After their mysterious disappearance of their former band, Cog, the Gower brothers have resurfaced with a new track and a brand new project called The Occupants.
In mid 2014, The Occupants were approached to write a song under the proviso it was to be included in the soundtrack to an upcoming TV series about Gallipoli. The band dove straight into developing, refining and steering the demo they had in the direction of Gallipoli, and ‘Alison’ was born, returning to the studio with producer Forrester Savell at Byron Bay’s Music Farm Studios. The band finished the track, but during the process the soundtrack deal itself somehow evaporated and the need for their song was no longer required.
Over the years, the ANZAC story has been commoditised, appropriated, co-opted and over-marketed. Somewhere along the way, it also became a thing that politicians saluted to when they wanted to ring the ‘true Aussie patriot’ bell in the hope that the heroism of ANZAC would rub off by association.
“I guess we, as a band, like to think that if there is a genuine stand to make now, then it’s in helping people who are fleeing war, violence, conflict and persecution overseas in this day and age. That might be something worth fighting for, even if our current government doesn’t think so,” says front man Flynn Gower.
With that in mind, the band are going to donate half of all sales of ‘Alison’ to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne.
“Given the amount of over-mythologising and flat-out jingoism that already exists around the subject matter of Gallipoli, we just didn’t want people to think this was some cynical ploy to cash in on all that,” explains Flynn.
With the song ‘Alison’, The Occupants have taken the liberty of experimenting with the freedom first offered by such an expressive and emotive mandate, while at the same time acknowledging the confined scope of the Gallipoli storyline serving as a kind of parameter-based challenge.