An eight-month hiatus has done little to slow Split Feed’s rise in the world of Novocastrian music, and just weeks before their return-tour they’ve been selected to play the opening set at Groovin the Moo Maitland.
Chosen as part of the Triple J Unearthed program that sees six rising acts added to the national festival’s lineup each year, the chance to play the main stage at their local festival is not one the four-piece band are going to take lightly.
“We saw the competition when it was first announced, but I kind of palmed off the idea cause I didn’t think we had a chance of winning,” said frontman Joe Willis.
“It’s just insane, we’ve never played at a festival before.”
Willis revealed he was leaving university when he got the big news earlier this week.
“I actually was leaving a lecture when I got a text from Will [St Claire, the band’s guitarist] saying ‘big news, call me’ but I had 1% and then the phone turned off, so I had to walk 20 minutes to my car then drive home and the whole time was just freaking out.”
Although Split Feed are no strangers to playing alongside big-name artists, the chance to share the same stage as acts like Grinspoon, Portugal. The Man and Paul Kelly is front and centre for Willis when he thinks about the festival.
“When we’re playing we’re just going to be thinking about all those acts that are going to be playing after us and standing where we’re standing,” he said. “It’s going to be such a new experience for us and I’m so excited.”
The appearance at Groovin the Moo also marks the first time the band will appear at a festival, after years of playing gigs at bars, clubs and live music venues.
“It’s going to be really different, we’re not really sure what to expect when we get on stage,” Willis said. “It’s going to take some getting used to.
“Being separated on stage, compared to the small venues we normally play at, and having the crowd be further away in the field – it’s going to be heaps different.”
Before the paddocks of Groovin the Moo beckon, Split Feed will be heading off on their Something More Tour, travelling to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Doonside, Wollongong and Manly.
The east coast tour begins in Newcastle however, with the band returning to the Cambridge Hotel on Friday, March 9.
Willis admits returning to the stage and performing live after more than half a year is something all four of the members are looking forward to more than anything.
“It’s so insane that we have this big tour to come back and now at the end of it all we’re going to be appearing at Groovin,” Willis said. “It’s just going to be in our minds the whole tour, it’s still kind of just sinking in.”
“We’re looking forward to playing music again, we’re working on new stuff and from here it’s just all uphill. It’s good to be back and we’ve got a lot planned.”
Split Feed will be joined by dave, Moaning Lisa and Rum Jungle, with the return gig also boasting DJ sets from Taki Local, Dipsmith, and Love + Rent.