Rackett’s Rebecca Callander believes in art, craftsmanship, and lawlessness
âI found myself in a bottomless pit of arts and crafts reorganization,â says Rackett lead singer and guitarist Rebecca Callander. It is certainly not the Saturday night you would expect from a lyricist who sings lines like “give me one of those white lines i’m bored so much i wanna fuck with my time / don’t leave me alone i could become a kk killerâOn the title song of his band’s first EP, Ready or Not.
Since its debut in 2016, the Sydney quartet has built a reputation for thrilling live performances, technically competent and powerful sound, and hyper-female DIY aesthetic. Last week, they released their diverse and trash-stuffed pop trash EP, packaged by mi-wallet, a local designer who used pages from BRAG to create custom, handmade covers. âIt’s something that really excites me. Each one is going to be completely unique, âsays Callander.
First in the form of voice memos, the tracks were prepared with the band for over a year before being brought to producer Dave Hammer of Def Wolf Studios in Alexandria. âWe write country ballads, we write crappy 10 minute psychedelic songsâ¦ As long as it’s good music, we’re happy to explore all the different stylesâ¦ [the tracks] went through a lot of transitions, and then we took all of these versions to Dave Hammer, our producer, and he tweaked everything, âsays Callander. “He basically polished the turd.”
Being bad for me now disrupts social etiquette. It’s sort of saying something when you shouldn’t be saying something.
The result is Ready or Not, a five-track debut album that expresses the band’s relentless refusal to become the soft, well-spoken 20-30 year old women they are meant to be. Writing songs about Ready or Not is primitive, brutal and shameless; it’s infused with howls, heavy breaths, and crisp, full riffs that complement their loose shows.
Rackett opted for a predominantly trashy pop sound because of “slight resistance to be good,” Callander explains. âTo give in entirely to pop music right now is too good. I guess it reflects our personalities. We’ve got past the really trashy stage of our lives partying and self-destructing, but we’re not entirely clear – we’ve got a bit of work to do, personally.
The title song “Ready Or Not” is an ode to being bad, which evokes a theme that runs throughout the record. âI wrote this song two years ago, so looking back on it now, I’m laughing at myself because it’s not really me anymore,â says Callander. âI still have that attitude, but it’s not in a form of taking drugs and getting super fucked up. Being bad for me now disrupts social etiquette. It’s sort of saying something when you shouldn’t be saying something.
This element of social disruption is particularly present in the evocative clip of ‘Prey’, directed by Mathilde Nacquet, a slower and lighter number which shows the sound diversity of the group. âThere are a lot of other things that I really want to talk about that I recognize as disturbing and they might not be what you would expect. I’m all for animal rights and have a vegan lifestyle so it’s kind of my rebellion right now.
âI was at the Newtown library going through an encyclopedia and I came across all these really outrageous animals,â Callander continues. “With this fish with the light on his head [anglerfish], the female is the dominant of the species and the male is super small. He attaches himself to her and he eats himself until there is only a pair of nuts left – and that’s his life!
Inspired by the biodiversity of our planet’s wildlife and its evolutionary benefits, Callander explored the idea of ââbeing cheated, duped, and victimized by the opposite sex. “Some guy or something will hunt [you] down and fill you up with all this stuff and praise your existence and then never talk to you again. And that’s just weird behavior. [I was] using the animal’s behavior as a metaphor to describe how weird we are.
I have a very good voice, I am a creative writer, I am a performer, I love to be on stage.
Elsewhere on the debut, the song “Your Son” denounces the strange behavior of a former roommate who stole and destroyed Callander’s car, with lyrics like “Your son is a jerk, your son is a bad / and I wonder where he got it from â. âI tend to attract a lot of drama and a lot of crazy people,â says Callander. âSo there must be something crazy about me that appeals to them as well. “
Having been on stage her entire life – she did tap dancing, jazz and ballet from ages 2 to 16 and studied acting at NIDA – making music was the next logical step for Callander. âI think making music is the best use of my skills. I have a very good voice, I am a creative writer, I am a performer, I love to be on stage.
Callander has already gone out of her way to surprise audiences and her band, and she has a penchant for breathtaking feats – most notably when she shaved her head on stage during her band’s set to Electric Lady at the metro in June.
So we can expect their next tour with Killing Heidi and the EP launch shows to be a big deal for their audiences. âWe’re going to sweat, bleed, cry, scream. We will give them 100% of ourselves for those 30 minutes. I guess our only slogan is that we will give them everything, everything we have. Callander laughs. “Don’t tell anyone I’m staying at home tonight with my sewing machine and my cat.” “
Rackett will play at the Chippo Hotel on Saturday September 23.