Interview by Caleb Sweeting
Photos by Harry Allwood
Yewth caught up with Northeast Party House before they turned Fat Controller into a sweaty synth-rock sauna last Friday night. The story behind the band came out of a big house party and that’s exactly what they brought to the fat man - where beers were skolled out of shoes and crowd surfing was essential. Sean Kenihan (synth) says the band name was a result of a bunch of parties thrown at a mate’s house (Sam Northeast), whose mum had gone overseas for a couple of weeks leaving the house vacant.
“It was just a bunch of 17-year-olds who thought they were independent just doing a bunch of stupid things like going next door and stealing like construction equipment and bringing it back in the house and having leaf blower wars…”
This weird and wonderful party house existed for a couple of weeks – but it obviously didn’t end there. The boy’s came up with tribute to the “coolest thing” in that period of their lives – naming the band Northeast Party House.
We’re sitting on a dirty park bench on Bank Street, just outside Fat Controller – NPH are on in an hour or so and drummer Malcolm Besley looks relaxed as ever.
“We’re doing a bunch of shows and we’ve done little research about any of them,” he says. “So it’s been really exciting kind of on this adventure where we basically turn up to a venue we’ve never been before – and tonight is no exception.”
NPH are a bunch of 20-something-year-olds, but Kenihan feels old and like they’re “past it already.”
“I don’t feel like I’m really young and we’re blowing up really quick or anything like that,” he says. “Cause we’ve been around since Zach (vocals) was like 17-years-old – we’ve still been together for like five years.”
It’s true that the band didn’t blow up overnight, but hard work and plenty of parties in MELB have definitely paid off.
“It was received great, I mean we’re still doing it! You know every tour we do is bigger… so we must have done something right.”
Since forming in Melbourne back in 2010, Northeast Party House have definitely done something right, playing the likes of Falls Festival and supporting acts including Midnight Juggernauts and Ball Park Music and Jungle Giants (who also happen to be playing at the Fat man this Saturday night).
We can thank Besley and Kenihan for producing their debut album - the pair recorded most of the tracks in their own home studios. Both agree Any Given Weekend was a “learning experience.”
“We were just thrown in the deep end, we just decided we’d do an album, didn’t really know how we wanted to go, what our sound would be, who we were as a band… We kinda had to figure it out in the process of writing it.”
But they’ve been encouraged by the positive feedback. “It totally lifted us from being another little Australian band who was competing for attention, to being an established band and now we can tour the whole country really comfortably – we had to invite our friends to our shows, now we’re just flattered that we can actually tour and have a really good time… it made us want to do more.”
NPH say they have some “pretty serious” writing time ahead after these shows wrap up. “We’re so excited to get back in and do it – we just booked out a studio today for the whole of January – it’s gonna be really fun.”
We get told that partying is bad, but one thing’s for sure Sam Northeast’s party house helped create a band with a cult following and a truly electrifying live show, just like the one we witnessed on Friday night.