In year 12, you’re the kings and queens of your school, and to an extent, your known world.
But then you leave school and you realise very quickly that you are a very insignificant entity in a very large and intimidating world, and that over the next ten years you’ll establish your place in life via university and full-time employment.
And then there’s British India.
Declan Melia, Matt O'Gorman, Will Drummond and Nic Wilson have been touring Australia and releasing music since 2005, with their most recent album, ‘Controller’, debuting at number ten in the ARIA charts in March this year.
However, one thing that ‘Controller’ represents for British India, that none of the others did, is a coming of age.
“It had been a long-time since we released anything. Nearly three years,” vocalist Melia says.
“We needed the motivation to finish the album because this was during the time British India was really in the doldrums and directionless. The release of ‘I Can Make You Love Me’ [single, May 2012] is what we needed to release the album.”
For these four guys under 30 – whose only real job since high school has been playing in and releasing music – the period from when Shock Records came upon hard financial times with its publishing arm going into liquidation, to them signing with Liberation, was tough.
“Everything in this industry is unsettled; you live and die by your next single.
"If your single is a crappy single followed by a crappy album, you’re done. So even though we knew ‘I Can Make You Love Me’ was a good song, it was something totally different for us because we didn’t have an album written yet to back it up,” Melia explains.
The group’s drummer, O’Gorman, takes up the story at this point.
“So after the whole Shock thing, we’d written that song and a couple of others when we had no label and then the Liberation people heard it and they were really excited which was awesome for us to get that kind of feedback, particularly from a label like Liberation.”
Melia continues: “If you’re asking what it was like having the single out before the album was finished, it wasn’t good. It was tough knowing we had to follow-up with an album – you see, we didn’t have any more than a couple of other songs written.
"We were used to a situation like with ‘Guillotine’ where we had an album and it was like take the best song and release it [as the single].”
As the story would play out, British India did back the single up with a quality album.
When ‘Controller’ was released, the single that accompanied it was the grunge heavy ‘Summer Forgive Me’, a track that harked back to British India of old.
The latest and fourth single from the album, ‘Blinded’, is a confessional yet up-tempo song – almost a ‘road song’ to evoke energy on a 12 hour drive.
The diversity of the album demonstrates a band at one with their creative output after going through tough and uncertain times.
British India play The Zoo November 22-23. ‘Controller’ is out now.