Melbourne Synthpunk Solo Project EUGH: “I’d always liked bands like Tubeway Army and The Units”

Original photo: Vincent. Handmade collage by B.

Vincent Buchanan-Simpson is the creative behind new solo synthpunk project EUGH, you may also know him from jangle poppers Terrible Signal, psych-punks Hideous Sun Demon and weirdo punks Kitchen People. EUGH is lo-fi, hyper, satirical and wildly fun! Gimmie interviewed Vincent to find out about new release the most brilliant man alive!

Where did you grow up? How did you discover music?

VINCENT: I grew up in Fremantle. My parents are big music lovers and I learned piano at a young age. I was about 11 when I started to really take an interest in it. My dad got me into a lot of good proto-punk and post-punk bands pretty early. I liked my fair share of trash though. Still do really.

Who or what inspired you to first write songs?

V: I don’t know. It’s the only thing that makes me feel productive and it’s been like that forever.

Can you tell us about the first time you ever performed live? How did you feel?

V: Mother’s Day 2006. I played bass in the Christian Brothers College Junior Jazz Band. We played “Tequila”. I felt dumb in the yellow vest they made us wear and we sucked.

You’re in bands Hideous Sun Demon, Terrible Signal and Kitchen People; what inspired you to do this new project EUGH by yourself?

V: I’ve been meaning to start a project like this for ages, it was just been hard finding a space to record since I moved to Melbourne. I write everything in Terrible Signal so I’m used to doing things by myself. Plus lockdown has pretty much made bands impossible here unfortunately.

Why did you decide to go with a synthpunk/egg-punk sound?

V: In 2012 I played in a band that covered “Are We Not Men” by DEVO in full. Learning those parts made me realise how much a like that style of writing. I’d always liked bands like Tubeway Army and The Units since I was young. I guess this project is also a continuation of Kitchen People in a way, same as Ghoulies.

In terms of egg-punk, I dunno. That was just a tag I added on Bandcamp in the hope some European Youtuber would find and upload it. Gotta know your target audience.

I read over at Marthouse Records that writing lyrics was different for you for this project compared to your other bands, usually you’d write about experiences happening around you this time you wrote about made up hilarious scenarios; was there anything you did to spark the process when writing? Was there a scenario you were thinking of using but didn’t?  

V: Not really, but that’s only because I kind of made up the stories as I wrote the lyrics. Like with “Junk Shop” for example, I started with the idea of a guy working in a pawn shop. But as I went along it turned into him being kidnapped by a guy and forced into eating at Hogs Breath Café, which I didn’t plan at the start. I think it was that sort of spontaneous approach that led to the song themes to be as stupid as they are.

“Galactic Terror” is one our favourite tracks on the EP it’s pretty hectic; how did this song materialize?

V: The music was really quick. Like maybe an hour to write and record it. All the songs were written like that. All the riffs in that song are the kind of thing I play when I’m fucking around on guitar or whatever, I just threw a few together in a way that made sense to me.

You recorded everything yourself; how did you keep yourself engaged and motivated throughout the process?

V: Sometimes I am, sometimes I’m not. I just try and make sure when I am motivated that I’m productive as possible. It’s easier with this project coz I can do it all pretty quick.

What might we be surprised to know about your recording process?

V: The EP was recorded all digitally. I’m saving up for a reel-to-reel but I’m actually pretty inexperienced with analogue recording. The EP sounds like it does because after recording the song I would run the whole track back through a Korg MS20, the high and low pass filters round out the sound and the VCA makes it real squashed and nice. I think it worked pretty well.

Do you ever get nervous sharing your songs with people once they’re done?

V: Not so much now. It depends who I’m showing. But my songs are better than they used to be so I’m more confident now.

I peeped stacks of books a while back in one of your Insta vids; what was the last book you read that ruled? What’s it about?

V: The Border Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy. It’s challenging and at times pretty brutal and harrowing. But it’s a modern age epic, especially the second book The Crossing. All three books tell stories of young cowboys from south-west USA being drawn into Mexico for various reasons. All their journeys bring misfortune, but they all encounter characters whose stories bring some of most profoundly deep writing I’ve ever read. It’s about human condition and plight, and the relationships we all have with have with nature, time, society and faith. All set to this harsh yet beautiful backdrop of Northern Mexico in the 1940s.

Last year you were on tour in Europe with Hideous Sun Demon; what’s one of the coolest things you saw or experienced while there?

V:  All the venues and all the people were amazing!

We all liked Toulouse a lot. It isn’t a name you hear that much but it’s an amazing town, and Le Ravelin is a great venue. I walked around the morning after our gig and the place was just brimming with history and creativity. It’s not that small a town but it has very relaxed atmosphere.

Your Insta username is @reallygreatoutfit; what’s the greatest outfit you’ve ever worn?

V: Probably when I dressed as the guy who played Smeagol in Lord of the Rings for Halloween. Like the actual actor in his motion capture suit. It was a blue zoot suit that I stuck duct tape it on to make it look real. Remember when zoot suits were a thing? People suck.

I know you’ll be releasing another EUGH EP by the end of the year; have you started it yet? Are you setting yourself any creative challenge writing it?

V: I’ve written it all already. But then I upgraded my studio and I dunno if I wanna re-record it or put it up as is and then do something else. I have three releases going on with different bands as it is at the moment, so I’m gonna get those out and then focus on it. Plus getting out of bed is a challenge enough with curfew lol.

Please check out EUGH on bandcamp; EUGH on Instagram.