Regurgitator are set to return to Perth to headline the City Limits Festival at Badlands Bar on Saturday 2 March, along with DZ Deathrays, Tropical Fuck Storm, Custard, Abbe May and a host of others. It’s a line up made for a long-weekend of fun and frivolity. Around The Sound spoke to Regurgitator vocalist, guitarist and noise maker, Quan Yeomans about their upcoming return to Badlands.
Vibrant is a good way to describe where Regurgitator are at right now. Their live shows bristle with energy. They sound the best they have in ages, if not ever. And they’ve still got plenty of surprises left in them.
We started by suggesting that, having seen them go around at Badlands late last year, it would be reasonable to expect another excellent showing from the storied three-piece. Yeoman’s response wasn’t so much combative as reflective of the bands liking for the unexpected.
“Well, you can expect what you like, but I can’t really guarantee that’s what you’ll get. It may be a little bit different. I think by the time we got to Perth last year the show was really tight, and the Badlands is a really great place to play at. We like to send mixed messages all the time. That’s what we’re in this band for, essentially.”
Fair cop, guvnor, deliberately mixing it up is pretty much the Regurgitator play book. And it wasn’t that Yeomans was trying to dial down expectations, either.
“You do have the rare night when it doesn’t really feel right and you can have odd crises of existence on stage, but for the most part, the band is really, really fun, and we have the energy. As long as our bodies keep holding up we’ll keep doing it. When it’s good, it’s great. It’s certainly great fun. And we do really bring it, I think. We bring all of ourselves and our souls to it.”
“We love playing in Perth. It is interesting how different it is from city to city. Every city has its own different personality, and Perth has always been up there with the energy and the happiness. It’s a vibrant kind of feeling.”
Vibrant is a good way to describe where Regurgitator are at right now. Their live shows bristle with energy. They sound the best they have in ages, if not ever. And they’ve still got plenty of surprises left in them. On that last note, Yeomans did let slip a few details of plans for late this year, but we were sworn to secrecy, so we will say no more.
How does a band that’s a quarter of a century into its career keep things fresh? Diversity is the key, it seems.
“When you’ve been in the game as long as we have, it’s really important to do different things, otherwise you would get bored. We don’t just do music, we do other things. If I get bored of music I’ll go and do some animation or some comic book drawings. And Ben’s (Ely) the same, he’ll do paintings and art exhibitions and work with dance companies and theatre and stuff like that. I’m doing a lot of music for animated cartoons at the moment, to broaden my palette sonically and work with different kind of industry people. You have to do it, otherwise you do become a bit stale, and it’s nice to have those options. You do burn out if you work solidly on one particular art for and you need to take a break. For us workaholics, going to something else is a better option than burn out.”
Seems the band may be taking a similar approach to their recorded output in future, too, changing things up to maintain their freshness.
“I’m not really sure whether we’ll ever do another full album. I, personally, can’t see us doing anything more than EPs from now on. When you get to this point in our career, new music is important for the fans, but I don’t think that a whole album is what we’ll do again. It’s about focusing your energy, so I think creating three or four really great songs and maybe doing more than one EP a year... Maybe it’s about how you release. It’s just that when you think about doing an album as a band, it’s really quite daunting. And, people listen to music in a very different way. I know I do. I listen to Spotify a lot these days and it’s very song orientated. People don’t even listen to EPs any more. Focusing on something more compact and saving your energy for other things is where I think we’re at, at the moment.”
Listening to Yeomans saying this, it seemed like he was thinking aloud, figuring things out as he was speaking, nothing set in concrete. Speaking about their live performances, Yeomans made it clear that, as long as there was life left in the band’s members, they’d keep playing live shows. Given that we’ve seen their rider, we reckon they’ll live to at least 108 and still be playing live until they drop. This being the case, maybe it wouldn’t matter a damn if Regurgitator never put out another album. But then we still have Yeomans’ opening shot ringing in our ears, “...you can expect what you like, but I can’t really guarantee that’s what you’ll get.”
That’s the beauty of Regurgitator, you always have to expect the unexpected and, just when you think you’ve got them pegged, they’ll put on spooky monster masks and come out and open for themselves. We get the feeling 2019 will be a big year for the mighty ‘Gurge and that their outing at this year’s City Limits Festival is only the beginning.
They’re already booked to come back from Groovin’ In The Moo, Bunbury on 11 May. Who knows where they’ll pop up next!