Eskimo Joe leave the Sweater
Eskimo Joe has a skeleton in its closet.
Well, to be more accurate, it has a Sweater.
The three-piece out of Fremantle came to the nation's attention with their first EP, Sweater, in 1998.
Sweater, the novelty title-track from the EP, is one song the band would like to forget.
"That wasn't us," guitarist Joel Quartermain tells Pulse through laughter.
"That is a stage of our life we'd rather forget."
The band went as far as considering a name change after deciding novelty songs could only last so long.
"We got to the point where we decided we weren't going to make music like that anymore because it can't get you anywhere," he says.
"So we decided to change everything. We were going to change the name, but we never did."
And while the band says the latest release, Ghosts Of The Past, is about reconciliation, it isn't the album to erase the memory of Sweater.
"There is nothing that will ever reconcile us with that song," Quartermain says, still laughing.
"Every time the Recovery (ABC) music clip gets mentioned it's like your mum coming out with the photo album of you in your fluoro board shorts."
The latest release is instead about the reconciliation of relationships, Quartermain says.
Ghosts Of The Past is the band's fifth LP and the first recorded in their new Perth studio, The Wastelands.
"We've always had a central jam room that we've gone to, which at one point was a wooden shed at Kav's (Temperley, vocals/bass) house; then a slightly bigger room off Kav's house," Quartermain says.
"We then did up this three-car garage for about $20,000 and now we've got this $500,000 recording studio."
But it isn't just a space for EJ - the studio is an open space for musicians to help create the "vibing musical space" needed.
"We've always been like that though," Quartermain says.
"Back in 2003 there was this scene in Perth and it was all coming from the same place, which was Kav's. We were recording other bands there, people were writing, it was really inspiring."
Plus, it's a way for the members of Eskimo Joe to stay involved in music when they are no longer a band (Quartermain thinks they still have two albums left in them).
The skills will pay off in the studio for the band's record label, Dirt Diamonds, as much as they did on Ghosts Of The Past.
"We're a band who has always had a keen interest in the production side of things," Quartermain says.
Which is why after having Gil Norton produce the last album, Inshalla (2009), they were happy to take back the reins.
"He's a great guy and everything and we're great friends, but it really slowed things up for us in the studio," Quartermain says.
Quartermain says the trio's working relationship is so fine-tuned the three barely even need to speak half of the time.
"It's good to get back in there and take control because at the end of the day we really are all control freaks," he says.
That's not to say they didn't pick up on what Norton did for the album.
"When someone else comes in you've got to watch what they do," Quartermain says.
"You can't just let them do their thing and go 'Wow, how did they do that?'. You have to steal their ideas."
Ghosts Of The Past is in stores now and Eskimo Joe are heading to Lismore at SCU's Unibar next Thursday (October 6). Tickets $49.