HTRK is one of Australia’s best musical duos. For over 2 decades, the band has refined its sound, growing from punk rock to a softer, more introspective sound. The duo is made of vocalist Jonnine Standish and guitarist Nigel Yang. After making the move to several different cities around the world, they have settled back in their native Melbourne but maintain a strong connection with their international fan base.
Their new album, Rhinestones, takes on a more country feel and places a stronger focus on Standish’s lyrics. Despite being just 26 minutes long, the album succeeds in telling a story and leaves listeners anticipating what’s coming next. For all of you Toronto fans, HTRK will be making a spot in Toronto on their Rhinestone tour on May 6th at Adelaide Hall! You can get your tickets here.
Below, HTRK’s Jonnine Standish gives us some insight into the band’s music style, what brought them back to Melbourne, and more.
How has your musical style changed from ‘Nostalgia’ to ‘Rhinestones’?
If we think about this too much our heads explode. Style has changed a lot, let’s leave it at that. It’s a bit cringe but Nostalgia was wanting to confront and escape, then we moved through all sorts of emotional places on the next few albums and ended up with Rhinestones just aiming straight for the heart.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to musicians who are starting out?
Try not to compare yourself to anyone, it’s never a good idea!
I read that you’ve been based in quite a few cities from Berlin and London to Sydney, before going back to Melbourne. What made you want to move back to Melbourne?
Melbourne is full of memories for us. It has a nice balance of newness and the old familiar, and we enjoy observing the city as its home.
What is one thing you wish more people knew about the two of you?
We both have no sense of direction (Melbourne is a grid), we need help.
What is one memory from your live performances that stands out?
We can’t remember, we’re kind of in the moment..maybe when we’re overcome by emotion [from] a song—when we don’t expect it.
What is a household chore that you actually enjoy doing?
Vacuuming with the Dyson and polishing the glass table.
I read that your taste in music is quite different, how is that reflected in your music?
Nigel is good at taking us down an unexpected musical path, Jonn is good at twists, and surreal twists.
You can stream Rhinestones below.