Redefining indie rock

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 January, 2012, 12:00am


Band name: The Jezabels

Members: Hayley Mary (vocals), Heather Shannon (keyboard), Nik Kaloper (drums), Sam Lockwood (guitar)

Based in: Sydney

After taking Australia's music festivals by storm, the indie rock band arrive in Hong Kong to spread their genre of what they call 'intensindie'. The four-piece Aussie band played at Kitec's Rotunda 3 in Kowloon Bay on Tuesday.

Young Post managed to catch up with the drummer, Nik Kaloper.

The name Jezabels is ... a biblical reference in the Old Testament. Without going too deep, it's just an attempted reclamation because 'Jezebel' is used as an expression for a promiscuous woman these days. We want people to consider that this may not be the best way to use this word. We put our own twist on the spelling for that reason. [The band's name is spelled 'Jezabels', instead of 'Jezebel'.]

We are all from Australia except... me. I was born and raised in California, and I moved to Australia when I was 15. Hayley, Heather and Sam are from the north coast of Australia, in a town called Byron Bay. And we all ended up meeting at the University of Sydney.

The band started with ... Hayley, Heather and Sam signing up for the university band competition. And I became friends with them because I worked at the cafe at the university while I was studying. They asked me to drum for them. Then we started playing shows together.

Our genre is ... sort of pop rock. It's just a bit hard to define because we all have very different musical tastes. We meet somewhere in the middle, and it doesn't seem to fit very neatly into rock or pop or alternative. It's a bit of everything I think.

We all have very different musical backgrounds, for example ... I have been playing the drums for eight years now, and I was playing a lot of metal before I was in this band. But Heather is a classical pianist. And Sam likes the blues and roots. Hayley is a big fan of Eighties pop. So we come from four different corners of the world, musically speaking.

A lot of the unique sounds in our songs are from ... Heather's synth bassline. While she plays classical piano, she also engineers different types of sounds to provide different textures to a lot of the songs. Sam plays a strong whizzing guitar. Then Heather introduces some abnormal sounds and mixes to the songs. And I just play my drum kit like every drummer does ... [laughs]

The best music festival we have played is ... called Wave Rock Weekender, which is four hours east of Perth, Australia - so it's in the middle of nowhere. And it was relatively small, maybe about 1,500 people. But it was set in this area where there is this geographical formation: a giant rock in a shape of a wave. It was cool to have all these people in the middle of nowhere with this beautiful scenery, and everyone was enjoying themselves while we were playing music.

Our plan for this year is to ... play as many shows as possible in many different countries and see what happens. Hopefully, we can get a few more Jezabels fans.