It all started with one thought: what would happen if a couple of nobodies recorded at Abbey Road?
The Surfwolves, also known as Paul James and Joh Rooney, were playing in a Belconnen garage when the idea first came about, and it wasn't long before they realised they could record at the world's most famous studio. They just needed to fund it themselves.
But what started as a question of nobodies recording at Abbey Road, turned into, what would it be like to record during a pandemic? While James had to drop out of the trip a month out from their March 2020 recording date, Rooney had the chance to find out.
A day before the musician was due to fly out, WHO declared coronavirus as a pandemic. This meant he was unable to get any money back from his flights and accommodation. So Rooney put on his N95 mask leftover from last year's bushfires and got on the plane to London, knowing full well that he may have to return at a moment's notice.
"There was a chance I could have only been there for a day before turning back."
Rooney managed to get in more than a day's worth of recording at Abbey Road. But only just. The musician was at the studio for a day-and-a-half before needing to return to Canberra and avoid London's citywide lockdown.
But it was a day-and-a-half that he wouldn't have experienced if it wasn't for the pandemic.
London was eerily quiet when Rooney arrived. People had just started working from home and when he jumped on a bus to get to Abbey Road, it was only him and one other passenger.
If it had been any other passenger it would have been just an average (albeit, quiet) public transport experience. However, the interaction was the first in a string of unique Abbey Road experiences as the lady on the bus also happened to be Paul McCartney's neighbour.
"She'd known him for years. Their kids had gone to school together and they'd used to chat over the front fence. It was weird because I had come here because The Beatles are so inspirational and here I am sitting next to someone who's like known Paul for many years," Rooney says.
The unique experiences continued when Rooney arrived at the studio. He was the only one who hadn't cancelled their booking, meaning the other five studios - including the three which The Beatles had recorded in - were empty. That allowed Abbey Road to play The Surfwolves' previous album for everyone working in the building.
"They listened to the whole thing and enjoyed it. That was a cool moment. These people have seen some amazing musicians and they didn't hate our music. It's kind of humbling; like we're on the right path to something," Rooney says.
An empty Abbey Road also led to a private tour of the studios for Rooney and his session bass player Alec Coulson.
"It was a surreal moment, walking through an empty Abbey Road," Rooney says.
"Studio One is for orchestral music and The Beatles have been in that one. Studio two is The Beatles' studio, studio three is a bit smaller, but was still used by The Beatles.
"If it wasn't for the pandemic I would have never have seen those because it's too expensive."
Almost a year on and The Surfwolves have started to release the tracks recorded at Abbey Road, starting with Time is Not for Sale, which was released last month. And according to Rooney, you can hear the difference Abbey Road makes.
"I think the best way to describe it is when I heard the recordings from Abbey Road, they sounded 3D," he says.
"They sound like you're in the room. There's a warmth associated with using their microphones. It just adds that sprinkle of magic."