by Athalia Foo
Dodgy iPhone pics by Athalia Foo
All others supplied by Daniel Ford

Just an FYI... this is a hybrid post!

For those of you who love dreamwave, garage-pop and indie rock this is a post you will LOVE! If you're an avid follower of our Instagram you would have seen we lucky enough to attend a rare Monday night Brissie gig feat. the likes of Black Vacation, Blank Realm and the infamous Deerhunter.

TBH, I felt really proud (in a weird chaperone aunt kind of way) that on a Monday night in sleepy, pretty Brisbane the Zoo was packed with chilled out souls who'd paid top, pre-payday dollars to have their ears filled with sound. Black Vacation caught me with their sweet and playful tunes, Blank Realm gave me zingers with their hair-thrashing energy, and Deerhunter soul-soothingly made us feel right at home (and for me personally... a little rebellious?)

I left the gig early (but still pretty close to midnight!) with my ear drums blown out, but my heart filled with warmth, satisfaction and excitement that such great talent is coming out of our own nooks and crannies.

Post-show I managed to catch Daniel Ford, the original Black Vacationer, who chatted with me about the show, the present, the 'Black Vacation' Google results and what's next ....

Illustration by Daniel Ford

SC: Firstly, congratulations on playing such a wicked set on Monday! You guys are getting bigger every time I see your name on the bill for a gig, you’ve grown from one member to four – tell me how that has been for  you, what’s your experience been like?

DF: Thank you, yeah, it was definitely one of the best we've played with so far. As far as the experience of changing the band from a solo project to a four piece, it's definitely reconstructed the live dynamic of the band, it's always interesting to see how people will elaborate on a project when collaborating with others, especially for the live aspect due to everyone's individual approach to how music should be presented for an audience versus the band's overall direction.

SC: Glazed was released earlier this year. What’s been the response so far, for first time listeners and those who have followed past EPs?

DF: The response to Glazed has been good overall, it's considerably different to some of the EPs I released myself and the release I recorded with Matt and Michaela a few years ago, but it's a great reflection of how the live sound has evolved since the reformation and addition of Helena playing lead guitar. I think each release, especially Glazed, is also some insight into the constant state of change that the band is going through, as it has taken plenty of different forms and slight changes in direction since I began it as an aural extension of my art practice.

SC:  What’s the general consensus when people hear you’re a Brissie band? Is there a different attitude because you’re Brisbane guys when you go on tour or online, as opposed to, say if you were from Melbourne?

DF: [I think] Brisbane has been generating interest in certain genres or scenes for quite a while, and when we've toured I've found people to be extremely conscious of the current bands coming out here. I think in a country with so few large cities it's easy for each of the cities to be quite connected where music is concerned, and with that said, I haven't found a different overall attitude, most people are just excited to hear interstate bands for a new experience.

SC: So what would you say was the hardest thing about being an independent Brisbane band? 

DF: Probably convincing people to listen to your music... it takes some serious persistence.

SC: On another note, have you seen the Google images that pop up when you search ‘Black Vacation’?

DF: Haha, yes I have, I'm not sure what to think about them, but I guess it's to be expected being that it's a literal visual interpretation of the name... and it is the internet, anything is possible, and any set of words ends up being some sort of company or internet-wide institution.

SC: Why did you choose that name in the beginning?

DF: I chose that name when I first started recording the five song EP I released in 2010, I wrote a song by the same name after taking a trip to London to visit my girlfriend, Christobel. The five songs on the EP were created to complement a zine called Half Penny I was working on releasing through Charlie Hillhouse's Small House Books, containing photographs and illustrations I had done while in London which were solidified cryptic and nostalgic reflections of moments I had in the UK. Black Vacation became my aural analysis of the time I had there, and the contrast between how one feels before or on holiday and the ensuing feelings of coming home and falling back into the everyday. This is why I chose the name Black Vacation, because it implies a contrast of ideas, and maybe even something bittersweet.

SC: I love that it was something you really considered, it's a great name that could have multiple meanings! So what's next for Black Vacation? Any special projects you can leak to our readers?

DF: We don't have any shows in the near future, but I've just released a demo version of one of our new songs we played at the Deerhunter show that I recorded a few weeks ago - it'll be on the new Black Vacation release next year.

SC: Final question of the night - if you were a digital device or a social media platform what would you be and why? 

DF: I'd most likely be this Laptop, all of my song ideas or illustrations in the past few years have been recorded on here.

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