The Getaway Plan’s Matthew Wright (vocals, rhythm guitar) is chilling at home in Melbourne, but he’s “itching to get out” on the road for a national headline run next month, their first one since January.
However, reflecting on what he perceives to be a deteriorating community vibe for bands in Melbourne, Wright still feels somewhat disconnected from playing at home. In stark contrast, the musician describes the UK as “a pretty incredible place”, with the band having last toured there in support of Floridian rockers Sleeping with Sirens back in 2013.
“No offense to Australia, but I feel like people over there are more in it for the music,” he says bluntly. “When we were playing there, the people were coming up to us, and the discussions we were having with people… They were such level-headed, intelligent and music-related conversations.
“A lot of the time, people in Australia are just like… I don’t know. It’s not like they don’t enjoy themselves, but it seems like a lot of people act like they don’t want to be there sometimes. I think it’s just maybe people are a bit pretentious, without realising it too.”
“Obviously, it changes from city to city, but I think the worst places are Melbourne and Sydney for that kind of a person. There are also people that absolutely love it in every city, so that’s why we keep doing what we do.”
There are also people that absolutely love it in every city, so that’s why we keep doing what we do
With the band’s debut album Other Voices, Other Rooms turning 10 next year, the boys are set to celebrate by playing the release in full. What becomes apparent is just how deep the connection to those songs runs as Wright affirms, “I think that record will always have a place in all of our hearts.”
“We’ve played the majority of the record live over the years. But I guess one song that we don’t get to play too often is ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ – that’s a song I really love from that record and I’m looking forward to playing on tour… I think on every release we’ve put out, there will be like one or two songs that will be a link to the next record, kind of like a hint at where we want to take things. ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ is one of those songs that, for that reason, is pretty cool.”
The Getaway Plan are excited to bust out ‘A Lover’s Complaint’ on Australian soil again
Considering what hasn’t changed about the group since that album, the musician hesitates briefly before saying, “I guess just our passion. I mean,” he backtracks here, “that’s sort of changed as well. I think because it’s more apparent these days than it was when we first started out. I don’t know that there are many things that are still the same! I guess just the amount of fun that we have.”
“Our passion for songwriting is something that has stayed very true.”
That drive has held Wright and lead guitarist Clint Ellis steadfast over 12 years as the remaining original members of the band. The two are able to “see eye to eye on a lot of things”, while working through any disagreements is “a healthy process”.
The singer admits, “He’s probably the funniest dude I’ve ever met in my life, personally, and I think that’s continued to be true since I met him. Something that has changed is he’s just gotten way better at his instrument. I guess getting better at that means in turn that you get better at being able to write. Just his ability to nut out ideas more thoroughly and efficiently is the biggest thing.”
All of a sudden, there were all these changes and we had left our label at the same time
However, the four-piece has certainly been shaken up by changes over the years. 2013 saw the group part ways with bassist Dave Anderson and long-time record label UNFD, before the departure of drummer Aaron Barnett seven months later.
Reflecting on that rough time, Wright says, “It had been the same lineup for ten years and then all of a sudden, there were all these changes and we had left our label at the same time. So it was a really daunting time for us, but everything worked out for the best, without a doubt.”
Bringing brothers Dan (drums) and Mike Maio (bass) into the fold culminated into third album Dark Horses (2015), signifying a rebirth for the quartet that didn’t come without its own challenges. Releasing the record independently through a crowdfunding campaign on PledgeMusic was, as Wright describes it, “the hardest thing that we’ve done.”
“We anticipated that it was going to be a lot of work, but it exceeded our expectations by a lot. So that’s probably the most difficult thing that we’ve had to do but honestly, our perspective and the mindset – the dynamic of the band – is healthier than it’s ever been and it’s only getting better and better.”
That positivity has continued to carry over the last few years, and Wright says of the Maio brothers, “I think the biggest thing that they’ve brought to the band as far as songwriting goes is just that they have a fresher perspective on things than we do.”
“Clint and I can be somewhat jaded in some respects, just because we’ve been doing this for so long. But having those dudes… They’re not super young but they’re a lot younger than Clint and I, and they haven’t had as much touring or writing experience. So just their energy and their passion for it is very strong, and that helps a lot.
The biggest difference with the new lineup is that it’s a four-way collaborative effort
“I think the biggest difference with the new lineup is that it’s a four-way collaborative effort rather than back in the day. There were just a couple of us that were involved in the writing. But these days, everyone is way more involved and I think for that reason, we’re just getting stronger and stronger as time goes on.”
The Getaway Plan are touring right now, with their debut album Other Voices, Other Rooms being played in its entirety – check out the remaining dates below.
The Getaway Plan ‘Other Voices, Other Rooms’ National Tour 2017
Friday, 1st September
Rosemount Hotel, Perth Saturday, 9th September (sold out)
Corner Hotel, Melbourne Sunday, 10th September (new show)
Corner Hotel, Melbourne
Thursday, 14th September
The Triffid, Brisbane
Friday, 15th September
Metro Theatre, Sydney
Friday, 22nd September
The Gov, Adelaide