Published on theMusic.com.au, Aug 2016
End Of Fashion frontman Justin Burford might be in the middle of tracking new material for his solo project, Coco Blu, when he answers the phone, but it’s only been relatively recently that his passion for music was reignited.
“I’d just been over it for a really long time; I was kind of over music,” Burford begins from his home studio. “I only got into it again maybe 18 months ago when I got this studio and started recording again. Before that there were a good few years where I was like, ‘Ugh, it’s too hard.’”
It was a feeling that began before local legends End Of Fashion went on hiatus in 2014, with the entire band needing a breaking to explore other creative, personal and professional pursuits. “It just kind of wound down,” he recalls. “It starts to feel like it becomes sour; you put all this work into it and you might not be getting what you want out of it any more. So naturally it just kind of lost it.”
After two years on the sidelines, End Of Fashion played a last-minute hometown show back in February, which lead to a 10-year anniversary tour in support of their smashing indie-pop gem of a self-titled debut album. “I guess like anything else, your tastes change and hopefully mature, and progress in a way. I can look back on a lot of those songs and there’s moments where I’m just kind of like, ‘Jeez, that’s awesome,’ I couldn’t think of that now. And there’s other parts of songs where I’m like, ‘Oh God – what was I thinking.’ Usually the lyrics. Something this intense stirs up good and bad memories,” he laughs.
One of the more negative memories comes from comments the singer made in reference to triple j back in 2014, stating on his personal Facebook that the station was largely responsible for the band’s demise. “For me, it was sort of a mountain out of a molehill – just a Facebook rant,” he explains.
“It sucks being tarnished with that. I remember at the time thinking, ‘Jesus, we didn’t get any kind of attention for any of the music we’ve put out on the last two records, that sucks.’ I couldn’t believe that anybody would put that much stock in it or anything I had to say. It’s not pleasant.”
“I’m definitely not anti-triple j, in fact I’m the opposite. I wish there were more triple js. I think that the problem is that there is literally just one triple j. That’s a very limiting access point for a lot of bands. I guess over the years I’ve seen different industries and how they operate and the Australian creative landscape is pretty abysmal across the board.”
His comments on the Australian scene at large are reflective of the singer’s own admission of jumping the gun and speaking in absolutes, which is where the triple j issues arose, and why he told many that End Of Fashion would never return to the stage again. “I should watch what I say,” he tells. “I’m sitting here saying, ‘I don’t think [End Of Fashion] will be another creative thing.’
“Given the choice of pursuing End Of Fashion and pursuing something new, the answer is of course, pursuing something new. But if there was a way of kind of balancing the two so that they both sort of had their value, then sure.”
But for now, it’s Coco Blu that’s consuming his creative output, with something hopefully released in the next six months. “We mixed the tape about a week ago. So it’s kind of at the point now where it’s like, ‘I’ve got this thing, what am I gonna do with this thing?’ I’ve actually been showing people, which is exciting and terrifying.”
End Of Fashion hit the road in September; check out theGuide for all tour dates and ticketing info.