2005 – present (16 years)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Expatriate is a Sydney-based band consisting of Ben King (vocals, guitar), Chris Kollias (drums), Damian Press (keyboard, guitar, sound engineer) and Dave Molland (bass).
Expatriate derive their name from the collective experiences of their youth.
Front man Ben King grew up in the midst of Jakarta, behind the walls of a United Nations meets ‘Dazed and Confused’ international school - he was living the contradiction of isolation in a big city.
It was here King first cut his teeth on politics, watching the corrupt regime of Indonesian President Suharto from behind the utopian society of a school without nationalities, flags or borders. At lunchtime students traded cassette tapes, recipes and languages. Argentinean friends introduced him to The Cure. A student cover band introduced him to Nirvana at assembly.
It was a stark contrast when he returned to Australia at 15 to attend a traditional boarding school. King left behind friends and loves, later studying politics at Sydney University before pursuing music full time.
Drummer & percussionist Chris Kollias - also an expatriate in many ways - spent his formative years grappling with colliding cultures. The son of migrant parents, his early musical influences came from his father’s transistor radio. The sounds of the Greek Underground 'Rembetika' - a style of music which originated from the forced immigration of 2 million Greek refugees from Asia Minor - would sing out, while on the TV screen unfit athletes would hit a shiny red ball and VB beer advertisements would bring a smile to his face.
Years later Chris performed at Sydney’s Opera House and Entertainment Centre supporting the artists that seemed a world away on his father’s radio.
A change of scene and as fate would have it, Chris bumped into Ben at Sydney’s Annandale Hotel. It soon became clear that they share a similar experience - it wouldn’t take long for Ben’s songs to strike a chord with him and the band’s other founding member, Damian Press.
When it came time to put down the songs that had been floating around in Ben’s head it was Damian (guitar/keyboards/production) and Ginsberg Studios that he called upon.
With a background in sound design including Hollywood movie trailers, Damian has always had a love for the subtleties of sound. Constantly evolving his own sound as a musician and that of his studio as a producer, his sensibility to the atmosphere and ethereal space found in music was a quality that Ben welcomed with open arms.
It just so happened that Chris was sharing a house with Damian at the time and so Expatriate was formed.
They recorded their debut EP in Ginsberg, spending weeks mixing the tracks and creating the space that is their trademark. Entitled Lovers le Strange the five-track EP was released on October 31 2005. The first single, The Spaces Between spent six weeks on high rotation on Australian national broadcaster Triple J. Expatriate ended the year with a performance at the prestigious Homebake Festival in Sydney, pretty special for a band only one year old! At the close of 2005 the band had toured the nation three times and played to enthusiastic crowds who took their EP home to sleep in their stereos for the summer.
The year 2006 would see the band build on its blossoming start. The second single off their EP - Killer Kat - gained high rotation on Triple J. A sell-out national headline tour (their first) took place in February. A short trip overseas in March to London and Toronto piqued the attention of many international artists and critics – culminating
in Jim Kerr personally inviting the band to support Simple Minds (UK) on the Australian leg of their world tour that May.
June, July and August saw Expatriate in Seattle recording their debut album with John Goodmanson (Death Cab for Cutie, Blonde Redhead, Wu Tang Clan) at Robert Lang Studios. Upon their return, long time touring bassist Dave Molland (Bass) joined the band.
Dave’s connection with music has been a life long one. As a music teacher, he is forever practicing, performing or listening to music and his ability to collaborate with musicians coupled with his high spirited nature inevitably led him to Ginsberg Studios - soon after the Expatriate line up was complete.
Their debut full-lenth, In the Midst of This, was released in April 2007 and features earlier successes "Only Wanna Love Ya", "Play a Part","Crazy" and new single "The Spaces Between".
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