After 25 years together, indie pop rock favourites The Daisycutters have learned how to be a band and make great music on their own terms.
Basically: if it’s not fun, it doesn’t get done.
“That’s the new rule,” vocalist and guitarist Cameron Wilson says.
“Now as middle-aged men – we’re not 20-something whippersnappers anymore – that’s how it has to be. We have to make good music, it has to be fun, and it has to be done on our time, otherwise we just don’t do it. And we’re enjoying it more than we ever have.”
The Daisycutters have just released their brand new album ‘Become What You Are’, an album perfectly befitting of their band philosophy.
‘Become What You Are’ is the first album The Daisycutters have released since ‘Come Sweet Bullets’ in 2008; it’s also the first time the band have written an album entirely from scratch.
With the new album, The Daisycutters have found a new lease on life as a band, and Cameron has no qualms about calling it the best thing they’ve ever done.
“I think most bands say that of their latest thing, but this is a fact,” he says.
“Now we’re really excited; we’ll let the album do its thing and the future is wide open now. We realised that A, we can still do it and B, how fun it is to do.”
There was a point where new music from The Daisycutters seemed a foregone hope. Though the band continued to perform and hang out, it had been some ten years since Cameron had written a song. He feared the muse had abandoned him.
But a fortuitous phone call from the band’s devoted label manager – Stephen Morris of MADCAP Global Music – shocked the band, and their creative flow, into action.
“Stephen rang out of the blue,” Cameron recounts, “like so many things that have happened to this band, because he’d seen we’d been playing shows.”
Stephen came with a proposition to back the production and release of a new Daisycutters album, if the band were willing to write and record it. From fearing he may have written his last song ever, suddenly Cameron was propelled toward inspiration by the support for new music from The Daisycutters.
“Any writer, artist, painter, musician – you think, ‘is this the last thing I’ve done?’ Could this be the last song I ever write? I think every creative person feels that way: ‘this could be it’,” Cameron says.
And, hypothetically, Cameron is perfectly comfortable if ‘Become What You Are’ is the last album The Daisycutters ever produce as a band, given what it means to create a body of work on their own terms and timeline.
“I’d personally feel pretty stoked,” he says, and lead guitarist Kieran Clair agrees.
“Oh yeah, it was terrific,” Kieran says.
“The amount of freedom we were give to be creative and expressive on it would make it a perfect swansong if that was the case, because we were just untethered when it came to what we could do in the studio.”
It’s taken more than two years for ‘Become What You Are’ to see the light of day, during which time the band were allowed as much time as they needed in the studio to make the record.
“The label have been nothing short of fantastic and deserve equal credit for creating this album too,” Cameron says.
“Without Stephen we wouldn’t have done this. Through the whole process, like those great Svengali bosses of old, he was like, ‘do whatever it takes to make it good’. It was a dream come true.”
And the result speaks for itself: an album of which the band, label and – hopefully – fans are immensely proud.
“When you’re in the process of recording that album, you hear it thousands of times and you build up an immunity to all the joy it can bring because you’ve laboured over something 400 times,” Kieran says.
“Then you finish it and put it away and usually it takes some time to go back to that piece of work and enjoy it for what it is.
“With this album, almost immediately we’ve been able to put it on and listen to it, and say, ‘this is cracking work’. I keep wanting to stick it on in the background like any of my favourite albums.”
The Daisycutters at one time chased the elusive rainbow of ‘success’ as a band. These days, the fearless foursome of Cameron, Kieran, bassist Giles Hammond and drummer Peter Nicholas have the best hobby in the world: hanging out and making great music.
“There was a moment where we said this doesn’t work for us unless it’s a good time,” Kieran says.
“All that success you chase as a 20 year-old is manifested in success in that we dig hanging out together, making good music, playing live and just being part of The Daisycutters universe with people and friends who turn up to the shows. The other stuff is secondary to that.”
“It just took us way too long to realise that,” Cameron adds.