Monday, November 14, 2011

The Getaway Plan

Enjoying some home time before heading out on their comeback tour,THE GETAWAY PLAN’s drummerAARON BARNETT talks to RACHEL BARNES about the band’s hiatus and how new album Requiem shows the way forward.

The Getaway Plan have been together since high school, walking a rocky path before they shot to fame after the release of their first studio album Other Voices Other Rooms in 2008. Though it might have seemed that the boys had left the tough times behind them, success doesn’t always equal happiness. The sudden change came as a shock to the young band, who never thought that they would grow so big in such a tough industry.

“A lot of my favourite bands haven’t been able to breach past that small indie sort of level,” Barnett says. “With us it sort of just crept up and smacked us in the face really quickly and we were playing big shows and massive festivals like the Big Day Out, that we grew up going to, alongside some of our favourite artists.”

The very festival that they were most excited to play was actually the one that brought them to their knees. Barnett says the band just simply wasn’t running as smoothly as it should and their friendship was taking a backseat to the music. Everything was happening too fast for a band who were simply too young and unsure of how to handle the spotlight. They just weren’t ready. One unanimous and unpopular decision later and the band was on an indefinite break.

Looking back on it now Barnett says it was a blessing in disguise, even though at the time it was the worst thing in the world. Taking on side projects during the hiatus, the break helped each member progress further as musicians, people and, as it turns out, friends. Late last year the band was asked to play a show for the not-for-profit movement To Write Love On Her Arms, and despite being comfortable with the notion that they were not getting back together, the boys had been starting to reconnect for a few months and agreed to the show.

“We sort of came off stage and there was no talk at all about getting the band back together and I think one of us just said ‘we’re back’,” Barnett recalls.

After talking about working on a new record, the band were in a studio in Canada almost before they even realised it. Before they knew it, Requiem had been produced and The Getaway Plan were back and better than ever.

The newly released Requiem shows just how influential the hiatus has been on their music, with each member bringing different styles into the mix and adding new highlights to their already popular sound.

“I’d like to say this record is saying goodbye to the old stuff and saying hello to the new band as we are now. It kind of shows you what we can do and what path we might be taking in the future,” Barnett says.

There is so much hype around the band at the moment that each member is not only eager to hit the touring stage, but also to front up for another Big Day Out.

“We’ve done it before, we know it’s an amazing festival, its incredible and now we’re back, we’re ready … We get to get back on Big Day Out as one of the semi-main acts on there. We can’t wait, it’s gonna be incredible.”

THE GETAWAY PLAN play The Hi-Fi on Wednesday Nov 23, supported by Break Even and Gatherer. They’ll also be at the Big Day Out, Gold Coast Parklands, on Sunday Jan 22, 2012. REQUIEM is out now through Warner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


MERLIN is back on TV screens with the long awaited fourth season of the enjoyable series. The man behind the young magician, COLIN MORGAN tellsRACHEL BARNES about the future of the series, meeting die-hard fans and his continuing passion for theatre.

With Merlin recently commissioned for a fifth season, Colin Morgan says he could never have fathomed this amount of success. The show has taken off all over the world and developed the kind of wide (and avid) fanbase that most TV series can only dream of. “It’s something, as an actor, you can’t think too much about in a way, you just have to think about the job you do and hope that it transcends on screen and that’s something I think that’s really worked with Merlin,” Morgan says.

Morgan didn’t know much about the Arthurian legends before Merlin, so he began reading the traditional texts alongside other more modern replications of the stories. The legends have never really been told the way that Merlin is telling them – in a kind Smallville-style ‘before they were famous’ way – but Morgan says his research showed him that’s exactly why they’re so successful. “They’re retold in different ways and I don’t think that they’ve ever been told quite this way … with the legends before they were legends,” he explains. “The research informed me that I had free reign over the role and could do whatever I wanted in a way.”

The fourth season of Merlin is the darkest season yet and finally sees the characters move closer towards becoming the legends that everyone knows. Merlin has the biggest challenge in the series yet as he fights to keep his secret while he matures into his true role. “Everyone’s slotting into their places and becoming those legends that they’re going to become. For Merlin that means becoming that kind of wise advisor-type role. He’s suddenly getting this information from god only knows where that he uses to inspire Arthur and lead him, and Arthur finds himself in situations where he needs that this year,” Morgan says.

Though filming for season five starts in March next year, Colin says he has absolutely no idea what’s in store. “Last year for series four I only knew the first three episodes when we started.” He isn’t in a rush to get back to filming and is enjoying a well-deserved break. “At the minute I’m doing a bit of seeing people and having a bit of a life,” he laughs.

During the break between the two seasons Morgan is coming Down Under to attend Supanova conventions across the country. He is well travelled in the comic convention scene and thinks they are brilliant events. The amount of support actors receive from fans at these gatherings is amazing, and can sometimes even go that extra mile. “I’ve heard there’s a massive support for Merlin in Australia at the minute so I’m looking forward to getting out and meeting everyone,” he says.

From younger fans only knowing Morgan as Merlin to older fans who have varying degrees of dedication, comic conventions house them all and Supanova is sure to be no exception. People have even gone so far as to dress up as Merlin, a girl once cutting her hair the same and even putting in some contacts to make sure she had the same colour eyes. “That’s dedication right there,” Morgan says.

“It’s initially quite shocking but afterwards you think well actually she put a lot of effort into that, it’s pretty amazing. At these events you never know who you’re gonna meet,” he laughs, “or what you’re gonna meet. But that’s what is great about these things.”

You can pre-purchase tickets to SUPANOVA and get further program information