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By Interviews

West Thebarton Brothel Party have seen it all, from Fitzroy gang wars to their raucous punk sound, we had a chat ya know?

Adelaide’s garage rock gang, West Thebarton Brothel Party have been through a lot.

The buys are currently on tour on the back of their recent single, Red and White and took some time out to let us in on the origins of their unique punk sounds and some fucked up stories from the road. Strap in, ladies and gents.

WTBPP

Illustration by Sydney artist, Jack Dawes @jdawesrings

A six piece punk band on the road has got to have some mischievous implications and West Thebarton Brothel Party have been through it all.

HAPPY: Hey fellas, thanks for taking some time out, what have you guys been up to?

WTBP: We literally just landed in Sydney at 11. We walked straight here from the accommodation… we took a scenic tour through the street art of Enmore.

HAPPY: It’s pretty good over here!

WTBP: Yeah, substantially better than in Adelaide! (laughs)

HAPPY: You’ve been pretty busy lately touring and bring out great tunes, how are you keeping it up?

WTBP: Well, we started the tour at Groovin’ the Moo and have been pretty busy, but it’s not so bad.

HAPPY: What do you think about Sydney so far, are you excited for your show tonight?

WTBP: We’ve been a few times, actually. I think every time we’ve played in Sydney, the crowds have been getting better with people coming up to us after the shows and stuff like that.

HAPPY: Yeah, it seems our music scene has a bad rep, but I’m glad you saw the good side of it!

WTBP: Well, we’re from Adelaide! (laughs) We get a pretty bad wrap, too. But there are heaps of good bands, there’s a fuck load going on – we’re just misunderstood.

HAPPY: How do you think the crowds on tour differ from the ones at home in Adelaide?

WTBP: Well, they definitely differ! Sydney crowds get pretty crazy, that’s for sure. Everyone in Sydney seems to be down to party. They’re way more responsive than crowds in Melbourne (laughs,) the guys in Melbourne seem to consider things more before acting!

HAPPY: What sort of process do you go through to get ready for gigs?

WTBP: It’s a process of drinking 8 beers or so.

HAPPY: Awesome! You must get some good riders then?

WTBP: (Laughs) Not always! Sometimes we get a beer each, because we’re a six piece.

HAPPY: Ouch! I feel your pain though. How are you guys getting around on tour?

WTBP: Usually we fly. We just borrow amps and other gear from other bands who are mates and stuff. So it’s not too difficult. We don’t just play with them for the gear though! (laughs) They’re also just good bands.

HAPPY: The new single is really doing well, how’s that going for you?

WTBP: Well, it’s awesome. We’ve never really been in a situation where something we’ve done has been this popular so it’s kinda just a bonus on top of all the fun we have playing. It’s nice that every release we’re doing is getting a little more traction.

We’re still writing exactly what we wanna be writing so it’s working out really well.

HAPPY: I’m interested to know; do you guys care about what you’re writing about? Specifically, do you try and put across a political or any other kind of message lyrically?

WTBP: I dunno, we’ve been through different phases. We write more about what’s going on in our lives. We’ve got pretty strong views but it doesn’t necessarily mean we should write about it. We don’t wanna bore people. It’s more fun writing about what we’re passionate about.

HAPPY: Being a part of such a solid music scene in Australia, what bands do you rate?

WTBP: Well last weekend we played with The Pretty Littles they’re definitely kicking goals at the moment. Also, when you play a show with a band you really get along with, it amps you up.

We love Bad//Dreems as well.

HAPPY: You’ve been around for quite a while now, how do you think you’ve evolved as musicians and as band mates? Do you feel progression?

WTBP: I think the first incarnation of the band was around 2013 and the lineup has changed a bit along the way. The last couple of years we’ve inherited a new rhythm section which has definitely evolved our sound. We’re definitely a better band; probably the best version of the band we’ve been. We’re writing better songs and playing better live.

Our first ever gig, we had a keyboard player that played on an ironing board so, yeah, we’ve come a long way.

HAPPY: Any fucked up stories from the road?

WTBP: (laughs) We nearly witnessed a brutal beating in Melbourne last weekend.

HAPPY: What?! What happened?

WTBP: Well we just found ourselves in the middle of an altercation between some youths and the owners of a residence.

HAPPY: Were you planning of intervening and being the mediator?

WTBP: No way! This guy ran out of his house with two sickles, right past us. This guy was a sicko.

HAPPY: Sickles?!

WTBP: Yeah! Another guy had a baseball bat too. When you see aggressive kids with sickles and baseball bats, you run away.

HAPPY: (laughs) Well, I’m glad you did!

WTBP: So are we. It made the newspaper the next day! We thought we were about to witness a 16 year old kid being murdered by a man with a sickle!

HAPPY: That’s fucked… Moving on from that; what influences your punk sound? What role does anger and frustration play in your music?

WTBP: I guess it’s a case of releasing a feeling when we’re on stage. It’s a visceral feeling. We’re trying to connect with people who are listening.

HAPPY: Is that a cathartic experience?

WTBP: Yeah, definitely. Especially when we play live. It sounds kinda cheesy but after a long week of work, if you get to go to Sydney or Melbourne and just play music with your mates, it’s great.

We’re naturally energetic on stage so we let loose and it feels good just to have fun like that.

HAPPY: I guess that helps with connecting to the audience as well?

WTBP: Absolutely. The thing that made us all feel like the band was worthwhile from the beginning was because people really liked our live shows. We don’t wanna repress ourselves to just so we don’t look like dickheads. I guess that’s the correlation with punk; we’re not timid as such. When you’re feeling the physicality of what you’re playing, that’s cathartic in and of itself.

HAPPY: What’s next for WTBP?

WTBP: I guess we just need to decide what our next release is gonna be and how it’s gonna come out. We’re really into the idea of releasing physical releases like 7′ records.

HAPPY: Are you planning on doing this for a living?

WTBP: We never planned on it, we’re just gonna see what happens. When you start expecting stuff, you might get ripped down. We put 110% into everything which has paid off.

The boys will be back in Sydney on July 2nd to blow the roof off Brigton Up’s 4th Birthday Party

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June 23, 2016

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