Tim Nelson, Zoe Davis, Sam Netterfield, and Dan Puusaari make up Cub Sport, one of Australia’s hottest bands. Setting themselves apart from the typical pop band as an independent and self-managed quartet, Cub Sport obtained viral fame quickly this past year after YouTubers Ethan and Grayson Dolan directed and produced the music video for their single ‘Hawaiian Party,’ but it’s all well-deserved. With addicting beats and an unfathomable amount of deep-rooted talent, the supergroup is in store for a wild 2019. We got the chance to chat with the band about their third album, what inspires them, and what they hope listeners will take away from their music.
In one word, how would you describe your new album?
How did you approach making this album compared to your previous two? Anything you learned that was crucial in the process of creating this next album?
This is the first full body of work I’ve written since coming out, so it feels like a coming of age moment. I learned so much about myself and the universe throughout the 18 months or so while I was working on these songs. I’ve grown a lot and I’ve become much more confident in myself and my creative vision which feels like the biggest change in the approach to the album—taking away a lot of the self-doubt and second-guessing. I can feel higher vibrations coming from this album, it feels like a step into the light.
You’re also collaborating with Mallrat. Can you tell us what that was like?
Mallrat, aka Grace, is a really good friend of ours and one of my favourite artists of all time, so collaborating on our song ‘Video’ was really a dream come true. Listening back to her part for the first time made me cry; it’s really beautiful and super powerful.
As an independent group, you take on a lot of work that entails a bit more than big record label artists. What have you learned from that process, both personally and professionally?
I feel like we’ve learned to trust our intuition and not let fears of any kind stop us from following our vision. Having the freedom to follow our hearts is something we don’t take for granted.
With Tim and Sam newly married, do you guys find it easier to work together? Is there a deeper understanding between you all when it comes to what kind of music you want to make?
The four of us were already like a little family before the wedding, so I don’t feel like it’s really changed much about the way we work together. I do feel like we’re always growing as a group as well as individuals, so our understanding of ourselves and each other is always developing too. I think that’s why the quality of what we’re achieving together is always levelling up.
We live in a progressively more open society but there are still times where discrimination and judgments are passed that causes us to take a step backwards. As openly gay public figures like yourselves, what do you hope to convey to your fans that might be struggling with their identity?
We want to inspire people to live their truth, whether they’re LGBTQI or otherwise. There are still societal pressures surrounding how people express themselves and there’s an underlying fear of being ‘different.’ I hope we can inspire others to love themselves for who they are. Learning self-love can transform your whole life.
Did music help you come to terms with who you are and your identity?
Writing music has definitely helped me acknowledge and work through a bunch of things I wasn’t really ready to talk about at the time of writing. Writing our three albums has been a gradual healing process and I’ve come out the other side feeling empowered.
Growing up, was there someone you looked up to that you try to model yourself after now?
Jonny Pierce (The Drums) and Ed Droste (Grizzly Bear) were two queer musicians I looked up to. Their openness was really encouraging for me especially Jonny talking about the struggles associated with his religious upbringing. I remember reading their posts after the Orlando attack in 2016 and feeling compelled to start living my truth and contributing to queer representation—I came out a few weeks later!
You describe ‘Sometimes’ as adjusting yourself to being open with fans and listeners. I think the most important thing when it comes to making any kind of art is being totally honest with yourself — do you find that difficult when creating or writing music? Does it scare you to bare your soul like that to people that listen to your songs?
I have moments of feeling a bit nervous about sharing stuff but I feel like getting this out will be freeing and healing. I don’t wanna sound like a cliché but with my writing now, it’s from my heart rather than my head and I feel like inspiration is flowing through me from somewhere else. It’s kind of like a lot of this has come from my higher mind and I just have to let it flow in the moment and try not to overthink it. I spent so long hiding myself but I feel like these songs have come to me for a reason and it’s time to harness that power and let the light shine.
We all go through ruts of feeling unmotivated and uninspired. What do you do to pull yourselves out of that low point and feel inspired again?
I feel like it’s really important to let inspiration flow in whatever form it comes; expectation around what you’re creating can result in feeling uninspired if the idea of what you ‘want to write’ doesn’t match up with what’s coming to you.
Earlier this year I kind of felt like I’d hit a bit of a wall when I wanted to write a bangin’ pop song. I just started playing whatever came to me and I ended up recording an ambient instrumental song that would be a vibe for meditating/resting which was really refreshing. It’s really important not to put too much pressure on yourself. I feel like inspiration comes as it’s meant to and at the right times.
With 2018 coming to a close, what was your favorite moment of this year? And what do you hope for yourselves in 2019?
2018 has been a wild year both personally and professionally but I’d say getting married in August was a highlight as well as selling out the biggest headline shows we’ve played in Australia, the US and the UK!
We’re starting off 2019 by releasing our strongest album to date and I feel like it’s going to connect in a really meaningful way, so I’m excited to ride that wave in 2019 and keep spreading the love!
Last but not least — favorite song of 2018?
Mallrat ‘Groceries.’ I didn’t know it was possible for a song to be so heartbreaking and uplifting at the same time—this song is perfect to me.
Cub Sport’s self-titled third album is set to be released January 18, 2019.