Sydney duo Abroad return today with a fresh and frothy new single, Coffee. An ongoing favourite for the indie-electronic team-up between Jack Dawson and Will Cruger, Coffee marks the first new music for Abroad since the pair’s 2021 EP Sydney charmed airwaves. We were lucky to catch up with Will for a quick Q+A
Hi, thanks for taking the time to chat with Hear 2 Zen, what have you been up to today?
Will: Thanks so much for having me. I’ve been getting stuck into the last couple of mixes for our album and, of course, drinking a lot of coffee!
Tell us about yourself, how long have you been performing/creating music for?
Will: Jack and I have each been in bands and making music for as long as we can remember, but Abroad started in 2016 when we were both living in London.
Who are your greatest inspirations? Why?
Will: Our taste in music is pretty widespread, but I’d say our biggest inspirations have been artists like Flight Facilities and Hayden James, and bands like Foals and Bloc Party. I’m drawn to the ambience and atmosphere that comes with great songwriting and production rather than a specific genre.
How do you create music? Are you lyrics/story driven, or does the music/melody come first? Explain your process.
Will: Generally, we start from a mood or vibe. As soon as the first guitars and synths feel good, we’ll look at adding in the bass line and making everything groove. Once it starts to sound like a song, the vocal melody comes to me and I’ll record lyrics straight to tape – I very rarely write them down.
What has been your greatest challenge so far in performing/creating music?
Will: The style of Abroad was a completely new experience for both of us. We had each come from different bands – Jack had been playing in an indie band, whereas my experience was more in alternative rock. The challenge of doing something way out of our comfort zone was what made Abroad so exciting for us!
Tell us about your new release Coffee, how did it come about?
Will: Coffee is an analogy for the person that gets you out of bed, who fuels your creativity. And, I work in the specialty coffee industry – so there is also a literal connection.
What advice do you have to artists who are just starting out?
Will: Write. Try out and demo as many ideas as you can. Don’t worry about trying to make every song a record breaking hit, just keep writing and see where you land. 10, 15, or 20 songs in, you’ll start to build a sound and identity. Once you know where you want your sound to go, getting there will come naturally.
Tell us your favourite Zen practice.
Will: Well, this is going to feel like a big ol’ cliche, but I AM a coffee fiend, so making coffee is how I get into the zone. The process of grinding the beans, pulling a shot and steaming milk perfectly is very peaceful and relaxing for me. Sitting down with a coffee and my dog is how I start every day.