The Potbelleez - The Big Eezy
The Potbelleez are arguably one of the biggest acts in Australia right now, having released two massive singles, mixed a Sessions disc for Ministry of Sound and embarked on countless tours. 3D’s Carlisle Rogers spoke to them ahead of the release of their debut artist album.
The Potbelleez is an interesting ménage consisting of two Irish DJs and two Australian vocalists. Last year’s breakthrough single Don’t Hold Back was certified platinum recently, cementing the quartet’s reputation as adept pop purveyors.
Their new eponymous album is out now, featuring lead single Trouble Trouble, which singer Ilan says represents the party half of the album perfectly.
“The album is almost split into two parts,” he says, “one part is ‘let’s party, let’s go crazy and get into trouble,’ whereas the other half has a more introspective storytelling element to it. One of the songs is about a break-up, another song is about the economic infrastructure gone to hell and back and then there is a really intimate song that tells the story of Johnny Sonic having to go to hospital and deal with that, but meeting his beautiful girlfriend there. It crosses over, a lot of it is about partying and a lot of it is about dark tales that turn into light.
“The other tracks we’ve released, Don’t Hold Back and Are You With Me, we put them on there because they were so liked and they did fit the mould with the big hands up in the air stuff. What we really like about those two tracks as singles is the subject matter. It’s not your down the road sex, drugs and rock n roll sort of stuff that you get so much of on the dancefloor. It’s more about an individual’s journey from somewhere quite heavy to somewhere quite uplifting and emotive.”
Ilan says much of the success of the band thus far comes down to the unique blend of influences that come to the fore when he writes with the two Irish lads, Dave Goode and Johnny Sonic. “I’m new to the dance scene. I come from a more rocky/folky more cabaret way of music. These guys are into heavier electro house, so the combination of the two elements and the way they cross over really interests people. For a couple of the tracks I sketched stuff up at home and presented it to the guys. With other things, they might do some backing tracks and I might write some lyrics over it and we’ll edit the lyrics a bit together; it’s different every time.”
The ensuing tour to push the new album should be enticing – these guys have earned the mantle of ‘killer live show’ over the past couple of years. “Yes and we really rock it out. The two guys, Johnny and Dave, are on the decks using live elements like Ableton and throw things in, there is always a little improv involved. Then there are MC Blu and I up the front and we jump around like bananas and get everyone involved. One of the things we love so much about it is that we try to bring traditional Aussie rock into it as a sing-a-long to get the crowd involved.”
WHO: The Potbelleez
WHAT: Self-titled debut LP through Vicious Vinyl / Universal / Play Fat As Butter at Nobby’s Beach, Newcastle / Cup in the Park, The Domain / The Rocks Markets / Global Gathering, Entertainment Quarter / Homebake, The Domain / Christmas Day at Bondi Beach / Harbour Party NYE, Luna Park / Good Vibrations, Centennial Park
WHEN: Out now / Sunday 2 November / Tuesday 4 / Friday 14 / Sunday 30 / Saturday 6 December / Thursday 25 / Wednesday 31 / Saturday 14 February