Harbour city band Pyjama Sundayz lay it all on the table in this exclusive never-before-read article.
For Australian music lovers, October was a tough month. Peking Duk didn’t get as much ARIA chart attention as hoped, Hamish and Andy didn’t release any music, and Sydney alt-pop four-piece Pyjama Sundayz executed a risky PR move by appearing to intentionally fool their loyal fanbase.
On the day when they were set to release a 16-track debut album titled The Clench, fans received a mysterious short film of the same name in its place. Was this all part of the plan? Or were there other factors at play?
This exclusive never-before-read article will reveal what actually happened behind the scenes, and who, or what, is to blame.
“The Clench. Coming soon” was a mantra preached by the band for almost two years. In its final days, it was replaced with a date: October 12. So why was there no music from the band come that very day? It’s a question that a lot of people have after the short film debacle.
Pyjama Sundayz are one of the most organised bands in Sydney. A sound person has never had the chance to utter words along the lines of “wrap it up fellas” through foldback speakers to them. Google Maps is hardly brought out when driving (early, to avoid rush hour) to a venue.
And on top of all this, the band have even planned out their discography for the foreseeable future. Not many bands have more than one or two albums planned at any given time, let alone upwards of five.
The release schedule is all but locked in for these albums, so what the hell happened with the first of the batch: The Clench?
On October 11, the eve of the album launch, the band were gathered at a shisha bar in Granville to talk over the release day specifics. Everyone knew the plan inside out. The meeting was just a refresher; a formality. They were to meet in Sydney’s iconic Martin Place at 8am sharp, making sure they
weren’t followed. Their enigmatic manager, Mr. Doherty (who can sometimes be seen making phone calls on stage at a gig, or in music videos), was to rendezvous at 8:05 to hand over a final copy of the CD for distribution. All they had to do after the meeting was import the CD to a computer and upload the files to the internet.
Alas, come the morning of the handover, the band waited in Martin Place for hours on end with no sign of Doherty’s arrival. Meanwhile, devoted fans sat around feeling like idiots refreshing their Spotify release radars, and meandering dejectedly through Sanity stores nationwide.
Nobody knew what was going on, least of all, the band.
A film crew hired for the morning to capture the epic handover moment went through the motions as briefed, and actually uploaded a clip to YouTube sold as “a short film by Pyjama Sundayz”. This ended up seeming as if the band had been planning to dupe people all along, when in reality, the situation was out of their hands.
Later that day, Mr. Doherty broke the deathly silence which had engulfed the day by messaging the band’s Facebook group chat.
“Boys I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news… what do you want to hear first?”
Doherty went on to explain that he thinks he managed to avoid a potentially disastrous event from happening on release day. Apparently, he was troubled by nightmares the night before which he took as premonition that something was going to go wrong on October 12. In the middle of the night, panicked by this terrible dream, he decided to melt his Opal card and bank cards on the cooktop in the kitchen, as well as letting the air out of his car tyres. This way, he would never make it to Martin Place in time to deliver the album, and hopefully the forthcoming tragedy would be avoided.
The bad news was that he couldn’t remember the specifics of the dream come Friday morning, and it was only towards the end of the day that he started to recall what had him all worked up. As it turns out, the thing going wrong in the dream wasn’t some disastrous event happening at the CD handover, rather, it was him not delivering the album to the band waiting in Martin Place.
The band have always had full faith in their illustrious manager, and this occasion saw no depletion of respect for the man. Dreams hold an important place in the collective mind of Pyjama Sundayz (The Clench actually came to them fully formed inside one). They caught up with Doherty for a shisha on the adjacent weekend to take stock of the situation and decide on a new date for the album’s release.
Bad Boy Ganoush (Bass) put forward a suggestion: why not release the album on the same day as something momentous in history; something that has relevance to what The Clench is trying to achieve culturally? The other guys agreed with this sentiment and ensued to brainstorm.
The World’s Hottest Ramen (Lead Guitar) thought the album should be likened to the epic Battle of Gammelsdorf where Bavaria and Austria fought for the the control of the fertile, economic lands around Gammelsdorf. Andrew 3 Million (Keys), recommended instead, the launch of the European Space Agency’s Venus Express Mission from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Deltora Kwest (Frontman) wisely pointed out to the group that both of these historical events occurred on the same day: November 9. “Poor Key moss loss doss” he said, and the date was set.
So set your alarms and free up some space on your iPod. The Clench arrives on Friday the 9th of November.