pool boy are a bedroom synth band out of Perth made up of Beth Commons, Sam Atkin and Albert Pritchard. Hayden talks inspo, visions, and the weird expectations around electronic music frontwomen with Beth, who sings.
What have you been up to with pool boy recently?
we’ve been maxin and relaxin, mostly. we’ve played a few gigs and we’ve got a few gigs coming up. we got ROBBED the other day and our sampler got stolen, so we’re trying to work out how to turn ourselves acoustic. that’s never gonna happen. we’re just gonna have to buy a new sampler. tedious stuff. also we’re working on our first vidya clip that we’re launching at the bird on the 3rd of feb. there’s gonna be ice cream in it. mint choc chip, boiiii.
What was your creative process like when songwriting?
i mainly just sit on my bed with my midi controller and laptop and fuck wit every sound i can get my hands on until i find something i don’t detest. then i do the drum thing. then i do the rest of it. usually over about 3 hours max. i can’t focus on any one song for longer than that. if i don’t like what i’ve done after the allocated time period i put it in the lil trash can in the right hand corner of my screen. terrible. then i write melodies and lyrics after that. hoping they sound passable. self deprecation, self deprecation etc.
You recently released a debut album, Bby. How do you feel it’s been received?
people are so kind! it blows my tiny mind that such a weird collection of songs mostly constructed on garageband can be liked by anyone at all. what a magical lil thing.
Your production and songwriting techniques seem like they’ve had time to develop. Have you had other projects before pool boy?
pool boy’s my first! i sort of developed songwriting techniques and better production within the actual album. which is why songs like ‘party shoes’ exist alongside their much more sophisticated cousins such as ‘hostage’. i’ve not really ever done the music thing in my whole life (EXCEPT FOR SINGING IN THE SHOWER HAAARRRR amiRIGHT) so it’s super new and exciting territory.
My favourite description of your sound has been “Young Marble Giants on Quaaludes.” What led to developing such a distinctive sound from the outset?
i’ve never really put much thought into what i want my ‘sound’ to be. like i just sort of wrote songs that i wanted to listen to and that reflected how i was feeling at the time and they all sort of have some theme to them. that’s also my favourite description, too. some dude once reviewed ‘bby.’ and said that parts of it were reminiscent of ANGUS AND JULIA STONE which i thought was dumb as all hell. get outta 2006, bro.
Do you think there’s different expectations placed on female frontpeople and singers. especially in electronic music?
yes absolutely. there’s been so many occasions where i’ve been approached after a show and told that my stage presence is too ‘domineering’ or ‘intimidating’ because i stand still with my hands on my hips. like would it be more comfortable for you if i flitted about stage dreamily flailing my arms? nah dude. don’t even. electronic music with female fronts. there’s always this thing where you’re expected to be as dreamy as the music you’re making and that i cannot abide.
Where do you think pool boy is going in the future?
we’re probably going to go the shops every now and then, buy our obligatory yams and eggs. groceries to show we’re people etc.
i’ve been wanting to go to aqwa for ages. do they still have that touch pool there? last time i was there they did but there were mostly shells and shit-scared starfish. also it smelt like the children clambering all around it. maybe that was the children. maybe i won’t go to aqwa.
naaaahhhh but i honestly don’t know. i’m not very good at thinking ahead. hopefully i don’t just end up putting everything i make from hereon in into that lil trash can in the right hand corner of my screen.
Interview by Hayden Dalziel