Category: interviews

FEATURE: 208s – The House That Punk Built, Swampland, April 2017

Published in April 2017, this feature article appears in vol 2 of Swampland, a Victorian long-form music journalism magazine.

This piece is a short history of the Perth DIY punk venue 208s, featuring interviews with members of the Reptilians, Agitated, Helta Skelta and the Darling Rangers and polaroid photos I took of live gigs there over the last few years.

Due to licencing, this article is only available in the issue itself, which is available to order here on Swampland‘s website. RICHARD: I’ll ask another generic question and we’ll go one by one. This generic question is: can you tell me about your instruments? And like… what it is, do they have a name… what is your relationship with your instrument?

acquistare vardenafil Sicilia KIERA: Oh god!   (more…) Out-takes from an interview done for GAPE Zine Issue #1, spend some time with Perth post rockers Rag’n’Bone as we chat about Radelaide, scunge and the Perth scene.


Why Rag N Bone?

go KIERA: So I guess we were going through a few different options – we started jamming way before we ever had an idea for a name – and we were like, “oh yeah, we should come up with something!” So we had Summertime Dark, was an option.

vitamin a use like accutane AXEL: Still could be honestly, it’s not too late to change. What have we got to lose? KIERA: But I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the rag’n’bone man or the rag’n’bone men… how they used to collect heaps of junk and people’s food and bones and chuck them in a cart and wheel them down the street… and I dunno, we just felt that that was appropriate for our music because it’s a bit of a mix. AXEL: Unfortunately though, there is a rapper in the UK called Rag’N’Bone Man. SARA: And there’s also like a Dutch dude, Danish dude who’s like a folk dude? He’s solo.  Maybe the next time we release something we should do a split… KIERA: With Rag’n’Bone Man?   (more…)

INTERVIEW: Ric Rawlins on Rise Of The Super Furry Animals, 19.02.15

source First published by God Is In The TV Zine 19 February 2015

The Welsh psychpop band Super Furry Animals are weird beings enshrouded in plumes of myth.  Boasting a poly-lingual discography filled with chirps, beeps, woofs, whistles, squeals and shrieks and a long and psychedelic history involving UFOs, mountain monsters, a first meeting on the roof of a speeding train, the single with the most instances of the word ‘fuck’ ever to reach airplay, and a tank flying the band’s colours and pumping acid house from a specially installed sound system driven into London in the small hours of the morning (to dodge a by-law prohibiting military vehicles moving about the city, obviously), it would require a brave soul to take on the story of the Super Furry Animals, let alone to do it well.

Music journalist Ric Rawlins claims to be that man, though he humbly concedes around his e-cigarette that the story more found him than the other way around.  ‘I started thinking about it after Gruff [Rhys, frontman] used an interview with me to appeal to publishers to do a big coffee table book of band artwork, and I wrote a couple of bits and bobs.  Then I was in the pub one time and I was a bit pissed, and I told someone I was writing a Super Furries book.  But then they grabbed me and started looking sort of threatening, and they were like, “Everybody says they’re writing a book! Are you really fucking writing a book?!”

‘It took about 5 years. Every year I’d meet Gruff in the summer – I came to know it as the Gruff Summit – and we’d gradually go through their history: four hours, one day, every year. And then I did individual interviews with the others. Other people really told this story, and I kind of formatted their memories and hammered them into a narrative.’

The finished product, The Rise Of The Super Furry Animals, is a chatty, colourful paperback volume with a sleeve designed by Pete Fowler, whose psychedelic cartoons have become integral to the Super Furry’s identity.  Rawlins recounts fondly, gesturing to the shadowy mauve figures lurking in the mist on the jacket: ‘The first time I saw them I was like, “What are those things?!” He’s reincarnated the five members as mountain deities, and that’s so perfect for the theme of the book.  It’s about trying to rubber stamp the mythology and the story.  To reincarnate them as mountain beastie deities seemed kind of appropriate.’

The myth, then, runs deeper than the rumours.  Not that Rawlins would be a stranger to those – explaining the round table discussion at the book launch, held in London at Rough Trade East on the 19th of February, the words ‘negotiated the inflatable bears’ come up casually with reference to guest John Andrews from Creation Records, the Super Furries’ marketing guru in the late 90s, and Rawlins happily contributes his own introduction to the band: ‘Me and my mates when we were teenagers used to play Mario Kart and smoke, uh, various exotic herbs, while listening to the Super Furries.  When I went to university I had the classic experience of missing my mates and being a bit disoriented, and then Guerilla came out and it was something to cling on to.  It sort of grew from there, and I saw them at Glastonbury that year, which was the year that the truck famously ploughed into the audience.

‘Listening to that album I thought, “Holy shit! This band is amazing!” It’s a psychedelic documentation of mobile phones and communications.  I was about half way through the book when I realised that oh my god! it’s all about communications and the will to just break down walls and have a conversation with, say, a Japanese person.   I think they came to be suspicious of communications a bit later on in Rings Around The World but at the time of Guerrilla, mobile phones are exploding and you can just feel them fist-pumping the sky at the fact that all these walls are breaking down.  And Pete Fowler’s ‘Northern Lites’ character is like the god of international weather or something, all these gods and monsters influenced by them discovering the Japanese Shinto religion.’

He demonstrates a chirping, beeping mobile phone toy across another new technology, Skype, for our interview, and the book, released in both paperback and e-book format, will be breaching yet another.  ‘The band have been quiet for, what, five years now – loud in other ways – and my dad when he found out I was doing this he asked, “Do they have any fans any more?”  There’s a small, very vocal community of fans on the internet which I knew about.  But it’s been amazing using Instagram and seeing on Facebook and Twitter, Japanese people getting excited about the book, Americans, and I think it’s to the band’s credit that they introduced a global community to Welsh pop culture even if they had to be inspired by Japanese pop culture to get there.  It’s been crazy seeing the book climbing the charts on Amazon.

‘I’m just really grateful people are enthusiastic about it, but it’s not the book that people are enthusiastic about necessarily.  It’s entirely to the Super Furry Animals’ credit that people still really hold a big place for them in their hearts.’

Rise Of The Super Furry Animals is available in paperback and ebook on  The launch party will be held at Rough Trade East in London, February 19, starting at 6pm with Pete Fowler DJing and live covers of Super Furry Animals hits, and a round table discussion with key players at 7pm – entry for two on the door with purchase of a paperback.

‘INTERVIEW: Ric Rawlins on Rise Of The Super Furry Animals’ by Richard Moore, 2015.

INTERVIEW: Ric Rawlins on Rise Of The Super Furry Animals

INTERVIEW: Maddie Jones on Vita Brevis, 08.01.15

First published by God Is In The TV Zine 8 January 2015


When I sat down with Rhymney songstress Maddie Jones in December to chat about her debut LP,Vita Brevis, a confessional and reflective guitar ballad album spread over eleven tracks like a clock face, her person was immediately clear.  Radiant and perfectly arranged as if she’d stepped off the cover of the copy she handed me, Jones’ moody pauses and cheeky, dagger-like grins punctuated conversation in the back patio of Cardiff cool spot Gwdihŵ.  Shared over a full glass of mulled wine under the clear night and lit only barely by the radiating glow of the heater, Jones counted us around the clock through Vita Brevis.



“This is if you’re a person like you or I, I imagine, and you find yourself in like a really mundane, everyday, shitty situation, and people are talking about mortgages and you’re like, “Oh god! no!” Or you overhear people being really racist or something, and you’re just like, “How are we the same species? I’m not sure…!” It’s a powerful “Yeah!” and at the same time kind of a sort of depressed song, the-world-is-not-made-for-me – it’s made for people like you, who wanna punch each other in the face over a flat screen TV.  I don’t even watch TV.”


They’re all kind of self-help my songs, jeez! ‘Don’t Sit Still’ I wrote on the fire escape at the back of my flat. Perched on there, it was a sort of lilting summer day.  With what I do you can’t ever let anything pass you by.  But it’s easy to lapse into a kind of apathy when things don’t happen immediately. So this is a song to myself.  Don’t sit still.”


“I wrote this around the same time as ‘Not Made For This’.  So it’s in a similar sort of vein, how people are like, “I’ll just go along, get married, have kids… oh! I’ve never done anything that I actually wanted to do!  That I dreamt about when I was younger!  Oh no!” So I invented a character that did realise in middle age that you can still do shit.  Me too, at 26 I’m like, “Oh god! I’m gonna die!””


“I started with the mood of this one, rather than the words. Have you ever seen But I’m A Cheerleader? There’s a really beautiful intimate bit at the end and there’s this absolutely lush song in the background, ‘Glass Vase Cello Case’ by Tattle Tale. And there’s just this delicate, fragile sort of first love kind of thing going on. So I think that was the kind of mood I had in my head so I tried to focus on it.  It’s the lesbian sex song.”


“Talking of which… This one’s a bit older. I wrote this one while I was in university.  A lot I write in such a way as to not say explicitly what I’m talking about. So ‘Dirty Little Secret’ could be anybody’s… like it could be something you’ve done, it could be sexuality, it could be anything.  It goes through each verse from me to you to her to we; everyone has secrets.  If you meet anyone there’s gonna be a lot of shit you don’t know.  I love the finding out, it’s my favourite thing.”


“I personified temptation in this. I’m not sure whether it’s a different person or whether it’s an alter-ego of me, I haven’t decided.  But, this one’s temptation.”


“It’s really weird, I don’t actually have a clue what ‘Know It All’ is about.  It was in my head and I wrote it down. I find it very comforting to sing for some reason, I don’t know why! I don’t know what it’s about really. In the same way as ‘Don’t Sit Still’ it’s sort of a self-reassuring one.”


“This is much more recent but is in the same sort of vein as ‘Dirty little Secret’. You know… confessional.  For me it was sort of a coming out song… I’m bisexual.  My own coming out experience wasn’t especially traumatic or something, it was just a really awkward.  Everyone initially was sort of, “So what are you? Greedy?” Like, fuck off! I was always in this place of, “I don’t want to talk about this with you! I don’t want to talk about it.” Then I’ve had friends who’ve been disowned and all sorts.  But it doesn’t necessarily need to be about coming out, it can be if you’ve got anything that you find really hard to tell someone.  I’m not big on sharing… apart from with you, apparently.”


This is probably the angry song of this album. You know, sometimes you feel like saying fuck you to everyone.  And I find that’s a way of doing it without literally saying fuck you. I’ve got bits in this song where I’m talking about people forcefully hitting on you, for instance.  And you’re like, “Just why do you think that that’s okay?” Just, no!”


“We’re almost there, almost round the little clock face! Basically I’m 26 now, and I got into my first proper ridiculously intense relationship when I was about 16.  That was ten years ago – makes me feel really old – but now when I remember that relationship, we were together for quite a long time but I only remember very small snatches of it, you know, weird things.  The things I mention in the song like the smell of a rolly, a roll-your-own cigarette, just weird little things.  I’m sure I should remember more but as time goes on I just remember weird little specific things like that, it’s really bizarre.”

11. SOON

“This one breaks my heart a little bit.  My mum just breaks down when the album finishes, “Oh no, put it on again!” But ‘Soon’ is the power of being able to do whatever you want to do in dreaming, quite specifically being able to see someone who is no longer there, so either dead or just no longer around, but when you dream using the power in your brain you can make them be there. So yeah, it sounds really morbid – the ending track is about dreaming about dead people! – but it’s the one way you can be with someone who’s no longer around.  So like my Nan, for instance, I can have conversations with her so long as I’m asleep.”

You can catch Maddie Jones every other weekend in Bristol or Cardiff, and she’ll be playing next Sunday as part of Cardiff’s Free For All Festival at the Moon Club.  Her album, Vita Brevis, is available physically at her gigs, on Bandcamp or at Spillers Records Cardiff, or digitally onBandcamp, iTunes and the usual.  Her prior EPs, Mr Walrus and Let It Out, are available digitally from Bandcamp as pay-what-you-want downloads.

‘INTERVIEW: Maddie Jones on Vita Brevis’ by Richard Moore.

INTERVIEW: Maddie Jones on Vita Brevis

INTERVIEW: Gary Numan, 20.05.14


First published by the Space Ship News 20 May 2014

The gentle London accent comes soft and measured down the line: “Yeah, that’s a weird one actually, but I do get more nervous for interviews now than I did when I started.  I’m not sure why that is but I do like them…”

After closing on four decades in the industry, electro guru Gary Numan is more confident than his comments would suggest.  “Performing I don’t really feel much anymore, I’ve spent my entire life on stage performing songs so it’s become as normal as having dinner.  All the nervousness and stage fright has just gone away through experience, replaced by a love and excitement of doing it,” he says, returning to mention is newest album, Splinter, released in October last year to a warm reception in alternative and indie charts across Europe:  “I still find studio work to be quite challenging, which is why, for me, I find the fact that Splinter has had such a fantastic reception especially pleasing.  But the touring side of things I really love, it’s by far the best part of being in a band.”

With every legacy comes a long shadow, however, and returning to Perth for the first time since touring his classic album The Pleasure Principle in 2011 with a new album of his industrial work is a risky choice.  While Numan has hosts of fans worldwide, with a strong following in the Perth gothic scene for his contemporary work as well as classics, newcomers are cautioned that this ain’t no ‘Cars’.  “I was diagnosed with depression round about 2008,” explains Numan, “There was this long period where I wasn’t myself and it had a very bad effect on my life, on my wife, career, family and so on.  And you feel broken, you know you’re not the same person.”  Once vowing never to tour his old material, it was in the midst of this illness and between albums Jagged and the new Splinter that he came to a new appreciation.   “If I went onto a radio show they would introduce me by playing ‘Cars’, then talk about the new single but not play it, then when I left the studio they would play ‘Are Friends Electric’ on the way out.  And it just… became very very frustrating.  There was about three years where I wouldn’t even play ‘Cars’ live which is a bit childish, but then I just started to realise that I actually should be proud of them.  ‘Cars’ has been one of the most famous songs in the world for nearly thirty five years; I should be grateful, really,” he resigns peacefully.

“We do do them still, live. The music that I’m making now is very heavy, very dark, kind of aggressive industrial, and I try to rework those songs and any of the other older songs that we do.  But the emphasis will obviously be on the new album.”  With a passionate live show in the wings and legion of faithful fans, Numan promises none will be let down by the latest, darkest offering.  “We’ve been touring Splinter now since August and I’ve got a pretty good feel for the balance between old and new and it’s working.  We’ve tried it on different countries, different audiences, and I think I’ve got it just about right.”

‘INTERVIEW: Gary Numan’ by Richard Moore.

INTERVIEW: Chris Del Rio of the Implants, 15.05.14


First published by the Space Ship News 15 May 2014

Chris Del Rio, bassist of hardcore punk band Ten Foot Pole and supergroup the Implants, cuts straight to the point: ‘I’m really looking forward to Australia, my favourite spot of all spots, personally.’  You can’t help but feel he’s sucking up a little with ska, punk and acoustic festival Hits & Pits bringing him back here in May, but: ‘I want to make it a point to play at least once or twice a year there, in whatever band I possibly could.  I want to move there eventually.’

Flattering.  Del Rio, however, shows no sign of dishonesty – his up-beat demeanour fits well with Ten Foot Pole’s reputation for vicious hardcore with a sunny So Cal fun-loving attitude, despite frequent line-up rotations in the past.  His easy-going responses are peppered with laughter as he chats about audiences world-wide as a travelling musician, though home has never been where the heart is for this band.  ‘It seems like everywhere but!’ he explains, ‘Nothing against people in the US but we definitely get a lot of love in Australia, Europe, even Japan.  I think everyone here in America, especially in California and LA, they’re spoilt, there’s just a million bands you can check out, every day there’s a show, you can find at least a hundred of these shows every night somewhere in LA.  It’s everywhere so no one really appreciates it.  There’s bands I want to see and I’m just like “ehh, I’ll wait til next month when they play again,” y’know?  But everywhere else around the world, we don’t always get to play over there so they appreciate it, you know? That’s something that I really enjoy.  I definitely recommend if you can do it, do it.’

The Implants, a hardcore supergroup side project formed with a pedigree that sounds like an underground comics catalogue – Voodoo Glow Skulls, Death By Stereo, Strung Out, Pulley, Tank, Crimewave – are Del Rio’s current side project that’s quickly found a life of its own, releasing their first album, From Chaos to Order, in 2013.  They’ve utilised social networking to give life to this band, leaking original demos to create initial hype and now crowdfunding a tour bus.  Del Rio says he’s comfortable embracing technology.  ‘I could mention some old timers – not going to mention names but everybody will know who they are – but they’re just hell bent on not wanting to go on social media or anything like that.  You’ve gotta move with the times – this isn’t the 90s or 80s.  This is punk rock, album sales suck; if you’re looking to raise money that way it’s just not gonna happen unless you’re some band like Bad Religion or Rise Against.’  In the end, his generous attitude wins out: ‘I just say it’s a good thing.  If I had my way I’d be giving the music out free all the time, that’s just how I am.’

The Implants see a bright future too.  ‘We like it now so let’s go for it.  Our plan is just to tour as much as we can and play where we can, see what happens, you know?  We’re recording a song for a Japanese compilation in a couple of weeks.  At the moment we’re just throwing things together, we’ve got ideas for like thirty songs.  I’d like to get something out by the end of the year.  I mean we had an album out last year, it’d be cool to get an album out this year, keep it going – as much as we can, as fast as we can.’

‘INTERVIEW: Chris Del Rio of the Implants’ by Richard Moore.

INTERVIEW: Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, 25.02.14


First published by the Space Ship News 25 February 2014

Another February and the burning hell of Soundwave festival approaches, a unique opportunity to see bands previously touring the northern hemisphere pop down south to weld onto our stages.  This year we’ll see them joined once again by PANIC! AT THE DISCO, reunited with their exclamation point and back on the road fresh from a chilly North American tour.  But to say Panic are any strangers to extremes would be misleading: hailing from Las Vegas, lately they’ve done battle with addictions and stylistic fallout, and with their new album, Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!, frontman BRENDON URIE steps forward to address their relationship with the bright lights of their mercurial hometown.

“It’s all based off of personal experience and growing up in Vegas,” he says, his easy Nevada accent smooth over the line, “I’ve been in a lot of different phases throughout my life.  When I was a younger kid I was very obedient, still very hyper but very obedient, went to church every week.  I started to rebel pretty hard when I was thirteen, fourteen, started distributing drugs, all sorts… so I kind of went from one end of the spectrum to the other.”

This confessional approach to song writing is in the same stride a new and old beat for Urie.  Panic! rose to popularity with their cabaret pop A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, where hit ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’ – about a groom who overhears wedding guests gossiping about his bride – established the band’s tradition of narrative songs.  “There’s always some kind of character you’re playing when you’re writing music.  I like to think you can change your personality with a song, a kind of method acting approach where you become this person.  Before, I wanted to hide behind the art; I could hide myself in the song.”  Darting behind literary references with the Palahniuk masterclass of a first album, an adaptation of Suskind’s Perfume in ‘Nearly Witches’, and now Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas which Urie puts down to a well-timed viewing of the Terry Gilliam film, stories were Panic’s trade.

But Too Weird is Urie’s story.  “I’m interested to hear everybody’s story now, and I wanted to tell my story as well,” he reflects, pointing the finger at the “matter-of-fact, no-bullshit” attitude of hip-hop artists for inspiration.  With this new-found confidence and honesty, and a pedigree in Vegas performance and film, Urie is glad to see his energy driven and consumed by his audiences.  “We’ve always been a very visual band and very theatrical in our live show, and I like to think it’s because we strive to create a new environment when people walk into a venue.  I think you can feed off of the crowd’s energy and lately it’s been amazing – the audience has just been so good, the fans have been insane.  I mean, I’m tired after a show, but I think that our fans are working just as hard being squeezed between hundreds and thousands of people, it’s just amazing.”

He recounts new audiences singing along to just released material, stunning him with their variety and commitment to the band.  “That people can be brought together by someone else’s creation…  it’s kinda cool, I like that a lot.”  He smiles over the phone, speaking openly even in the crush of a media day.  “No lies, no secrets, no withholding information.  Honesty can never really be a bad thing.”

‘INTERVIEW: Panic! At The Disco’, by Richard Moore.

INTERVIEW: Ashleigh Whyte of Paper Mountain, 29.11.13


First published by the Space Ship News 29 November 2013

Back in October, Paper Mountain saw their new open workshop project the Common Room finally funded.  With just a few days left before the Launch, we talked gigs, Perth artists and illegal casinos with Ashleigh Whyte when she emerged from the debris…

So just what, and why, is the Common Room?

AW: We had just the gallery and permanent studios, and we thought: sometimes artists only need a studio for a few weeks when they’re working on a particular project, so we removed half of a number of studios that we had and put in the Common Room.

This project was crowdfunded through Pozible – how have you found the experience?

AW: We were really overwhelmed with the support of the community.  I guess at the start you just think ‘is this really going to work?’ but within a couple of days we reached our goal and exceeded it.  People have donated their time, their money, and a library too – we’ve had people donating books, art books, academic texts, books on guinea pigs, gardening, lots of zines – people giving us things, popping in on weekends, scrubbing stairs, painting things – it’s just been really amazing.  That reinforces to us that we’re doing a good thing, and I can’t wait to see people using the space.

Amongst the rewards for larger donations were a number of workshops hosted by the Common Room, including a life-drawing class head by yourself.  Have you got many more of these planned for the future?

AW: Definitely.  That’s one of the main purposes of the space: a lot of people were enquiring about using the gallery for workshops, artist talks and one-off events and we had to turn them down because there was a show in the gallery and that just wouldn’t work – we had put our exhibiting artists first.  The Common Room will be available all the time, and we’ll be offering night-time hire of the space as well.  We’re accepting proposals for exhibitions and other creative ideas at the moment, but people are approaching us all the time with ideas for the space so we’ll take it as it comes.  This just allows us the flexibility to say ‘yes’.

The Common Room is obviously fitted for visual artists, with worktables and even a woodworking shop – is there any room for musicians?

AW: Musicians are welcome and there’s even the opportunity for bands to hire the space for gigs – though we do have a no drums policy, sorry!  It’ll be nice to hear acoustic stuff in the Common Room too; there’s always a really good vibe when we bring live musicians into the space.  Music and art just mesh so well together; it enhances the whole creative experience.  The rooms used to be an illegal casino back in the 1960s (the ‘vault’ we’ve built our loft on is a real concrete vault!), then a gig space after that, so it’s nice to bring that element back into the building.  The top of the vault’s all vintage couches, lots of plant life, an indoors-outdoors sort of vibe.  I think this is going to be a much nicer atmosphere for people to play in rather than when it was just a stark gallery.

What can we expect from the Launch this Friday, besides the advertised pineapples and popsicles?

AW: We have JAMIE MYKAELA, who’s mostly new to this scene, with Lyndon Blue’s LEAFY SUBURBS and CRAIG MCELHINNEY.  We’re opening a new exhibition from artist Claire Pendrigh.  We’ve got Abdul Abdullah, a local artist and incredible painter, opening the Common Room, and we’ve got a special announcement involving him on the night.  I’m really looking forward to everyone coming down and seeing what we’ve done with the space – I’ve got paint in my hair still from so many late nights working on this place.  It’s just exciting to finally show people.

The Common Room Launch is this Friday the 29th of November, 6-9 pm, at Paper Mountain on William Street, Northbridge.  Entry is free.

‘INTERVIEW: Paper Mountain’ by Richard Moore.


First published by the Space Ship News 15 July 2014

The wobbegong, a carpet shark endemic to our coasts, is a shy, slightly bewildering creature known for its bottom dwelling tendencies. Such a harmless piece of sea life seems an odd choice for easy-going Perth rockers Doctopus to take as their new album’s namesake, but the band are quick to put it in its place.

‘We like snorkelling. And wobbegong… it’s a good word to say,’ says John Lekais, their alert and bright voiced drummer.

‘I hear they are the bullies of the ocean,’ adds drowsy-eyed, drawling bassist and vocalist Stephen Bellair as he leans over his cider, ‘According to a marine biologist friend. But I saw some while I was snorkelling once and they were chill.’

Doctopus are avid snorkellers. In this light, Bellair’s scream over Wobbegong’s title track, ‘I wanna live underwater with you,’ takes to further depths – for a band with one foot in the ocean, all this sea life banter is unsurprising.

‘It’s like a whole world that no one else has seen,’ says Jeremy Holmes, their scruffy, sleepy guitarist. ‘You look up and there’s people just sitting on the beach and cars driving past and then you look down and no one else is there. Just hundreds of fish. That’s crazy. No one else has seen those fish.

‘When you see something like a big sting ray, it’s pretty creepy – because you don’t know how it’s going to be,’ he says, adding with a smile, ‘But I’m just a scared sort of guy. Stephen would swim right up close.’

‘Water has a healing power,’ muses Lekias, with Bellair quickly jumping in to add with a sleepy grin, ‘That’s why I used all the hot water this morning. Water is purifying.’

When they’re not snorkelling at Mettam’s Pool, Doctopus are a mainstay of the Perth garage scene, blaring upbeat, bouncing rock under Bellair’s shrieking vocals in backyards, bars and roller derbies city wide.

‘Perth is popping,’ says Lekias, Holmes nodding along, ‘Lots of good bands, and new ones every week.’

‘I think it’s nice thing, when you get people and start a new band, you meet other people and they’ll say “Hey, let’s start another one,”…’ explains Lekias. They list a pedigree of Perth garage rock, naming the ‘incestuous’ Dream Rimmy, Hideous Sun Demon, Cool Band, and Kitchen People among their favourites, as well as Catbrush, Murlocs, and Dianas.

‘I will always and forever love to play with POND,’ mentions Bellair, nostalgic for their recent Australian tour with the internationally touring band. ‘Any chance to do that again would be great,’ says Lekias, with Holmes cracking a wide grin beside him: ‘Take us to America, please, POND!’

But Perth first. To launch Wobbegong, Doctopus are embarking on a whirlwind tour of five gigs, give venues in five days, the ‘Tour De Perth’ starting Wednesday at the Rosemount and finishing on Sunday with a gig at the Bird. The highlight of the tour is a place at the Perth Street Roller Hockey League’s play off party at the Claremont Showgrounds on Saturday, playing the backing for the ‘disasterpiece’ Wooden Spoon Death Match, played out in a makeshift ring at the Ellie Eaton Pavillion. Bellair insists it’s not too gory.

‘These people, they’re like puppies. I don’t think they’re even allowed to contact each other,’ he says, but Holmes interrupts him: ‘I heard there’s going to be a fight.’

‘It’s all accidental violence,’ explains Lekais. ‘There’s no malicious intent there, you know when you go on roller skates with sticks… something’s gonna happen.’
Touring with ‘country pop icons’ HamJam, Doctopus promise a flurry of intense, feel-good, high-energy and lo-fidelity gigs across the city to spruik the new album.

‘We’ve had these songs for ages,’ says Holmes, ‘We recorded Wobbegong like a year ago, but you know, when you’re doing it on the cheap it takes forever.’

‘When they’re doing it for free you can’t ask them to hurry up, you know?’ says Lekais with a smile, ‘And we’ve got everything done for a new one which we’ve also been playing a lot.’

Recorded with Shiny Joe Ryan of POND and Spinning Top Music in Bellair’s old house, the band are finally content with the seven track’s mix and ready to send it into the world.

‘It’s just whatever feels good to play together,’ coos Holmes, and Lekais smirks in return. ‘We’re just trying to keep up with Jeremy. He’s got a never-ending mind when it comes to guitar bits. I just try and join everything else together.’

‘John, you are like the glue. You’re a pretty sticky guy,’ adds Bellair with a sleazy grin. With all this sea life, does Doctopus have any savage drum lines of their own?

‘Ooh, hey! That’s awful. Don’t kill those wobbegongs! Let the wobbies live!’

‘INTERVIEW: Doctopus’, by Richard Moore.