Spiderbait. You know them, you love them, and have done so for a long while. True legends of Australian music, with a diverse sound, traversing rock’n’country’n’pop’n’blues’n’whatever ‘Glockenpop was’n’more. They’re a hardy breed too, managing to stick together and keep making great music (if the video above is anything to go by!) well past the time most of their contemporaries dropped off. They’ve got a new album coming soon, and with that in mind, we passed them our Q&A and here’s what they had to say….
Tell us in your own words what your sound is.
We’re mostly a guitar punk/rock/pop band. We do like to dabble in metal and country music on occasion. A bit baffling actually.
There’s three of us. Kram plays a bit of everything, mainly drums live and sings, Whitt is Mr guitar man, and I sing and mostly play bass live. We all grew up in a small farming town in rural NSW and went through school together. Kram and Whitt played music in their garages together since they were kids. I joined later once we all moved to Melbourne to study.
What were your influences when you first started writing music? And what are your influences now?
We all loved American punk music. Black Flag, Dead Kennedy’s, Fear, Cosmic Psychos were big on our radar too and we used to get to see them live because they were local. They were a big influence. 90s were a great time to be a punter in Melbourne’s live scene.
We also loved metal Slayer and Metallica especially. We grew up in a small country town so country music was big when we were kids. Johnny Cash especially.
I had an older brother who loved 70’s glam and rock like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. We all loved that first Black Sabbath record.
Also lots of mid 80’s post punk stuff from the UK, Buzzcocks, The Cure, etc. You can hear The Police‘s influence in some of Kram’s drumming.
I’m obviously a big sweet pop fan but so were the others. Kram has a special place in his heart for Karen Carpenter. I don’t think those influences have changed much. Whitt got heavily into electronic music that might the the only other thing thats been thrown in the mix.
What are you working on at the moment?
We just finished an album. We thought it would be a pretty straight ahead heavy record when we began but there’s some very diverse stuff in there. Blues, acoustic, synth-rock, prog rock, and some things I don’t know quite how to describe.
Do you have a procedure for writing music?
Not really. Some come from people noodling at home, some are collective things. It depends on the song really.
If you could collaborate with any musician in the world, who would you collaborate with, and why?
My music heroines were Tina Weymouth and Kim Deal so either of those would be very special. I also have a thing for The GoGos too. They looked like they were having such fun and as a kid I eyed their girl band gang with such envy. Now I read what a crap time they were actually having, my dreams have been shattered. It wasn’t like one big, ace slumber party pillow fight after all. Meeting idols is never what its cracked up to be.
What do you think about ’s music scene? And if you could play anywhere, where would you love to perform?
Melbourne is an incredible music city. One of the greatest in the world. I hope the value of venues will be more recognised and protected as the inevitable gentrification marches on. It’s a grey, dull winter that makes people very creative here, they can’t help themselves.
Apart from Melbourne I would say Japan is a great place to play. Culturally there’s great respect for artists of every kind. Although you do get shushed at gigs if you’re talking too loud, which is kind of weird but fun.
Seen any good acts lately? Who are you digging?
I am digging Beaches from Melbourne. Love their My Bloody Valentine wall of sound with sweet vocals. Nice Jesus and Mary Chain fuzzy mess.
Also digging Bloods from Sydney. They’ve got a Spazzys spunk to them. And Grimes and Alpine for dreamy vocals too.
Any interesting stories?
We played a big day out in Sydney once and Kram jumped off the main stage to surf the crowd. He was carried back to the stage by the crowd for his expected triumphant return to the kit . The bouncer didn’t realise it was a band member and assumed he was some punter trying to invade the sacred stage. So he tackled Kram to the ground in front of 40,00 people. Our roadie jumped in too and I watched three grown men roll around on the stage in front of me swinging punches. Bit like AFL footy really.
Where are you playing next?
I think Queenscliff and Meredith festivals later this year are coming up next. Hopefully we won’t get shushed.