What is the story behind the formation of The Safety Word?Simon:
John and I knew each other from our previous bands who often played gigs together. He reached out to me with the idea of creating a side project band that would produce downtempo alternative electronic music with vocals. John was very passionate about working with me. After a few casual jams together we already had the foundation of a number of songs and we knew we were onto something special. For the first couple of years, we took it really slow as our other bands were our main focus but playing in a loud rock band was taking a toll on John’s hearing, his tinnitus had severed into hyperacusis and he actually had to stop playing music altogether for quite a long period of time in order to heal. Eventually, I was able to reassure John that his musical journey still had many chapters left to be written but we just had to write songs with the volume way down and not play live for a while. We found that the music we were making was transformative and was a cathartic process that helped John to heal both physically and psychologically.
How did you come up with the name of your band? Simon:
It’s quite a funny name in a way as it always gets a bit of a reaction. To us, it’s not a sexual thing but instead, we like the idea of our music wrapping up the listener in a safety blanket like a cocoon and shielding them from the worries and dangers of the world.
Can you let us know how both of you got your start in music?Simon:
I had piano lessons in primary school but I really didn’t fall in love with music until year 10 when I was on work experience at a theatre company. There wasn’t really a lot for me to do there and one afternoon one of the actors had a guitar and taught me a couple of chords. Just a couple of chords and I was off, I pretty much didn’t put the guitar down for a good number of years. I wasn’t overly interested in learning other people’s songs, I just liked experimenting and coming up with my own little compositions. In college, I started playing guitar and bass in some experimental rock bands and playing my first pub shows. Once I was on that stage under the lights I was hooked! I loved the feeling of being in a band best with my best mates and experiencing that special mix of butterflies and excitement you get each time you take to the stage.
What are some of the inspirations behind your sound? I can honestly say that there is no one that we are trying to copy. The music we make comes from a very honest place and we are just so grateful to have found our musical soulmate in each other. We inspire each other to do the best we can and always try to approach song creation without or as little ego as possible. This process allows us to do what is best for the song and capitalize on each other’s strengths. Having said that I grew up on a diet of Boards of Canada, Mum, Primal Scream, Aphex Twin, and other experimental acts that pushed the boundaries of electronic music. Lately, we have been listening to Ruffus, Boo Seeka, Cub Sport, and Crooked Colors to name just a few, I also DJ so I’m into a lot of very obscure instrumental electronic music and when searching for new tunes I don’t limit myself to any particular genre.
I think it’s the fact that it is so open-ended, that there is practically no limit to the worlds you can create through the use of electronic composition.-Simon, The Safety Word
I think it’s the fact that it is so open-ended, that there is practically no limit to the worlds you can create through the use of electronic composition.
In your opinion, what makes the various styles of Electronic music so wildly popular from inception to the present day? Simon:I think it’s the fact that it is so open-ended, that there is practically no limit to the worlds you can create through the use of electronic composition. In a typical rock band setup, you are limited to having the sound of drums, bass, and guitar in each song whereas in electronic music you can create drums from field recordings or build sounds from the ground up. Electronic music keeps progressing and moving forward with each generation of producers that come through putting their unique twist on established genres, mashing two together, or completely inventing something new!John:
I think that it is because electronic music is endless and you can create it in a variety of styles, that you can be very limitless in exploring and creating sounds from a bedroom anywhere in the world that has access to some basic technology, I think now it’s more about the feel than the production so you do not have to feel put off if the intention is to utilise what tech and gear you have, it’s more about creating a pure expression with what you have to work with and incorporating any outside sounds, especially from nature.
How do you keep your music relatable to audiences?John:
We just tend to go on with our instincts and do what feels right at the time, as we are constantly experiencing life and at different phases, with how we approach life so would be the same principle with how we are approaching a song at the time, it just sort of happens from an honest response at the time.
We heard that ‘Neon Palms’ was part of a larger challenge? Can you tell us about how that came to be? Simon:
Back in February of 2021, I took on a challenge to see if I could create 100 songs in 10 weeks. Each week I was creating 10 songs and uploading them to a private SoundCloud link and sharing it with our fan base. It was an incredible challenge and pushed me to my limits as a producer and taught me to work faster whilst maintaining a releasable quality. I learned many production tricks along the way and grew so much as a producer. I am now working for a playlist company to create 1000 instrumental LoFi tracks by Christmas, I’m currently up to song 753 so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Not that it is a pressure or feels like work to be creating these tracks, it’s something that I look forward to each day. I usually spend between 3 – 5 hours a day producing these tracks and the best ones go on to become Safety Word tracks. Creating these songs has changed the way I approach music creation, up until the beginning of this year I would only produce about a song a month if I was lucky and I was frustrated as I couldn’t produce the sound I was hearing in my head. I now see it as a fun game that I play where I can quickly lay down ideas where I’m free to experiment and push through to have many completely finished pieces of music at the end of the session. I now feel that I’m able to create the music that I have heard in my head for so long. I’ve complied all of the songs I have made for the playlist company onto a Spotify playlist called “Journey into the land of LoFi”. These tracks are all released as different artist aliases but 100% of the songs in this playlist have been produced by me in 2021, currently, it is 16 hours long with more music being added fortnightly. This isn’t throw-away music, I have poured my heart and soul into each track and I try to use different moods, tempos, and feels to give each song its own character and make each one as unique as possible.
If there were three words that you could use to describe your sound, what would they be?
Atmospheric Synth PopJohn:
Who are some of your band’s greatest influences in music or otherwise?Simon:
I find inspiration and influence can seep in from many unexpected places. I went to art school in Tasmania and take great pleasure in attending art openings and soaking in the artwork and the vibrancy of the people in attendance. I enjoy going for walks in nature with my dog and listening to music and getting lost in the beauty of the surroundings. John:
One of my biggest influences is Prince’s era from 83-98 where he did unreleased tracks, I love the idea of continuously creating and experimenting, also songs he did with a minimal beat that he would build a song around using dynamics.
Another influence would be the artist Alicks, I love that you can not find anything about this artist, not even an interview, the music is just amazing, the many different types of influences and styles that are used, from electronic to acoustic tracks.
create music that is for you, and if you share and people can relate or appreciate it, that is a bonus -John, The Saftey Word
create music that is for you, and if you share and people can relate or appreciate it, that is a bonus
What’s your Music Ethos?
Our mission is to change people’s lives and help inspire them to achieve their dreams through the uplifting and transformative power of our music. Our vision is to transform the lives of millions of people around the world through the healing power of our music and the hyper-engaged communities surrounding it.
How has music in the digital age impacted you as you develop and expand your craft?
The internet has certainly opened up a lot of opportunities and we LOVE collaborating with artists all over the world. In fact, at the moment we have collaborations with artists in the US, UK, Germany, Brazil, France, Spain, Siberia, and Australia. We aim to always be pushing our sound and experimenting with different collaborations. In addition to this, we enjoy enlisting our favorite producers to remix our songs in order to give them a fresh spin.
What is on your playlists at this moment? We actually have a playlist that we have curated called “Atmospheric Synth Pop” which includes not only our songs but the artists that have either influenced us or we find inspiring. The playlist includes modern electronic acts from genres including chillwave, synthpop, future-pop, indietronica, and alt-RnB. Some of the artists you will find on it are RÜFÜS DU SOL, Stain Jackets, Bob Moses, Washed Out, Oscar Key Sung, H3000, and many many more. We update this playlist every month with new tracks to keep it fresh!
2021 is about to close after another tough year, any words of advice for rising producers looking for their break?John:Do not create music if you are seeking expectations because you are not making music for the purity of it fulfilling a personal aspect of your growth, create music that is for you, and if you share and people can relate or appreciate it, that is a bonus
Feel free to express yourself truly, while always questioning why? Simon:
Yes, you have to do it for the love of it as the life of the musician whilst extremely rewarding is full of constant rejection and empty promises. There are a lot of sharks out there waiting to take advantage of you as artists can be very easy to manipulate especially early on in their careers. But having said that music has been my savior and I can’t imagine life without it. Do it for the right reasons and because you LOVE it, don’t let anyone tell you what you should write or how you should dress because people can spot fake a mile off, be real, be genuine, and most importantly be YOU because no one is better at being you than you!
What message do you want to send to listeners with your latest project?With our instrumental release NEON PALMS, we wanted to wrap our listeners in a sonic cocoon, the songs are designed to help the listener relax and unwind and take their mind of the current state of the world. By not having vocals these songs allow the listener to create their own narrative as they drift along on their own personal journey of discovery and transformation.
Read our Music Review on Neon Palms the latest album release from The Safety Word.
Check out links from The Safety Word
Neon Palmshttps://open.spotify.com/album/4OHZSBFxpGWxiPL4poB6MaJourney into the Land of LoFi –(16 hours of LoFi Music produced by Simon Quinn)https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5rsoRSjjGlSvKxMC1JFGdRAtmospheric Synth Pop (our curated playlist)https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2NDtV9v0l6D5KqUiYtfiuiWebsite www.thesafetyword.com
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