Amyl and the Sniffers are heading to Perth as part of their final Aussie tour for the 2018. Around The Sound spoke to a jet-lagged Gus Romer down the line from Melbourne as the band fine tuned for their Christmas gift to the nation.
It’s just going to be a big party!
When people like Jarvis Cocker start turning up to your gigs, you know your band’s doing all right. That was one of the on-tour memories Melbourne punks Amyl and the Sniffers brought home from their latest jaunt to the UK. Although ‘memory’ is maybe stretching it a bit.
“It was super cool. We seemed to be really well received everywhere we went. It was heaps crazy, going places and not really expecting anything and then being pleasantly surprised by the crowds! Yeah, and Jarvis Cocker turned up to our show at the Moth Club in London. I’m not sure if anyone in the band met him. I don’t know if I did, I can’t remember.”
In the world of rock, if you can remember it, it didn’t happen. So, on that logic, we’re reporting that the Amyls and Cocker must have at least traded notes on the gentle art of pants dropping backstage after the show. If anyone has the photos you know where to send them.
“It was crazy. It was pretty wild. It was definitely a big one, that tour. It’s nuts how people go for us over there. The buzz! People love it over there. It’s pretty amazing that you’re in a different country and you’re getting that many people to your shows. It’s wild that we can do the same size rooms in London that we can in Melbourne and the other cities in Australia.”
They’re really into their exotic Australians.
Quite some years ago, on the other side of the world, this correspondent would lap up NME’s tales of legendary Aussie acts like AC/DC and, a bit later, Rose Tattoo, before they’d reached the shores of blighty. There was something equal parts exotic, frightening and magnetically attractive in the stories and, when they finally did get to the UK and we plucked up the courage to go see those bands, they lived up to the hype. There’s something about Aussie pub rock exported back to the UK market, it’s a bit like our revenge for the Brits’ transportation of convicts, except the rewards are more immediate. It’s fucking scary, but scary good.
Amyl and the Sniffers have continued that heritage with their most recent tour to the UK. Freshly signed to Rough Trade and playing barnstorming gigs across the northern hemisphere, they’re the latest in a long line of Aussie pub rockers that NME has gushed about over the years. And while the flame of that publication may be reaching its dying flickers, with Amyl and the Sniffers, the attitude and swagger of Aussie pub punk is alive, well and heading for bigger things.
“We’ve just finished some recordings, they’re getting mixed at the moment. We’re really happy with how the recording’s going. Hopefully around March, April, May next year, we’ll get the album out, if everything goes to plan. It’s (the new music) kind of a mix of different styles, bits and bobs of everything. It’s not just one straight thing. We’ve spent a bit more time working on this group of songs, writing them. A bit more thought has gone into it. There’s a few more influences going on, different influences. I think the album will be different, but it’ll still have the soul, the energy. It’s different but the same. We’re just making music that we like and we enjoy.”
Not bad for a band that started in a Melbourne bedroom as something of a joke, knocked out two monster EPs in record time and has built a fearsome live reputation. Although, on their last trip to Perth in July this year, it seemed that not everyone had got the memo.
Starting their headlining set on The Rosemount’s main stage with the boys chugging through the first bars of their opener sans front woman, Amy Taylor, a confused security staffer did a bit of a double take when she did finally step into the lights. Playing that age-old game, Stage Invader or Performer, he made the wrong call when he jumped up onto stage to buttonhole the diminutive Taylor. There were a few tense moments as the two exchanged words. One can only imagine what was said, maybe something along the lines of:
“Excuse me, miss, but you appear to have missed the last bus home.”
And with that, Taylor owned the stage in a set that will stay prominent in the Amyl’s legend for a while to come. (If it had come to blows, I know who I’d have been backing to win in a first-round KO.)
...with Amyl and the Sniffers, the attitude and swagger of Aussie pub punk is alive, well and heading for bigger things.
Guess what, kids! Amyl and the Sniffers are coming back to Perth to play Fremantle’s Rock Rover on 5 December. Better get on board the bus now, because there’s only few seats left and you’re going to want to be able to say you spotted them before Jarvis opens his big fat mouth.
“We’re super looking forward to going out and hitting different parts of Australia again. It’s familiar. It’s comforting, it’s nice. It’s more chilled; you don’t have to think about it as much. It’s just going to be a big party!”
What's more, 5 December is Gus’s birthday, so don’t forget to bring cake.
Amyl and the Sniffers play Rock Rover on Wednesday 5 December with support from Surfbort (US) and HUSSY. More info and tickets here.