They’ve been likened to ‘Townsville’s answer to The Living End‘ (and, in some drunk punters’ cases, “I thought they were The Living End…”) so Girl caught up with the frontman of local rockabilly/punkabilly band The Koffin Rockers, Michael Hegarty, to find out a little bit more about the trio.
First things first – who are you, how did you meet, and when did you decide to start a band?
“The Koffin Rockers – Dean (Gilboy) and I met when we were both working the same job. Butch (Shaun Butcher) we met through the local rock’n’roll community. He had a double bass so he was in. It didn’t matter if he could play or not.”
If you had to describe your sound and aesthetic to the uninitiated, what would you say?
“We like to describe our music as ‘occabilly’ – rockabilly in an Australian pub.”
What’s been your most memorable gig to date, and why?
“Although we have played many shows to large crowds I guess the most memorable shows are the bad ones. We were playing a show on a beach stage. This sounds glamorous, but picture this: camels in the background giving rides to kids… sand in all our gear… drum kit with a lawn chair as a stool… sand in every crack and crevasse and a stage that bounced like a trampoline. We knew then that we had made it big, haha.”
If you could record a track with any artist, living or dead – which track, which artist, and why?
“I’d say it would have to be Johnny Cash. That big voice accompanied by his talent of story telling, amazing.”
What would you say is the most challenging thing for up and coming bands in regional Queensland?
“The most challenging thing for bands from FNQ is location. With the internet, it’s easy to get your music out there, but traveling to capital cities is hard. For example, Townsville to Brisbane is 16 hours (by road). But in saying that, with the right amount of social networking it is easy to plan a show or even tour.”
You’re coming up on a support gig with US bands Strung Out and PEARS – how important do you think is it for bands of that caliber to come to North Queensland?
“I think it’s great to have national and international acts come to FNQ. As people complain about the lack of big names coming to town I feel it is important to go out and show your support for all bands. If we don’t it’s not financially viable for the big bands to come up here. Plus more people really sets the atmosphere for a killer show as an artist or patron.”
Are there any other local bands we should keep an ear out for?
“There are heaps of cool acts in Townsville that you should keep an ear open for, like Twisted Whisker, Catalyst Ct, Jacob Long, Mark Hillman, Tim Griffin, King Social, Ghosts of Black River and heaps heaps more. Townsville has amazing diversity when it comes to bands. Get out and check out some live music and you’ll be surprised.”
Where else can we see you locally in the near future?
“You can catch us tearing up the stage at Flynns Irish Bar on the 23rd of April; and maybe a couple of secret duo sets during March you’ll have to keep your ear to the ground for.”
Any plans for records? Singles? Tours? Festivals?
“We are just about to release our new EP entitled Dead End, which will take us on regional tours of Queensland and New South Wales as well as Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Jump on to our Facebook page to stay up to date with all upcoming shows.”
The Koffin Rockers will support Strung Out and PEARS at The Dalrymple Hotel this Thursday, 3 March. Doors open 7pm. Tickets can be purchased here.