An Interview With The Safety Word
A new single from The Safety Word brings out a cross between a crisp dream pop and a vintage synth-pop style that really gives a cinematic and impactful feel that comes off anthemic and endlessly addictive.
"Vanity Life" is bold and refreshing with classic synths and keys hat bounce and send heavy grooves into your brain with heart and passion to boot.
The track bumps and hits hard but has loads of dynamic range and vocals that are lofty and melodic and it all works together in a way that almost has a magical tonality to it.
The track feels like a statement for everyone, and it does have a massively relatable approach and a vast soundscape that really takes over and lets you get engulfed by it all.
Insanely danceable and colorful, retro but edgy and new school, and brimming with a true love for the craft, "Vanity Life" delivers a wonderful journey and a palette that you can't get out of your head.
wonderfully woven single that hits all the sweet spots you want it to and more, the release showcases The Safety Word's ability to pack a memorable punch.
With such a bright new single, we wanted to touch base with The Safety Word to find out where this all came from and what may be next.
Here's what went down.
Buzz Slayers: Where did this track come from? John:
This track came from a piece of music Simon spontaneously just recorded. He called me up one day and asked if I would come over and lay down some vocals, so I put my flip flops on as it was still summer time and ventured over. I came over to his studio and laid down some vocals of straight off the cuff which was a natural response to what I heard after hearing the song for the first time. We actually kept a lot of the vocal lines from that first vocal take and just tweaked it a little to fit. Simon: I do a method of music creation called “splurging” which I learnt from my music mentor Mike Monday. I create music everyday for at least an hour coming up with ideas fairly quickly and turning that idea into a simple arrangement with a beginning, middle and end. After mixing down the tracks I don’t listen to them for about a week so that I can hear the song with fresh ears. On this particular occasion I didn’t think much of the track at the time of writing it but when I heard the track back I immediately knew that this was a special song and I needed to refine it a bit and present it to John to take forward as a Safety Word track.
Buzz Slayers: When did everything start for you guys? John :
I think it started around late 2014 when we started jamming and decided to create music together, over the next couple of years to follow we just jammed and let things come out naturally then gotreally serious around 2019. We have a really strong almost telepathic musical connection together, as well as an admiration for what we do as together we create the Safety Word. Simon : Yes we started off quite slowly for the first few years, we played a lot of live shows and jammed a lot together but it wasn’t until 2019 that we really turned it up a notch. It really started taking shape when we released our debut LP and then vowing to release a song every 5- 6 weeks. Including singles, remixes and collaborations we now have over 100 releases out.
Buzz Slayers: What inspires you guys to write songs?
A big inspiration for myself personally is life in general, having experiences and what I’m thinking at the time, in terms of my perception of reality. Being able to create our own world and universe inside of the music and just having something to listen back to and feel amazing. Being able to just create music that we want to hear and evokes a sense of awe within us and that we can then share with other people. Simon : I am inspired by everything around me, creating music is just something that comes naturally and I can’t imagine a time when I wouldn’t want to do it. Through music you can create and get lost in entire worlds that you have constructed. Music is my scared place and the process of its creation is cathartic after a long day at the office. It’s this feeling of escapism that keeps me coming back.
Buzz Slayers: This track has some great styles, can you give us your top musical influences? John :
We have a variety of influences to many to name at the moment, I guess for me some of the main influences have been, early Beatles pre 1967, Alicks, Prince Batman era, Liars, classic music,electronic music, reggae, early punk, post punk. There is varying artist from all these genres, yes just too many to name, I really love artists that just are able to create their own worlds within music. Simon : I am constantly exploring and searching for new music. It is fun to go down rabbit holes through sites like everynoiseatonce.com and type in artists that you like to find other acts that appear alongside them. Some of my biggest inspirations are Boo Seeka, Cub Sport, Bob Moses, Crooked Colors and Ruffus Du Sol and lately I’ve discovered a bunch of cool artists including Slenderbodies, Capyac, Howling, Cubicolor, fhin, Zimmer, Muto. I’m also really into synthwave/retrowave and love the nostalgic tones of acts such as The Midnight, M83, Kavinsky and Com Truise.
Buzz Slayers: What are you doing when you’re not working on music? John : Thinking about music, in terms of formulating
new ideas of how to approach a song or just concentrating on what feelings we want to evoke, I do odd jobs at the moment to get by. I also obsessed with synthesizers and modulation devices, so always looking into that. I would also say occultism is a big part of life so always looking into the mystery schools of thought and different religious beliefs. Simon : When I’m not working on music I’m usually trying to level up my knowledge in the marketing side of the music game. I enjoy going for bike rides or walking my dog Devo and listening to podcasts on this subject. I’m also a bit of a gamer and enjoy the escapism found in story driven titles such as Metro Exodus, The Last of Us, Red Dead Redemption 2 and Days Gone.
Buzz Slayers: Who’s in your headphones at the moment? John :
I’ve been listening to the new albums by Black Atlass and Alicks that just came out recently, also I have been listening to the Tool Anema album as well. Simon : The new Timecop 1983 album Multiverse is absolutely killer and has been on high rotation in my car and heaphones!
Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?
Yes we are doing a single launch for “Vanity Life” on the 8 th of October, it’s at Red Betty’s in Brunswick in Melbourne. We rarely play shows anymore and
tend to just work on writing and recording music. We find playing live is another mindset and although we really love the thrill of playing music live when we can, we now just leave it for special occasions. That being said we would love and are open to do a tour when day if the circumstances permit.
Simon : We love playing live but would rather cater for our international audience. We are looking into doing a series of live stream concerts at various outdoor locations next year through January – March whilst it’s summer here in Australia.
Buzz Slayers: The single feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you would give to up and coming bands out there?
Yes, I would firstly, really put in place the reasons for why you are making music and if they are strong enough and evoke a strong response in yourself continue on, enjoy the process and be aware of the steps you take, try and document as much of the process as possible whether it be by a journal or keeping a log. I think the greatest success is just the experience itself of making and sharing music with yourself, friends and family first, then the rest will follow. Appreciate the moment and be as present as you can on the journey of creating music. Do not be an imitator but rather an innovator and stay away from trends that could compromise your creativity. This realm allows for ongoing creativity so just do your thing and be true and share something new with this world. Support your fellow musicians, and be open to new sounds and performance as we are all in this together.
Simon : I second what John has said here. The most important thing is to make sure that you enjoy the process of creation in itself. Don’t be worried about trying to please others as this will dilute your artistic vision. Be true to yourself and the music that you want to make. Be bold, take risks and always try to challenge yourself to write the best music that you possibly can. Don’t try to please others or chase likes, streams or praise as this will only dilute the art you are creating. Try not to think about an end goal but just enjoy the journey of writing and creating music because that’s where true artistic fulfillment can be found.
Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you guys in the near future?
God willing, hopefully a lot of things in the form of music, sound tracks and short films and low budget B-grade mini-series. We have been talking about different projects and directions we want to go, mainly themed focused E.P’s and albums such as an ambient album we are working at the moment, later on a post punk E.P. doing some short films and an ongoing mini-series based on occult secret agents. Of course doing all the scores ourselves which the music shall be a heavy part of the visuals. We also want to do some dance floor type songs as well to finish our current album by the end of the year. We are working on a few more video clips and visualisers for the current album as well.
Simon : At the moment we are focused on finishing our sophomore album which is about 3/4 complete. We are also working on a series of ambient works, the first of which we will be releasing in December. November will see the release of a Vanity Life remix EP which will feature remixes/reworks of the title track by CITY OF STARS, The Monkeynaughts, Outshift, Ash Knight and even a metal reimaging by The WAV A.P.S.
Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to your fans of the music?
That we are always really grateful for your interest and support, words cannot express the strength and inspiration that your gestures and actions towards supporting us means!!! We do not take it for granted and always just want to push every dollar we earn in creating more and more music and content, so we always have a presence in your lives and that you can expect new music and content from us as long as we live, we are also grateful that you are all so open to when we change direction and are willing to come on the exploration with us as well. We want to say a huge thank you and we always have the best wishes for all.
Simon : Thanks so much for coming on this journey with us, we truly appreciate you and honestly couldn’t have come so far without your love and support. We appreciate everyone who not only takes the time to listen to our music but to share it with others and we are also especially thankful to those who send us messages that let us know how profoundly our music has affected their lives and helped them through tough moments. It is this connection with the community which we have built that reminds me of the nurturing and healing power of music.