I first heard of Sydney, Australia band The Jezebels over a year ago and immediately purchased their Dark Storm EP.
I was captured by the vocals and the full sound they created and the EP has been in regular rotation in my music collection ever since. But I’d resigned myself to the fact that I’d likely never see them live.
Great things happen in Nelson though, and The Jezebels are set to take the stage at The Royal on Saturday night.
The four piece band features the vocals of Hayley Mary, backing vocals and keys by Heather Shannon, Samuel Lockwood on guitars and Nik Kaloper on drums.
As the band prepared for their Nelson tour date, I caught up with Kaloper.
“I never really got a drum kit until I moved to Australia,” he said. “I was more of a percussionist until I was about 18 and bought my drums.”
Kaloper grew up in California and moved to Australia with his family when he was 15.
“We all sort of met in university,” he said of his bandmates. “I was studying at Sydney University and working at the cafe at the time. Sam, our guitar player, was a regular and we’d chat from time to time. One day he mentioned that he was jamming and making music with two other girls — obviously Hayley and Heather — and they said they were looking for someone to play drums. I thought that sounded like a bit of fun and about three weeks later we had our first gig at the university’s battle of the bands competition.”
The group ended up coming in second in the competition which motivated them to keep playing and writing together.
“We were playing local rock clubs and venues after that around Sydney,” said Kaloper. “It took us about a year before we started playing outside of Sydney.”
There has been critical acclaim internationally for the The Jezebels, which Kaloper said is “perpetually surprising.”
“The fact that we’re still doing this five years later and I’m sitting in a car driving to Pittsburgh right now to play a gig, that’s very surprising, especially if you told me that five years ago,” he said.
Last month The Jezebels took home the Australian Music Prize which came with a $30,000 cash prize.
The Jezebels take the stage at The Royal on Saturday night. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are available at The Royal, liveattheroyal.com or The Music Store. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 the day of the show.
For more on The Jezebels visit thejezebels.com