Meanjin band Lackadaisies: “Buy Lackadaisies tape now”

Original photo courtesy of Zang! / Handmade mixed-media collage by B

Indie slacker rock three-piece Lackadaisies (whose members also play in Full Power Happy Hour, Blankettes, Married Man, No DOZ and Camping) released EP Payphone Text a week ago. The EP has the band sounding lucid and at their breeziest yet, and its casual hookiness is hard to resist. Gimmie asked guitarist-vocalist Nathan Kearney, bassist Grace Pashley and drummer Marnie Vaughn about Payphone Text, what makes them nervous, the most romantic thing they’ve done for someone and what other projects they’re each working on. 

When you were starting our as a musician, was there anyone that you looked up to? What was it that you admired about them?

NATHAN KEARNEY: I spent all my pocket money on bargain-bin tapes as a kid and didn’t mind what I listened to. The first act I was really obsessed with, though, was Boys II Men. I thought they were cool as hell and I still do

MARNIE VAUGHN: Patience Hodgson from The Grates, I love her energy, she is so bold and fearless. 

GRACE PASHLEY: I am a big Erica Dunn fan. Everything she does is excellent, such a humble shred lord. One day I hope to play guitar like that!!

As a musician is there anything that you ever get nervous about?

NK: I only have one guitar and it breaks down a bit. Sometimes in cool sounding ways. I worry it’ll cark it on stage on day, though.

MV: Mainly forgetting how to play the drums or the drum stool falling off the back of the stage but both of those things have happened to me and I think I’m ok about it. 

GP: Yeah I get scared to sing sometimes! I’d never played bass before Lackadaisies so there were lots of pre-gig stress dreams about the bass neck morphing into a snake and biting my hand. But mostly I’m fine now!

You have a new album Payphone Text, which was recorded over three weekends in each of your respective homes. Why did you chose to record in several places? What were the pros and cons of making your album that way?

NK: We were gonna do it at Marnie’s brother’s house in Northern Rivers but COVID closed the borders. I woulda liked getting out of the city but the comforts of our own homes was the next best thing

MV: It was a logistical nightmare moving the set up between houses and having to trouble shoot new issues in each house. But the pros were grand, we got to play our own instrument in the place we felt the most comfortable and everyone got a turn at being a the host. 

GP: Look if we had our time again… maybe we would only record in one place! But we couldn’t make that work, and it was fun to hang out in everyone’s houses eating pancakes and curry, lots of coffees. 

EP art by Angelica RW

The title track’s lyrics were inspired by Nathan’s ex-partner sending him a payphone text once when they were away. It takes ages to type one of those on the phone dialpad. If you were sending a payphone text, who would you send it to and what do you think it would say?

NK: To Dad “In town. Can U pik me up” for nostalgia

MV: My best friend is a writer and would probably get the biggest kick out of it. I would say “DIS A PAYPHONE TXT B CUS I LUV U – MARN” 

GP: I’d spam as many people as I could to say “Buy Lackadaisies tape now”

Also, going to the effort to payphone text someone a message is pretty romantic; what’s one of the most romantic things you’ve ever done for someone?

NK: I make things for people I love and people who know me best generally make things for me. I’m not that materialistic and mainly hold onto sentimental items. I’ve been writing songs for friends lately, which is a nice change from writing for/about romantic partners.

MV: I made my partner a scrap book photo album of all the memories since we met. It had a timeline at the front and everything. Also, when I was the front person in a punk band I wrote a love song for my puppy. It was really sweet.  

GP: I’ve written so many love songs about my partner which I think is romantic but I think he might get embarrassed by it… hehe whatever sometimes you just gotta scream it from the rooftops etc. 

Going into the writing for the album, did you have an idea of how you wanted it to sound? Or what you did or didn’t want to do?

NK: I’m most comfortable with 4 track recording and I thought the Lackadaisies record would suit that saturated sound. We drove everything so that it was peaking to get that natural crunch over everything. The last release we just threw whatever mic out and hoped for the best. This time it was more considered cos we had James helping. He’s really clever

MV: Not really, I remember hanging out with Nathan when he first moved back to Bris and talking about playing music together. I really like his previous bands and solo albums so I think I wanted to be apart of something like that but I probably didn’t communicate that very well. 

GP: I was just keen to get our existing songs recorded, we weren’t too precious about it which is pretty standard for us! I think something we definitely didn’t want to do was….pay for it haha hence why we did it all ourselves! Well we did pay James a wee bit but god knows it wasn’t enough for the tribulations he dealt with. 

How do Lackadaises songs often come together?

NK: Fuck around til it feels good. We’re not the type of band that talks about genres or tries to be one thing. Whatever a song sounds like is what we sound like is how I figure it

MV: For me… either Nathan and Grace will bring a song or the ideas for a song to jamming and it goes from there. I’m sure it’s a much more lengthy process for them.  

GP: Nathan is really the genesis for our material. He’ll bring a melody or chord progression and maybe I’ll write some lyrics but more often than not he has a zillion fresh ideas that we try out til something sticks. Its really fun that way (because Nathan does all the work ; )))

Not all bands we speak with do demos. Are you a band that demos? Did the songs change much during the process to what appears on the album?

NK: Phone demoes to remember ideas but if we have a mic out then that seems like serious release territory haha.

MV: We released our first Demo. We were thinking of re-recording the songs for this but we were like nahhhhh.

GP: Haha yeah…again, the lackadaisical approach. I wonder if Nathan finds the recordings demo-ish, he has added a few different parts to some songs once we laid down our tracks and now those new bits are my fave parts of the songs. Like the organ part on Payphone Text, that didn’t exist before we recorded it. 

Photo courtesy of Lackadaisies Facebook.

Tell us the story of one of your favourite tracks on the album.

NK: ‘How’d You Get This Number?’ Is a nod to me and Marnie meeting  playing in bands that did dumb little 30 second songs. The lyrics are about phone scammers who were calling with numbers that looked like mine. I imagined they were bizarro versions of myself trying to make contact, like in a sci-fi movie. It also has a Freaky Friday reference.

MV: ‘The Comeback’ or ‘Payphone Text’ because I get to do screaming and that is fun for me. 

GP: Yeah I love ‘The Comeback’. It’s got a creepy carnival energy, like a house of horrors with the lights on. The story of ‘Your Face’ is about this time when I thought I saw an old flame in the crowd, but it wasn’t him. Just a doppelgänger. But then I got to thinking about how he kind of sucked!! And THEN I thought wow imagine if that was him that would have been awkward. I guess this all happened at the time we needed lyrics to this song. 

J.E. Walker recorded the album; what was one of you the most memorable moments you shared with him during the recording process?

NK: My memory is shot in general but James is a gem. Always a pleasure.

MV: James was so encouraging, he thought everything was magic and it was so nice to be around that energy. 

GP: What an angel. Carted all his gear to three different houses, was an absolute saint when it took me hours to nail the guitar part for Your Face. We were recording to tape so you had to get the whole song right in one go, which is really not a strength of mine. I probably would have gotten embarrassed and quit if anyone else had been recording us but James was so patient and lovely. 12/10 person, j’adore!!!

How did you feel when you listened back to the entire album for the first time after mixing and mastering? Where were you when you were listening to it?

NK: Lying on my couch and looking out the window. I have a cassette deck I bought with my old bandmate, Allie, to dub our old releases and I listened on there. It’s a fun, little album. That’s what we were aiming for so I’m happy. I collect cassettes by local acts too so it’s nice to add something of my own that was also pressed properly.

MV: We had a sneaky listen at Nathans house when the recording / mixing process was happening and that was super exciting for me. 

GP: It was such a neat surprise hearing the album after Nathan had put some really great finishing touches on all the songs, like I said earlier there were a few new parts that he added that are the real heroes of the dish. 

Can you hear any of your influences on any of the songs?

NK: The Breeders. I love them. 

MV: My current influences are Party Dozen, Loose Fit and Petey. I think so.

GP: Maybe less the influences for me, but I can really hear all of us. The blood sweat and tears of DIY tape recording. I feel very proud of it!!

Besides Lackadaisies, what else is happening in your world? I know you have other bands or have other interesting projects on the go.

NK: Camping is my alt-country band with James Walker, Skye McNicol and a few other mates. We’re kicking around and gonna record an album soon.

MV: Yeah, new girl band in the works… Blankettes

GP: Yes me n Marnie started a new band called the Blankettes! With our friend Gemma (CNT EVN, Piss Shivers). I convinced my favourite punks to make a pop (ish) band hehe. And my other band Full Power Happy Hour has a tonne of stuff going on this year too!

What’s the rest of the year look like for both the band and you personally?

NK: Good shows coming up with the band. I don’t think they’re announced yet but we get to play with some sick bands and head interstate. Personally, I’m finishing a horticulture degree and making beats on my MPC otherwise.

MV: Band, I’m hoping to do some little tours with Lackadaisies, it’s been so long since I’ve been on tour and I love it. Personally, I have a toddler that my heart melts for and new job that I’m pretty into, so things are looking good. Thanks for asking. 

GP: I think it’s gonna be busy!! Heaps of music stuff which is great. I am hoping to kick my terrible Tiktok addiction but I honestly don’t see that happening any time soon.

Get the Lackadaisies EP Payphone Text on Zang! Records HERE. Find them @lackadaisies_ + on Facebook and check out Zang! Records.

Tropical Fuck Storm’s Fiona Kitschin: “When everyone comes up to rehearse or record, dogs outnumber the humans. It’s chaotic, but lovely.”

Original Photo by: Jamie Wdziekonski. Handmade collage by B.

One of Gimmie’s all-time favourite bands, Tropical Fuck Storm, have just announced a new 7” single for the song ‘Moonburn’, releasing a video for the B-side, a wild reinterpretation of The Stooges’ classic ‘Ann’. We caught up with bassist-vocalist Fiona Kitschin to find out about the release, their recent European tour, her history discovering and performing music, a new hobby she’s taken up, and the band’s love of dogs.

FIONA: My day has been good. I’ve been working. I organise all the TFS stuff; right now overseas tours, Australian tours, new releases. I’m our manager.

Gareth’s mentioned that previously, and said that you don’t get enough props for all of the behind the scenes things that you do.

FI: [Laughs] Awww. It’s bloody exhausting! It gets pretty hectic when you’re working across three different time zones – here, Europe and the US. You never get to sleep. I like sleep [laughs]. 

Thanks so much for talking with us today, it’s appreciated. We’ve wanted to speak with you for ages. We’ve spoken to Gareth and Erica before. Let’s start at the beginning; where did you grow up?

F: In the hills of Perth.

How did you first discover music?

F: I grew up in a pretty bogan area. When everyone I knew was getting into Sonic Youth, I was into Gunners and Black Sabbath [laughs]. I’ve always loved music! I’ve always loved performing; I’m a weird introvert performer. I’ve got tapes of when I was 4-years-old singing, it’s quite funny. It’s pretty cute. I have this really broad Australian accent [laughs]. 

Can you remember the kinds of things you would sing back then?

F: When I was a kid I would sing [breaks out into song]: one little speckled frog / sat on a speckled log / eating the most delicious grub / yum yum! [laughs].

Amazing!

F: I was obsessed with The Muppets too. My parent’s liked Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. I grew up with boys, so I used to high kick around the house singing that stuff.

Nice! What was the first concert you went to?

F: New Year’s Eve when I was fifteen, it was at Fremantle Oval. It was Baby Animals, Hunters & Collectors [laughs]. That was my first concert. Nothing very cool I’m afraid. Gaz always brags about his first concert being Bob Dylan, but it was nothing like that for me.

My first concert was the hip-hop group Arrested Development in 1993. I went with my older sister, everyone in the crowd near us were handing around joints. 

F: That’s a cool one. What a dream.

When did you start playing music?

F: I played trumpet when I was a kid in primary school. That was short-lived. You had to do a test. If you passed the test you’d have to chose out of three instruments: clarinet, flute or trumpet. Each of the instrument teachers would come around and try to sell to the kids, why they should play that instrument. The trumpet player said, “If you play trumpet, all the muscles that you build in your lips will make you a really good kisser.” [laughs]. As a 10-year-old that really appealed to me, and so did the fact that all the other girls played the flute and clarinet, and the boys did the trumpet. I didn’t want to play those “girly” instruments, I wanted to play the trumpet!

Sadly, when we had concert, the girls would stand with their clarinets and flutes and watch me blow on my trumpet and my face would turn bright red and I got teased so much because of that. I mean there’s lots of reasons why my trumpet career didn’t take off [laughs], it was also because it was annoying to my family. There were five kids in my family. I had a practice book that my mum had to sign – I’m lazy with practising musical instruments – but she was so happy not to have the noise, that she would just sign it whether I did it or not. Many factors went against me becoming a great trumpeter! [laughs]. 

[Laughter]. When did you start playing bass?

F: Not until I was much older. The share house that I lived in was a bit of a party house, all the dudes would come around and play music, that was our form of entertainment. I thought, ‘Stuff that, I don’t want to be left out of it. I’m going to play too!’ I took it up. It was like (going back to my trumpet practice) the easiest instrument to play.

Photo by Jhonny Russell.

Were you in any other band before The Drones?

F: I played around in a few little things with other friends and then I met Gaz in Perth, we had this group of musician friends, and I played in two other bands with him before The Drones. We had a friend, mad cunt called Robin Maverick, and we had a band together. We had another band with a friend, Brendan Humphries and His Elephant Men. So, we had a few bands before moving over to Melbourne.

How do you feel you and Gaz complement each other creatively?

F: We have different roles. I do all the organisation and planning. He organises all the music-side of things. It’s actually a really good partnership, there’s not really a crossover where we step on each others toes. He’s 24/7 thinking about music and I have an organisational mind, so I’m plotting and planning things. I could’t imagine two of the same in a partnership, it wouldn’t work as good, you’d be trying to out organise the other one and out create. 

What’s one of your first TFS-related memories?

F: We hadn’t met [Lauren] Hammer when we started the band, so it was a really cool night when me and Gaz had a blind date with her, more or less. We stalked her through a metal friend, Gaz had seen her play in High Tension. Through the mutual friend we set up a blind date for the three of us. We didn’t know what to expect. We got really drunk and by the end of the night we were making plans. The real turning point was when she said she was vegan, I was like, ‘Oh my god! I love you.’ [laughs]. 

You’re vegan?

F: Yes! It was a such a happy accident to have everyone get along.

Lovely. Previously you’ve mentioned that going from The Drones into Tropical Fuck Storm, you told to Gaz that you wanted to be in band with more women.

F: Did I? I can’t remember that, probably. That sounds about right! [laughs].

And, you wanted things to be more fun and less depressing?

F: Yeah. Musically. I didn’t mean the band itself. Definitely TFS has more of a sense of fun. There was nothing much fun musically about The Drones.

What kinds of things have helped make TFS more fun?

F: Musically, it’s upbeat and less serious. It’s more danceable and silly, whilst being dark.

We especially love tracks you sing on like ‘Suburbiopia’.

F: I love singing. We have a new single coming out, I sing on that. It’s really fun. 

What’s the single called?

F: It’s called ‘Ann’ a Stooges cover.

I saw a photo of Gaz in at Zenith Records picking up a test pressing of the new single and wondered what was coming out. A new TFS release is always very exciting!

F: It’s a new 7-inch called Moonburn and the B-Side is Stooges cover ‘Ann’. 

What made you choose ‘Ann’ to cover?

F: It was at the beginning of lockdown when Melbourne had its “ring of steel” and Ham and Erica couldn’t legally come see us, there were checkpoints on the freeway. We’d set all this time aside for recording a new album and we were getting depressed about being unable to record it. I said, ‘Well, we could just do something, let’s just do it.’ So Gaz got on the drum machines and he came up with the idea of doing ‘Ann’.

What kind of song is Moonburn?

F: It’s one of my favourite emo TFS songs. It’s has a heavy vibe, it’s on that side of the TFS spectrum. 

Do you know where the title came from?

F: I could make something up, but I was probably just doing something else when Gaz told me about it. I wasn’t listening [laughs].

Single cover art by Gregory Jacobsen.

TFS were recently in Europe; do you enjoy touring?

F: Yes, I do. It’s fun. There’s touring and then there’s touring! The more comfortably you can do it the better. The days of sleeping on people’s couches are thankfully over, now I just have fun planning a secret night off in accommodation like a Scottish castle or something like that to surprise everyone. It’s fun that we can afford to stay in hotels now, nicely. People show up to shows too [laughs]. That’s always good when you don’t have to worry about no one showing in Europe sometimes, back in the day with The Drones that was a definite scenario. 

The last tour that we just got back from in the UK were sold out shows, it was such a surprise. There were younger people, like 19-year-olds, moshing and singing the words. We were deeply shocked and thrilled. It was weird and amazing.

We’re always stoked to see you play too. Previously Gareth mentioned in an interview that when you’re on tour he loves to drag people to see things like war memorials and other historical sites; is there anything you love to drag him to see?

F: [Laughs] Yeah. I don’t drag him to see anything, it’s easier to do it by myself.

What’s some of the coolest things you saw while away this time?

F: We had two days off in Rome, which was fun. We did the Coliseum and all of that stuff. This time was a really stress-free tour. Though half way through we did get sick, really sick. It was quite awful, it was more on the holiday end of things. There was one show in Oslo that me, Erica and Gareth felt like shit, we all had insane flus. Erica’s doctor’s certificate says, laryngitis. I had a doctor come see me in Greece cos I was so sick. We also played a show in Athens when the three of us were really sick; it was the last show of the tour, when it’s the last show there’s no fear of totally fucking your voice for the rest of the tour. We just push ourselves so hard for that one hour and then if we collapse or lose our voice it doesn’t matter.

We still managed to relax in a villa on a Greek island for five days, eating yummy food, swimming. The other guys, not me, were cliff jumping into the ocean. If we can, we love to have some nice time on tour.

The Greek islands sound wonderful, it’d be so pretty at this time of year.

F: Yeah. We’ve got more Europe shows in September and it’s just show after show after show and no days off. 

Is there anywhere high on your travel bucket list?

F: I just love the Mediterranean countries. Greece and Italy. I hate the cold. I’d love to play South America. Me and Gaz have been there on holiday, Argentina, Brazil and Chile, to see some family. We’ve never played there though, that would definitely be fun!

I read that you went to Mexico and had some scary experiences.

F: We finished doing a tour and we ended up in San Diego and from there it’s a quick drive through Tijuana to Baja. It was wonderful we had a nice holiday. But, we’ve had some dicey experiences in Mexico. 

Two years later, we were at the end of a tour and thought we should go back to Baja, Mexico. We did it with our friend [Amanda] Roffy, she was driving on The Drones tour of the US. During that period the drug cartels had moved in and it had become a really dangerous area. No tourist were going there. Tourists were being kidnapped on the highway, women were being raped and money stolen. We got to our hotel and we were the only guests there. Two days later we read in the Gringo Gazette what was happening there, it was quite horrifying. We had to go through army check points. We also read that you should look at their shoes and machine guns to make sure they’re the real army, cos they could be the drug cartel. We had an outdoor jacuzzi at the resort, but had to turn the lights off at night so no-one would see us. Luckily, the over the counter chill pills are good in Mexico [laughs], it helped somewhat.

[Laughter]. I also wanted to ask you about your pups, Foxie and Ralph.

F: Awww my favourite topic!

They’d be around 10-years-old, right?

F: Yes.

How did you meet them?

F: They’re real characters, they’re quite naughty [laughs]. Our neighbours up the road had just had puppies. There’s a Fox Terrier breeder in a country town near us. Our friends up the road are Fox Terrier Fanciers. They’d always have fox terriers. They had a boy fox terrier called Kevin that was really cute. Our neighbour went to the breeders and the Grand Champion Bitch, Ruby, the owner said she couldn’t breed puppies anymore and they were going to fucking put her down.

Noooo!

F: So our neighbour Andrew took her. Gaz and I were recording an album up at Andrew’s with Spencer P. Jones with a band called The Nothing Butts. While we were recording the album, we saw conception out the window, Kevin was having sex with Ruby! It turns out that she could have another litter!

Miracle babies! 

F: Miracle babies! We would go visit them everyday since they were born and it just became inevitable that we would take them in. Everyone in the band loves dogs. Between the four members of the band we have five dogs.

I know Erica has Poncho!

F: Yeah. Ham has Jack and Toohey. When everyone comes up to rehearse or record, dogs outnumber the humans. It’s chaotic, but lovely.

Nice! That sounds perfect. We love dogs so much! We have a little pup named Gia, she’s half-Jack Russell Terrier and half-Maltese.

F: Awww.

Another thing I was curious about was the sparkly black dress you’ve been wearing when you play live. It’s amazing. The way it catches the lights on stage is pretty special. Where did you get it?

F: Thank you! It’s my favourite. I got it from my oldest friend, who I met when I was three. We grew up in Perth together as Mormons. You can only wear a stage outfit for so long I feel, I might have to put it away for a while. I would wear it every night if I could!

Last question; what’s something that you like to geek out about?

F: Well, I feel very middle age, middle class saying this, and it’s a bit of a trend at the moment but, I started pottery during the pandemic [laughs]. I was watching this series The Great Pottery Throw Down and I’d get on my pottery wheel and make bowls and things. That’s my latest thing.

The other thing is, I love food and cooking! I’m always thinking about new recipes and cooking. I make a lot of Mediterranean thins, and savoury pies.

Tropical Fuck Storm have a new 7” single Moonburn/Ann available for pre-order HERE. Check out TFS Records. Find them at @tropical_fuck_storm and TFS Facebook.

Catch them on their Australian tour kicking off tomorrow (August 4):

208L Containers’ A Night at The Mirage

Original photo courtesy of Richie. Handmade collage by B.

nipaluna/Hobart garage-punks 208L Containers release their fascinating and entertaining concept album, A Night At The Mirage, which tells the entangled story of corrupt millionaire businessman Christopher Skase, and Australian TV personality Andrew Denton and his ill-fated attempt to raise enough money to hire a bounty hunter to capture him. 208L Containers’ Richie Cuskelly gives us an insight into the record.

How did you first come to playing music? Before 208L Containers you were in Bu$ Money, right?

RICHIE: That’s right. You wouldn’t know it from Bu$ Money, but I had one year of guitar lessons in Year 8. Though I was too anxious to play in front of anyone apart from Nan’s ashes until my mid-twenties. 

Max, Dave and Steve were the opposite – they were all in high school bands that would headline assemblies. Max’s high school band was called The Cancellation.

Since moving to nipaluna/Hobart ten years ago I’ve finally started to enjoy playing in front of people – thanks to a small and supportive community fostered by the Arts Hall in Fern Tree, the Brisbane Hotel (R.I.P.), Peter Pit and Andrew Wilkie MP’s 70%+ approval rating.

208L Containers formed as a Hobart Little Band (an idea borrowed from the Melbourne Little Bands scene of 1979 where temporary, side-project bands are formed to play no more than two gigs, for no more than 15 minutes and share each other’s equipment). What inspired the band to keep going beyond Hobart Little Bands?

RICHIE: We’ve kept playing because we’re all best buds and it’s a lot easier on the back than going to the cricket nets.

Georgia Lucy started Little Bands down here about 7 years ago. She sought the blessing of the Melbourne originators to adapt it. (You’d have to ask her directly how that went but she did make a great short doco called hobart little bands which is easy to find on internet.) It’s been such a boon for people who want to play and listen to wobbly music in this nippy little town. It has brought lots of joy. I reckon about 75% of new bands formed since then have come out of Little Bands in some way.

Sorry for all the numbers in my answers so far. I’ll stop making everything about numbers*.

 What’s something that you’d like us to know about 208L Containers?

RICHIE: We all lived in and around Lismore in the early 2000s (*No I won’t). Max, Steve and I knew each other at the time but I don’t remember Dave. He remembers me though; after I tried to back down his driveway in Ballina whilst on my L’s and veered off into his garden bed, squishing the majority of his geraniums.

What’s the story behind your band name?

RICHIE: We were first thinking of the name Perfect Whip – stupidly assuming we were the only Westerners who had ever visited Japan and thought the skincare company would make a good band name. 

For our Little Bands show we were called Sex Pistols II, but after learning Johnny Rotten blew over $17K on iPad apps we knew we couldn’t keep that one up.

We landed on 208L Containers after Steve mentioned his uncle told him it was the exact metric equivalent of the 40 gallon drum. 

It isn’t by the way.

Your new album A Night At The Mirage is a concept album about Christopher Skase and Andrew Denton; how did you come up with the idea for your third album? And, for those that don’t know anything about either of the album’s subjects, what can you tell us about them?

RICHIE: I think the idea just stemmed from being perpetually annoyed at morally-deficient billionaire fuckwits. Then – not having any decent narrative arc come to mind about contemporary ones like Palmer or Rinehart – latching onto this story. 

Skase was a wealthy and corrupt businessman in the 80s and 90s. He lived large and had the moral compass of an actual compass. He had stakes in Mirage Resorts, Channel 7 and even the Brisbane Bears AFL team. Then after his company Quintex collapsed he did a runner with all the shareholders’ money to the Spanish troppo island of Majorca where he lived the rest of his naughty days.

Denton is a media personality who is hilarious, smart and brave. Both irreverent and serious. Like in 1988 he hosted the anarchic ABC show Blah Blah where Lubricated Goat played live butt-naked; then a couple of years later he did a one-off show on disability that won the United Nations Media Peace Prize. I really think he’s great.

How much research did you do to write this collection of songs? What did you find most fascinating about the story of Andrew Denton’s plans to hire a hitman to kidnap Christopher Skase?

RICHIE: Yeah, a fair bit haha. I’m not old enough to remember any of it happening at the time so it was fun to delve into. I didn’t watch that Let’s Get Skase film though. I think it would have turned me off the whole idea.

The most interesting part is that about $250 000 was pledged in the crowd fund! Good on you: left-leaning members of the Australian public.

What was the trickiest part about writing for a concept album?

RICHIE: Knowing that I’d probably have to write standalone songs again! It’s very fun. I’d recommend it to anyone under the age of 65. Two of my favourite Australian albums are concept albums actually: Gertrude by David Blumberg & The Maraby Band and Jersey Flegg by You Beauty.

Can you share with us one of the most memorable moments from recording the record?

RICHIE: We do our recordings on Steve’s tape machine thingy and it broke mid session. He and Milnesy (our engineer who looks like Patrick Stewart) somehow managed to fix it with some chewing gum and saved the day.

Also memorable was the Elmo doll that seemed to stare directly at me in the small wood house where we recorded. It had a sinister yet inspiring energy.

Album art by Maria Blackwell.

A painting of Andrew Denton by nipaluna-based artist Maria Blackwell is the album’s cover art; how did you come to work with Maria and what’s your favourite thing about the art?

RICHIE: The way all people come to work with each other in Tasmania: nepotism. 

Haha no I mean apart from being my lovely partner, Maria is a fine painter and portraitist and I knew she could paint a great Denton. She also works in stop animation and video – making beautifully subtle and vulnerable art. Plus we live together so could claim the whole thing as a tax exemption. 

It’s hard to pick a favourite part of the art. I gave her a rough brief of ‘Denton in a surreal hotel room’ and a few motif ideas and she just went for it. I love the Brisbane Bears team colours on the pillowcase and how she turned the ceiling into a shimmering resort swimming pool.

I understand that as a courtesy, Andrew Denton was contacted about your album and he said that it’s, “Possibly the album of this – or any – year.” Did you have any preconceived thoughts or feelings about letting him know you wrote an album relating to him?

RICHIE: Yeah, Julian Teakle from Rough Skies did some sleuthing and found a couple of possible email addresses to try, which I did. (Before we met him, Me and Max would refer to Julian as the Godfather cos he’d be at every gig giving his full attention to the bands and having people approach him intermittently with offerings of frankincense and demos.)

I was eager to let Denton know about it because I had a feeling he would get a kick out of it and likely respond if the email reached him. After a few weeks had passed I assumed nothing would come of it but then he wrote a very nice and funny and gracious email. He was bemused at the fuss but also chuffed and said he loved the artwork – how the cool pink jacket was “perfectly set off by his triangular head”.

I was so happy haha. We even got into an email riff about Tony Abbott eating that onion plus the Tasmanian DJ Astro Labe “nutting the cunt”. 

We’re posting Andrew a record as a gift, which means I also now have his home address and will likely turn up there drunk and unannounced when I’m next in Sydney. 

What part of the Christopher Skase/Andrew Denton story is the first single ‘Holograms’ about? We especially like the lyric: Throw in some onions / Into the laughing stock.

RICHIE: Oh thanks. Over Skase’s final years in Majorca he had different versions of himself being thrown out there in the media – nearly all of them justifiably bad. ‘Holograms’ is more about the couple of nimrod sycophants peddling the ‘good’ version: his son-in-law who wrote a book called Skase, Spain and Me, who was close to him and somehow got convinced of his innocence, and the shit local English ex-pat journo who also got conned.

Useful fact: the son-in-law worked as a film grip on Crocodile Dundee. 

We enjoyed the video for ‘Holograms’ that’s directed by Georgia Lucy from band All The Weathers. The onion eating made our eyes water! Also, Gimmie are big dog fans; what can you tell us about the doggo that’s featured in the clip?

RICHIE: Georgia is my favourite artist and one of a kind human. Art is everywhere with her. She hand-made all the props for the video and directed, shot and edited it. 

The beautiful pooch’s name is Lucy. She lives at the Arts Hall with her human comrade Krystle. 

Tell us about making the video? What do you remember most from shooting it?

RICHIE: It was a ball! Lots of lols. Felt a bit like what I imagine being in a Wiggles clip on ketamine might feel like.

I remember the onions I ate most, because I can still taste them 4 months later. Flicking mayonnaise on your friends and pretending it’s seagull poo is also fun and recommended.

Directed by Georgia Lucy

Your first two releases Knitted Family Helmet and Horseland were on cassette. A Night At The Mirage will be the bands’ first on vinyl. How do you tend to listen to music most?

RICHIE: Bandcamp! I bloody love that website. Though I heard they were bought recently by a computer game company? Steve is probably happy about this because he is currently obsessed with an Eastern European truck driving simulator game called Mudrunner and has been seeking out the EDM soundtrack. 

What’s an album in your collection of music that has had a big impact on you? Why was/is it a big deal for you?

RICHIE: Oh what a fun question to be asked. Punters On A Barge by Spray Paint from 2015 is one that had a big impact. Though it might be a tad cynical for me to love now, the bleak whimsy, tension and groove hit me in the right spots (heart and kneecaps) at the time.

Which song from your new album are you looking forward to playing live most and w’hy?

RICHIE: We’ve actually been playing them live for a while now! I think ‘Cowboy In The Sky is the one we all enjoy the most. It shouldn’t work, and it doesn’t. But that’s okay – we think it’s hilarious.  

I do also find screaming ‘Sunburnt in Brisbane’ over and over very cathartic.

What’s next for 208L Containers?

RICHIE: Probably another concept album. 

It could be called ‘Jura’ and be about Albo and Adern falling in love and absconding from their public and private responsibilities; moving to the Hebrides of Scotland to convert the hut where Orwell wrote 1984 into an AirBnB.

Thank you for the interview and wonderful mag.

208L Containers’ A Night At The Mirage out now on Rough Skies Records

Check out: @208lcontainershobart + @roughskies

The Prize: “Power pop always has great energy.”

Original photo by Izzie Austin. Handmade collage by B.

Naarm/Melbourne-based band The Prize give us everything good about power pop and rock n roll on their debut EP Wrong Side Of Town. Full of harmonies, hooks and energy, with melody to burn, the infectious 4-track release on Anti Fade will be running through your head all day. We’ve listened to it on repeat, over and over and over. Along with their dynamic live show—The Prize are ones to watch! 

Gimmie caught up with dummer-vocalist Nadine Muller and guitarist-vocalist Carey Paterson to find out all about The Prize.

What was your introduction to music? Nadine, your dad is a member of Cosmic Psychos; did he introduce you to lots of stuff?

NADINE: I was pretty fortunate growing up with my parents’ record collection! Dad has always played in bands and mum used to tour-manage, so they have collectively introduced me to a lot of great stuff!

CAREY: I got into it through the radio and Rage, and then just through my mates. My folks have great taste, but didn’t try and push any music on me, so I discovered it in my own way and at my own pace. Went through a couple of phases but it all clicked into gear at like fifteen when me and my friends got really into CBGBs bands and started trying to cover their songs.

When did you first start playing your instrument? Who or what influenced you?

NADINE: I first started playing around thirteen/fourteen. My dad is a drummer too. I was pretty lucky to always have access to a kit, but I think it really kicked-off when I saw the movie Josie and the Pussycats (which was based on a comic book from the 60s). I really loved the soundtrack to that movie and I brought it on CD and would play along to it in my bedroom. So I guess you could say I was influenced by a fictional drummer, in a cat costume.

CAREY: I wanted to play drums when I was about twelve, but my parents managed to talk me into playing guitar instead. It was a pretty reluctant switch at first but it eventually became the instrument that I got obsessed with. I had all the staple kid heroes like Hendrix, Angus Young and Jimmy Page.

What’s an album that has really helped shape you? What about it was so influential?

NADINE: I watched the Ramones movie Rock’n’roll High School very early on and fell in-love with the Ramones. The soundtrack to that movie really embedded itself in my psyche with artists like;

Alice Cooper, Todd Rundgren, Devo.. And the movie itself really shaped me and set me up for a future, 70s aesthetic. 

CAREY: An album that really shaped my tastes is probably Vampire on Titus by Guided by Voices. This album sounds like it was recorded on an answering machine but the songs are so good. I really like how this band would just hang out and get drunk and wind up recording such interesting music. Their albums are usually pretty inconsistent but you get moments of absolute magic like ‘Unstable Journey’ off this one.

Photo by Jhonny Russell.

Can you tell us a little about your musical journey? Nadine you were in Killerbirds and Wolfy and the Bat Cubs, (and both you and Carey were in) Mr Teenage. Carey I know you’re originally from Canberra and played in some bands there too, like The Fighting League and PTSD.

NADINE: I started Killerbirds while I was still in school and we got to play with some great bands like the Celibate Riffles and Bored! After that band wound-up, I started another band with some friends from Bendigo, called Wolfy and the Bat Cubs, which I played bass in. 

Joe and Carey had played together a handful of times before I’d actually met Carey and then we all ended up in Mr Teenage together, which was unfortunately short-lived but we decided to get something else going after that, which has resulted in The Prize!

CAREY: Fighting League felt like the first proper band I was a part of. I started on drums and got booted on to guitar. After that all started working and became a really fun band to be in. I also played in the live bands for TV Colours and Danger Beach for many years. Got to play some amazing shows and tour Europe. PTSD was something that got started when I was living in NYC in 2016 at the same time as Lachlan Thomas, who releases music as Danger Beach, and James Stuart who was drumming in an incredible punk band called Haram. There’s another tape’s worth of music in the pipeline for that band as soon as I sit down and finish the vocals.

When starting The Prize; what was on playlists of your musical influences?

NADINE: I had just been introduced to The Toms and I think we were all playing that first album on repeat for a few months! Also a power-pop band from the UK called ‘The Incredible Kidda Band’ we discovered in a deep YouTube hole and loved them so much that we covered their track ‘Fighting My Way Back’ which is on our debut release.

CAREY: Bands like the Toms, the Shivvers, Incredible Kidda Band and the Nerves. Also a lot of Badfinger, Cheap Trick and Thin Lizzy. I think the sound was born out of combining the poppier and rockier ends of that spectrum of bands.

Photo by Jhonny Russell.

Why the name The Prize?

NADINE: I wish there was a better answer for this question! We had booked in our first show, which was with Civic at the Croxton and they were holding off making the poster until we’d settled on a name. So there was a bit of pressure to come up with something asap… 

We just wanted it to be something straight up and simple. ‘Blondie’ was obviously already taken and Brownie just doesn’t quite have same ring to it.. Anything with a Z is a bonus for logos and designs… We were all sitting in my dad’s shed one night, which is full of vintage bits and bobs and ‘THE PRIZE’ was written on an old sign hanging up on the wall and we went, “that’ll do”.

The Prize came together in 2021, during the pandemic; how did you jam and write songs during this period?

NADINE: I was living with our bass player, Jack at the time and we had a jam room and some recording gear so we would muck around with riffs here and there and send them back and forth. 

Between lockdowns we would all get together, to try and work on songs but it felt like a pretty 

difficult and slow process during that time. Once restrictions were eased, we stared rehearsing pretty intensely as we had a bunch of half-cooked songs and a first gig already booked in.

What’s one of the biggest things you’ve learnt about songwriting or your process while writing your debut 4-song EP Wrong Side of Town?

NADINE: Probably to not overthink it. It’s important to get the structure right and spend time on each song but also knowing when to leave it be, is something that took me some time.

Artwork by Sammy Clark.

What attracts you to the power pop sound?

NADINE: I love a good hook and melody!!! Power pop always has great energy and its something that’s fun to dance and sing-along to. Its a real, feel-good genre!

What’s title track ‘Wrong Side Of Town’ about?

NADINE: Joe had written the guitar lead-line a few years ago and it’s such a great riff! When we were trying to craft the song around that I  really wanted to do it justice with the melody and the lyrics.

The lyrics were written during one of our later lockdowns and it was definitely getting to breaking point for a lot of people.. Myself included.

A lot of people were packing up and moving home or back to the country and it’s about wanting to get away and start again but really just ending up, right back where you started.

How did ‘Easy Way Out’ come together?

NADINE: Easy Way Out was actually the first song that we wrote and was also one of the first songs I had really ever written lyrics for. It’s about feeling burnt or letdown by someone.

What did you have on your mind when you wrote ‘Don’t Know You’?

NADINE: Joe and I really pulled that one out of nowhere! I’d been humming a melody for a few weeks and when he and I caught up one day, he showed me a new riff he’d written and the melody worked perfectly over the top. I think we had that song written and demoed in about two hours!

It’s about being close to someone and sharing experiences together and then, for whatever reason they are no longer a part of your life. You still see their face around but you feel like they’re a familiar stranger. 

On your 7” you do a cover of ‘Fighting My Way Back’ by The Incredible Kidda Band; what inspired you to pick this track? 

NADINE: Its such a great song! We actually found it while trawling the Internet for power-pop bands and when that song came on we were all like how have we never heard this band before?? 

It was unanimous to add that to our set. We reached out to TIKB ahead of our release and sent them a copy of the track and luckily, they seemed to really like it! 

Photo by Jhonny Russell.

What was the most fun part of recording?

NADINE: Collaborating and working with your friends to make something is always fun, although at times, kind of stressful! but listening to the finished product is alway the most fun part for me.

CAREY: I find recording stressful so probably realising we’d finished it

Nadine, as well as playing drums and singing in The Prize, you’re also a makeup artist and hairstylist working with Ed Sheeran, Charli XCX, Amy Shark, Meg Mac, Thelma Plum, Nick Cave, Amy Taylor and Harry Styles band; how did you get into that line of work? Who has been one of the biggest surprises to work with?

NADINE: I started out doing a hairdressing apprenticeship while I was still at VCE and living in Bendigo and then when I moved to Melbourne, I would help out friends bands for music videos and photoshoots and it just really snowballed from there! 

I did a short course in makeup and then started getting booked for some really fun jobs! 

The biggest surprise was working with Ringo Starr’s all Star band. I got to meet a Beatle! Which was very special and pretty surreal!

What’s been your favourite show The Prize has played yet? What made it so?

NADINE: Our first show was in November last year with CIVIC at the Croxton and I think that’s still my favourite to date. I had never done lead vocals before and to get to the stage where I was able to play drums and singing at the same time, took a bit of work for me- I nearly threw in the towel a few times! 

To finally get to the point where we could pull it all off live and play our first show, felt like a triumph in-itself and the added fact that it was the first show in 18 months of lockdowns (that any of us had played, let alone been to..!) The energy in the room was something I wont forget.

CAREY: I’ve really enjoyed playing at the Curtin this year but I reckon the arvo show at the Tramway in May this year was the funnest. Something about a good Sunday arvo show that hits different.

Who are some of your favourite performers to watch?

NADINE: There are so many good ones! But just to name a few; Grace Cummings, CIVIC, The Murlocs, RMFC, ROT TV and of course, Amyl and the Sniffers always put on a great show.

CAREY: As far as local bands go, I’ll go and see Civic and EXEK any time I can. Faceless Burial always blow my mind. I saw the Blinds play recently after a long hiatus and that was one of the best shows I’ve seen in ages.

Your debut is coming out on Anti Fade Records; what’s one of your favourite AF releases? Why should we check it out?

NADINE: I think I listened to CIVIC’s record New Vietnam an absurd amount of times when that was released on Anti Fade in 2018—every song is a banger! More recently, RMFC and Modal Melodies is great!

CAREY: I would probably have to split the honours between the Reader 7″ by RMFC and Civic’s New Vietnam. Buzz from RMFC is one of the best young talents making music in Australia today. New Vietnam is one of the best debut releases in recent memory.

What’s the rest of the year look like for The Prize?

NADINE: We have our first 7” coming out in September and the first single will be available this week (today I believe, when this interview comes out)!

We have a tour with The Chats and Mean Jeans starting in September, plus our launch show on October 1st (which I’m not sure if I’m supposed to announce yet butttt we have a very exciting lineup for that)!

The Prize Wrong Side of Town EP available via pre-order at Anti Fade Records. Out September 2.

Check out: facebook.com/theprizemelbourne + @theprize___ + @antifaderecords

Michael Beach: “No rules ever. Keep it wild and free.”

Original photo by Sarah Gilsenan. Handmade mixed-media collage by B.

Naarm/Melbourne-based musician and songwriter Michael Beach is back with new song ‘Out In A Burning Alley’ from his forthcoming self-titled EP. Beach is intensely cool and has become a master of writing and harnessing beautiful melodies, creating a spontaneous feel in his songs, wrapped up in a lively, elegant squall of garage rock n roll and swirls of distortion. Beach’s work is always engaging and vulnerable. ‘Out In A Burning Alley’ reminds us of what makes him an excellent songwriter. 

How are you? What’s life been like lately for you? You’re currently in the US spending time with family.

MICHAEL BEACH: I’m well, thanks! It’s been real nice to get back to California after too long away.  We came over to visit my parents but my mom got COVID the day before we got here, so we’ve had to improvise a bit. Life was pretty busy before I left…a ton of work to do with the new record coming out, but Goner and Poison City have helped so much, so I feel pretty lucky. Off to Big Sur today, plus a visit to Robinson Jeffers house in Carmel. Stoked!

We’re premiering your new song ‘Out In A Burning Alley’ the first single from your up coming 12” EP that will be out in September; were there any specific influences for this song?

MB: Thanks! I recall wanted to cross a Saints-style guitar tone with a Peter Laughner rambling narrative—not sure why but I think those were my compass points for this one.

  

What’s one of the biggest things you’ve learnt about while songwriting for your new EP? Do you have any rules for yourself?

MB: No rules ever. Keep it wild and free. Ha!  The old ‘serve the song’ maxim is a good one. Otherwise I’d say the more time goes on, the less I know.  ’m gradually unlearning everything. My brain is decaying nicely by this point.

What was the experience like of recording ‘Out In A Burning Alley’?

MB: It was a grand old time. Andy/Poison City offered up his family’s country house for us to record in. I moved my 8-track up there and we spent a couple winter days recording, eating, and drinking. Excellent memories with excellent friends—it was a totally enjoyable recording experience. 

Video Directed by Alexandra Millen.

You’ve been making music for some time now; who or what helps you trust your instincts in relation to your creativity?

MB: As far as trusting myself, I think friends help a lot, and I’m lucky to have such excellently creative friends. Time and experience have helped. I enjoy the process of creation so that’s enough most of the time.  

You’ll be touring the US in September/October and play this year’s Goner Fest; what is something that you have to do before a performance?

MB: Yeah, can’t wait to be back in Memphis! Before a show…stay connected to the band, connected to the audience, connected to spirit of the thing I’m trying to get across. Keep it connected!! 

What’s something that’s been bringing you a lot of joy of late?

MB: Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain. Anybody out there wanna book me some shows in Scotland?!

Michael Beach will launch the new EP in Naarm on October 29 at The Curtin. MB’s music via Poison City Records and in the US on Goner Records.

More Michael Beach: michaelbeach.org + @michaelbeach__ + facebook.com/MBandtheartists + michaelbeach.bandcamp.com.

Read our previous chat with Michael: “Good Things In My Life Have Happened Because Of Music.”

New Slag Queens’: “A weird album for a weird time” 

Original photo: Isabelle Gander. Handmade collage by B.

Gimmie are super excited that nipaluna band Slag Queens have new music! We’re touting their forthcoming record Favours as one of the records of the year. Three years in the making, grittier than debut, You Can’t Go Out Like That, their sophomore album ventures into new territory, full of intriguing weird, and beautiful pulsating moments, but it’s unmistakably Slag Queens. It’s an exuberant listen that feels very much of this moment. First Single ‘Dogs’ is one of their most impressive turns yet. We’re premiering the song and clip today—check it out for yourself. 

You recently played at MONA in Ben Salter’s Import/Export installation space; tell us about it.

WESLEY: That was really heaps of fun! I also helped mix the space over Dark Mofo and it was a pretty huge marathon! On the day we played I think most of us were a bit fragile from the night before, I was a bit worried but then it turned into a really fun show!

CLAIREY: Yep, I nearly asked for a sick bucket next to my drums. When he reached out to us about playing, I asked if we could play later in the day because we all had party plans on Friday night. He said 12noon with Bloody Mary’s or nuthin. We made it. First couple of songs were pretty shaky but I think we pulled it off! Big thanks to Ben for having us.

Since your last album You Can’t Go Out Like That Slag Queen’s debut record, Lucinda and Claire moved south from Launceston to nipaluna/Hobart; how did the move change things for you? Did it spark new creativity? How does where you live affect your art?

CLAIREY: Lucy and I moved down in 2018. Lucy moved in with Wesley in Lenah Valley and I took the small loft in Amber’s share house in North Hobart. I loved Launceston, but it was time to do the cliche thing and embrace the pull south. Slags had really found a home in the community that centred around The Brisbane Hotel and contemporary arts spaces like Visual Bulk and Good Grief Studios. Those spaces have been so inspiring for me creatively and important for finding a community, sense of belonging etc. Shit’s been weird since The Bris closed – we’re all a bit lost. Reflecting on You Can’t Go Out Like That, it really was an album with something to say about Launceston. Favours is noisier and darker but I’ll fight anyone who wants to trot out a boring ‘Hobart is dark’ analysis. You’ve drunk the corporate paganism kool-aid, kid. 

Slag Queens have a new album Favours coming out in August and it’s your first release in a few years; what are your feelings about it at this point?

WESLEY: I’m super excited! Having joined the band just after wear thus for you was released it was an interesting experience touring an album I wasn’t on, and it’s been such a long time I the making and I think we’re all really proud of it and cant wait to start showing it to everyone. 

LUCINDA: Agree with Wesley! It’s been so long coming and it’s been really special writing new music with Wes and Amber. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished together!

CLAIREY: Also excited and a bit nervous!

Why did you decide to name it Favours?

LUCINDA: We called it Favours for a few reasons. Favours has this delightfully camp air to it, and it puts us in mind of the idea of a ‘favourite’ at court or in a race, the idea that luck is behind you, but its rarely luck is it? It’s more that you’ve somehow convinced or charmed someone powerful and now you’re it baby and enjoy it while you can because you might not be tomorrow!

A favour itself is interesting too, because a favour is something that doesn’t have clear rules about it. It’s both something you can do freely or because you owe someone something. It gets me thinking about the favours we do for bosses, for family, for gender, for patriarchy. Can we stop doing these favours? What happens when we stop? 

It was written and recorded over three years. When did you first start writing for this album? Last we spoke you said you do songwriting quite collaboratively with everyone in the same room, which at the time was the shed out the back of Claire and Amber’s house.

CLAIREY: Yep, that’s right! This album was written and partially recorded in the shed out the back of Amber’s (I’ve moved since we last spoke). Not gunna lie, it’s pretty chaotic in there, but it also feels so comfortable. Maybe that also describes our band dynamic? Most songs were written between 2019-2020 very collaboratively with everyone in the shed supervised by a life-sized Keanu Reeves cardboard cut-out. ‘Dogs’ and ‘Excuses’ were both songs we had written and discarded years ago, but got resurrected and reimagined. 

All photos by Isabelle Gander.

What kinds of things were happening in your life that inspired it? Where was your head at when writing it? I understand that a lot of lyrics came from looking inward and Lucinda described it as “Angsty. Itchy. Frustrated.”

LUCINDA: Some of the lyrics are drawn from watching TV, film, reading books, which I guess the last few years has given us all a new appreciation for. Like ‘Mood of Abandon is based on the feeling of watching the first season of Russian Doll. That sense of doing the same thing again and again and never being able to break out of patterns, and the kicking, screaming frustration of not being master of your own destiny. That feeling in Russian Doll is just so familiar to me and it certainly has been peaking at times over the last few years. Even though it sucks, it’s a feeling with an energy that lends itself to writing. 

And I guess it’s a feeling that’s both personal (why can’t I be better, why do I make the same mistakes again and again?) and about politics (are we still here talking about whether we should do something about climate change? About job seeker? About our completely fucked and unfair migration system?) I don’t like to be pessimistic about these things because nihilism is a cop out  and we owe it to each other to sort this shit out. But i certainly feel like the lyrics on this album are reflective of a level of tiredness that I hadn’t encountered before. 

Is music cathartic for you? 

LUCINDA: Listening, writing and playing music absolutely yes 1000 times yes. Recording on the other hand is death by a 1000 cuts. 

WESLEY: To be honest I’m mostly listening to 00s hardcore and alt-metal at the moment. So yes.

AMBER: I keep asking myself this but it’s been 15 years and I keep performing music so there’s definitely something cathartic in the process that keeps me coming back.

CLAIREY: It’s the best and worst thing in my life. 

What is the strangest thing or thought that has inspired a piece of work? 

LUCINDA:It’s not on this record, but we recently wrote a song inspired by a mythical search for Neil Diamond which was inspired by a sheet of karaoke songs that was on the floor of the shed. 

WESLEY: Truth be told, that shed probably inspires most of our songs, it’s great.

The album was recorded and mixed by Jordan Marson at Studio HMY with additional recording by the band in various sharehouses across nipaluna/Hobart; what was it like to be back in the studio and what did also recording in sharehouse spaces bring to the recording?

CLAIREY: It was great to work with Jordy again. We learnt a lot recording You Can’t Go Out Like That with him and wanted to continue working together. We’re such a funny bunch with recording – we really struggle with it hey! We started recording with Jordy in his home studio back in 2019. We worked on ‘Shelter’, ‘Hazard’, ‘Shades’ and ‘Best Western’. In retrospect, those songs were super new at that stage and maybe needed a bit more time in the world before we recorded them. After that we decided to buy a bunch of gear and give things a go ourselves while Covid was happening. Home recording was both a necessity and comfort for us. It allowed us to take more time, experiment and be in familiar settings, which I think helped remove some of the pressure of recording. We went back into the studio with Jordy to finish off the last tracks in late 2021.

Are there any moments recording or wiring that you feel like you really got to play or experiment on the record?

WESLEY: Personally, quite a bit. I’d done a few noise performances before joining Slag Queens. Everyone else seems to be pretty okay with me bringing that into our songs, although I do struggle when it comes to locking things in. I think ‘Dogs’ was definitely the one that we had a lot of fun putting together.

How did you stretch yourself with this collection of songs?

WESLEY: Yoga.  I’d say we’re all pretty flexible so nothing felt like too much of a stretch, except that one thing…

AMBER: It feels like less of a happy go lucky punk album, more grit, and more allowing ourselves to lean into some atonal weird sounds without feeling like things need to sound like other bands. It’s a weird album for a weird time.

CLAIREY:I hate yoga.

There seems to be a lot of fascinating sounds on you record, from what we’ve seen from live videos online and the film clip for ‘Dogs’ we’re premiering, it’s courtesy of what Wesley is doing with a stereo, drills and various things, we’d love to know more about this; what’s happening there?

WESLEY: It’s really cool! Grab an AM radio and essentially anything, like infrared remotes, small engines, big engines, tools, kitchen appliances, modems, camera flash, and they all get picked up by the radio, and you’re able to affect pitch and tone in heaps of different ways! 

What’s ‘Dogs’ about?

LUCINDA: Sex, thugs and working conditions. They don’t really go together thematically but oh well. 

WESLEY: I think they fit.

Jo Shrimpton shot the video. Where did you shoot the film clip? What do you remember from the shoot? Do you ever feel awkward making a video? 

LUCINDA: We shot it beneath the Tasman Bridge in nipaluna. We had all these plans about using car headlights to light us up but we didn’t need them because it’s so brightly lit under there. My main memory was freezing my tits off. I do feel generally awkward when shooting but that particular night was quite a lol and it was actually really nice to have this big space to run around in, and to be wearing an outfit I really liked and also to know that I wasn’t alone coz the rest of the band was there looking hot. 

AMBER: Once you’re in a location that speaks for itself, it’s easier to feel like you’re more of a piece of set decoration and you can let go of some of the ego or insecurities attached to being filmed. You’re just one piece of a larger picture.

The album art is by Laura Gillam is cool; how did you connect for the cover? What’s the story behind it? 

CLAIREY: Huge shout out to Laura for painting a smiling turd on the front cover! A past housemate had one of Laura’s paintings – another fallen patriarch, this time a cowboy being pulled off his bucking horse by a thylacine. Personally, I felt an affinity with Laura’s work because it’s a bit silly, highly political and has a strong look. It was a pretty simple process – we all knew Laura, she and Wes both had studios at Good Grief. I hit her up and she approached us with the idea of doing a fallen Colonial red coat with his horse pissing on his stuff (that’s on the back). I like that she included a pineapple with his stuff – we’ve used pineapples a couple of other times in our art. 

Album art by Laura Gillam.

Is there anything else any of you are working on at the moment you’d like to share with us?

CLAIREY: Amber and Wes have a little band performing at the upcoming nipaluna/Hobart Little Bands #8. Amber is also still performing as Slumber and Dolphin. Lucy has been working on a solo project which is sick. I’m downstroking bass till by hand falls off in RABBIT – we just finished an album. We’re all always working day jobs.. Except for Amber who recently quit hers to study carpentry. 

Directed by Jo Shrimpton (Flare Production).

 Slag Queens’ Favours will be out mid-August on Rough Skies Records. Follow @slagqueens and @roughskies

Naarm Punks Split System’s ‘Demolition’: “Anxiety…Hope For Change And Clarity”

Original photo by courtesy of Legless Records. Handmade mixed-media collage by B.

Split System, featuring members of Jackson Reid Briggs & The Heaters, Stiff Richards, Doe St, Speed Week, The Black Heart Death Cult & No Zu, annihilate with ‘Demolition’ the first single from their forthcoming debut album. It harks back to raw, unbridled 70s Australian punk rock n roll and ploughs straight-ahead with melody and passion. Split System tell Gimme about their individual musical journeys, albums that shaped them, new music they’re loving, the new single and their album slated for an October release on Legless Records.

What kind of music were you obsessed with when you first discovered music?

JACKSON (vocals): I started by listening to my dad’s David Bowie and Beatles CDs etc. and making tape compilations using everything he had.

MAWSON (guitar): My dad played in bands my whole life, which surrounded me with rock n roll from an early age, but I think discovering Eddy Current Suppression Ring was a turning point for me. Growing up in Frankston and realising there was so much more outside of the bubble that I was immersed in—ECSR was the gateway drug.

RYAN (guitar): Nu nu-metal and pop-punk were my first loves. When I was 15 or so, I started getting into the classics like the Ramones, the Stooges and The Go-Betweens.

DEON (bass): The first album I owned was Silverchair’s Neon Ballroom on cassette, which I picked up from the local 7/11. From there I moved on to some metal and punk classics – Iron Maiden, Metallica, Misfits – that really got me into playing fast-paced, heavier music. 

MITCH (drums): My old man was into music, so naturally I became obsessed with our record player (which I’m still running). I raided his vinyl collection and the bands that stood out for me as a 6-year-old were Pink Floyd and Dire Straits. From that day Floyd has been the one obsession that hasn’t left, but Dire Straits have snuck back in in the last couple years, I think it brings me a nice level of comfort.

Can you tell us a little bit about an album that was/is a really big deal for you and why it made an impression on you?

JACKSON: When I was in year 10 my friend Ryan gave me Television’s Marquee Moon and Modern Lovers s/t and said let’s make a band and that really was a big turning point in my life musically.

MAWSON: ECSR – So Many Things, it blew my mind in my younger years and to this day remains one of my biggest influences.

RYAN: Pink Flag by Wire is a thumper. I like the way they sabotage the songs by ending a chorus where you’d usually repeat or repeating something else ad nauseam. Honourable mention to Fever by Kylie Minogue.

DEON: I’d have to say The Velvet Underground – Loaded. ‘Sweet Jane’ is the stand out track for me. Lyrically and musically this album hits the mark front to back.

MITCH: Jimi Hendrix – Band of Gypsys. How could you not love Buddy Miles and Billy Cox with Hendrix! Best grooves ever!!!

What’s a song, band or album that you’re loving right now? What do you appreciate about it/them?

JACKSON:  I just heard the s/t album by KPAX (krah) a band from Belgrade, Serbia. It was recently released on Doomtown Records. It’s raw and makes you feel that heat on the street of a big hectic city.

MAWSON: Future Suck & Cutters; what’s not to love about em’.

RYAN: The new Future Suck single ‘Hell for Leather’ goes hard – good people making good music. I’m digging a band from Hobart called Rabbit – catchy power-pop, can’t beat it.

DEON: Exek and their recent release Advertise Here. Experimental post-punk dub of the highest quality. Probably one of the most important bands.

MITCH: Clamm. Really digging their energy, I saw them live at NinchFest this year and they totally owned the stage

How did you end up on a musical/creative path? I know all members of Split System play/played in other bands: Jackson Reid Briggs & The Heaters, Stiff Richards, Doe St, Speed Week, The Black Heart Death Cult & No Zu.

JACKSON: I started properly playing in bands in probably grade 11/12 with some mates from high school. From that point on, I didn’t care much about anything else and spent my least favourite classes sitting in a storage room at school playing guitar. In grade 12, I got a job collecting glasses at a bar in Fortitude Valley and saw a lot of great Brisbane bands playing there. A few days before I turned 18, I quit and started spending most nights drinking and watching bands there.

MAWSON: Playing music was always my escape from some of the harsher things going on around me. Jamming heaps with friends just eventually lead to the right combination of people at the right time.

RYAN: I started playing in bands when I was in high school living in Launceston. I was playing in a couple of scrappy punk bands, who had to share bills with metalcore bands to get a gig. We eventually got some gigs in Hobart and connected with some great bands more aligned with us. After moving from Tassie to Melbourne, I didn’t start playing in bands again for almost a decade.

DEON: As a kid I remember my older brother always playing guitar, so I guess that kind of rubbed off on me, we had a few old guitars laying about the house, which I’d noodle on. As a teenager I went on to play in various garages/sheds with mates bashing around and making noise.

MITCH: I started learning the drums as an 11 year old and by 14 my cousins mates were after a drummer, i had a quick try out and made the cut. Our name was THC lol. We managed to a get a gig at Broadford Festival which was ran by the Hells Angles, as a 16 year old i thought was pretty rad. Someone was shot there, yikes!

You only had one jam together before lockdowns happened. What initially brought Split System together?

MAWSON: Well, initially it was Jackson’s idea to get a couple of us together to try and fill some space while we yo-yoed in and out of lockdowns. The first jam Jackson jumped on drums and Ryan, Deon and myself just mashed out a bunch tracks we had in the back pocket. Everyone gelled pretty well so we got Mitch to come jump on the kit and the 7” got written then and there.

RYAN: I think another bloke was lined up to drum, but didn’t show up to the first jam. Thankfully we’ve got the salami making, hog smokin’, bongo playing, shagadelic bad boy that is Mitch McGregor.

Single art by Deon Slaviero.

Gimmie are premiering Split System’s new single ’Demolition’ from your forthcoming debut album that will be released in late 2022; what’s it about? What was the process when writing it?

JACKSON: Ryan sent a few early versions of the chords through and at the time I was working securing a building that was about to have its neighbouring building demolished. So, naturally the lyrics began to take shape while I was up on the side of the building doing all sorts of shit and thinking about the building beside it getting knocked down. Around the same time my partner had just given birth to our daughter and it all sort of just fell into place lyrically through those two situations.

Split System released a self-titled 7” earlier this year on Legless that was recorded remotely with everyone recording their parts at home and sending them to each other via email; how is your debut album different from the EP? Was it recorded with everyone in the same room?

MAWSON: That first 7” probably reflects the lack of time spent writing in the simplicity of the tracks, but we felt like it had good energy and it was a great excuse to make something out of the down time. The LP is definitely a more complete package, even though we still had limited time to get everything finished we’re pretty happy with the direction its taken.

RYAN: I dig the rawness of the 7”, however the LP is a lot more hi-fi.

What kind of headspace were you in recording the new album?

MAWSON: We recorded live at Rolling Stock Studios with Andy Robinson over a weekend. Working with him just felt like any old jam, a few takes of each song… was super chill and easy.

MITCH: When you have Andy ‘Rowdy Robo’ Robinson at the helm ya know its gonna be a ripper of a sesh, plus he’s easy on the eyes too!

What themes does the new album explore?

JACKSON: Half of the lyrics were written when I was sober and half when I’d started drinking again. There’s probably a bit of that is in there. I stopped drinking when my partner became pregnant with my daughter, so I could clear my head a bit and prepare myself for another kid. I’d say there’s a lot of subconscious anxiety littered throughout the album as well as a bit of hope for change and clarity. I usually just listen to the instrumental versions of the songs until a line or something pops into my head and then go from there.

Do you prefer writing, recording or playing live most? Why do you enjoy it best?

RYAN: I love all elements of playing music, but you can’t beat mucking around and having a jam.

MITCH: The rush playing a live show to a whole bunch of folks! I love it.

What do you do when not playing music?

JACKSON: Labour for a construction company, play with my kids, and try to keep healthy so I can keep up with them.

MAWSON: I clean windows.

RYAN: I do social work for a crust. Apart from that, bugger all.

DEON: Watch other people play music and graphic design.

MITCH: I love cooking in my spare time, when I’m not doing that I’m listening to music while knocking cabinets and furniture up.

What does the rest of the year look like for you?

MAWSON: Stiff Richards and Jackson Reid Briggs both have Europe tours over July followed by some well needed holidays for everyone. After some time off we will be coming into September/October ready to go. The LP will be coming out some time in October with a stack of gigs to follow.

MITCH: I really can’t wait for the LP to come out and play some shows, the record is something I’m really proud of. The gang that is Split System are a bunch of legends and I’m stoked to be playing with them, bring on the tours!!

What’s making you happy right now?

JACKSON: Family and having some drinks!

RYAN: The Carlton Football Club not being complete shite.

MAWSON: Not working!

DEON:A long black with a dash of milk.

MITCH: Watching the salami I made cure. Yum!

Split System bandcamp. Legless Records bandcamp. Follow @splitsystem666 & @leglessrecords.

Swedish Post-punks Polyester: “We both really love RuPaul’s Drag Race so that was a constant inspiration”

Handmade mixed-media collage by B.

100% Polyester by Swedish band Polyester is one of the most fun albums we’ve heard so far this year. It’s all over the map musically, but seamlessly brings together post-punk, dance-rock, indie rock with hardcore moments, disco and elements of electronics and pop. We 100% recommend you give it a listen!  Gimmie caught up with Polyester’s Stefan and Hilda. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you first discover music? What bands were you obsessed with growing up?

STEFAN: Hi, I’m Stefan. I play guitar, bass, synths and sing background vocals. Watching Elvis and the Beatles on television in the late 60´s was huge for me. I’ve been obsessing over so many bands, but in my formative years I’d say, in short: The Who, The Small Faces, Jimi Hendrix, Bowie, T-Rex, Sparks, ABBA, AC/DC, Stooges, Motörhead, DEVO, Suicide, The Cramps, Ramones, The Damned, Sex Pistols, Generation X and The Gun Club. Then I became an adult and only listened to hip-hop.

HILDA: Hi, I’m Hilda! I really loved indie-pop growing up, so I listened a lot to Swedish indie bands as Broder Daniel and Håkan Hellström.

What’s an album that’s had a big impact on you?

S: Paul´s Boutique by Beastie Boys! It’s so eclectic and fun, not so much fun to producers the Dust Brothers I believe.

H: I don’t listen to albums actually, just good songs.

Who or what inspired you to make your own music? How did you get started? Is Polyester your first band? There’s a connection to Kerosene Kream and Henry Fiat’s Open Sore, right?

H: Polyester started as a project and then we really liked the sound so we just kept making songs for an album!

S: I’ve been in bands writing music since the late 70’s. And yes, Henry Fiats’ Open Sore was one of my bands. 

How did Polyester come together? What influences your sound? Your sound is really eclectic!

S: Hilda recorded in my studio with Kerosene Kream and when I heard her sing her parts in ‘Muzzle Me’ I knew I wanted her to sing on my music, but I was very nervous asking her. 

100% Polyester is one of the coolest albums we’ve heard all year; what’s your favourite thing about the album?

H: Thank you! I really love the artwork, and the whole album! 

S: Thanks a lot! My favourite thing is that I didn’t have to compromise over one single thing on the album.

How long did the writing process take?

S: Hard to say since we recorded it over time when I had Covid-cancellations in the studio. But, the songs usually take me a couple of minutes to write then hours to program the drums and play all the parts, no rehearsals. Enter Hilda and we have a song! Then Daniel de Lange (excellent drummer) is brought in to play some real drums. Sometimes I use both real and programmed drums.

H: Yeah, the writing process went very fast actually! Hmm,

Hilda a.k.a Mona Lisa Stereo, we love your lyrics; what kinds of things were you thinking about when writing this collection of songs? Do you find any reoccurring themes that come up in your words?

H: Thanks!! I would not say that the album is about anything specific. It’s just good songs about things that were fun to write about, haha! It’s not that much thought behind it. It’s just to find a theme that’s fun to write and rhyme on and then it’s more or less done. We both really love RuPaul’s Drag Race so that was a constant inspiration for the lyrics.

We love your vocals; is there anything you do when you’re recording vocals to capture that energy and different emotions in your vocal?

H: Well, thank you!! Haha for me it’s just yelling and screaming as much as possible. 

S: Technically, I use a 1963 AKG C12a and lots of compression (1176).

Your album 100% Polyester was recorded at Stefan’s studio, The Dustward; Stefan what got you interested in recording? What’s the best thing about recording your own music?

S: I’ve been recording on tape machines, Portastudios and such for a long time, so I knew I wanted a studio of my own. Then I got this nice space in Old Town, Stockholm 20 years ago. Best thing, once again, is not having to compromise. It’s a much smoother process when there’s just two egos, I think democracy is great but it seldom works in bands.

What’s one of your fondest memories from recording 100% Polyester?

S: That would be hanging out in the studio with Hilda and Daniel after recording.

H: Yeah, the whole recording was really fun! The making of our two music videos are a good memory as well! The whole thing was fun, fun, fun!

What was the trickiest thing about making the album?

S: Finding a drumbeat to ‘I Would Not Know’, that song is so stupid. But, Daniel nailed it.

H: The trickiest thing for me was to come up with lyrics ideas. I felt like I just wrote the same thing over and over again, but it turned out good!

Do you enjoy writing, recording or playing live the most; what makes it so great?

S: Obviously writing and recording. I love playing live too but I get so nervous sometimes it doesn’t feel worth it. 

H: I really like all of them! But it was so great to be able to record at Dustward Studio so spontaneously!

What’s your favourite track from the album to play? What’s it about? What’s the coolest thing about it?

S: ‘The Has Been’. It started out as a tribute to Hilda´s boyfriend Adam, another excellent drummer, but it took a different turn once the vocals came on. And it ends with the first guitar solo I’ve done in years.

H: – For me it’s Sue me! I mean it’s a catchy song! It’s about being the cream of the crop, the number one grand prix! 

What do you get up to when you’re not making music?

S: I hang out with my wife and our three kids, go to live shows and shoot pool (9-ball)

H: Working, studying and all that.

What’s something that’s exciting you about making music right now?

S: My latest project that I’m doing is with my wife: Shady Lady & the Malefactor. We have released some tracks on digital platforms and Push My Buttons is releasing a 7″ soon, there will definitely be an album out once I get the time to do it. And we have a great live band.  I’ve got music coming out of my every orifice, but now that we’re post-Covid I got a lot of work in the studio again. Bills to pay…

H: Playing with Sticky Baby and Kerosene Kream.

What is next for Polyester?

S: Nothing much since Hilda quit Polyester.

H: Well, since Polyester isn’t active anymore, it’s listening to the album that’s up. 

Polyester’s 100% Polyester album is available via PUSH MY BUTTONS records in Sweden (they also stock our print zine, so if you’re in the that part of the world you can pick one up in store). Follow @thedustward.

Lo-fi Post-punk Band Maraudeur: “We’re all in need of connection”

Original photo courtesy of Maraudeur. Handmade mixed-media collage by B.

Maraudeur’s sophomore album Puissance 4 is highly spirited, paper-thin post-punk, filled with unexpected moments and dizzying highs, stoking curiosity in the listener. There’s a freshness, joy and sense of freedom on the record, that rightly earned Marauder mentions on many underground music Best Of 2021 lists. 2022 sees Puissance‘s release on one of our favourite US labels, Feel It Records. 

In signature Gimmie-style, we interviewed Maraudeur because we love their music, wanted to know more about it and its creators, but couldn’t’ find anything out there about them. 

Maraudeur is based in Leipzig, Germany but everyone lives in different areas; can you tell us a little bit about where you live?

CAMILLE: I live in Lyon, which I would say is an interesting city regarding shows. Also, there are plenty of active and creative bands! I moved here 14 years ago because I was interested in music, and many of the bands I wanted to see were touring there. It’s also quite a pretty city, with two rivers crossing, hills… I like walking around and I’m not bored yet, so I stay here! 

LISE: I live in Leipzig, it’s green, but also grey. There are a lot of lakes; really nice in the summer!

CHARLOTTE: I live in Geneva. It’s a pretty rich city, and there are rich neighbourhoods that look awful, but there’s also a cool scene of struggling artists and nice cheap places to hang out to. It’s a small city, so everybody knows each other and solidarity is present. So even if you’re poor, you’ll get by.

What’s life been like lately for you?

LISE: Trying to re_create new assertments, which were destabilized throughout the pandemy. Héhé, a real casse-tête.

CAMILLE: Mostly working (I’m a social worker), playing shows (with Maraudeur and Litige, my other band) or hanging out at friend’s shows!

How did you first discover music?

LISE: I remember my mum hearing Janis Joplin a lot in the car . . and I hated it. I think I was scared of her voice. It changed since then.

CHARLOTTE:: I remember my mum and I listening to Crash Test Dummies when driving to l’Ardèche in the summer. Especially the “Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm” song. That was easy to sing along.

CAMILLE: I remember my mum listening to Roch Voisine (she found him pretty sexy), Joan Baez and Bob Dylan. But, I was more interested in dance music and the boy bands from the 90’s.

Why is music important to you?

CHARLOTTE:: Music ideas come around my head when I’m bored. It’s like if it was my brain’s favourite game to avoid boredom. Although it likes other types of art to play with, melodies are very often the first ones to pop in. So, to answer the question, I’d say music is important to me because it’s like my playground where I can create anything, set my own rules (or no rules at all) and simply have fun! And that makes me feel free. Free to express, whatever and however I want to, and also free to be myself.

CAMILLE: It helps me to deal with the strangeness of this world and to feel a bit more optimistic ! Also listening to music is a perfect way to keep curiosity alive, wanting to know more about this band, these kinds of weird sounds… It never ends! About playing music, it allowed me to challenge my own limits. And to learn dealing with others.

LISE: Music is the best meditation trick, it can keep you focused for hours, a real relief from the outside !

When did you first pick up an instrument? Who or what inspired you to?

CAMILLE: I  started playing on my brother’s drum kit, that we had at our parent’s basement.

It was just for fun, nothing serious came out of my solo starter practices.

When I moved to Lyon, I used to hang out a lot with the people at this local DIY space called Grrrnd Zero. Many people had rehearsal spaces, where we ended drunk after shows. At one point, a friend asked me to join him and his girlfriend to play music with them, and it was the first time playing drums was becoming something “real” to me. So I would say my friends, my brother inspired me to dare picking up an instrument, in spite of my lack of technical skills or lessons. I never learned anything academic or by taking lessons, and I will probably never do.

How did you meet?

CAMILLE: I met Lise and Charlotte in Brittany at a festival called Binic in 2016, where they were hanging out. I was totally high, and when I saw Lise, I was remembering her from a few months before: in fact, she played a show with Couteau Latex in Lyon. We didn’t really talked there, but we finally ended up talking that summer. I found these two girls really nice, and they pretty much invited me to join them during the weekend. Lise asked me if I wanted to play in Maraudeur but I couldn’t so far. A few months after, she emailed me for a tour in France. Again, I couldn’t be available. But Lise didn’t take it for granted, and asked me again! Then I said YES and joined

Maraudeur. Morgane and me met in Lyon, where she was living before moving to Saint-Etienne.

CHARLOTTE:: Lise and I met a long time ago, when we were teens. We started our first band together with two other guys. Funny thing is that the four of us barely knew each other before starting playing music together. So we basically met in the practice space.

LISE: Charlotte and I met Myriam, who’s playing synth and also singing on the album at a Maraudeur concert in Paris, next thing we know is that she was going on tour with us! It’s always a mind maze to talk about all the band members, cause there’s been a lot. They come, they go, its fluid. Can be sometimes confusing but it also keeps the waves flowing !

We really love your album Puissance 4, it’s so interesting, there is so much happening; what are the things that are important to you in regards to creativity?

CHARLOTTE:: I think I partly answered that question before, but I’ll add a few things. So if I keep going with my music/playground metaphor, let’s say that creativity is actually the whole playground, and music is an area of it. And in this area, there are many mini-areas, which each contains many mini-mini-areas, etc. etc. And that’s where keeping the metaphor gets tricky because it’s even more fun to try to play in different areas at the same time, haha! My point being that there’s so much to discover and experiment, all it takes is to be curious and to dare to try out stuff. And as this is all about fun, then it’s even more fun when there are friends around! More people means more ideas and more ways to look at things. It also means compromises, but it’s worth it. Compromises can also be a way to mix up things even more and generate more interesting stuff. So, to summarise, I’d say that diversity of ideas, experimentation, collaboration, curiosity and courage are the keys to be creative and inspired for me.

What’s the story behind the title? (I’d never heard of the word before and looked it up because I’m a nerd and love finding new words, and found it means “great power, influence, or prowess”).

LISE: Héhé. Actually it’s the name of a game. Puissance is also a mathematical term, it means “to the fourth”. We used it as a small clin d’oeil to the fact that it’s the first time that we recorded all together, as if it made it then possible to multiply our capacity to create something. But puissance does mean power, yes. Greater scale power.

What kinds of songs do you enjoy writing the most?

CHARLOTTE: I have no preference actually. I like writing any songs. Diversity is nice, otherwise I get bored.

LISE: Short & dirty.

CAMILLE: A song I can’t play, like ‘I’m Here’

Is there anything that you find challenging about songwriting?

CHARLOTTE: Lyrics! Lyrics are hard… And remembering everything. Structures, riffs, lyrics, pfiouuu… I’m sure songwriting is a good memory exercise for the brain! And on a darker note, songwriting can be scary sometimes. Starting a song can make me feel unsafe and stressed. But I rarely feel this way in bands though. The other’s input keeps me inspired, and the group dynamic works like an anchor into the real world and prevents me from drifting on Anxiety Sea.

CAMILLE: To adapt myself to the weird structures of Maraudeur ! 

Where have you found inspiration for a recent song you have written?

LISE: I’d like to talk about a song that we’ve been working on ‘La Jaguar.’ We were having a residency in Geneva and we would always eat in the parking lot, because that’s where the sun was. We laughed about the fact that we were stealing the spot of expensive cars (there’s a lot in Geneva).

CHARLOTTE:: … A parking spot by the river and where the sun always shines! We imagined that some rich person actually bought this spot for the view and the sun exposure, haha!

CAMILLE: There is a song that we refer to as “the Eddy Current” one, which is totally not similar to the great Eddy Current Suppression Ring, but it’s funny we were understanding each other while calling it like that. And we love this band.

CHARLOTTE: It’s true now the result is very different, but originally it was because of the guitar riff that sounded a bit like them. Personally, I still hear it, and I enjoy that.

How long did it take to write Puissance 4; do you write collaboratively?

LISE: We were one month in Leipzig; to write, practice, go on tour for a week and even mix the album. It was obviously way too much of a plan but it worked. We did re-mixed some vocals a bit later though. There was already four songs that were already written/partly recorded, but the rest we did all together.

CAMILLE: I’ve never spent so much time in such a short duration in a rehearsal space. Sometimes it was intense.  But it was a cool experience ! 

What’s your favourite song on the album? What do you love about it? What’s it about?

LISE: I would talk about the sound of the album. We were really restrained in terms of mixing and that’s what makes it special… to me. I think the fact that we mixed all together gave the album an envelope, even though some songs sound really different; you can hear there are two different snare, for example.  

What is one of your fondest memories from recording the album?

CAMILLE: Eating every day in 15 days at least the same croque monsieur! 

CHARLOTTE: Recording live on tape, aiming for the perfect one-shot that never happens, but ending up liking the flaws. And then, mixing on a super nice big boy of a mixer, turning knobs live, it was like a multiple hands choreography! And, knowing there won’t be no turning back. We didn’t own a multiple track interface at that time, so we were bouncing the songs stereo, and yep, that was it.

We love the Puissance 4 cover drawings. You screen-printed it yourself, right? I understand many artists contributed; what was the idea behind having many artists draw something? How do you think it reflects the album’s music or themes?

LISE: My theory would be that we like to involve our personal vicinity into our work. I like the idea to somehow pay tribute to it. It would be kind of a disillusion to believe that this album just came out of only our minds; there are people around, smells, buildings, atmospheres, dirty punk caves,  there’s places we like go to whether it’s in Leipzig, Lyon, Genève, Saint Etienne, Burgundy. It felt like a good way to bridge this environment to what we do. We’re all in need of connection.

CAMILLE: I totally agree with Lise! 

What’s next for Maraudeur?

MARAUDEUR: An Italian tour in November. Rehearse in the summer. Welcome a new member in the crew! And, record a new album at the end of the year if everything works out! Thanks for the interview!!! 

GET Puissance 4 via Feel It Records (US). MARAUDEUR Bandcamp. In Australian find it via Tenth Court Records and Repressed Records. Follow @maraudeur_zeband and Maraudeur on Facebook.