Froback Friday – 20/04/2018

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Hi kids, Az here.

This week’s Froback takes us all the way back to around 1999 to watch a direct-from-VHS-to-YouTube copy of the film clip for The Bomb by Sydney’s greatest export, Unpaid Debt.

This is the full, original lineup – ska punk at its finest.

Yeah yeah, I’m biased. I went to school with two of the band members – Tim Walter, original guitarist/only one not allowed to have a mic for being too silly, and their second singer Joe Cool.

I always found it stunning during the early to mid 2000’s that there were so many people in Sydney that didn’t realise that Joe wasn’t the original singer in the band. He came along much later after being in a ska band called Little More Than You – a ska band that would have done well themselves if the lineup was kept together. I remember being at a show in Penrith watching LMTY support Area 7 and reconnecting with Joe for the first time since we finished Year 12 and then finding out a week later that he was switching bands and singing in Unpaid Debt instead. I was floored.

No disrespect to Joe but I’ve always felt that the original lineup of Unpaid Debt never got enough recognition for how awesome they were and objectively the best local band in Sydney at the time – even better than other popular bands at the time like Bagster and The Mad Dash.

So for a bonus clip (or four), here’s a full show of Unpaid Debt playing the old Cowshed in Penrith in Sydney’s West in the late 90’s. See for yourself how great they were.

From the Archives: The What A Beautiful Day film clip

Suffice to say, a lot of laughs were shared during the making of this film clip.

Az here with this trip down memory lane.

The whole concept for this video was the vision of our music producer and ex-Unpaid Debt guitarist Tim Walter. He had just done a promotional DVD piece of work for a comedian named Thomas Bromhead at the same time as producing the CD that this song was featured on and had the wild idea that the two sides should team up for something funny.

Tim even thought out the structure of the clip: a seedy guy sprays whipped cream on himself at home and then goes out for a night on the town to terrorize people with whipped cream.

He pitched it to me during a studio visit and that he thought he could get Thomas to agree to do the clip for a reasonable fee. I had nothing to lose by letting this idea play itself out and Thomas said yes. I put down the cash and we were cooking with gas.

The first half of the clip was filmed in the rental home of former guitarist Chris Reed in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. We laid down heaps of tarps, put on a BBQ and invited heaps of people over to watch the filming. We laughed our arses off.

The second half of the clip was filmed at Home Nightclub in Sydney’s Darling Harbour. A week earlier, I had done the owner a favour by playing guitar alongside some DJ from Sweden who was doing a techno cover of Nirvana‘s Smells Like Teen Spirit at 4:30am on a Saturday night/Sunday morning. The whole crowd was on pills and wouldn’t have even noticed I was there.

So we got full use of the club for free on a Monday night – and with security there at the club’s expense. This was the day after the house filming and was also my 26th birthday that day. The members of Major Keg gave me a blow up penis for my birthday and I did all of the band filming scenes with that thing stuffed down my pants – not that you can tell in this clip – but it was one of those things that was funny to the people that were there.

The Ebolagoldfish twins Andy and Gav McDougall also made a guest appearance as the fake security guards – Gav smacking Thomas Bromhead on the arse wasn’t in the script but all involved enjoyed it so it stayed in the scene.

The two hot girls being sprayed with whipped cream were the girlfriends of the other two band members – what, you thought those wusses were going to use any other females on the planet for what we had planned?

Oh – I almost forgot the star of the clip: the blow up doll! We bought that for $100 from a sex shop in Canberra whilst on tour a few weeks earlier. I’m the one who volunteered to do the walk of shame to the counter to pay for it whilst the others stood there cackling like little school girls. Good times.

…and that’s about the summary of it. The funniest part of all in this clip is that Major Keg appear in this clip more than My Name Is John does – absolute camera whores and shocking for a bunch of guys who have the perfect faces for radio work.

This song had over 100,000 plays on MySpace and was finally banned by the since unloved social media service right around the time of the band’s breakup in 2009. A full three years later. Good work guys.

My guitar project is finished

img_0799Hi kids, Az here.

I know I had only just posted about getting a new guitar yesterday but I needed to wait until I got my arse to a guitar shop to buy some strings before I was going to post about this puppy as well. Now this thing is ready to go as well.

What you are seeing here is a Korean made BC Rich Mockingbird NJ Series neck thru guitar. I rescued this gem from a pawn shop advertising it on eBay for stuff all and it was pretty beat up.

See the original pix below.

As you can see (click/press on the pictures to see larger versions), the body work was pretty trashy – and really, the pictures don’t tell the whole story. There were a lot of dings, marks and other crap. The name badge on the headstock was missing too.

In addition to that, I have to say that I just don’t like the look of neck thru’s that aren’t painted where you can see the difference in the body work. The lines are added as a feature as some sort of trendy look. It’s gross. Additionally, I think the wooden finish of guitars looks lame too.

Never fear! I had a vision and hit Buy It Now anyway.

I bought this for the bargain basement price of AUD$300 (with free shipping) and figured I could cover up all the dents and other unpleasurables whilst punking it up at the same time.

Enter AliExpress.

I bought a shitload of black and white stickers where you get 100 in a bag of random whatever stuff. I bought three lots of them for a total of about AUD$20.

Then my daughter and I spent two separate nights covering all of the body work with them, leaving our favourite stickers until last so that they would be on top.

The net result? This. And I’m really happy with it.

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…and before you say it – I know, my floor needs a vacuum.

I finally get to play this thing later today in practice – perhaps I’ll post some vids or something. It hasn’t had strings on it until now.

Froback Friday, 30/03/2018

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Hi all, Az here with a very special Easter edition of Froback Friday.

For this week we take you all the way back to 1986 for a special punk super team-up called Easter – presumably because the song Feed The World would have been dominating the Christmas super team-ups at the time and these guys wanted to be rebels.

This musical lineup consists of:

  • Mike NessSocial Distortion
  • Danny DeanANTI
  • Chad CarrierBig Mess
  • Korky OllertonDetonators

Here it is:

Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking. I’m kind of cheating. It’s not a song about Easter, it’s a band called Easter.

Well, you know who’s cool in the music scene that does special songs about Easter? No one.

Case in point: As a bonus clip, here’s a group called Punk Rock Jesus doing a song called Hot Cross Buns. It’s stupid. I’ve included it here in this post so that you can hate watch/listen.

Enjoy.

Song spotlight: I Wish We Were An Emo Band So We Could Get More Girls

Hi all, Az here.

So, this song has a fun little history behind it.

Back in the very beginning, we had a drummer named Ryan Lambert who later found semi-fame being the drummer of Sydney emo legends Town Hall Steps. We’ve written about him before.

Anyhoo…

Ryan was the one who pitched the whole idea for this song – name and all – and even played a cd of a tune with a similar beat to demonstrate how he envisioned the song would sound.

I then got to work, put together the structure and filled in the words. Voila – completed song.

Ryan (coincidentally) left the band shortly after that, joined an actual emo band (the aforementioned Town Hall Steps) and never got to play it.

The following year was when this song was recorded. As a bit of fun, I approached Town Hall Steps, explained to them the story as painted out above and then due to the connection with Ryan I asked if I could include a section of one of their emo songs on our upcoming cd Music To Make Love To, Vol. 1 right before our song about wishing we were an emo band.

Being the awesome dudes that they were, they thought it was a funny idea and were all for it.

And the rest is history.

Here’s the intro track that I’m speaking of, featuring my most favourite Town Hall Steps song:

Song spotlight: Why Must I Insist On Having Sex

The song we refer to as “Insist”. 🙂

Back when we were doing cd’s, it was our goal to always have at least one ska song on every one of them. Ideally there would be horns too but we wouldn’t force the idea like ska bands with dedicated members do just to make them feel loved.

And this one didn’t. It feels liberating to borrow extra musicians where needed and otherwise just focus on what is best for the song. There is a grand organ though and that was a random instrument that just-so-happened to be around in the studio where we recorded. It was o e of those made-up-on-the-spot things that just happened to help make the song feel more wholesome. We were pretty happy with it.

This song was originally pitched by former band member Chris Reed as a concept called “Mr Yes” and the intro for Insist is what the choruses for Mr Yes were. After Az had some time to digest the idea, he’s the one who came back with playing the chorus of Mr Yes and then suddenly flicking into the upstroke you here, starting a totally different song. Misdirection, it’s fun. Eyes lit up in he rehearsal room. A song was born.

There’s lots of NoFX and MxPx influence in this song and that’s totally ok. That’s what makes punk music punk: imitation is the ultimate form of flattery.

Lyrically this is standard MNIJ writing – telling a story that someone would pay attention to rather than just using throw away lyrics that rhyme. A small shout out can be found to Wayne’s World:

I’m so jaded, it’s overrated

Instead of adventure I’m just shooting fish in a barrel

That’s classic Wayne Campbell right there.

We used this as the first track on the split album “Let The Games Begin!” that we did with Major Keg and of all the songs on that cd, this is the only one that was a candidate to take that spot. It needed to be punchy and catchy and this one was there to do the job.