We interviewed The Grates, who will be headlining NGV Friday Nights at NGV International on 8 July 2016.

Describe your sound in 5 words or less?
Raw, Infectious, Optimistic, Blunt, Immature

If your music was an artwork what would it look like?
A marsh up between the works of Disney illustrators, John K (the creator & mastermind behind Ren And Stimpy) and Francis Bacon, cut, pasted and collaged all together, then run through a photocopying machines several times, so the ultimate image has high contrast and loss off definition, making what was there only visible to those who saw it getting made.

What’s your favourite gig you have played to date?
Recently we supported The Flaming Lips in Melbourne and that was off-the-charts-incredible, it was the experience around the show that will stay with me a lifetime. Seeing how TFL set up & create the visual magic they do, then watching from a hidden corner of the stage our heroes just mere metres away, then sharing a drink with the million dollar man himself, Mr Wayne Coyne, was… better then I imagined real life could be!

What inspires/influences your music the most?
I really wish there was an easy answer for this, but when it comes to inspiration, any source is appreciated, so we’re thankful for inspiration from any source. As for what motivates us, is a desire to be able to write a song that we feel truly, truly proud of. A song that we can look at the intro, verse and chorus, the lyrics, each individual instrument and feel proud of the strength of each part coming together to create one cohesively satisfying whole. If we ever write that song, it’ll probably be the song our fans hate most! ha ha ha

What song do you wish you wrote?
Never Be Like You by Flume. It’s such an auditory thirst quencher.

What part of making music excites you the most?
Hanging with my best pals, and then getting to travel around with them playing shows & sharing intimate and unusual life experiences with them, is by far, the part about making music that excites me the most.

What can someone expect from your live show?
Lots of energy, lots of weirdness.