Led by openly gay frontwoman Lo Roberts, Wollongong pop-rock band Porcelain have spent the past six years in LA, carving out a name for themselves and toiling away on a soon-to-be-released debut album. At the moment, though, they’re back in the ’Gong, giving their home country some overdue attention.
“It’s nice to be back on our home turf. It’s been really reviving to come back home and breathe life into our music by playing it to people who’ve never heard it before,” Roberts said.
“Plus, I think it’s important that bands remember where they’re from and grow their fan base in their own country. You get a bit of rejection going on otherwise, and we’d hate to lose any Australian love.”
The band has just released its debut single, the spiky power-pop anthem The Last Song I’m Wasting On You. The song deals with a topic close to Roberts’ heart.
“It’s something that happens in everyone’s life, but I can definitely say it’s run rampant through mine.
“You’re with a person for a really long time, and then when you break up, there’s all this music you can’t listen to any more because it dredges up all these horrid memories of that person — or even just great memories you don’t want to think about any more.”
Roberts named Coldplay as one band she lost to a particularly bad break-up.
“I discovered A Rush Of Blood To The Head with my girlfriend, and it was super-important to us. But I can’t listen to it any more without bawling,” she sighed.
Since leaving Wollongong for Los Angeles, the band has picked up a new member (feisty female violinist Asha Mevlana), significantly changing their sound, and has worked with some of the industry’s greats, including Mike Chapman and Linda Perry.
“We’re in this for the long haul and we want to learn how to write classic songs, as opposed to just flash-in-the-pan hits with the producer of the day. So we worked with Mike Chapman, who wrote Love is a Battlefield, Mickey, Simply The Best — classic hits. The guy has so much wisdom pouring out of his mouth.
“And Linda Perry is the ultimate rehab for bands who need to find their sound. Linda sat us down pretty early and said ‘I don’t think you guys have your sound at all’. We were like, ‘Bullshit man! You don’t get us!’ But she was absolutely right. She has this phenomenal talent for getting to the authenticity of an artist.”
Like many rocking female frontwomen before her, Roberts has noticed attention from queer fans.
“I’d say that gay and lesbian people make up a fair proportion of our fan base. That’s been very important for our band. I must say, I would feel a little displaced if what we did didn’t go off well in the gay community,” she laughed.
info: Porcelain play several gigs in Sydney between Jan 16-29. The Last Song I’m Wasting On You is out now through Universal. Visit www.myspace.com/ozporcelain for details.