When you think of a house where a rock band live, rehearse and party, chances are you're perfectly imagining Kew House, the sprawling, dilapidated headquarters of Melbourne band Kingswood. Graffiti-covered walls, amps and guitars litter every piece of surface area, including a basketball half-court and even a motorcycle workshop under the house.
When we turn up Kew House at 10:30 in the morning, the place is a hive of activity. Upstairs in the control room, guitarist Alex Laska, singer Fergus Linacre and drummer Justin Debrincat are working on potential set lists for their upcoming tour, pausing intermittently to jam out tracks in the big live rehearsal room. Kingswood certainly make great use of the property, using it for work and play in equal measure.
"When we're all in the house we're [either] rehearsing in the main tracking room, or playing basketball or working on motorbikes. Whatever we're doing, music's always playing," says Linacre. Laska adds, "It's weird when you go from making music to complete silence. I very much enjoy having music on in the background of pretty much everything that I do."
Kingswood listen to music through a Sonos PLAY:5 in the rehearsal room where they wrote most of their new album, After Hours, Close To Dawn. In their bike workshop they have a PLAY:3 pumping out the Black Crowes, and scattered throughout various rooms they have a string of PLAY:1s.
While we're watching the band rehearse, an older gentleman in a pale suite sidles up and introduces himself as Trevor, Kingwood's landlord. Of course we had to know what led him to rent his childhood home to a bunch of hard-partying rockers.
"I met Alex when he came into my audio store and he convinced me he was a lovely person so I said, 'Look, I have a house down the road. It's empty, it's not being used very much, you're welcome to have the house because you've got to pay all those recording costs.' So they came down and checked out the place and loved it. They set up right in the loungeroom here where I played as a five-year-old, and I'm just happy that they found it perfect for what they wanted to do."