• Tiana Speter

EXCLUSIVE: Okay Dane's songs behind the songs for their debut EP 'Alienation'


Rounding out a year packed full of recording and showcasing new tunes, Melbourne slacker punks Okay Dane have found their sonic home in brisk, anthemic rock with their taut debut EP Alienation dropping late last week.

Grasping at the frenzied frayed edges of Violent Soho mixed with their own fresh balance of polished arrangements and sweaty energy, Okay Dane are the perfect example of the new wave of Aussie alt rock; loud and proud but without the dickish sneer that can accompany this pocket of the music world. Sure, they wear their frustrations with the world on their sleeve with the occasional angsty tongue-in-cheek lyric washing over the fuzzing riffs. But in place of an alienating ego is a sparkling charm and savvy craftsmanship perhaps seen best on the aptly named debut EP from the group.

And while the tunes are now unleashed in the world, just what influenced this snazzy little outing from the Melbourne lads? Well - wonder no more! We grabbed the Okay Dane gents to chat 5 of the songs that influenced Alienation - go check them out below!

IDLES- I'M SCUM: IDLES last record ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ has been hugely influential on our music from both a song-writing and production aspect. The song ‘I’m Scum’ in particular represents the elements of the album we love all wrapped up in 3 minutes. The percussion absolutely thumps and the guitars are loud and frenetic, and Joe Talbot’s harsh yet sweet voice strikes a magical balance between tough and vulnerable. If you take one element in isolation it sounds manic and incomprehensible, but you put everything together and it just clicks. Especially the lyricism and humour on this song are things that stuck with us as we worked on the more punk orientated songs on the EP.

CLOWNS - LIKE A KNIFE AT A GUN FIGHT: As this EP is our first foray into punk, this song and corresponding record “Lucid Again”, had a huge impact on us when writing. The way the instrumental builds before the song let’s rip, the way the drums and guitars slam when it kicks in, and Stevie Williams’ vocal attack and passion were all elements we wanted to incorporate into our own approach. The dramatic build and the all out thrashing was something we took close consideration of when composing opening track and tour opener ‘You’re Sick’. This song boldly announces its arrival when it kicks in after the intro and that attention grabbing urgency is something that has continued to stick with us, this song is audible adrenaline and a great benchmark for good punk.

PUP - MORBID STUFF: PUP’s latest record ‘Morbid Stuff’ was actually our first time hearing the Canadian punks and the storytelling was one of the biggest appeals to their music. The guitar tones and the layering of parts also stacked really nicely in a way that inspired us to go bigger and bolder with our own compositions. The album is full of songs that demonstrate these qualities but the title track in particular had a huge impact on our song-writing. The straightforward and sincere yet cynical and cheeky lyricism was one thing we were hooked on, especially the opening lines: “I was bored as fuck, sitting around and thinking all this morbid stuff”. The conversational tone of the lyrics made the song even more relatable and harder to shake.

BAKERS EDDY - LEAVE IT TO ME: In the lead up to our first tour we needed a new song to start a set with, something fast and fun that can set the tone for the whole show; we heard this energy we were searching for in ‘Leave it to Me’ by Bakers Eddy. The frenetic chords changes, minimalistic verses, and raucous sound were a huge influence, especially on our second single; ‘Headache’. The dynamic shift in the song is huge, going from stripped back verses to a thunderous chorus that is impossible to not sing along too. Lovely punk goodness with a dash of alt. rock served in a tight little three minute package, what’s not to love?

BALL PARK MUSIC - BAD TASTE BLUES PT. 2: Bad Taste Blues (pt 2) is possibly our favourite Ball Park Music song and one that really got stuck in our collective consciousness. We spent hours listening to Ball Park in the tour van and this is one we’d blast as soon as it came on. The passing chords in the chorus combined with Jen Boyce’s soaring vocal harmonies are absolutely thrilling. Ball Park have the ability to take some pretty down-trodden lyrics and make them sound upbeat, something we’ve tried our best to tap into throughout the record. This was also where Jake discovered joyful “Sam Cromack scream” which has since become a staple in our tunes.




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