Interview: Superengine

Jon Fernandes (Superengine)
Interview by Leo Abbs

The first single was ‘intermittent Lies’ which received considerable airplay on triple J.

What did the national airplay mean to the band? And what is the song about?

Well it is a bit of a milestone for us really. I mean Triple J have played us in the past, but we have never been on rotation. It was a personal high for me when we were played by Richard Kingsmill!

The song is about Lies basically. And not any old lies… the sneaky ones where you can’t really tell… The ones which are told to you for ages and you don’t cotton on because the person is supposedly a friend! Bad lies…

Initially you were in Mister Tickle, which evolved into Superengine. How did the change come about?

We pretty much got sick of trying to produce different sounds with only five instruments: guitar; bass; drums and two vocals. So we recruited a keyboardist and then we wanted some brass, and the rest is history! We changed because we wanted to increase our tonal palette due to the sound suggested by our new direction.

Jon, you’ve been playing on the local scene for over ten years playing in a number of bands.

Which other bands have you played in?

And how does the scene compare now to when you first started playing?

Too many to count really! But the scene has changed heaps! There are actually a lot less venues than ten years ago, but I think there are a lot more genres represented these days, and a lot more scenes within the main scene than before.

Superengine has a layered sound of many instruments, including guitars,bass, drums, keys, trumpet, trombones and percussion.What inspired you to use so many instruments?

We just weren’t happy with the standard two guitars, bass and drums set-up.We tend to listen to music with a lot more layers in it I suppose – so that must be an influence on our decision. I guess we heard the sounds in our music and THEN went looking for them…

Jon, you produced the album, as well as being a member of the band.How was it being a band member and also a producer?

Very difficult at first. It is so hard to be objective with something you are so close to creatively and emotionally. But after a while you learn to remove your writers hat and replace it with the crueler and more damning hat of the producer… (insert maniacal laugh). The hardest thing is being objective with the other band members’ parts. You know someone loves playing a particular part – but it just doesn’t work in the cold light of the studio. And you have to make the decision…

Do you have any favourite tracks on the album?
Yeah, I really like Should’ve Never and Sailing.

With six people in the band and most of the members having other musical projects, how do you balance it?
Well for most of us, Superengine is the number one priority – so it’s easy really.

Most of the band grew up in the hills of Perth.Do you think that upbringing has any influence on you as people, or when it comes to writing music?

Well I think the isolation from the city… probably in some ways. When Renee and I used to write in the old days, there was never really anywhere to rush off to – because there was nothing really to do – except go to ‘Wet and Wild’ water park! Once you’ve done that once, the novelty really wears off. So we’d just sit and write and hang out for hours at a time. That was a productive time.

What are your thoughts on the Internet, as far as promoting a local band?

I think websites like this one and the others in Perth are great in this day and age. However it should be noted that I’m not the best person to answer this question given the fact that I only got the Internet last year for the first time…

CD Launch details:
Superengine their debut album ‘Shadows Meet’
Saturday August 25th August
Complex, Northbridge


Faith In Plastics

The Tigers

Autumn Isles

Black Milk

$10 entry.

Come down and meet your shadow… You’ll love it.

Check out Superengine on the web:

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