Australia’s next generation of music is going to be well represented if Triple J’s Unearthed program is anything to go by, as the up-and-coming band Semantics have smashed their way onto the scene.
Semantics is a group of young adults hailing from Queensland who are devoted to the idea of connecting meaning to their words. There is no attempt to hide the lyrics under complex layers, and that provides a very honest and real experience to listen to.
The band’s lead guitarist Gerard Settgast says it was an amazing experience to be featured on Triple J and it is a massive achievement for all of them.
“Seeing all the hard work pay off, it’s really surreal,” Settgast said.
“What we’re mainly focused on is mental health, and connecting messages such as ‘R U OK’ into what we do.”
Such a desire to focus on the mental wellbeing of people shows in their second EP If you’re not alright, and Settgast believes this connection is what has enabled Semantics to build a community.
“We’ve got a massive community in Brisbane and in Melbourne … It’s crazy to think that if I’m going out in Brisbane, people actually come up to me because they recognise me,” he said.
As Brisbane locals, their grassroots connection bleeds into their music in such a way that fills each lyric with emotion and a desire to reach the listener. Each member’s passion comes together to create an up-and-coming band that is relatable and entertaining.
The unity within the band is easy to see, with Semantics’ bassist Madi Tunstall saying that despite the increase in exposure, nothing has really changed for the band. They are still having just as much fun with what they’re doing.
“In the last 4 months, there’s been a much clearer direction,” Tunstall said.
“We want to do some things that people aren’t doing. There’s all these songs about depression and suicide, but there’s not really anything about how to get help … I think people appreciate that message a lot.”
The band have no intentions of slowing down either, despite all working full-time jobs. Both Settgast and Tunstall spoke about their upcoming tours within Australia and the prospect of touring overseas in the near future.
“It’s a massive sense of achievement, and it’s something that we want to do forever,” Settgast said.