Little Bastard are a seven piece bluegrass party band that smell like beer. They’ve been touring heavily for the last couple of years, playing shows all around the country. They’ve also just been added to the line-up for Falls Festival at Lorne. I hung out with the man behind the double bass, Daniel D’arcy, and asked him some questions…
Illustration by Sarah Adamson
HAPPY: Talk us through the conception of the baby that is Little Bastard…
DANIEL: So, it all began with Lyall Moloney, a local muso, put on Sydney Young Folk Festival. Night Owl was booked to play, and so was Johnny Took. At the gig, both Night Owl and Johnny dug each other’s style and got to chatting and became fast friends. We enjoyed each other’s country flavour. We had all sort of recently started getting into bluegrass and country. Matt started talking to Johnny about making a country band and soon after they started writing songs together. Me and Liam got involved shortly afterwards, and then we played our first gig together at the Hollywood Hotel with a band called The Falls. Our future mandolin player, Trevor, was at one of those gigs. He saw us play and liked it and wanted to be in the band. Noticing that we were building up a line-up of traditional bluegrass instruments, he saw we were missing a mandolin and offered his services. He lied to us and said he could play the mandolin, so he could get in the band. He didn’t even have a mandolin. And then we became Facebook friends and saw one of his old statuses, which was basically a shoutout to Facebook asking if anyone had a mandolin he could get his hands on. So he taught himself and got involved. Ross got involved by being friends with Johnny and got on the tambourine. Ed Rowe, who was old friends with Johnny, had been playing the fiddle with him for a while. Then the line-up was formed. It was very natural. It wasn’t putting ads out looking for musos, it was all just friends of friends getting on board, without anyone really pushing it.
HAPPY: You guys have spent a lot of time on tour all around Aus. Whats the best thing thats gone down?
DANIEL: Personally, my fav moment was dropping acid just before we started our New Years Eve midnight slot at Peats Ridge. It was also my birthday. It was awesome enough just to be there, and then the acid started kicking in at the end of the set, just as the entire crowd stormed the stage for the midnight countdown. And then the acid reaaaaaaallllly started kicking in when I was watching the band that were on after us. They are this 9 piece funk band called Barry Brown and the Get Down. And they literally blew my mind. It was the last Peats Ridge ever, we were watching this amazing music and I was with my mates on my birthday. It wasn’t like a crazy, crazy moment, it was just such a nice moment. I was fuckin’ so vibin.
HAPPY: Worst gig ever?
DANIEL: We got this gig at a Sailor Jerry’s party and everyone got there a bit early and straight into the free booze. And we all got so fucking incapacitated that by the time we had to play, we were just all completely fucked. I remember just standing there, swaying, holding the bass. Trev was crouched on the ground trying to plug his lead in, but he kept just swaying and falling over on stage. That was early days too, when we weren’t as tight as we are now. So it was probably just the worst show we have ever done.
HAPPY: Whats your favourite thing about playing music?
DANIEL: I’ll just make a list:
– Its free
– Its fun
– Its vibrating energy that flows in and out of people
– Its something that you can always learn new things about
– It’s a creative outlet
– Playing live is mad. You get free booze, chicks, and people think you’re cool.
– It gives you purpose. And chicks.
HAPPY: If LB were characters in a horror movie, who would be the first to die? Who would be the last man standing and why?
DANIEL: I’d say Ed Rowe would die first, ‘cos he’d be too busy checking out his little pretty face to notice the beast swooping in and ripping it off. Wait… do I go in order?
HAPPY: Yes haha, go in order.
DANIEL: Ok, then it would be Trevor, ‘cos he’s also very pretty and would probably be applying some fuckin’ hairspray. Followed by Johnny Took, because he’d be so stoned that he’d be asleep with his eyes open, which is a regular occurrence with Mr Johnny “DEAD EYES” Took. Ross would be the next to go, ‘cos he’d trip over his cowboy boots and get gobbled up. And then me, Matt and Liam would survive. Because we’re the dirty three and we’ll outlast any cunt.
HAPPY: Good. What are some other Sydney bands that you think are sweet?
DANIEL: Ummmmmm….. Particles…
HAPPY: What do you think about the Sydney music scene, since it got pretty shit a few years ago. Do you think its getting better?
DANIEL: Yeah. Its improving because venues are now putting more effort into having live music as a thing, as opposed to just pokies and gambling. Although its still prominent, less bands are getting ripped off and are actually getting paid for their work, which encourages the scene. Theres currently a huge friend group of local musicians, who are all putting out good music and hanging out, and livin’ the dream, which is a big part of the current scene in my opinion.
I think Sydney wants to catch up to a place like Melbourne culturally, and be more like that in the live music sense. I think more young people are starting to own bars, and get involved with managing bars, and have sort of taken over that scene, replacing the older generation who just cared about making money. The younger generation are generally more culturally aware, and want the bars to be cool and fun and have more music, which will in turn make them successful. Nah what I’m sayin’?
HAPPY: Yeah I know what you’re sayin’.
Get down and dirty with Little Bastard, who will play their first headlining show in Sydney for ages on November 8th at Brighton Up Bar. Tickets will sell out, so for gods-sake be sensible and buy them here.
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The Little Bastard illustration is by Sarah Adamson. Sarah is a Sydney based artist who specialises in graphic design, photography, illustration and video. To see more of her work please visit www.sarahlouiseadamson.com
Vid by Daniel D’arcy