Turning The Page – an interview with Perth emotive indie / spoken word act TREEHOUSES

Soft and ethereal but very dynamic and emotive, TREEHOUSES’s sounds are always a certain moody feel that is their, sort of, signature mark. This amazing emotional, spoken word indie band from Perth, Australia has one debut record (2014) and a couple of short single releases to their credit, but the last couple of years brought a significant change in their line-up and approach to creative process. Thankfully, it resulted in a series of captivating, soothing new singles last year, which we covered in a series of articles HERE. Taking the opportunity to connect to them before they earn high-praise and thousands of new followers, we caught up with them to say hello and find out more about their amazing project.

With their emotive post hardcore and screams now addressed in the second plan, the band not only created some of their most mature and fully realized offerings, but creates a potential that will soon allow them to create something huge. The soothing double vocals of their recent single “Roses” slowly hypnotize until the tension-building structure commences and peaks with an epic climax of well-thought proportions. These guys’ gift for invention and narrative beautification will make you want to hear them again.

“Feel Everything”, TREEHOUSES’ recent split release with Canberra’s SLEEPING DOGS was released in January 2017 and can be grabbed at this location.

Hey guys! I’m fresh off a cool UFC event in Perth and despite there’s a little chance you’re an MMA fan, it reminded me that it’s high time we sit down and interrogate you about your amazing new work, haha :)
Thanks so much for joining us here on IDIOTEQ! How are you? How’s Perth?

Hey Karol! Thanks for having us, IDIOTEQ is such a vital online magazine in the world of DIY hardcore/indie/emo music, it is a treat to be talking to you.

Things are great with us over here in Perth – We’re just settling down after our FEEL EVERYTHING tour a couple of weeks back, and starting to have a think about what might be in store for us this year!

Awesome! You’re coming off a series of new singles releases, one of which landed on a split with SLEEPING DOGS, and I must tell you, it created a bitter-sweet experience for your listeners and new followers. All three tracks serve an interesting listen with many enjoyable aspects and they literally call for a full record! It’s been some time since you released one, so I wonder, how do you go about releasing singles versus proper EPs or full lengths and are there plans to give us a lot more sonic pleasure this year?

It’s awesome to hear that we’ve got listeners excited for more music !! Treehouses has been through a few different stages since our start in 2014, but about halfway through last year we finally managed to get James Knox (Drums/Vocals) and Fiz Eustance (Bass/Vocals) on board in a permanent way – and once that happened, we just wanted to create new music and discover what we could do as a group. I think that initial energy and eagerness to put out new content is reflected in the fact that we released three songs in quick succession, and that those songs explore different musical pathways and sounds. We were exploring what we can do as Treehouses in 2017!

Jump ahead to the present and we’ve just gotten back from a run of shows around Australia, and we’re settling into the groove of writing more material – with every intention of creating a larger release. Whether that’s an EP or album isn’t certain yet, but we know that we want to work on a coherent collection of tracks that accurately express where we are as musicians and individuals now to put out later this year. Keep an eye out for more details!

Great! Can’t wait to hear some more details on that!
Your smart mixture of emo, indie, folk, and spoken word gets better with every listen. It’s like it was designed to slowly envelope and absorb our senses over time, and you guys have decided to pursue poetry, not music. How do you approach the lyrical part of your work, how has it evolved since your 2014 debut and what topics do you think are worth exploring on your future releases?

We’ll keep you updated !

I think it’s hard to talk about our music without talking about much Treehouses has grown and develops over the years… we started out as a poetry performance duo, and that very much remains an important part of who we are. Nowadays, writing is so different because we have three vocalists who all write their own melodies and lyrics. While we do try and write lyrics to a general topic or theme, everyone approaches things differently. Tim writes stream of consciousness spoken word, Fiz writes powerful melodies steeped in metaphor, and James has an invaluable ability to write smart, memorable hooks.

As for future music, it’s hard to say! We pride ourselves on writing emotionally intense songs that deal with the complexity of relationships, mental health, adversity and being a living human. I think listeners can expect more of that sort of thing!

Speaking of your evolution, can you recall some of the defining moments and milestones that have helped you guys shape you as more seasoned and mature artists?

Pretty early on, Treehouses starting getting positive responses from DIY labels, around the time when the DIY Emo/Skramz return was in full swing. Following that, we had the idea during our first tour to collaborate with other artists, which culminated in the Extended Family release. A big milestone around that time was getting asked to support The Hotelier for their first ever Australian tour, which was pretty exciting for all of us. I think the Extended Family release helped us to imagine how Treehouses might sound as a full band with sung vocals alongside the spoken word and screams.

Ok, so you did a couple of gigs in January. Shoot us some highlights of that shows.

We certainly did ! We flew over to the east coast of Australia and joined our friends Sleeping Dogs from Canberra for a handful of shows. It was an incredible time. The last time Treehouses played over east was in 2015 so it was so rewarding to be back and still see familiar faces at shows and to experience such a strong show of support for what we do. The absolute highlight for us was the house show in Western Sydney – such a beautiful night of music, poetry, community and inclusiveness. We can’t wait to go back.

Where are you most looking forward to performing this year?

We’ve got some exciting shows that will be announced soon, and plans to make it over east again this year. Beyond that, whether we make it out of Australia for some shows is another question. We certainly hope so.


Tell me more about your local alt and independent music scene. Are there some local personas that have inspired you along your path? Or do you rather seek out your inspirations outside your local scene and Australia?

Because of its isolation from the rest of the country, Perth has a busy and bustling music scene, with great talent coming out of it all the time.

Locally, we’re all big fans of Carla Geneve and HUSSY – both of whom we’ve been lucky enough to play shows with in the last year.

MAKE PEACE are also making some really interesting music in a similar genre to us at the moment.

In the future, we’d also love to play with BOAT SHOW and Grievous Bodily Calm.

Outside of Perth, we are all long time fans of anything that Georgia Maq is involved in – hence our love of CAMP COPE, and internationally, Daughter’s music has always been inspiring to us.

Ok guys, thanks so much for the chat! It is being a great pleasure talking with you and I hope to hear from you again soon in the near future. Feel free to drop your last words and take care! Cheers from frezzing cold, smoggy Warsaw haha!

Thank you so much! It’s been our pleasure. It means so much to experience love from a part of the world so far away from our little corner. Maybe one day we’ll make it over there for real and celebrate emotional music with you.

Lots of gratitude from Ethan, Fiz, Tim and James xx

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