Psychedelic Porn Crumpets return with new song, ‘Mr. Prism’

Guitarist/vocalist Jack McEwan tells NME about their wild new track and their plans for 2020

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have returned today (August 5) with a new song, ‘Mr. Prism’.

The Perth band’s romping new track was inspired by the time band member Jack McEwan unfortunately contracted pneumonia after their last tour of Europe. It’s named after a character that the songwriter has described in a statement as “my sickly fun-fuelled fiend of an alter ego”.

Following 2019’s ‘Mundungus’, ‘Mr. Prism’ is the second track Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have released after putting out their 2019 album ‘And Now For The Whatchamacallit’. The band are readying new music for release throughout 2020, and McEwan spoke to NME to discuss their new song and upcoming plans in a brief chat. Listen to ‘Mr. Prism’ and check out the Q&A below.

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On a scale of 1 (just fine) to 10 (absolutely awful), how terrible was the bout of illness that inspired this song? At which point did you think about turning the experience into music?

It was definitely closer to 10. I knew I had a problem when beer started to taste like sawdust. The first flight we had from Perth to Brisbane was a shocker, going from air-con to 40 degrees, jumping around trying to sing then back on the plane to another city had me sideways. It wasn’t until we got home a week later I found out I had pneumonia.

I’m not very good and being sick, obviously everyone at the festival is offering you all kinds of goods so it was partly poor judgement and terrible self-control that cooked me. But yeah, once I had the right meds and a good few weeks to recover I felt my deathly adventures deserved a jingle.

Without taking away from the seriousness of the pandemic, ‘Mr. Prism’ is a pretty apt song to release during this period. How have the band been spending lockdown?

I’ve been in two minds about how people will perceive the lyrics, ’cause obviously it was written before COVID and the end of the world as we knew it. It’s really just my silly little sick song, no need to dive in for conspiracies. I was hoping by the time we released it everything would be back to normal so it could be taken a bit more jestfully. Here in Perth we’re not too affected as of now (touch wood), things are getting back to as they once were.

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I’ve genuinely seen more people in the last few weeks than I had all of last year, partly cause of touring, but mainly because there’s been a bit of a buzz about town to go see shows and hang out. It’s been great to be honest, and hopefully there’ll be the same euphoric burst of energy worldwide when everyone is eventually allowed out again.

Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have been on a tear for a few years now – and you’re going to be releasing more new music throughout the rest of 2020. What can listeners expect of the new material?

I mean this period has been ideal for myself. I’ve got a home studio where I record the tracks so since we’ve been locked down and had a huge break from touring. I’ve felt more productive than I ever have. Our next record sort of encapsulates the last few years on the road, the energy of those shows, waking up in a foreign town with a tongue like a parrot gasping for water then back in a van to do it all over again the next night somewhere else. That fast-paced lifestyle is so exhilarating that when we got home it was so strange to fit back in.

We’re all a bit lost I think, addicted to the evening, trying to remember how to relax. I’m not complaining though, very much the opposite, if anything this break has allowed me/us to finish an album completely the way we envisioned it without any impending deadlines to adhere, too. It’s easily our best work to date.

The band are now three albums in. Are there any new goals you’re aiming to kick, any new milestones you’re hoping to achieve?

Definitely a lot of touring, hopefully! But I suppose it’s like we’re going through a bit of a renaissance period, post-COVID, having ample time to evaluate ourselves, what needs to change and how we can improve as a band to keep progressing forward. I’d hate to be one of those acts that get comfortable. It would be nice to have an allure of unpredictability surrounding us, in a good way. We’ve already got one eye on the next album after this!

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