Last Saturday at the Grace Emily, friendship had a sound in the form of Adelaide indie rock blues quintet SuperCaine.
Established at the end of 2012, SuperCaine is an Adelaide band made up of four high school mates, Jasper Morris (vocals/guitar), Jack Cunningham (lead guitar), Alex Upton (drums) and Tom Morris (keyboards), who were later joined by Alex Constanzo (bass) from Jasper’s glam rock band Loaded Leopard.
But last weekend marked the final SuperCaine gig for Alex Upton, who has now left the band.
In the beginning, though, Jasper Morris says the band came together exactly how he pictured it would.
“When I looked to start up SuperCaine, I knew exactly who I wanted in the band. It was easy,” he says.
SuperCaine’s gift is in their layered and textured sound, which Jasper believes comes from their many musical influences.
“Alex is into a lot of punk and ska, which are elements that come through in his drumming style. Anthony is into a bit of Brit-rock and a lot of jazz. Jack seems to listen to almost anything and everything; as do I. I have a fondness for early-mid 70’s rock and roll, Led Zeppelin, in particular,” he says.
Jasper’s feel good country blues inspired harmonies in their latest offering The Desert EP are calming for the soul, while Jack Cunningham’s Hendrix-like guitar solos are spine tingling.
For this dynamic duo, it seems their friendship is the catalyst for their creativity.
“I think we have been playing music together for so long, it is easy to gel and bounce ideas off each other. Our music tastes are very similar. Put us in a room together with a few guitars and it just seems to happen,” Jasper says.
The pair have taken their music on two international tours, one to America and one to Europe.
“The duo tour around America and Europe really was a life changing experience, broadened our musical horizons and connected us with so many great people,” Jasper says.
It was a trip to Nashville which inspired the narrative behind the song ‘Country Folk’, which the lead singer describes vividly in the tune.
“The song was written while sitting in a smoky saloon on Nashville’s Broadway. The two dollar beers were flowing, and the country music kept coming. I penned the song right then and there, while watching a couple of real Tennessee country folk drink their weight in hard liquor, dance, and then get very intimate in full view of everyone!” he laughs.
While the United States may have been the location which inspired The Desert EP, SuperCaine are proud South Australians.
“I would say the main advantage of having a band based in Adelaide is a pretty good selection of venues. Most of these venues pay fairly well, which then helps bands pay for touring, promotion and recording. There are also a lot of opportunities with the Fringe and other festivals around March, which really boosts the profile of Adelaide artists,” Jasper says.
However, the lead singer also believes the Australian live music scene still faces many challenges.
“I have found with the Australian local scene across almost every genre, it is always an uphill struggle getting people out to shows and filling venues all the time; apart from metal bands, those guys have a very dedicated following. Unfortunately at the moment the majority of the nightlife seems to be geared towards someone pressing play and blasting beats into people’s ears, while they get paralytic off $15 beers. Hopefully that’ll change,” Jasper says.
Despite having little control over the nightlife preferences of Adelaide, SuperCaine’s fan-base continues to grow, while their latest recording, The Desert EP takes the listener on an audio journey to the land of soul.
The Desert EP has a country/western/rock vibe, building a maturity from their previous EP The Velveteen, which Jasper describes as “a bit more floaty” with a “psychedelic feel.”
With slick recordings and a high energy live show, SuperCaine have been the perfect mix in their, reasonably short, lifetime.
“The past few years have been fantastic fun, we have all enjoyed playing live and making music together,” Jasper says.
SuperCaine are now searching for their new drummer and are taking a well earned hiatus from gigging, while they plot their next move and write some new tunes.
In the meantime, The Velveteen and The Desert EP are available for purchase at select local record stores, at live shows, and online.
By Paul Bidmeade
Photos by Andre Goosen