Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Leopard Messiah - 'Live In North Perth' Recording



Leopard Messiah played live at 'Goodbye Horses' on the 30th July 2008 at Bar 459 in North Perth. Camryn Rothenbury from Farmer Frontier put on the show. It was their first show and also Craig McElhinney's first show. DJ James Beck left the crowd speechless that night with his mind-boggling mixing skills and Healing Crystal Meth also played. LM's set was bootlegged by Scott from Whalehammer and is now available on www.doddrell.com/mp3. The sound is not too bad, although Richard's guitar is somewhat inaudible at times. They play songs from the 'Emerald Fyre' album and a few newer tracks. Budding acoustic artists could take this lesson from the recording - memorise all of your lyrics. Mumbled syllables just don't substitute for forgotten lyrics when you don't have walls of amplifiers and a flailing caveboy drummer behind you. Thanks go out to Scott for his bootlegging prowess and the above photo is by Jillian West.

Download the recording at www.doddrell.com/mp3.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Suffer (2006) - Puke In A Bag EP

Scott, singer in Suffer (2006)

The presentation of this recording must be prefaced by a clarification – this act, Suffer, was a short-lived band from 2006 featuring Scott and David from Whalehammer. It is not the band called Suffer who are also from Perth, who exist currently and play awesome Infest-influenced power violence/hardcore. Now, all possible confusion averted, I will procede with the presentation, and all references to a band named Suffer will be related to the band from 2006 featuring Scott and David.

Suffer got together in the summer of 2006, intending to write some songs with the express aims of a.) using downtuned (B, for any guitar jerks reading) electric guitar and b.) sounding brutal. Their main influences were Iron Lung, Pig Destroyer and Eyehategod. Subject matter concerned various aspects of Perth existence, like solvent abuse (‘Puke in a Bag’), getting bashed and then dumped in a Multiskip bin and subsequently being crushed by a rubbish truck (‘Multiskip Coffin Pts 1 and 2’) and chronic weed smoking (‘Rotted Mind’). Having started without a drummer they programmed the beats to the songs using the computer sequencing program Fruity Loops and recorded these tracks. The combination of insanely shattering drum machine, heavy, chaotic riffing by David and hoarse, throaty, weed-ravaged vocalising from Scott displayed on the EP is quite original and cool in my opinion.

After recording the tracks they intended to use them as a demo to find a drummer in order to play live. The concept of playing live with a drum machine was brought up but David was then playing in Extended Summer Surgery who used a drum machine live and was keen to play with a human being. In hindsight that viewpoint was possibly somewhat short-sighted. Needless to say they never found a drummer, Perth being a total sh**hole and all. They did give James Vinciguerra of AIDS, The Collapse, Total Control et al a copy of the demo but he declared the music to be ‘power electronics’, a genre that Suffer were not high-brow enough to be aware of, and declared himself too burned out to take on the project. It was to be his, and the world’s loss. Eventually the impetus faded after a lengthy, fruitless search and the project was abandoned, leaving only the hammering, malignant juggernaught of the ‘Puke In A Bag’ EP behind. Scott and David would later play in Burning Sensation and Whalehammer. Anybody with a healthy appetite for power violence, in-the-red production, down-tuned guitars and epileptic drum machines will no doubt find their new soundtrack to self-mutilation, killing small dogs and smashing buckets upon downloading the Suffer set.

Download the EP from www.doddrell.com/mp3 in the Suffer folder.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wretched Blood of the Concubine - 'Feeble Child' - 2007


It brings me great pleasure to make available the third Wretched Blood of the Concubine recording to the world of wide web. Wretched Blood of the Concubine deal in both black and grey metal, and black ambience of the most nefarious kind. The band consists of Nick Tripodi (of Hailstones Kill 200, Inter Alia, Kids with Guns for Hands etc) who currently resides in Melbourne and David West (of Whalehammer, Orgy of the Undead, Extended Summer Surgery, Burning Sensation, Rat Columns etc) who exists in Perth. Driven to either ends of a vast land by mutual hatred and disgust they still recognised their own brilliance as a duo, and thus with great pains collaborate in Perth when Nick visits to ironically recognise pathetic Christian superstitions such as Christmas. This particular collaboration occurred in the summer of 2007 I believe.

Having worked with drum machines in their previous two recordings the pair sought out some fresh human blood to flail the skins. After some negotiations some somewhat-fresh blood was found in the young James Vinciguerra (of AIDS, The Collapse, Total Control, Lace Curtain etc) and the band entered a rehearsal studio in Leederville to hammer out this epic tune. Overdubs and mixing were completed in David’s residence that evening.

‘Feeble Child’ is a song suite telling the tale of a peasant man’s life in feudal Eastern Europe. Born a peasant, he enters into the rebellion of the serfs against brutal, repressive landlords and nobility. A great battle is waged and strides are taken towards a proletariat victory…hope is in the air. However, the Feeble Child (now a young man) is struck down with a mortal blow. The throes of death are long and painful, and he succumbs. Thrust into the darkest void, he negotiates the afterlife, a confusing, surreal vortex. Eventually his fate is settled – he is thrown into the screaming wasteland of hel and is sentenced to eternal misery and pain. Thus ends the tale of the Feeble Child.

Download the track at www.doddrell.com/mp3 from the Wretched Blood of the Concubine folder.

Monday, November 17, 2008

J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo - 'Take Off The Monacle'


It pleases me to note that, at long last, the infamous J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo album has become available for download from the music archive site www.doddrell.com/mp3. This crazed work caused a minor skirmish on a Perth internet idiot board resulting in demands for suicide, name-calling, declarations of musical worthlessness, mass confusion and related turmoil. I wish I could print the hilarious contents of the ‘discussion’ but alas it seems to have been buried deep in the digital graveyard.

‘Take Off The Monacle’ is the J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo’s sole release. It is an 8 and a half minute free-for-all fire fight between insanity and delusion which throws away the concepts of rhythm, harmony, melody, jazz and pop in favour of a surreal flight of fancy into a land where jazz doesn’t suck, cybernetic creatures inhale vaginal dust and cat soup is always for dinner. It is J.A.Z.Z not jazz, certainly not jazz as you know it, rather, Jazz Accelerated by Zionist Zest. It is free jazz stripped of its overblown gestures and ego, compacted and split through a kaleidoscope into both violent and serene colour streams.

The recording was made on a summer’s afternoon in 2007 in Perth. It was conceptualised by David West (of various acts such as Frank A.T.C.I.S, Whalehammer, Orgy of the Undead, ESS, Burning Sensation etc) and realised by the J.A.Z.Z Crack Combo, some of Perth’s best and most avant-guarde musicians. One cannot cite precedents for such a wildly original work but fans of such disparate acts as James Chance and the Contortions, Sun Ra, Ruins, John Coltrane, The Boredoms, Moondog, Devo and Stravinsky, and adventurous music listeners in general will find plenty to appreciate.

The songs are short, fractured and intense. The lyrics reveal the truth in dementia. The performances are twisted and inspired. This is J.A.Z.Z!

An insightful review of the album by Evan Davies (of Budlust, Sonny Malibu and the Shorebreak Kings, Camel etc) ran thusly;

'Berets will burn and goatees will be singed upon contact with the megaton blasts of free-form psyche-jazz contained in this set. Depending on your viewpoint, this set is either meticulously arranged or a shambolic, churning mess. Like a household tabby gone feral, at no stage do the arpeggiated piano lines threaten to come back ‘inside’. Horn lines fall in on one another amidst skittering and seemingly arbitrary percussion. Rest assured that there will be no resolving ii-V-i progressions here, ladies and gentleman. A word of warning: the lyrics cover highly irregular subject matter that would frankly make most jazz enthusiasts blush. ‘Take Off That Monacle’ is certainly a purist’s worst nightmare, but if one were to shed their tired preconceptions about what jazz should be and embrace the challenges posed by this wild, neo-experimental freak-out, one would be richly rewarded indeed...Best tracks: Northern Girl, Cat Soup...Score: 8/10'

To immerse yourself in the parallel universe of J.A.Z.Z, head to www.doddrell.com/mp3 to download the album as a zip file.

Myspace link – www.myspace.com/jazzcrackcombo



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Photos from Whalehammer 'Subterranean' CD Launch Party

Photos from the Whalehammer 'Subterranean' CD Launch Party at a Mount Hawthorn residence in Perth. All taken by Jillian West http://www.jillianwest.com/.


Balloons.

More balloons.



Steven 'vogueing'.


Shock news! Some people find improvised noisegaze extremely boring!



Highly fanced enthno-psych-hip-hop-gaze duo Splendid Friends incite frenzy.

Scott gorging himself on cable spaghetti.


DJ Wooshie scattering divine petals of delight over the d-floor.


Two tall men discuss video art (probably).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

WHALEHAMMER GIG - FRIDAY 21st November 2008 - Mojos


Greetings
Whalehammer is playing a show at Mojos on Friday 21st November 2008. We are supporting a couple of eastern states bands, who are all pretty impressive. Lineup:
Circle Pit - from Sydney, used to be in Kiosk, trashy RTX hesher rock
Lakes - from either Sydney or Melbourne, heard some stuff of theirs the other day which was kind of woozy psych organ/acoustic folky stuff, really cool
Wasted Truth - some kind of offshoot of Lakes I think
Mental Powers - kosmiche, rhythmic, calming, one of the better acts in Perth
Us
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In other news we have some new stuff that is soon to hit the north - an as-yet-untitled full-length recording which is being mastered APPARENTLY and a pretty dungeony mix of stuff recorded to cassette in July at Dream Studios called 'dream tape' which is about done. Get in touch if you want one or any other of our recordings - whalehammer@gmail.com. I think you should be able to purchase our cd 'subterranean' which is on the farmer frontier label from Planet Video, 78s, Dadas, Meupe webstore and other places right now HOPEFULLY.
What else...the launch party for Subterranean was great, thanks to Cameron of Farmer Frontier, the occupants of the house Dylan, James and Kyle, Splendid Fiends, the person who donated the lights and vicious smoke machine, DJs, everyone who came, everyone who attended the party.
I'll have to put some pictures up.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Whalehammer 'Subterranean' Launch Party - Saturday 11th October 2008


Perth music label 'Farmer Frontier' (run by Cameron who has been in such famous bands as Soul of Condemned Ape, Joy Division and At War With Gayle. Watch out for his long-awaited print zine 'Ferris Bulwer' which I hear is coming out soon and contains lots of great writing not tainted by bad humor/taste) is putting out our album 'Subterranean' in a nicely packaged CD format. Thanks Cameron!
As part of this initiative there is a launch party happening on Saturday 11th October at a house in Leederville. Whalehammer and Splendid Friends (an ethno-psych-gaze supergroup consisting of At War With Girls, Craig McHardspelling and Dylan Michel) are playing but this is not really a gig but a party. Bands just get in the way of a good time IMO. There are bunch of dj's who will be playing music. Is it somebody's birthday as well?
Due to the private nature of this residence I am unable to divulge its exact location, also I do not know it. However I will give a bunch of cryptic clues to let people who should come know where it is...
*eerie strata plan*
*i had a dream about studios in a metropolitan video store where I walked down a street about 4 blocks away from a bunch of thugs who had recently graduated from oxford university (majoring in hotel AND street management no less!) and then 'whoosh' i.e i lived in the house with dylan thomas*
*swimmers once bathed in me*

As for the CD, 'Subterranean' was recorded in late 2007 I think, or early 2008. It was recorded at a rehearsal studio in a day, on the same street as the launch party actually. It kind of tells a story of a subhuman underground mutant who lives in total darkness, infects the over-ground populace with poisonous sex spores, and grows desperate for union with another, only to be enveloped and destroyed by a female of the species when this union finally occurs. It may or may not be a dream, narrated by a human ripped to the gills on opium tea.

Musically it runs the gamut from dreamy psychgaze to blackened sludge to abstract shimmer. Personally I think it's worthy of multiple listens at worst, ritual suicide at best.

Here's the Farmer Frontier verbage on this matter, from their site (http://www.meupe.net/farmerfrontier/)

--------------------

WHALEHAMMER - SUBTERRANEAN - Krautocosmic drone ship orbiting reanimated birth ritual surgical swab...

FARMER FRONTIER is having a top secret house party to celebrate our fifth release (FF005): WHALEHAMMER's SUBTERRANEAN.

On October 11 2008, come see WHALEHAMMER, performing with special guests SPLENDID FRIENDS.+ DJs DYLAN MICHEL, JAMES BECK, DAVID WEST & BEN TAAFFE!

STARTS AT 6 PM! COME EARLY FOR BBQ, DRINKS, FRISBY AND DJs. ENTRY: GOLD COIN DONATION BBQ: GOLD COIN DONATION [VEGANS WELCOME!] BYO

EMAIL US (farmerfrontier@gmail.com / whalehammer@gmail.com) for event details or try searching the event on FACEBOOK.

Farmer Frontier catalogue will be available on the night. Whalehammer's Subterranean will thereafter be available from Dada Records, 78 Records, Harry High Pants and Planet.

------------------

Hope to see you all there.

----------------------

In other news, one of my semi-solo projects Frank A.T.C.I.S (aka Frank & the Can I Speaklys) has a myspace, check it out - www.myspace.com/frankatcis. Kind of a mirror image of Rat Columns I guess (www.myspace.com/ratcolumns).

Enough garbahge - see you later

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gig - Friday Sept 19 - Grim Fandango, Suffer, Burning Sensation, Magic Window


5$ / 9pm start / hyde park hotel

Grim Fandango - rev/sum dc-ish punk rock, killer twin guitars
Suffer - PV/HC Infest-esque
Burning Sensation - trash punk treble
Magic Window - art-punk new-wave strobing

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

'DULLSVILLE' - PERTH PUNK/HC BLOG

Well a perusal of the internerd has alerted me to the fact there is another Perth obscure music blog, dunno how long it has escaped my attention for but it's pretty cool and I am hell out of the loop for not knowing about it sooner. I think it's called 'Dullsville' and the address is http://www.perthisacultureshock.blogspot.com/.

I think Rohan who plays/played in such bands as Extortion, AIDS, The Collapse, Hospital Beds yadda yadda is the sole(?) contributor. The focus is on old Perth punk/hardcore and the obscure offshoots of band family tree's relating to the acts mentioned above and he's going pretty deep into the bowels I gotta say, it's good to see a blog that features things that people genuinely haven't written 15 thesis' (thesi?) on already. It also has a higher 'real band' ratio than this blog, not to mention he has mastered the art of direct linking to things in a really efficent way. Two fine achievements!

Anyhoo it's pretty sweet and worthy of construction site-esque checking out.

On a side note perhaps I will list the perth-related music blogs I know of;

http://www.perthisacultureshock.blogspot.com/
http://www.mondobarbara.blogspot.com/ - interview site crafted by some link-obsessed tall guy i think? Excellent vocabulary - privately educated no doubt.
http://www.vibrationsfromthecosmicgrove.blogspot.com/ - not perth music related but written by Richard from Whalehammer, the hilarious and erudite wordage on display prompts me to mention it anyway. You too could become a kraut/prog/thrash/tech-thrash/death/jazz-thrash expert with the aid of this blog, a high-speed internet connection, a serious amount of time on your hands, some quality aged cheeses and a well-stocked Jolt Cola/homemade mead bar fridge. Not to mention serious fu**ing dedication!!!
http://perthmusic.wordpress.com/ - run by pendulum chap, open contributions


If anyone knows of any other decent perth-related music blogs please mention them in the form of a 'comment'.

Rack on

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Upcoming Whalehammer Gigs



14th August @ The Rosemount w/ Injured Ninja, Genghis, Hagar

22nd August @ SPECTRUM ART SPACE (beaufort st, highgate) supporting Fabulous Diamonds (melbourne) with Chris Cobilis and somebody else?

In other news Leopard Messiah have a myspace. www.myspace.com/leopardmessiah.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Debbie Gibson (Perth) - Practice Tape

Debbie Gibson were a short-lived d-beat/hardcore band from Perth, Western Australia. I would say their timespan was approximately late summer, early the-season-that-comes-after 2006. The music was a mixture of thrashy d-beat and occasional blast beats with a bit of an 80's hardcore scrappy feel and liberal doses of chaotic feedback. Their influences were Discharge, Rudimentary Peni and modern Scandinavian/Amerikan d-beat acts. The lineup was Zaheer on guitar, Luke on bass, David on vox and Rama on drums. Zaheer and Rama had previously played in the quite popular asian-power crust/d-beat punk band The Magoos.

Three quarters of the band had been together in an un-named previous incarnation with a nice English (I think) chap named Dee on vocals. This didn't work out for some reason and through a convoluted doom-band-member-wanted ad scenario the second, aforementioned lineup was formed and the appropriation of the Debbie Gibson name occured. They practised for a few months and played their first and only gig supporting the awesome Amerikan d-beat band Artimus Pyle at the 208 House in Maylands. Highlights of this period include leather drumming gloves, crispy squid, 'dbeat-blast-dbeat-blast-dbeat????', extreme volume and excessive coffee consumption (primarily attributed to guitarist).

This gig went reasonably well, however it was to be the end of the Debbie Gibson tale. After the first gig, practices ceased to exist and an icy exchange between the exam/caffeine-stressed guitarist and the singer prompted a lengthy period of silence which was eventually broken with a phone call giving the singer the boot.

The other members regrouped to continue the d-beat direktive. Luke moved on to second guitar, Craig (of Perth hardcore punk bands Battletruk and Negative Reply I think) joined the band on bass, and a Swedish chap named Dennis took up vocal duties. This band, as of mid-2008 still exists and is called Nine Must Die, now a quartet, as Zaheer was given the boot due to his attention wandering away from the band's pure d-beat direction.

As for the present day, Zaheer is now playing in a stoner-rock band called Atolah, Rama sings and plays guitar in the Misfits-esque combo Raped By Wolves as well as drumming in Nine Must Die, Luke is a crack submarine pilot as well as the guitarist in Nine Must Die and David plays in Whalehammer, Burning Sensation, Leppard Messiah and Rat Columns.

As far as I know, Debbie Gibson left behind one sonic artifact, a tape recorded in a rehearsal room at Lounge Guitars in West Leederville. The tape captures the band's set of 7 or 8 songs or so. It was recorded through one Radio Shack mic into one track of a Tascam four-track cassette recorder. The mic had to be placed outside, behind the door of the rehearsal room as the band's vicious volume level inside the room was too much for the mic to handle. As could be expected, it sounds like a really loud band playing in the next room, where a tornado and/or an industrial vacuum are wreaking havoc. The songs include 'Hammered', 'War (This Is What It's Good For), 'Torture Chamber', 'DIY Surgery', 'Born Again (As A Scumbag)', 'Mandatory Vasectomy' and some others I can't recall the titles of. It's actually pretty raging! I left the 10 minute set unedited as it is quite enjoyable in this fashion, with false starts and short, vague between song discussions in place. D-BEAT APOCALYPSE!!!!

Check it out at www.doddrell.com/mp3, in the Debbie Gibson folder.

Various linx;

Nine Must Die - www.myspace.com/ninemustdie ??? Google it, their site comes up first, but won't let me know what it is...
Raped By Wolves - www.myspace.com/hollywoodgraves
Atolah - http://www.myspace.com/atolah
Battletruk - google 'Battletruk'
Negative Reply - www.angelfire.com/punk2/australianpunk/negreply.html
Whalehammer - http://www.myspace.com/whalehammer
Burning Sensation - www.myspace.com/burningsensationburningsensation
Leppard Messiah - www.whalehammer.blogspot.com/2008/02/leopard-messiah-emerald-fyre-lp.html
Rat Columns - www.myspace.com/ratcolumns

Monday, June 9, 2008

Whalehammer Duo EP - 'Translucent Sex Mass'


The Whalehammer Duo have recorded another opus, though this time it clocks in at a skimpy 27 minutes, making it the first Whalehammer-related E.P. 'Translucent Sex Mass' was recorded and mixed on a Monday evening in a Leederville residence, 2nd June 2008. The Duo lineup once again is Richard and David from the Whalehammer camp, again recording two-track-live to laptop via SM57, this time a few overdubs were permitted. The two utilised Korg synth, Alesis synth, SM57 vocal microphone, Fender Telecaster, the infamous DEMON1000, two combo amps and various FX pedals for the recording.

'Translucent Sex Mass' finds the Duo exploring a fairly light-hearted (for WHLHMR) side of their music, like their previous recording 'Static Reverence' it is very electronic but unlike that work it is rather forceful at times with rhythms coming to the forefront. At various points the music recalls 70's kraut ambience, german techno, industrial, contemporary rhythmic noise, country soul and garbled Chrome-ian sci-fi garage funk.

Opening track 'Metal on Flesh' calmly opens proceedings with gently fluttering synthesized ambience, which slowly grows into a blast of static noise, blooming into the gentle country soul second movement. 'Furnace' is a synthesized joy ride down an apocalyptic autobahn. 'Dimension' is an abstract, wobbly vododer funk jam. 'Skull Drill' takes 'Furnace's mangled car crash body and jams it into the concrete jaws of an industrial crushing machine. 'Beached' is the calm morning after the chaos, a vague recollection of salty spray and white sand.

Anyhoo, the new EP is available to download from www.doddrell.com/mp3 right now!

If you would like a copy on CD-R send us an email at whalehammer@gmail.com.

Coming soon...

Whalehammer - 'Subterranean' LP - mastered for your pleasure...
Whalehammer - As yet untitled newest LP - sci-fi stoner rock and tin-scraping noise damage feature heavily...




Monday, May 19, 2008

The Betty Ford Experience - Self-titled EP

- Matt (right) and David of The Betty Ford Experience.

Whilst performing a routine sweep of a rubbish-filled storage box in Subiaco, a gleaming treasure was found. Now, it can shared with the world – the self-titled EP by The Betty Ford Experience, an imposing monument on the barren field of Perth rock’n’roll history.

The year may have been 2002. Juvenile garage-punk freaks Orgy of the Undead were disintegrating in a whirlwind of laziness, unwarranted member firing, disorganisation and the refusal to acknowledge that one of them would truly have to be ‘the singer’. OOTU had charted a reckless course through the blown speaker lo-fi punk/rock’n’roll spasms of the ‘Don’t Just Lie There, Say Something’ EP into the murky waters of art-punk with the full-length ‘Love is Dead’ release. Matt the drummer quit after being hazed for his inability to keep time whilst somewhat drunk at one of the very rare Undead rehearsals. This move shunted OOTU into true ‘recording project’ territory.

Matt holed up at his mother’s house in North Perth in their airy front room, home to gorgeous wooden flooring, a drum kit and a decrepit PC with a bootleg copy of the recording program ‘Cakewalk’. He begun to write the music that would become The Betty Ford Experience. Feeling a desire for collaboration he drafted in David, one of the guitarists and reluctant singers in Orgy of the Undead.

The half-formed recordings were fleshed out (some more than others), and a scattered, occasionally vicious, occasionally glorious EP was delivered. Guitars and drums were played by Matt and additional guitar was played by David. Both contributed vicious abuse of bizarre sound effects, digital distortion and insane delay/echo mangling. Spurred on by his colleague's insistence that his singing voice was reminiscent of ‘a young Lou Reed’ Matt handled the vocals with occasional manic outbursts from David. The result is fairly traditional punk rock and garage pop twisted into some weird, interesting, sometimes malformed shapes with the surgical precision of mountain apes.

As for the songs, there are a few gems of uncanny proportions floating amidst half-formed, scattered musings. ‘Death of a Salesman’ is a careening punk nugget, a brilliantly repetitive 3-chord diatribe against confused crap peddlers. Matt lays down an authoritative vocal with a guest interjection from an unhinged, demented David. Following a spazzy acid-punk guitar solo, a flurry of ethereal backwards guitar solos swoops in and the song morphs into a recitation of Dante’s Inferno over campfire acoustic guitar. Truly a piece de resistance. The other hit on the EP is ‘Corpse Eater’, a similarly propulsive, distorted garage/punk rock anthem promoting the virtues of human flesh.

Against these twin pillars the rest of the EP is less substantial, but still intriguing. The opening punk blast ‘Dead’ delivers the truism ‘you’re dead or you die’. Can’t argue with that! ‘Black Rain’ starts with an early emo-meets-Pixies introduction before settling in to introspective guitar pop with oddly mixed (i.e. way too loud!) vocals. ‘Twerp’ is a minimal, moonlit slice of crystalline guitar wandering, which really should have had vocals added to it. ‘Windmills’ is anthemic garage rock urging the listener to ‘stab seventeen needles in my eye’. An obscenely distorted and completely inappropriate drum and bass track offers confusion and an aching head.

The Betty Ford Experience was to come to an early end, as Matt took off on a lengthy excursion around Australia and David went overseas. However before this door slammed shut The Betty Ford Experience and Orgy of the Undead joined forces for one last blast in the faces of innocent party-goers and indulgent friends at Matt’s going away party. The Betty Ford Experience/OOTU line-up laid waste to Matt’s mother’s charming backyard garden settings with a volatile set of Betty Ford and Undead tracks, along with a thorough maiming of the Misfits classic ‘Skulls’. This gig was recorded and will be covered on this site in the future.

In the meantime feel free hit www.doddrell.com/mp3 and download The Betty Ford Experience EP and the ‘Live at Matt’s Farewell Party’ BFE/OOTU live recording.

Adios

DW

Monday, May 12, 2008

Vibrations From The Cosmic Grove


Channelled Beast Spirit aka Quintus Colourscape aka Richard the guitar/synth player from Whalehammer, Mink Mussel Creek and many other entities has a new website where he discusses his favourite records, typically of a prog, metal, kraut or weird nature and offers possibilities as to their extraction.


On the topic of music sites this one is pretty cool too;


Much love

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blown Away, Let Down #1: Richard Ingham of Whalehammer/Mink Mussel Creek

The true music fan’s life is a rocky passage, an out of control rollercoaster. There are ups, downs, twists, turns, moments of elation and moments of heart wrenching despair. The true fan sets himself up to be let down, but in doing so, opens himself up to true sensations, both positive and negative. To elaborate; there comes a time in any fan’s relationship with a band where a critical point will be reached, and from this point, there will either be triumph or disappointment.

Let’s say The Rotting Anemone’s have released two albums which you have been pretty stoked about, their first album was good but not great, but still the kind of album that kept a steady rotation in the tape deck of your mustard yellow Volvo. However their second release knocked you for six, and you flogged the crap out of it on the boom box in your backyard shed where you escape the maniacal tirades of your wife/girlfriend/sister/stepmother/stoner dad/boss. And now The Rotting Anemone’s have put out their third album. It might as well be titled ‘The Moment of Truth’, in fact that would be a better title than the highly unimaginative ‘III’ moniker that they have gone with. You go to the store/distro/label website and buy/order the title, sound unheard. You have a bond with this band now, you wouldn’t ask your long-term boyfriend to have a blood test every time he wanted to stick it in you, why would you do the mood-killing equivalent to this trusted band?

You get home/the package arrives, and you head out to the backyard shed to blast the sh** out of this new long-player. Here are the two paths that may emerge in the bloody aftermath;

a.) This album is fu**ing sick!!! It’s like the best parts of their old stuff, minus the shoddy half-baked filler tracks, plus exciting and totally appropriate hints of a new direction, and it sounds phenomenal. This moment is called TRIUMPH. You have been blown away. The trust you put in this band has been rewarded tenfold, that much more for you having bought it instantly, without preview, and with your own hard-earned.


b.) Holy sh**, what happened? This can NOT be the same band. They have forgotten to write any songs, Bob Rock has given the album a bizarre corporate rock sheen, it’s all ‘interludes’ and ‘experiments’, they have incorporated elements of jazz/rap/world music/dance/spoken word and the results are absolutely DISGUSTING. The high becomes a low. You have been let down. You will never listen to this band’s good albums in the same way, and you will never listen to this abomination again.

Life goes on, but things are not the same. Now you love this band, or hate them, or maybe your previously excellent relationship is now full of mixed feelings. As a true fan, you can’t shrug your shoulders and deposit the downloaded mp3s into the recycle bin. You paid good money for this triumph/abortion.

However in either case, in the long run things are going to be OK. You have experienced a depth of emotion the casual music listener will not experience. You will find a new band if it blows, and if it ruled, well it’s a joyous occasion calling for mad bucket-bongage and rabid masturbation.

To celebrate the phenomenon I have called upon a hardcore music nut to shed some light on his most intense Blown Away/Let Down experiences, both recorded and in the live domain.

The nut is Richard Ingham aka Channelled Beast Spirit. Richard’s musical wanderlust is near unparalleled, even in Perth’s incestuous genetic swamp of a music ‘scene’. As the guitarist/synthesizer in improv noisegazers Whalehammer, the guitarist/bongo-boy in psych rock fiends Mink Mussel Creek, the drummer in ultra shambolic youth punkers Taco Leg and acid thrash visionaries Puke Rainbow, and the auteur of countless ill-fated solo projects, he spreads his sonic seed far and wide with gay abandon. Not bad for a man who hasn’t witnessed a second of AM time in years (excepting late night post-PM AM time).



Richard in the foreground, playing guitar in Whalehammer.

Richard’s Blown Away/Let Down entry;

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RECORDED MUSIC:

Biggest Blown Away Experience:

I was at a very important and sensitive crossroad in my musical journey. I had for several years been a diehard fan of both progressive rock and thrash metal and both genres occupied vastly different areas of my taste and catered to different emotions and musical cravings. It got to the point where the prog wasn't proggy enough and the thrash wasn't fast or angry enough and I slowly and tenderly like the deflowering of a fair maiden ventured down the path of death metal.

This was the path I swore I would never take, it was too extreme, too down-tuned, too atonal, too self-ridiculing but I began to see that this was the only way I could further my musical experience. So I decided to quit being a limp-wristed pansy and dive in head first with some technical death metal - Atheist's acclaimed and legendary album 'Unquestionable Presence'. I had heard amazing tales about jazz fusion drumming, breakneck riff changes, wild bitchin' solos and slap bass and I thought this is so crazy that I must listen to it.

Needless to say it absolutely tore my balls off, I couldn't comprehend what the f*ck was going on at first, all I knew was that there were killer riffs and funky drum beats but it quickly began to sink in and it has been my favourite album ever since.

Also My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Loveless’ LP. On a whim I explored this 'shoegaze' genre thinking I would encounter a whole bunch of second rate indie bands. I fell in love with it on my first listen through, I connected with the music in a way I had never experienced before and it was an incomparable experience at that. Thankfully this was the first shoegaze album I listened to as I quickly realised the rest of the genre was made up of second rate indie bands.

Biggest Let Down Experience:

This is an easy one for me - The Mars Volta. At the height of At the Drive-in's fame I was an angsty teenager who was literally just beginning to listen to music, I hadn't liked a band in years and the inoffensive tunes of the Foo Fighters and the angular aggression of ATDI appealed to me. After the much publicized break-up of said group there were rumours that the two masterminds behind ATDI were forming this new band with some crazy new unbridled sound.

I downloaded all the demos and they were incredibly unique to me (and still are after all my prog/avant-garde adventures), in such a way that I didn't quite know what to think but I knew that I loved it. So when they released their 3 song EP I immediately got my hands on it and it kicked serious ass. Some demos of their album leaked out and they kicked even more ass, still to this day some of the best sh*t I have ever heard.

‘De-Loused in the Comatorium’ was released and along with Mr Bungle almost single-handedly crafted my interest in prog, every song was incredibly unique and had such rich tapestries and sounds with such melodies and concepts, I listened to it practically every day and became a rabid fangirl. Fast forward to the follow up, I was giddy with excitement, I had heard one of the songs from a leak and it was pretty good, not quite as good as De-loused but it was a leak so I thought the rest would be even better. At first I liked ‘Frances the Mute’ and then I realised they took it too far, it was overblown, utterly pretentious and contained about 20 minutes of decent music and 50 minutes of meaningless intro, outro, breakdown noise wank. From there it only went downhill, all the indie-fags around town started parading around wearing their Mars Volta shirts and I became too self-conscious to be associated with those wankers so much that, ever conscious of my image, I wouldn't wear my TMV shirt anymore.

The third album came out and sucked even harder, and I lost interest entirely. Now the fourth album is out and I don't even like the band anymore, they turned completely sh*te, they play some form of bland accessible excuse for prog (which, being a prog elitist, I just can't abide by) with ultra-compressed pop production values.I was let down so much by TMV's decline. I was there at the very start checking it out, they released some cathartic, raw and highly original music and then they succumbed to external pressures and being meth'd up intellectuals and started releasing a whole bunch of crap.You've unleashed a monster here, don't ask me to do long-winded or else you'll be riding the roaring forties all the way to Chile.

LIVE MUSIC:

Biggest Blown Away Experience:

Fantomas. I have never seen a spectacle quite like it; they played their avant-garde compositions so amazingly super-tight that it defied belief.

Biggest Let Down Experience:

Slayer at the Robinson Pavilion (Ed – a large sheep shed turned music venue by greedy promoter jerk-offs). I used to be a big Slayer fan and now I don't even like them anymore, my interest for them was on a large wane as it was and when I saw them live it killed any interest I had in the band. The sound was horrible, they were sloppy, they played a whole bunch of crap songs, people were chanting "Reign in Blood" all night and they only played songs from the album in the last 20 minutes or so, which was a major cop-out. I sobered up, took off the beer goggles and saw the thuggish sloppy band for what they really were.

BONUS QUESTION

Biggest FORMERLY LOVED NOW HATED NOW LOVED AGAIN REDEMPTION/COMEBACK Experience:

I'm not much of a Love -> Hate -> Love guy, I'm more of a Hate -> Love guy or a Love -> forget/don't listen to for a year -> Love guy. The former situation has occurred to me though, you see despite how I may try and present myself and despite what I may tell you in person I'm a very fickle and elitist little man when it comes to musical taste as you yourself already know quite well. I decided I didn't like the band Death because it was too accessible and so many other people liked it that it must be shit (which to be fair is usually a good way of pre-judging a band in relation to my tastes), then I decided to listen to their Human album again and I slapped myself upside the head for being such an immature c*ck-hole.

LINKS:

Whalehammer – psych noisegaze
www.myspace.com/whalehammer

Mink Mussel Creek – psych rock/stoner pop
www.myspace.com/minkmusselcreek

Puke Rainbow – acid thrash
http://www.myspace.com/ridethepukerainbow

IPRR – ‘pretentious sh*tdi**ery’
www.myspace.com/iprr

Taco Leg – shambolic youth punk
http://www.myspace.com/tacoleg

Gnarled Oak – acoustic folk wandering
http://www.myspace.com/gnarledoak

Atolah – stoner-rock
http://www.myspace.com/atolah

Quintus Colourscape – sound destroyer of worlds/open mic nights
http://www.myspace.com/quintuscolourscape

Cragscleft – abstract black metal
http://www.myspace.com/cragscleft

Monday, April 14, 2008

RECORDING SERVICE AVAILABLE


If you have heard any of the Whalehammer albums you will notice that they are recordings. We recorded them ourselves. I have a small-scale recording set-up, and I am keen to help out friends/bands/non-lamezoids (that don't already have their own small-scale recording set-ups) with audio documentation, projects, demos and such. The options are mid-fi digital recordings (8 inputs at once for live tracking) or lo-fi 4-track recording if you're that way inclined. Mics are pretty modest eg SM57s, Rode condenser etc. I can mix the tracks or you can do it, or have somebody else do it. Costs are minimal, but keep in mind the results will not be akin to Led Zeppelin's fourth album, a Phil Collins opus or R Kelly's latest hip-hopera. But if you like it totally fukked, rough and ready or modestly clean and clear you might not be too disappointed. Recordings can take place in rehearsal rooms, houses, factories, whatever, it's mobile. For what it might sound like listen to the non-live sh** on www.doddrell.com/mp3, www.myspace.com/whalehammer, www.myspace.com/ladykillerladykiller, www.myspace.com/wretchedbloodoftheconcubine etc etc. To get it touch - whalehammer@gmail.com / 0424740061 (David).
Keep it real

Not Unlike The Rolling Stones - An Interview with Mental Powers

Mental Powers are an experimental rock band from Perth, Western Australia. They have been around for a while; to be honest I don’t know how long. They consist of five Caucasian males, in this way they are not dissimilar to The Rolling Stones. Every time I’ve seen them they have a slightly changed sound, for my tastes, they have been getting better each time, for others, they have become less appealing. This is the nature of change. As a deer runs wildly for its life through the dark, gnarled woods of Olde England, some hounds will keenly follow the scent and some will be thrown off the trail. Such is the nature of the metamorphosing popular artist. Does this mean that eventually the hounds of fame (love) will destroy Mental Powers? Time alone will tell.

As for some musical reference points for readers to cushion their impressions upon, I would say that the Mental Powers sound is that of a disorientated journey through a night-time desert landscape. At times there is beauty, at times confusion, sometimes there may be regret, possibly boredom. Palpitating, tribal rhythms and bass frequencies guide the journey as dewdrops of calm guitar collect on the weary traveller’s brow, and echo-laden vocals are heard from a distant dune. Occasionally a saxophone will emerge. At least that’s what it sounded like the last time I saw them. Recent recordings have unearthed a more jarring, post-punk side to the quintet. In quizzical terrain such as this, perhaps it is better for the band to speak for themselves, and to this end I have relayed the following questions to the singer/saxophonist of Mental Powers, Deni.


Echo-box verbiliser/sax blower, Deni of Mental Powers.
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So, you wanted to be interviewed…and so it will be. Why did/do you want to be interviewed? This is not an attack or provocation of any sorts, I’m just wondering, what kind of stuff do you want to communicate to the readers in this interview and what is your motivation for this communication?

Not sure, should we need a reason for an interview?

How/when did Mental Powers come to be? What’s the current line-up of Mental Powers, and who does what?

Honestly, I don’t think Mental Powers have come to be yet. As you mentioned earlier, we are five which make for one. Just like the Rolling Stones ha ha, if that’s the case I’m Mick Jagger. Members play various instrumentation, who/what/how a sound is made is quite irrelevant. It’s an alto saxophone by the way, but I think it’s great you thought otherwise, it’s a real testament to my playing.

What was your initial motivation in forming a musical group, and have these motivations changed with time? Did you ever have any concrete aims like ‘let’s play some gigs’, ‘let’s put out a record’, ‘let’s impress some art school chicks’ when you started, and if so, would you actually admit to them? Was there anything that directly inspired your formation?

We all kinda just happened upon music, with exception to the final piece of Mental Powers. We don’t have an overall goal/agenda for the band. We’re operating at our own pace, I mean, we’ve been doing this for a while now (a while) and we play our 10th gig this month at a party that no one is allowed to come to at the request of the host. We’re not in a hurry to make it BIG or get a big support, tour or WAMi so on and so forth.

I can say whole heartedly it’s not about chicks! We’ve lost more chances through this endeavour than without, and it’s strained and broken up friendships, divided opinion; it’s more of a compulsion at this point than a need to be recognised. In fact, I’m constantly making the joke that when a certain part of the band gets a lady friend, we’ll go straight and start playing pop or become a boy band or something.

We have a working ethos to squeeze as much out of whatever it is we’re doing, for me I’m trying to get the most out of limited resource/knowledge/musicianship. Whether we’re achieving anything is not for us to decide anyway, but we won’t stop no matter what. This music comes as an extension of our lives. Make you’re arse stand put and think and your mind dance, that sort of thing. Sure we would admit to these accusations, we’ve got nothing to hide.

How would you describe the sound of Mental Powers, to someone of merely average popular/obscure music culture knowledge? I seem to have made a fairly strong point that your style is constantly changing in my introductory paragraphs, am I full of sh** or is this the case? Did you know what you want to sound like when you started or were/are you guys flailing around in the dark like drunk, horny teenagers?

Ah, well we have a few modes. You could say we’re polar opposites in a bunch of ways. Umm it’s kinda like, music in opposition, an automaton, like some kind of fucked up machine operating in spite of itself. It’s not fixed but in constant flux. What we put in isn’t exactly what we get out. In a way, we’re like the child of the great transformers. Like we began using conventional rock instruments, now it really don’t matter as long it makes a desired sound.

Each part of this band is inspired by different shit, stuff that others in the group can’t stand, and they bring a completely different style of playing. We don’t speak the same language most of the time.

Most of us have a visual arts background; we draw inspiration from all over, art, film, shit jobs, comics, nature and culture. You never know what you’ll get when we play that’s the guarantee.

Is the band a democracy or dictatorship? Realistically, do you think the best art is made by collaborative groups of like-minded people or through the singular visions of obsessed, isolated minds?

It’s the UN. However we have 5 singular visions, and we are all obsessed, isolated minds.

You’ve put on a few gigs/parties in the Perth ‘scene’, and from all accounts they were quite successful i.e. a good time. What was your experience of being the organiser/promoter as such as opposed to an attendee/performer, and will you put more on in the future? If not, why not? Do you think that the ‘DIY’ concept is strong in Perth or is there room for more?

The great thing about putting on things instead of not, is you get a chance to see bands play together that ordinarily wouldn’t, back to back in your living room. It’s like a dream. After the first couple a few parameters began to immerge. Like we wanted to be inclusive, we didn’t really give a fuck who you were and what ‘scene’ you belonged to. If you wanted to party, and you were doing something interesting, then you were good enough for us, we also were looking for new blood/talent and giving bands a chance to play who were emerging. I guess we were providing an alternative to Perth pub culture, when it works well some bands prefer it.

We couldn’t afford to pay anyone, or to charge anyone, but it wasn’t about that obviously. I used to say “it’s in the spirit of a good time, and time is precious, if you wanna share that, that’s payment enough.” And let’s be honest, we weren’t the first ones to do it (have parties or bands play at parties), the idea was to serve as a catalyst for others to have parties, more bands, new bands, things constantly happening in Perth etc.

Successful...yeah you know, we didn’t start this for any sort of credit, and we don’t want any. We’re turned on when someone else hosts a party, it’s good to see it happening, and it’d be great to see more people get involved on some level, but it’s hard with the rental situation as it is. I did say my 21st birthday party was the last one, but you gotta learn to never say never.

We see DIY as a platform for people trying to push what they do, not be motivated by any form of success or money, but strive for something special and you can tell when a bands going for it, just doing it. It’s not a pose, that’s the problem with this town. For us it’s all about integrity, you know, not being affected by opinion and just being honest with everyone. There are a couple of bands/promoters/labels that are doing it in town, and good on them, but it would be great if there was more.

What do you think of the Perth music ‘scene’? Is it the fertile, creative lovefest that organisations such as WAM would have you believe or a motley sea of mediocrity, dotted with small islands of original thought and action? Somewhere in-between? Do you guys have any personal favourites/rivals/nemesis/blood brothers?

The second one, but if everything was great, someone out there would be making something awful I’m quite sure.

Let me see favourite bands, right I’ll work alphabetically, Astral Travel are OK, they haven’t played for half a year or so, we play with them soon, I dunno what we’ll get, which is an exciting prospect. Bamodi are killer, they don’t play too much these days, but we gig with them this month, that’s a weird band man, people I’ve spoken to say all kinds of wild crap about what they sound like. Early emo was the funniest of these. Who is next, once 2, now 3, Cease it be, they’re always looking for a good time and have put on a few good shows.

Extortion is the only HC band worth watching in my opinion. Soul of Condemned Ape, I’m their biggest fan, it still breaks my heart, RIP you lousy quitters he-he. Whalehammer, which is a stranger choice than you’d think, because I don’t like the idea of side projects or improvisation, but what can I say, when you have an ability to arouse contempt in your fellow man, pure magick, and hey, especially the night of the one finger salute, you know what I mean.

Err what’s next hmm rivals, none that I know of. I don’t think we play enough or occupy the same space as anyone, I could be wrong.

Oh my favourite (not really), nemesis, the list is long but distinguished ha ha! For starters, liars, promise makers, profiteers, noise laptop wankers, pretenders, game players and corrosive losers who think they’re on the edge when they would have to be about as wild an accountant during tax time, those perpetrators know who they are, karma is coming to get ya, if it hasn’t already.

Blood brothers eh, you know what dude, most people wouldn’t share a drink with us, let alone our blood.

I know that you are a visual artist of some repute. Once I encountered a fairly bizarre photograph of you as a middle aged 1970’s suburban mother at a photo-portraiture competition at a gallery in Northbridge. You didn’t win the fairly substantial prize. What’s your background in the non-musical arts and are there any other renaissance men in the band? In the music-making world, do you think there a downside to the kind of post-modern, analytical/reinterpretive, diseased thought processes promoted/inherent in the ‘real art’ world?

Yeah four of us met at art school. I hate saying that though. Coldplay and Franz Ferdinand say that, on the up side so did Devo, Black Dice, Lightning Bolt, Talking Heads etc.

Strange question, basically so much of art is about context, and as a maker you have to be aware or self reflexive as to where you fit historically, but also within industry, your community and globally. Just like in the Terminator movies, Skynet becomes aware, it’s important to understand what you are and where you come from, but you gotta be careful because you may run risk of becoming strategic, revivalist, reactionary or contrived.

It’s not so clinical. We question not really looking to find any answers, but I hate it when I go to a gig and someone tells me a band is great because it sounds just like someone else.
I mean is it not a bad thing to sound like Sonic Youth or any other band for that matter?

You went to art school. That must have been a riot! Did they serve acid stew in the cafeteria? What was your ultimate ‘art school’ moment?

Art school is a lot more conservative than you’d think. I would have to say leaving art school.

You introduced me to the sweet song ‘Diamonds, Fur Coats, Champagne’ by Suicide. Do you think the Mental Powers stage act could benefit from some metal chain swinging Alan Vega-esque antagonism or are you just gonna keep it ‘chill’?

Umm, I don’t think we’re a confrontational band in that way. If we annoy people it’s because we’re sticking to our guns. We’ve come to a realisation that not everybody is gonna like what you do, but that shouldn’t make you stop. Life’s not meant to be an easy ride. Alan Vega even said he didn’t wanna be an escape from the horrors of the real world. Suicide is a reminder of that real world. That’s the problem with this current wave of electro pop twaddle, there’s no sleaze.

You are stuck on desert island with a totally avant photographer/conceptual artist babe, who has the keys to a pumpin’ jetboat, bought with the mad cash she acquired selling her formerly squalid, unheated Lower East Side New York loft to a lovely couple with a bright future in investment banking. What top five photographers/conceptual artists would you namedrop in order to hitch a ride back to civilisation? What would you blast on the jetboat boombox as you thunder back to civilisation?

No comment.

Finally, do you have any upcoming releases/gigs you would like to mention?

There is that party, but no one is allowed to come.
---------------------------------

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Upcoming Whalehammer gig - April 27th @ Velvet Lounge


'Static Reverence' LP & 'Incandescent Trails' live track available for download...



It's time to break out the potato crisps, discounted lung killers and duty-free booze as there have been some new additions to the Whalehammer online discography;
*
a.) Static Reverence (long-playing album)
This was the third album recorded by Whalehammer, or in this case, the Whalehammer duo. Richard and David recorded this one on a friday night in mid 2007 with the set-up of Korg MS2000 synthesizer, Alesis Micron synthesizer/vocoder, Fender Telecaster guitar and various pedals, into one mixer, into one amp, mic'd with an SM57, live to laptop. It has more blissed-out, controlled, electronic vibe than the full band Whalehammer releases.
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There are four tracks;
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1.) Narcoplex - drugged up drum machine shoegaze
2.) Vision Gate - 20 minute kaleidoscopic journey through a children's horror movie dreamworld
3.) Buried at Birth - synth/guitar lonesome prairiescape
4.) Electronic Prism Face - ecstatic adventures in arpeggiation
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b.) Incandescent Trails - live track recorded at Scott's party, late 2007
This track was recorded at Scott's party in Leeming. This track goes for twenty minutes, building into a black cloud of noise which managed to blow up a fairly sizeable bass amplifier. At this point the track is forced to come down to earth in a haze of smoke, filling the room with the smell of electronic burnout. Recorded live to minidisc.
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These titles can be downloaded from www.doddrell.com/mp3, in the Whalehammer folded. They will need to be unzipped upon receipt.
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If you would like to get them on CD-R, send an email to whalehammer@gmail.com.
*

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Naked Torso (Part Two) - James Beck of Soul of Condemned Ape Interview


Finally, the other half of the Soul of Condemned Ape story is revealed. James Beck, the drummer of the now deceased outfit, has kindly dropped some personal insight into the strange tale. Quite the Renaissance man, he can now be found drumming and singing in the post-punk/new wave netherworld of Magic Window, acting up a storm at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in preparation for a career in stage and screen and repelling lovestruck betties like malaria-infested mosquitos. Without further ado I give you the dramatic conclusion to Naked Torso - The Soul of Condemned Ape Story...

***



SOCA drummer James Beck in a pensive, yet hopeful moment.

***

You were in a band, Soul of Condemned Ape, that some people considered quite good. However, once you were on the verge of cracking though to the Perth local scene's middle-upper echelon (playing on stages, supporting indie pop bands, supporting at poorly attended obscure eastern states and international shows), you call it quits... What's the story there? What drove you guys apart? Pressure? Expectations? A WOMAN?

HA ha ha! I wish I could say it was a woman, that would be far more dramatic. But really, I think it was more to do with the enjoyment of the thing slowly dissipating. For the first couple of months it was really fun and exciting, because SOCA had really only existed as a sort of joke-improv-comedy routine, and now that we were a reformed pseudo punk duo with songs, the prospect of playing a decent 'show' was always enticing, and we were usually playing with local band mates, Astral Travel, Mental Powers and Burning Sensation, usually at Knackers, at the Hydey. Anyhow, Camryn's answer explains a lot of this so I'll get to the point. The last couple of shows we played were very unenjoyable, and I suppose the spirit was sort of ripped out of the thing. When I'm involved in something like a band, or a piece of theatre or whatever, I like to put my all into it (hence why I sweat like a pig on the drum kit) but if it feels like its pointless, then I can't find the truth in it...and it was just playing for 'playings’ sake. It’s not satisfying. I love to perform, either musically or when I'm doing some 'acting', but it’s so easy for that to swing the other way when the novelty is gone...so we called it quits.

It was a great experience mostly. We learnt a hell of a lot about being in an active 'group', and I think as far as playing our instruments, I think we've improved tenfold. Camryn is a great guitarist, and with his solo projects and Farmer Frontier, I often think of him as some sort of vigilante...he isn't recognised enough. Maybe that’s what also ticked us off about SOCA. We got more of a response from the public once we had died than we ever did when we were alive. I don't know if that ticked me off as much, because I simply enjoyed playing. But I do agree with Cam on the issue of helping forward a sort of DIY movement. I mean, I'd be a fucking liar if I said we pioneered some sort of movement of local groups, that’s not true. In reality, we didn't know how to play our instruments, sure we'd been 'playing' for some years, constantly bashing about and having a laugh, but we've never considered ourselves musicians. In saying that, I think what we were saying to people was "hey, look at us, we're having fun, we're not even that talented, and you can do it too!" I'm going to stop answering this question because I'll start repeating myself whilst being totally vague without being specific enough. It’s been a long week.

So how did Soul of Condemned Ape get together? What were your influences, beyond the EXTREMELY obvious?

Well, it started in Cam’s bedroom, 2003. We were smoking a lot of pot, and basically just fucking around. Cam had gotten this drum kit a few months earlier, and he was already pretty good at that. I was going through a huge 80's phase, and basically just wanted to play the keyboard all the time. So a lot of the first stuff we did was just noise and nonsense, just trying to play hard and fast. It was experimentation at its finest. I had also discovered Joy Division about half a year before that, and then of course New Order, which still remain massive influences on me to this day. I'm a blatant Factory Records fiend, most people know that. I learnt how to play drums from listening to 'Unknown Pleasures' everyday. Generally I'm stuck in the whole post-punk/new wave thing. I guess I enjoy the simplicity of the genre. But SOCA isn't exactly post punk. Cam’s musical tastes gave him a kind of unique guitar sound, I suppose I thought of it to be a bit more "Mission of Burma-ry" kinda style. Wire and The Homosexuals, Sonic Youth, and to an extent Fugazi were influential as well. I've always been a Bowie freak, since I was a wee lad, and the other great factory bands, Section 25, The Names, and Crispy Ambulance, all inspired me. Look at that, I just name dropped a bunch of bands, how much of a cool wanker am I?

What is next for you two, separate or together? Do you ever foresee a desperate, pathetic reunion tour/existence? What's Magic Window, your new combo, all about?

Ha ha ha, yes. A reunion might be on the cards when Cam gets back from Europe, we'll have to see! Magic Window is Amber Gempton and Tim Loughman from Astral Travel, and of course me. I've had a great time with these guys, they are lovely people and incredibly talented. We have a good chemistry, and a similar sense of humour which I think helps. Also, we share a lot of the same musical tastes, so I guess that’s why we have that sort of sound...I don't know if I'm brave enough to say what that 'sound' is, because I think we touch on a lot of 'sounds'. We have a few shows coming up in the next month or so, and hopefully more throughout the whole year if we are game. It’s fun because we all get to do things that we didn’t do in our previous groups. Amber plays bass, Tim and I swap drums (although I spend a lot of my time on the kit still) and we use a synth and a drum machine, and Amber and I both sing. So using new equipment, and swapping instruments has really opened it up a bit, and we keep it fresh enough I think. Some of our songs only have a rough structure, so each show will always be different. I'm ever admiring Amber and Tim, they are very very talented, it’s always a pleasure playing with them.

What was the highlight of SOCA's short but gloriously phoenix-like career? And the lowlight?

Hmm, well I guess I'll always have a soft spot for that first Knackers show we played. I also enjoyed that Velvet Lounge gig, and of course Deni's birthday party.

When did you discover your amazing ability to play the sh*t out of a tom roll? Was it a Spiderman-esque 'with great power comes great responsibility' type moment? What would you say to Stephen Morris if you saw him at say, a Magic Window gig?

Well I'd probably piss my pants, and do the whole "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!" a la Wayne’s World thing. I'm not going to deny that he's my favourite drummer. I learnt everything from listening to his beats in Joy Division and New Order. He's a fucking Duracell bunny. I guess if I could be even half as good as Stephen Morris, I'd be pleased with that. I'm sure there are other drummers in Perth who can tom roll a lot better than I can! Ah ha ha, as I am self-taught, there are still lots of things I'd like to suss out on a drum kit. Like arm-to-tom-to-snare ratio etc, how I should be sitting on the kit, how low or high, etc. I often get quite uncomfortable, and cramp up because of how fast I tend to drum. But I'm getting better I think, 'with great practice comes great tom rolls!' Or something. If it weren’t for the style that SOCA sort of decided to fall into, I'm not sure if my skills as a drummer would have improved.

For a while there I would shit Cam to tears with my "one two one one two one two roll crash one two one one..." beats, because I think he felt they were boring. But I always thought they were just simple. I wasn't going to be the sort of drummer who sounds like some jazz wiz kid or crazy Corsano. Cam is a great drummer, I think probably better than me in a lot of ways, because whereas I was listening to Stephen Morris everyday, Cam was listening to more 'off time' stuff, or crazy pattern stuff, like Corsano, which gives him the ability to drum some very complicated beats. But I dunno, I like to think that I'm finding new beats and techniques amongst the simplicity of my 'whips on ice and rolling toms'.

You're studying acting at WAAPA. I hear you're doing really well. That's really cool. However, you are yet to embrace the Method. Do you know the amazing actor Daniel Day Lewis has approximately 15 Oscars, despite having normal teeth and a crudely self-inked prison tattoo on his hand? How are you going to get into Robert De Niro's super-expensive restaurant in NYC if you don't know the Method? Omar Sharif once said to Dustin Hoffman 'you know, this Method stuff is interesting. Personally, I just pretend. It's easier' (something like that). However, Omar Sharif wasn't the Rain Man! Seriously, have you ever considered the Method? What lower-case method do you favour?

Hmm, this is interesting.... Well, in my training I've basically been going through a wide-range of 'methods', but I think what you're talking about is 'method' acting. (ED – duh!) Like actually living or doing something that the role requires. For instance, if I'm going to play a character that eats a piece of dog turd in a movie, I don't think I'm going to have to 'experience' that in order to be able to do it in the film! I think my imagination is capable enough of helping me get there. Which could be said for almost everything I do as an actor. I put myself in the shoes of that character. A lot of the time, its really just being able to feel the gravitas of a situation, and I think you have to have a good understanding of 'human nature'...but acting is hard! It’s been my whole life, and it’s certainly not without its bumps and major 'head fucks'. You have to personalise everything. Find the truth, play the truth, live the truth. In naturalism anyways, the most prevailing form of acting on screen today, and even stage.

If you ask Cam, he'd tell you that sometimes I'll come home and just collapse on my bed, and want to die. Ha ha, yes, I'm an actor, I'm a drama queen. But it does exhaust you. You need to be fit mentally and physically, and this is hard, because you need to go to dark places sometimes, and be in certain head spaces, so this can shake a person up a bit. I know a lot of people think actors are complete wankers, heck I'm sure some people even think that about me, but we are pretty vulnerable and sensitive most of the time. That’s sort of a major requirement; we're always sort of open, you know? And sometimes I have to dive deep into my past and dig up shit that I've buried in order to help me reach some places in my performances....ha ha, but then of course there is my self esteem which is in a constant state of flux!

I'm never happy with anything I do, but then maybe that helps me get places. I don't know! I guess what has been a major thing that I've been working on and am still working on, is just doing simple, and truthful work...it’s sort of easier than it sounds. Some people get it quite well I guess, I'm surrounded by ridiculously talented people in my class everyday who astonish me with what they can do. But then I guess you never stop learning. So, even though I may not get to where I want by the time I graduate this year, I need to just trust that I will continue to refine my art, and just be the best I can be!

What's your favourite Bill Murray movie? Please do not say Lost in Translation.

Ha ha ha, no, it’s not Lost In Translation, although I did enjoy it. That’s new wave Murray. Well, if you know me, no wait, I'm sure even if you didn't know me, you would at least know that I'm a huge Ghostbusters fan. In fact, that’s probably the reason why I want to be an actor! It’s the first film I can remember watching...I don't know how old I was when I made that bloody decision, god, four, maybe five? Apart from all the cool special effects, and all that humour totally flying over my head, I think I had so much fun with that movie (heck I still do, its hilarious) that I wanted to be apart of something like that...

I know it sounds cliché or whatever, but I felt so joyous and excited by watching movies and TV, that if it made me feel like that, then I wanted to make people feel like that too! I know, that sounds a little lame, but its true. I love performing. Even though I've had some major confidence issues at drama school and stuff, and often walk away from the stage shaking my head and telling myself "you suck balls, that was a piece of shit, maybe you should be thinking about getting into some sort of other career you fuck" at the end of the day, there’s nothing that pleases me more. Except playing music. So you know, I'm thinking they are kind going hand in hand for me now. Oh look I've gone off track. Ghostbusters, followed by....ha ha Ghostbusters 2, then Stripes…shit its Murray, its all pretty good.

If Bill Murray is the Stones of 80's comedy, who would you say was the Beatles? John Belushi? Or would it be the other way around? I guess John Belushi is edgier.

Hm, yeah, maybe it is Belushi. Either Belushi or Akroyd. Fuck, Akroyd is such a bizarre surname. Sounds like an alien commander or something.

'Scrooged' - classic or dud?

I love it! One of fave Xmas movies next to National Lampoon’s Xmas Vacation. Hey, Chevy Chase, he's pretty cool too! Of course there is the cameo with the guy from New York Dolls as the cab driver which is pretty funny. I think Scrooged is on the same level as Groundhog Day for me.

If you could be in any past Bill Murray movie, in any role, EXCEPT for Bill Murray's role, what movie/role would you choose?

Hmmm.....shit that’s a tough one....Well, I guess I wouldn't have minded being another Ghostbuster, but let’s face it, Murray's Venkman character is like the leader and has all the best gags! Ha ha, I could probably play Louis Tully, who is Rick Moranis' character. He has some great moments in those movies...or maybe I would have liked to have played Hunter S Thompson's buddy, Gonzo, from "Where the Buffalo Roam"...Is his name Gonzo? I haven't seen it in a while. Oh shit! What About Bob is also a pretty awesome Murray movie.

'The Hunger' is a classic, gothy, modern vampire flick that you turned me on to. David Bowie plays a vampire. Bauhaus play in the opening goth club scene! How good is the love scene between a young and hot Susan Sarandon and the older Euro-Vamp lady? Despite all this though, didn't you feel a bit cheated by the ending? It was pretty weak IMO. What's your favourite David Bowie song? Mine is 'Rebel Rebel'.

Yeah The Hunger. It was one of those childhood movies for me. Yes, childhood! I loved vampire flicks when I was a kid, and was allowed to watch whatever I wanted. Then I rediscovered it when I was 16 and found an old VHS copy at a record store, which of course got me into discovering Bauhaus, round the same time as Joy Division actually... It’s a cool film! Very arty. So funny to think that Tony Scott went on to direct such greats as "Top Gun". Which was probably the most suggestively homosexual film I've ever seen in my life.

As for my fave Bowie song (god I think you know me too well NAME WITHHELD!) I could list a shit load. It’s too hard.... My favorite record is 'Low' and my fave track off that is 'Subterraneans'....I also adore the songs 'Moonage Daydream', 'Rock 'n' Roll Suicide', and 'Wild is the Wind'.....ha ha ha shit, then there's the whole Labyrinth thing. So many memories! But I think the ending is just 'okay'... it’s very ambiguous I guess. I kind of read it as Catherine Deneuve's character getting what was coming to her for all those thousands of years, whilst Sarandon’s character is about to embark on her own journey of love and melancholic betrayal....

Basically, the Perth music scene totally sucks. Are there ANY bands in this lame, fecking hideous suburban hellhole, that you would consider 'OK', 'quite good', or 'worth rescuing from a housefire'?

Ah ha ha, does it suck that bad at the moment? It’s hard for me, because apart from the gigs that I attend because Magic Window are playing, I rarely find the time to get out to shows, because of WAAPA (ED - West Australian Academy of Performing Arts?). But I've got some time freeing up so I'm going to really make the effort to get out there more and see shows. Well I adore Astral Travel, I'm really liking the new Whalehammer stuff, I'll kiss ARSE WITHHELD arse some more and say Burning Sensation is up there for me as well! Um, who else?

Mental Powers (despite having a somewhat ambivalent relationship with one member of that group), Extortion, Penetrating Stairs (RIP), The Tigers, At Waugh With Gieles, a lot of the Farmer Frontier roster. Ha ha ha, god, am I biased or what? I enjoy a bit of Cease now and again. Of course DJ Wooshie, I hold very dear to my heart. But I dunno....it seems like there is a bit of a divide amongst bands at the moment. Look, I could be totally wrong here, as mentioned above, I haven't been out in a while, but it seems like there are certain bands who attract one large group of followers, and others who attract a certain group of their own. It seems like bands such as Carbuncle, Bone, Mink Mussel, Cease etc all have a strong fanbase and they play a certain kind of way....then I guess there are the more sort of punky groups like Burning Sensation, and the sort of new wavey/electro types that get the other half. That sounds blatantly obvious now that I've written it, but I think it’s true, and I guess with the tastes in music that I have, I'll see the latter more often. But I dunno.

Does that not mean there is a certain kind of variety in Perth? I guess I'm finding it hard to be critical here and say I think such and such band is shit....I think what’s most important is that there is stuff happening...whether it be good or bad. Look, nobody likes a shit band, a shit band is a... well they're shit aren't they? So what? Nobody goes to see them. Tough for them, but that’s the reality, but at least that shit band is giving it a shot and trying to make an effort and put something out there. I would rather know that a shit band is being shit somewhere rather than no band be playing at all....but who knows, this is where I get a bit conflicted, because I think about all the good bands that are out there who never seem to gig, or get the recognition, and the shit groups do. Ha ha ha! But then again, its all about taste isn't it, so some shit might smell better to some than others. Hmm, thought for the day, put that on your Feng Shui calendar.

It shocks me that any young person with half a brain manages to stay in this city. What keeps you in this desert outpost, and do you ever have the urge to relocate to somewhere else, like Melbourne or Sydney, like so many other ragingly artistic/deluded types / bands?

Yeah, it’s a tough one eh? At the end of this year it looks like I'll be moving over east just like every other schmuck from this town, ha ha. Essentially, if I get picked up by an agent in Sydney or Melbourne, that’s where I'll have to be so that I can audition for stuff and hopefully get work - and there seems to be more work over there...more film and TV stuff anyways, which is what I think I'll be going after. Work in general, ha! But you know, people make their way here in Perth as actors and muso’s... I guess it just depends on where you want to go and who you want to be! Unfortunately I can't see myself getting what I want in Perth...and its tough you know, because I went to Sydney and Melbourne over the holidays, and I really liked them both, gawsh they are huge, but I still kinda got homesick! Strange isn't it? My whole life, family and friends, all 22 years worth are here in Perth, and that’s a lot to fly away from...

Sure, it’s like 4 of 5 hours away, but home will always be home. Perth is not so bad...the more I think about it, the more I understand it’s the people who make this joint, not the city itself. Which is a bit rough I suppose, because everybody moves away! I don't know what Perth needs to do in order to pick itself up....I think it just has a lot to do with 'catching up'. We need more venues, and the liquor licensing to be freed up...more money into the arts etc... I think this is slowly happening now, I just hope it builds momentum before everybody has packed there bags for Melbourne!

If you were stuck on a desert island with a ready-to-go motorboat, helipad and tiki lounge, but had to impress a snobbish, 20-something movie editing arthouse rental babe in order to leave said island, what 5 movies in your collection would you take to this tropical wonderland?

1) Seven Samurai
2) Akira
3) La Heine
4) Blade Runner
5) Nosferatu

I wouldn’t mind taking more than that though! Too many to list!

What's the edgiest hairstyle you could ever imagine yourself having?

It’s got to be the shaved Sigourney Weaver cut a la Alien 3. Ah ha ha, god can you imagine it?

Peace and love,

James Beck

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Naked Torso - An Interview with Soul of Condemned Ape (Part 1)



Soul Of Condemned Ape were a Perth band, and surprisingly, they weren't totally pathetic. Consisting of two young artist-types, Camryn Rothenbury (guitar/vox) and James Beck (drums), they sounded like two young artist-types who had been profoundly affected by Joy Division. The Urinals playing Joy Division? All I can say is, James Beck can play the shit out of a tom roll! Also, Camryn's guitar style was quite unique and original. However, being lamezoids, they called it quits before they could deliver on their promise, the one they made on a quiet, deserted, moonlit beach, as a soft, warm breeze wafted through James' artfully tussled hair as Cameron gazed pensively into the glowing coals, head resting on James' naked torso, sparks ascending into the sky like so many stargazing fireflies - 'Let's start a band, become good, and make a troubled, abrasively moody first album, then we'll shift to a more electronic, depressed, epic, classically gothic style for our second album. We'll probably have to find a incredibly talented, obsessive producer to make our drums sound like whips on ice. Then I guess you'll have to commit suicide Cameron, as you're the singer and it's only logical.' Well needless to say they reneged on this promise, perhaps it was due to fear of success, or a genuine desire not to die at an early age. Sucks!

Here's a post-mortem interview about the rise and fall of SOCA with the guitarist/singer/cd-r wrangler Camryn Rothenbury. Now if I can track down the elusive drummer, James Beck, I could get the other side to this seedy, dark tale of promises unfulfilled, bonds tested, dreams dashed against the rocks...


***




SOCA guitarist/vocalist Camryn Rothenbury, in happier times.

***

You were in a band, Soul of Condemned Ape, that some people considered quite good. However, once you were on the verge of cracking though to the Perth local scene’s middle-upper echelon (playing on stages, supporting indie pop bands, supporting at poorly attended obscure eastern states and international shows), you call it quits… What’s the story there? What drove you guys apart? Pressure? Expectations? A WOMAN?

In late 2006 I saw two bands that got me really excited about music, those being Astral Travel and Mental Powers. That was at a house party. That night, I knew I wanted to start a band of my own and throw my own parties and just be a part of what was going on. When we first started writing songs and playing as a two-piece in January 2007, we didn’t know how to play or tune our instruments or write songs. What was driving us was basically having a fun time. We wanted to encourage other people to have fun too. We were very much interested in DIY and were big advocates of supporting other bands that we thought had the same feelings. A friend of ours, Alex, was running Knackers on Wednesdays at the Hyde Park Hotel, where a lot of new bands were playing. There was basically just a general atmosphere of having fun and all this sort of camaraderie between the bands.

As the year went on, we got a bit more involved in the organisation of events and played a role in some very special shows such as at Palm Court and various house parties. Eventually we threw our own party and that was a lot of fun. By the time 2008 had rolled around, I began to realise that things had changed a lot over the course of the year. The feeling was different. Knackers was gone, important people had left Perth, our favourite bands had morphed or broken up, other new (and to be honest, quite awful) bands had risen up... It felt like control had fallen in to the hands of people who weren’t really interested in the music, but more about artificial or menial things.

People had stepped up to become involved, but the problem was that they seemed to be motivated by the wrong reasons. I suddenly lost interest in the ‘scene’. I went from seeing pretty much every new band and being an avid supporter to complete abstinence. It all came to a head and we sort of called it quits. A lot of it was really to do with reciprocity. I guess we felt that our approach to music and shows wasn’t matched any more and that the reward in performing had quickly dissipated. At the end, I wasn’t really sure why we were performing or who we were performing for.

So how did Soul of Condemned Ape get together? What were your influences, beyond the EXTREMELY obvious?

We’d been playing together in some shape or form since about 2003, possibly even earlier. It started off as an afternoon jam band in my bedroom. We kind of screwed around a lot. Most of the time we were just coming home from school, getting really high and making a lot of racket. It’s hard to remember exactly how it worked out, but we somehow managed to play four or five shows as an improvised outfit. Some were as a two piece and some were as a four piece. All were improvised and pretty awful. In December 2006, we played the Meupe/Wilting Flower Christmas Party at the Rosemount. At the end, James Vinciguerra said to the audience ‘In case you’re wondering, yes we know that was a piece of shit’. The sound guy apparently also banned us from playing there again. So we all agreed never to play again as a four piece. Anyway, that was in December 2006. In 2007, James Beck and I decided to write some songs and try again. So we did, and hey presto that’s when the real SOCA came to life.

I’d say we were influenced by bands like the Feelies, Wire, Mission of Burma, ESG, Sonic Youth, Magazine and Joy Division. Are those obvious? (Ed – JOY DIVISION) Joy Division was one of the first bands that me and James really got in to and that was when we were in high school. That band really changed both of our lives. Towards the end, probably stuff like 100 Flowers, the Homosexuals, Devo and the Clean. James likes a lot of stuff like Section 25, Crispy Ambulance, the Names and that sort of thing. Also Australian bands like Soviet Valves and My Disco were really inspirational. We also were really in to older shit like Voigt 465, Wild West, the Take, the Cannanes, very early Boys Next Door and that sort of thing. We found some old compilations of Aussie stuff from the 80s in Sydney that just really blew us away. Lots of people told us we sounded like the Fall but I don’t see it myself.

What is next for you two, separate or together? Do you ever foresee a desperate, pathetic reunion tour/existence?

Well at the moment, I’m getting ready to go away on holiday for 8 weeks or so. I’m also doing some work with my free cd-r label, Farmer Frontier. James is very busy with WAAPA. He’s playing in a band called Magic Window with Amber and Tim from Astral Travel. They’re doing quite well and have been getting some really good reception. I quite like them. When I get back, I’d say there could be a chance for SOCA to play some shows again. But shhh, don’t tell anyone.

What was the highlight of SOCA’s short but gloriously phoenix-like career? And the lowlight?

I’d say the highlight was Deni’s 21st birthday party. That was definitely a lot of fun and the night we got the best feedback. We were playing with our favourite bands and it was just a really great night. I played all of our songs out of tune and nobody even noticed.

The lowlight was definitely our last show at Shape. I don’t think I will ever return there as a punter or a performer.

Who did you write the SOCA song ‘I Dated Catherine’ about? And your anthem, ‘You Come To My House’, what was your motivation there?

The song ‘I Dated Catherine’ isn’t really about anyone in particular. At the time, I was upset about a girl who messed me around. I guess the song’s about people who tell you one thing and then do another. The title isn’t really related to anything. I was once dating a girl whose friend was called Catherine, but it’s not to do with her, either. When me and James were trying to write songs he was singing a line about Amplifier and it went, ‘I went to the bathroom’ I thought he said ‘I dated Catherine’. So it’s not really about anything, except it’s sort of about a girl who messed me around. I mean, it could work for anyone.

‘You Come to My House’ was written because we went through a phase of all these people coming to our house and drinking all our beer and smoking all my pot and making a huge mess and just acting like general jerks. It was a summer of leaches (Ed – good song title – must steal).
These were people who didn’t even really like us or have any respect for us or anything like that. So I guess that song was about our frustration about these transients not behaving in a decent manner.

You have an experimental guitar/sound alter-ego, At Waugh With Gieles. You have a laptop on stage, but also a guitar, so I am often unsure of how to properly put down your performances. What do you think about ‘laptop performances’? Lame or ruling? And as I only listen to The Beatles and Diana Ross, who are you ripping off with this music?

Well, I used to hate people that used laptops on stage and think they were big tossers. One day I got a laptop and I found this freeware program that you could use for looping. I realised it gave me a lot more control over the music I was making, as opposed to the Line 6 pedal I use. That’s because the program has 8 independent channels that you can control individually. So yeah, that’s really why I started using the laptop in my live stuff as it gave me a lot more ability. I definitely don’t frown upon laptop performances as much as I used to. I think it works best in combination with other methods. It really depends. I’ve seen people play completely killer sets on laptop only (ala Matt Rosner, Pita, Bib Gnaw, etc) and I’ve also seen people use laptops as an instrument in combination with other instruments or methods (ala Dave Miller and Laurence Pike, Chris Cobilis and so on). At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what method you’re using to make music. A laptop is just another instrument.

I wouldn’t say I was ‘ripping’ anyone off, but I’m definitely influenced by Jackie O Motherfucker, Seaworthy, Chris Cobilis, Chris Corsano, Oren Ambarchi, Sunburned Hand of the Man and Ginnungagap.

Basically, the Perth music scene totally sucks. There are approximately 3-4 good bands at any one point in time. In contrast, lame indie pop and generic butt rock rules the roost. Why do think this is? Are there ANY bands in this lame, fecking hideous suburban hellhole, that you would consider ‘OK’, ‘quite good’, or ‘worth rescuing from a housefire’?

As much as I’d like to have faith in my fellow men and women of Perth I think a lot of people seem to be wound up in or content with mediocrity. A lot of people are friends with people that are in a shit band and I think they feel like they’re obliged to go and see this lame band. Not many people jump up and get excited when new bands come around. At the end of the day, the only thing I can think of is that a lot of people just have downright stinky taste. An example of this was that documentary that came out recently, ‘Something in the Water’. The catch line was ‘What drought?’ but it was self defeating. It talked about Perth’s worst bands, basically, with the exception of the Scientists, the Triffids and Sex Panther. Now I’m not interested in Sex Panther as a band, but at least they’ve got their heads in the right place. The bands it featured epitomised what is wrong with the Perth scene. I mean come on, Little Birdy? Where was Jed Whitey, the Tigers, Soviet Valves, AIDS, Extortion, Mink Mussel Creek, Astral Travel, Rupture, Adam Said Galore, Matt Rosner, Hexagon Halfblood, Traianos Pakioufakis or any one else who’s actually done something interesting? I think at the end of the day, people probably don’t want to see something unusual or out of the ordinary. They’re happy listening to cute, little, packaged, polished bullshit.

I’ll sing while you croak, and I’ll dance on your dirty corpse.

Yes, there are some good bands/artists doing their thing in Perth at the moment such as: Wooshie, Magic Window, the Tigers, Whalehammer, Chris Cobilis, Mink Mussel Creek, Hooper’s Store, M Rosner, Brutal Snake and Hep. I used to be a big fan of Mental Powers, too. I also think Andrew Ryan and Felicity Groom are fantastic guitarist/vocalists.

Often I come around to your house and there are empty pizza boxes lying around, freshly demolished. However I have never looked to see what kind of pizza it is. Where do you think the BEST, and WORST, pizza in Perth is?

I would say the best pizza in Perth is either Stone’s or Marcos, providing we’re talking about home delivery. I also think the Diva on Beaufort Street do nice pizza if you’re dining in.

I hear my friend Dylan cooked a pizza with pear and cinnamon and icing sugar the other night, that sounds pretty damn good. We can’t cook pizza at home because a rat pissed in our oven about three years ago.

The worst was probably Food Kingz, but they’ve long gone. The generic shit like Pizza Hut and Dominos is pretty stinky.

You once stated something along the lines of ‘partying sucks’. Why is this, and what’s your fragging problem?

I think my problem is that when I was younger I had a lot of anxiety problems. This is compounded by a 45 year age gap between me and my father. I’m like an old man in a youngish, fat man’s body. I do like partying, but I’m just so tired. I’m really trying hard not to be a party pooper.

You have a label, Farmer Frontier. What justifies it’s existence, and what records have you put out? What does a band need to do for you to cast your golden wand of widespread recognition upon them? What’s your favourite of your own releases so far?

Farmer Frontier is free. It’s fun. It’s unique. It encourages people to start bands, record music and have a good time. I’ve ‘released’ my own projects, At Waugh with Gieles and Canyons, as well as Perth pianist Peter Lamont. These were all hand made and each one slightly different to the last. The runs were limited to 10 copies each. I’ve also done a live split of Magic Window and Penetrating Stairs. This was a bit bigger. We did 50 copies and had Amber, Ferron and Ruby draw 5 different covers. They were all given away at a North Perth Bowls club show where Magic Window played. Funnily enough, the NP Bowls Club is on Farmer Street

For a band to catch my interest, it needs to be interesting music, usually a little bit off the wall. They need to understand that they won’t make any money out of doing a record with me. I suppose it’s an attitude thing in a way. A lot of the stuff I’ve put out has been in some way related to me. This year I’m doing releases from Wooshie, Gargamel Gibson, Mongolian Mystery and a split between Hep and Histroyectomy. Probably others as well depending on what happens as the year goes one. I’m also planning to do a photo book and some short stories.
My favourite release is definitely the Magic Window / Penetrating Stairs split. It was the biggest run and the most fun to do. Probably the most accessible style of music for most people too.

It shocks me that any young person with half a brain manages to stay in this city. What keeps you in this desert outpost, and do you ever have the urge to relocate to somewhere else, like Melbourne, like so many other ragingly artistic/deluded types / bands?

Well, I’m going overseas for the first time in about 3 weeks. I’ve thought about moving elsewhere and that’s something I will probably pursue in the next couple of years. I guess the main reasons for me staying in Perth are my family being here and my closest friends. Oh and you’re here too NAME WITHHELD!

If you were stuck on a desert island with a ready-to-go motorboat, helipad and tiki lounge, but had to impress a snobbish, 20-something fanzine editing babe in order to leave said island, what 5 records in your collection would you take to this tropical wonderland?

Flying Lotus - 1983
Wire - Pink Flag
J Dilla - Donuts
James Brown - 20 All Time Greatest Hits
The Clean - Anthology

LINKS

www.myspace.com/soulofcondemnedape
www.myspace.com/magicwindowperth
http://www.meupe.net/farmerfrontier/
www.myspace.com/atwaughwithgieles