Sadly, our favourite Sydney band, The Paper Scissors, have just announced they are breaking up. We invited frontman and songwriter, Jai Pyne, to tell us about his favourite TPS memories: ‘There are so many memories over the last seven years. Lots of good times, lots of really stressful hard times. I was just the other day lamenting about when I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown in the back seat of a hire car when we launched our first album. But hey, this is about the good times’.
2007. The Kids
Our original drummer Bryce’s girlfriend Thalia managed a daycare place. It turned out the kids loved our first EP and would dance around like crazy to it after their nap time. So a gig was organised. We played in the back garden of the place, with drums and amps on the paving, to a group of kids, all under 5. It was a pretty memorable experience, all these kids rocking out to our music.
2009/2010. Falls Festival/Southbound.
This was a really fun time for TPS. It was the first time we’d been to Perth, and we got booked for both these massive festivals. I remember the show from falls really clearly, I remember it was by far the largest audience we’d ever played to, it was a crazy buzz, having a packed tent of people all becoming this one mass of party, of energy. I jumped onto of my amp and remember coming very close to stacking it in front of all those people. After Falls we went to Perth and played a show before going down to Southbound Festival. Southbound wasn’t the greatest show, we were on at 12 and there weren’t many people there. But more than anything it was just a nice trip, we had our own self- contained unit by the beach and we cooked and we went for a drive to Margaret River and swam. I think TPS were more into travelling and hanging out sometimes- the shows were just a good excuse.
2007. The Great Escape Festival
The Great Escape was a short-lived but awesome multi arts/music fest out at an old army base in Sydney. We played the first one, and the year after we played as well. We were lucky enough to be playing the one indoor stage ( I think it was called The Bunker) of about 5 or 6 stages and it started pissing down rain just before our set. I can’t really remember many details, but just remember it being really humid and jam packed with people. Sometimes the wet weather can be your friend.
Late 2006. Making ‘Less Talk More Paper Scissors’.
We took two months off work and relocated to Byron Bay to make our first album in our family studio (my dad and Xav’s uncle and his dad owned it) called Fracas. It was a pretty run-down bunch of rooms in an old small goods factory on the outskirts of town, but we had free rein and as much time as we wanted to fuck around with sounds and make an album. We experimented a fair but and that kind of led to the sound of the album being pretty diverse, or eclectic. There were lots of memorable moments- recording Tipped Hat, my brother must have been 13 or 14 and he and Bryce (original TPS drummer) and I played and tracked the drums with three kits in one room all at the same time. One other thing that I remember clearly is mixing the song Restless Through The Night- it is a weird kinda throwaway disco tune about not sleeping well, I was mixing and some family friends dropped in and one of their kids who must have been no more than 6 started going bananas and I cranked the monitors and we danced around the studio together.
2008. Less Talk More Problems.
I had hung out with Jake Stone from Bluejuice a few times, seen each other at The Mandarin Club and The Hoey. He was always telling me how much he liked the production on We Don’t Walk. We both had albums out and we decided to do a pretty hefty national tour together. This was a bad idea. It was the most drunken, exhausting, homoerotic tour that you could conjure up. We were usually a pretty timid band, we go wine tasting for fucks sake. But somehow the collective synergy of 9 band members, plus PHDJ in tow and crazy tour managers, made it a beast of booze and liver damage. The most memorable moment was when we played in Launceston. The gig was bad, there was hardly anyone there and this was a real comedown from the last few we’d played which were jammed. Our accommodation was above the club, very basic, no heating, pub accom- and after our show they turned the venue over and it became a drum & bass party. So there we were with no heating in Tasmania, freezing our arses off whilst this bwwaaaaaaaggh, thud thud, boom tish, boom tish rocked us into a sleepless stupor. The only saviour was the big bag of weed we’d been given by a family friend that lived in Tasmania, and we were flying home the next day, so we inebriated ourselves enough to get an hour or so sleep. It was awful, but memorable. As a side note, this was the tour that included a fateful evening that was the impetus for bluejuice’s ‘Broken Leg’ when Jake broke his limb whilst dancing in The Valley in Brisbane.
I think one of the amazing things about being in a band is just the amount of people you meet and good excuses we got to travel and get drunk and listen to music. Some of the best fun has just been driving around in his cars listening to The Meters, or whatever we were digging at the time. Bands are a pretty weird thing and there have definitely been some really hard and harrowing moments that you can ask me about if you see me, but I won’t go into detail about here. But most of all it has been a blessing and an absolute privelege: just being able to make art, make music, pretend we were film makers, have people actually want us to sign their clothing they just bought off us (I always felt like I was wrecking their shirt), drive taragos, play in front of strangers, play next to Sydney Harbour and see Cate Blanchett grooving to you music out the corner of your eye, hang out with friends and argue with them about musical decisions, learn how to write, learn how to produce music, learn how to screen print, learn how to sing and not yelp. All these things and so much more that can’t all be rattled off, that all came about because of a thing called The Paper Scissors.