The latest moniker for Perth based duo Hayley Beth and Brendan Jay, HEEBIEJEEBIES have been captivating audiences around Perth with their sharp entanglement of doom-synth grunge and soul that hits you straight in the gut. We sat down with Hayley to chat about the band’s beginnings, what’ on the horizon, and the perfect dinner party.
Rosie: You and Brendan have previously collaborated in the project ‘Hayley Beth’. Where do HEEBIEJEEBIES sit in relation to your other projects?
Hayley: We started out just reworking songs I’d written solo, but then once we had written a few new tracks together it didn’t feel right to just go by my name, so we started HEEBIEJEEBIES. Some of the main structure of the songs is written by me but Brendan plays a bigger role than when we started so I didn’t want to take all the credit!
Rosie: We’re all familiar with having the HEEBIEJEEBIES, is there an origin story behind the name?
Hayley: It’s kinda silly and lazy actually. Hayley Beth + Brendan Jay = HBBJ = HEEBIEJEEBIES. It has been the name of our wifi for a while – I’ve never been good at coming up with band names! It’s so scary deciding on a name that you might get stuck with and realise a year later that it’s ridiculous but it’s too late to change. But if you want to read more into it, it is about a general sense of unease/dread/anxiety that is the undercurrent of most of the songs.
Rosie: HEEBIEJEEBIES were involved in the recent fundraiser for the preservation of the Beeliar Wetlands and Indigenous sacred sites. Do you see music as a vehicle for expressing your ideologies around these issues?
Hayley: Yeah, definitely. But especially when it comes to Indigenous rights issues, I am careful not to overshadow the work of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander activists and instead support them and make their voices heard however we can. I’m happy to lend support to good causes wherever possible, I am just wary of hogging the spotlight. But I’ve been involved in activism for a while so my music just gets intertwined with it sometimes; not necessarily on purpose.
Rosie: Your last release was ‘The Price on Your Head’ in 2016, are Heebiejeebies working on anything at the moment?
Hayley: Yeah, we’re recording right now! We’re both pretty time (and money) poor so we just record tracks here and there whenever we can, and if that ends up being an album or an EP that will be a bonus. Brendan is a sound engineer/producer so it’s great being able to record at home and have less pressure. Today we’re recording a track called “Out In The Open”; it should be done by next week.
Rosie: If you could have a dinner party with five musicians – dead or alive – who would they be?
1. Nina Simone
2. Billie Holiday
3. Sun Ra
4. Charles Hayward (This Heat etc)
5. Ari Up (The Slits etc)
You can catch HEEBIESJEEBIES live in action alongisde Lake Louise, Oosterbanger, Creatures of Habit and Moth at the Rosemount Hotel on Sunday April 9