Q&A’S: Heaps Good Friends’ Nick O’Connor Spills the Beans on Their Latest Single + All Things Wholesome

Interview/Words by Emily Hollitt

OUT TODAY! Listen to Heaps Good Friends NEW single, Fold Laundry Together HERE

The world is truly at a standstill right now, and sometimes it’s really hard to make the best out of the monotony of the living room- but Heaps Good Friends have managed to do exactly that. Continuing their theme of quirky song titles, wholesome lyrics and danceable 80’s inspired tunes, the band have come back stronger than ever with latest single Fold Laundry Together. “Trying to help around the house of my brother’s big family lead to a scene of me folding my brother’s laundry with a friend of his (who I had a crush on). It was really nice…” says vocalist Emma Fradd on the bop. The track combines all the bands best traits- with personable lyrics, funky beats and interesting synthetic textures, this track is the perfect accompaniment to any living room party for you and your isolation buddies.

Hailing from Adelaide, the band of literal heaps good friends first formed when Emma met Nick in prison. Well, not so literally. Technically, it was at Old Gladstone Gaol for a youth arts programme. Nick was working as a music facilitator and Emma was visiting. A few years later, both of them inevitably crossed paths again and it was all uphill from there, starting to create as a duo in 2016. Debut Let’s Hug Longer quickly caught the attention of the country’s tastemaker’s, quickly making it to high rotation on triple j. Not long after, drummer Dan Steinhart (TOWNS) entered the picture to create the holy trinity and within no time the band were supporting the likes of Polish Club and playing every festival from NYE On The Hill to BIGSOUND.

With the release of the cosiest song on Earth, I couldn’t wait to pick the brains of the band to see just what makes them tick! And luckily for me, Nick O’Connor had a few thoughts to spare…

Can you tell us a little about what inspired Fold Laundry Together?

I went to Brissy and had a writing session with lovely man Konstantin Kersting. He had a Roland piano with a very funny Jazz scat voice patch. Couldn’t have loved it enough,  that’s the sample at the start of the track. We mucked around for the day and had the music.

I really love the ‘80s inspired sound of a lot of your music, and Fold Laundry Together definitely fits the mould! What artists or sounds from the ‘80s inspire you the most musically?

When I pulled back the grunge facade from my teen years the wealth of 80’s foundation became clear: Madonna’s ‘True Blue’ (whole album), The Bangles (Walk like an Egyptian),  Bananarama (Cruel Summer!), Cyndi Lauper (Girls Just Wanna Have Fun)…way too many to mention…Michael Jackson (Thriller), Bon Jovi (Slippery When Wet). Oh god. Phil Collins, The Police, Fine Young Cannibals…who wrote What’s the Colour of Money? Heaven is a Place on Earth? Belinda Carlisle! It was all middle of the road epic-ness! Endless forever dreams you could absorb with popcorn in 1.5hrs. I’m learning to accept and relish in my roots.

One of my favourite parts of the track is how the song seemingly finds joy and new interpretations to monotonous household tasks such as folding laundry. DEFINITELY an important message for the climate of the world right now. How have you guys been coping with being cooped up?

I have been extremely fortunate. My close people are safe and people are pulling together where necessary. It’s been so beautiful to bunker down with the family and have some close time. I’m keen for more of the same to be honest…..keen to play a show soon though.

Working as a trio, what does your songwriting process usually look like?

It’s come together a few different ways. I think I like it best when one of the music chunks I’ve been mucking around with gets sent to Emma and has fun with it and sends back some vocals. It’s not always that easy…but when it is it’s kinda like the track stays fresh forever.

Your group has a knack for quirky lyricism and song titles as well as your sparkly synth-focused production. How did you find your sound?

I love Emma’s mind. It’s a cryptic kaleidoscope. The lyrics and titles are most of the time hers..Em? Musically it feels like we’re scratching an itch that’s already there (up-tempo, micro anthems) mixed with slathering on sweet sauce from the wonderful modern world of music (incredible production/genre bending). Being honest with myself about loving analogue synths was a great start.

You have an impressive list of achievements, from touring with huge bands like Jungle Giants and Dear Seattle as well as receiving a lot of triple j love! What do you consider the defining moment of your career?

Tricky! When Em came back from overseas just KNOWING she had to come over and write was a big feeling. Then watching one of our songs get picked up by J’s and everything that followed…the way those two interlink….maybe that.     

You describe your music as “wholesome pop”. What are some of your all-time favourite wholesome pop bops you can share with our readers to keep them wholesome and happy during these current times?

Right now I love MGMT’s Me and Michael. Add it. Love it.

As your moniker suggests, you guys really are “heaps good friends”. Staying on the topic of wholesomeness, what’s your favourite part about working with each other, or even just about each other in general!

I’ve already confessed my love for Emma’s mind….so I’ll back that up quick with her love of HAIM. It’s so true, you could bend a spoon with it. And Danny! There was this one time we had an epic DnM on tour and I was pouring my little heart out and not only was he listening perfectly and delivering the deepest zen strength responses, he was simultaneously destroying motherfuckers at Tetris online. Tetris players online aren’t mucking around. It was from that moment on I knew Dan was special.

What advice can you give to anybody who wants to form a group and make their mark like you have on the music scene?

Do it! Be honest with yourself and get around people who feel like love and put in the hours. Satisfaction happiness is the best.

And finally, what can we expect next from you guys?

More! Def got a few tracks in the t-shirt cannon. Can’t wait to fire them off.

Cosy up in your PJ’s, boost up the volume and get ready to turn your isolation chores into less quiet and more RIOT with the latest tune from Heaps Good Friends.

You can purchase/listen to/stream the track HERE

With thanks to Habit Music Co

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