Northern New South Wales band Mini Skirt play Aussie pub punk that captures the climate of current-day Australia, things aren’t always picturesque and idyllic; the vocals are urgent and frustrated while the music has a rawness and melody sonically painting a picture of the hope through the struggle. Gimmie interviewed vocalist Jacob Boylan about this year’s debut LP, Casino.
Mini Skirt are from Byron Bay; how would you describe where you live?
JACOB BOYLAN: The area is absolutely beautiful. It’s also more and more like Hollywood but can’t complain about too much.
Where does the band name Mini Skirt come from?
JB: Pulled it out of our asses. Pretty much the best we could come up with the time [laughs]. We don’t really think about it too much. I don’t think any of us even really associate the actual article of clothing with the name anymore.
What do you enjoy most about music?
JB: That you can listen to it in the car.
What first got you into it?
JB: I think probably my dad’s tape/CD collection. And then Eminem.
How did Mini Skirt get together?
JB: Over a beer and a yarn at the Railway Hotel.
You’ve released debut LP Casino this year. Previously you’ve mentioned that often your songs come from your observation of things; what kinds of things were inspiring this album while writing it?
JB: The lyrics were kind of compiled over a year or so, so there are a few different things and different moods that kind of get tapped into. A lot about being frustrated by the echo chamber of the elite lefty PC police and at the same time being super frustrated by purposefully hateful and bigoted right-wing pigs. It’s all about the tightrope baby.
I especially love the first track ‘Pressure’; what kind of place was this song being written from? Were you feeling pressures in your own life?
JB: A little bit. I just felt like I was working heaps at the time and felt like having a sook about it. The song didn’t help much though, I still sook to my girlfriend every night.
Was there any song on the album that was a challenge to write?
JB: I personally struggled a bit with writing a chorus for ‘Face Of The Future’. Sometimes they take a bit of panel beating, but generally they come together fairly naturally over time.
Can you tell us the story behind the album cover image with the band’s name and the album title written on the shop window?
JB: I kind of had the rough idea of having our name and album written on a corner store window where it would normally say “Fish’n’Chips” or whatever. Then one day I drove past “Skimmo’s” in the Lismore Industrial Estate on my way to work and was like “That’s the shop!” Long story short we called up old mate and he was sweet with it so we got our friend Nathan Pickering to come out and do the signwriting and our other mate Parko to come and get the pic. Pretty iconic. I think we were all pretty stoked. The shop owner wanted us to leave it up, he was a legend.
The album was recorded at The Music Farm in Byron which is a historic recording studio first born in the 1970s; how did you come to record there? What was the space like?
JB: Our dear friend and the Mayor of Byron Paul McNeil was managing The Music Farm and it’s one of the most crazy and beautiful properties I’ve ever seen so we figured that was the spot to record. It’s so good in there. Paul did a great job setting it all up.
You recorded with Owen Penglis from Straight Arrows; how’d you get together? Did you learn anything from working with him?
JB: Indeed! Through Nick from Nick Nuisance and The Delinquents, we hit up Owen and he was psyched. I think he was mainly just psyched for a holiday. But he didn’t get much time for recreation. We learnt that he’s real good at pinball and that he’s a total badass.
When you think back to recording; what’s the first memory of the process that pops out at you?
JB: Going for a swim out the front with Owen each morning before we went out to record was pretty classic. Just watching Owen in general was pretty great. Also seeing all the stuff we’d been putting together for over a year finally come together into something tangible.
What have you been listening to lately?
JB: Right now, I’m listening to ‘Russell Coight’ by Shadow feat Huskii and Vinsins. I know a couple of us have been listening to a fair bit of country. Cam and I always listen to a fair bit of hip-hop. Jesse was listening to Underoath the other day. Also, The Floodlights album is excellent. Other Jacob said he listened to the new Flatbush Zombies album the other day when he was cleaning his house.
What do you do outside of music?
JB: We all work full time. Surf a bit. Watch the footy. Enjoy our fair share of neck oil. I’ve got a print studio I spend heaps of time at. Jacob has a motorbike, so that’s pretty cool.
The world’s a pretty weird and uncertain place at the moment; what helps keep you positive and get through?
JB: I just got a pet Lorikeet, his name is Raffy, he keeps me pretty happy. I can send a photo if you want!