Owls of Neptune

Local lads receive Council’ regional arts development funding to record new album

Local band ‘Owls of Neptune’ were recent recipients of Sunshine Coast Council’s latest Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grants program. The $5,000 grant has allowed the locally based four piece rock band to complete recording of a full length studio album with well-regarded Hinterland producer Angus Woodhead at Glasshouse Studios. GC&M News caught up with band members Pete Gray (Vocals, Guitar and Keys), Matthew Brook (Drums), Jan Michael Chu (Bass) and
Todd Fajdiga (Lead Guitar) to find out more.
Q: Why did you choose your name and what does it mean?
We originally called ourselves ’Red Letter’ but when we searched the name we found there were lots of organisations with that name so we were quite hard to find. Todd then came up with ‘Owls of Neptune’ which we all thought was very cool and totally unique so we’re easy to find online! We were having a break at rehearsal and discussing the name change and a tawny frogmouth flew into the garden and came and sat on the post right next to us and so we saw that as a good omen!
Q: How would you describe your sound/ what are some key musical influences?
We’re a rock band with our own flavour. We border on quite a few different genres and when we build our songs we just play what we feel is right for that particular piece. Pete draws a lot of influence from The Beatles and John Lennon especially when it comes to writing lyrics. Matt is inspired by Black Sabbath and Led Zepplin. Todd listens a lot to Johnny Marr and The Cure, and Isaiah Mitchell and Jay loves Stone Temple Pilots and Patti Austin. It’s a bit of a melting pot in terms of our influences but that helps contributes to our unique sound.
Q: How do you feel about being awarded a RADF grant?
We are over the moon about getting the RADF grant. The grant supports local arts and culture in regional Queensland. We have been awarded funds to assist with the recording of our second al-bum. Recording can be an expensive process for artists so it’s great to have a professional product reflecting our work! We had some really positive support from a number of venues and people in the local music industry which has meant a lot us, and we have been fortunate to have had great local response from the beginning, and encouragement from local musicians like Michael Whit-tiker. We are very grateful to be able to be recognised in that way. With that extra help we’ve managed to complete the album already and we are so eager to release it!
Q: What made you choose Glasshouse studios to record your album?
We recorded our first album ‘We’re Not Apart’ in 2020 at home and thought we did a great job. Then we heard a track from a great local band and mates of ours ‘Chamberlane’ and it really captured their live sound which is what we were after. It also made us realise that our recordings were just not professional enough. We found out they recorded with Angus Woodhead at Glasshouse Studios. He has a great ear and works fast and efficiently. We live tracked everything at Six String Studio in Beerwah and then finished everything off at Glasshouse Studios. He has done a superb job of capturing our sound.
Q: What do you love about what you do?
I think for all of us creating and playing music is something we can’t ever stop doing. It’s our therapy, the world can be falling apart but when we start to play we disappear into another realm and it’s an awesome feeling. It’s also great to see other people tap into what you play and go to the same place. Music helps people escape the daily grind and helps you relate on another level. It’s lovely to see people enjoying themselves it really drives us.
Q: What are your future band plans/what local gigs do you have coming up?
We’ll be kicking off an east coast tour starting in Febuary at Agnes Blues Roots and Rock Festival and then we’re off to NSW for the first time, its very exciting! Our local stop on this tour will be at Solbar on March 16. Follow us on our socials or check the website for more announcements and dates around the tour.