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Laneway 2013 Special: Real Estate


It’s very easy to talk to Martin Courtney of Real Estate. Barely five minutes into the interview, we’ve got so much from the principal songwriter of the New Jersey band about the records they listen to, what he has been doing during his down time, playing new material and the ‘Real Estate sound’. So keep up with us as we bring Round #2 of the Laneway 2013 Special!


On Days

Probably the most played album in Bandwagon HQ, we dove straight to talk shop about Days and the ‘Real Estate sound’. Unintentionally, when comes to songwriting, the chill vibes and mellow sound is “kinda just how we write.” In fact, Courtney admits that he wishes (and has tried) to write songs that are more punk or something faster but they still return to the Real Estate sound. We’re not complaining!

On Favourite Music

What do Real Estate listen to? Though it changes everyday, Courtney mentions Cass McCombs, Panda Bear, Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham’s solo records and Ariel Pink – “all the good stuff”.

On Performing

Although they are attuned to playing festivals and big shows already, in the early years, the band put a call out on their (now never checked) MySpace site, to play at house parties. We call them out on this and turns out, Courtney prefers to play at unorthodox places. When they first started touring, they played at house parties which they found “amazing”. Even when they were booking bigger shows in bigger places, they were still down to play at weird venues. In fact, two weeks ago they performed at a hardware store. Weirdest place they performed at, ever? A Chinese restaurant in Queens. Packed with 500 people, in a strange part of New York (which they took the train to) and a Chinese buffet going on in the foreground, it was like a proper gig, only with catering.

*He’s still keen to play at house parties and if anyone in Singapore would like to have them, they are open for business.


On Video-making

“I don’t see us making anything too serious, I’m a really big fan of comedic videos.”

Directed by funny video-maker guy, Tom Scharpling, the video for ‘Easy’ is a lampooning of aggressive advertising. Courtney and the rest of the band have been fans of Scharpling’s work and Courtney is fond of 90s alternative videos with linear narratives, so when it came to making a video for their songs they all agreed that it had to be funny. Best thing, they’re gonna follow up on this funny music videos tradition.

On Touring

The best thing about touring, according to Courtney is playing live every night. The perks of travel also comes with meeting new people and discovering new places. “The most rewarding thing is touring with a band you like,” he says and recommends Melbourne band Twerps (their ex tour mates) as one of live acts to catch. They’ll be reuniting with the Twerps again during the Australian leg of Laneway and Courtney’s really excited about that. Solidarity is so heartwarming.

On New Material

Yes, we’ll be hearing some new songs come Laneway 2013! “We’ll be able to use those shows to test them out,” Courtney shares. In fact, right after they get back from Laneway, they’ll be recording the next album. Godspeed Real Estate peoples, we will be waiting.

Also, chicken rice. Somebody get Martin Courtney some. It’s something he ‘exactly wants to eat’.

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