It’s safe to say Cairns band Jobstopper has been around for a circus or two… or created it. Their enigmatic and energetic stage performances have seen them win the hearts of audiences around North Queensland.
Girl caught up with lead vocalist Wil Carroll ahead of their support gig with USA bands Strung Out and PEARS this week.
Okay so let’s start with an easy one: who are you, how did you meet and when did you decide to start a band?
“We’re Jobstopper. If you don’t know us then you’re probably a loser. We’re a seven-piece punk rock band posing as a ska band. We’ve been a band for six years. Which is, like, 49 dog years. So we’re a young band, but if we were dogs, which we aren’t, we’d be 49. I think…”
If you had to describe your sound and aesthetic to the uninitiated, what would you say?
“Our music is fast, poppy rock and roll, infused with Jamaican ska, peppered with brass melodies. So yeah, we kind of sound like a circus on fire. Except we’ve got more clowns…”
What’s been your most memorable gig to date, and why?
“Last year we played in Townsville with a band from Brisbane called The Flangipannis. We’re both pretty crass and pretty animated bands and we fed off each other like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Our trombone player ended up hanging from the ceiling and I stopping singing so I could throw shit at him. When Flangipannis came on their drummer smoked a spliff for their entire set and their singer Jodi was wearing this one piece bathing suit thing. They sung a lot about vaginas. The venue was actually a condemned building. We probably all have asbestos poisoning now. Oh and my friend Pidge from Meat Bikini accidentally drunk bong water. I’ve digressed…”
If you could record a track with any artist, living or dead – which track, which artist, and why?
“I reckon Jobstopper and local Cairns rockers, Hungry Lungs, could bust out a mean cover of Liam Lynch‘s United States of Whatever. Just chucking it out there.”
What would you say is the most challenging thing for up and coming bands in regional Queensland?
“Rural towns have very little independent press. It effects all kinds of independent art; music, visual, performance, graphic… Lots of people want to see this stuff and lots of artists are producing quality work. But nobody knows about it. Melbourne has things like Drum Mag which is a massive free promotional vehicle. The newspapers virtually ignore us up here, so we have to rely on social media and word of mouth. The second-hardest part is trying to keep brass instruments in tune when the weather up here is a bajillion degrees…”
You’re coming up on a support gig with USA bands Strung Out and PEARS – how important do you think it is for bands of that calibre to come to Far North Queensland?
“I once quizzed Gordy from Frenzal Rhomb on why bands don’t tour to regional areas. It was a one-word answer: cost. Unless people get off their fat asses and come out and see these bands, they’ll stop touring up here and we’ll have a void like we did five years ago. So sure, it’s totally important. But it’s up to the punters to make it worth their while. Thanks to YouTube, you can now watch an entire set live in your living room. It’s killing us.”
You just launched your new album – tell us a bit about it?
“12, smash-banging, circus-firesque, well worth your money punk/ska hits! You should probably buy it if you can. I would have bought one but they gave me one for free because I’m the singer. Ah, the perks…
The launch? Well, there were 210 drunk punks, five bands, a tank full of helium, an inflatable sex doll and our brass section threw a trombone into the crowd that got collectively smashed to smithereens. Also, sex dolls don’t float when filled with helium… So yeah, we know how to throw a party.”
What’s your fave track off the album, and why?
“My favourite track off the album is, Is It Hot In Here Or Is It Just You. It’s about falling in love on acid. We make guitars and keyboards sound all trippy and junk.”
Where else can we see you locally in the near future?
“Our local haunts are Garageland at The Grand Hotel and MoFO at The German Club. Facebook this crap and come to them! So many great local promoters and artists get along to these things. They’re spectacular!”
Can we stalk you online?
“As long as you don’t tag us in photos of Nike Airs, you can go for it! The Book of Face is your best bet. We have links from there to our music and merch and you can even get some free shit!”
Any plans for more records? Singles? Tours? Festivals?
“Nah. Now we’ve made an album I’m pretty sure we just sit back and watch the cash roll in, right?
But seriously, yeah, we’ll be out and about the country throughout the year. We’ve got a lot of friends to catch up and have beers with! We might play some music too. But not for long as we get to sit down afterwards.”
Jobstopper will support Strung Out and PEARS at The Jack this Wednesday, 2 March. Doors open 7pm. Tickets can be purchased here.