Townsville punkabilly band The Koffin Rockers is gearing up for one hell of a hectic rock star weekend, playing two shows with Aus rock legends The Screaming Jets as well as flying to Brisbane to perform at the annual Greazefest Kustom Kulture Festival.
We caught up with lead singer Michael Hegarty for a quick chat before the lads’ crazy weekend.
Girl: What’s news in TKR world right now?
MH: “We have just released a new EP called Factory Supplied VK Commodore Audio Cassette. Its a mouthful. It’s full of classic Australian rock covers in our own little style. A homage if you will to the bands that shaped us.”
Girl: How did you score the Screaming Jets support?
MH: “Hard work… We performed some shows in Brisbane and I guess the right people heard and saw what we do. It’s great that we have been able to show off what North Queensland has to offer to the south. We have some amazing talent up here.”
Girl: Are you looking forward to playing two shows with them?
MH: “We can’t wait. We thew around a couple of Jets songs when we were thinking of songs for VK. They are a band that is quintessential to Australian rock music. It’s a blessing to be included on the line up with these guys.”
Girl: If you could give Dave and the guys some local advice before they arrive, what would it be?
MH: “Get out and have a look around. There are some amazing things that Townsville has to offer. The sun, beach and even the art displays that are down on the Strand at the moment. Way to put it on, Townsville.”
Girl: You’re going to Brisbane for Greazefest in between the two shows? How are you going to manage that?
MH: “Yeah, we’ve been lucky enough to be asked to come back to the festival again this year. It’ll be a few sleepless nights and a crazy red eye flight to make it back in time to do the second show in Mission Beach with the guys. No complaints here though it’s the stuff dreams are made of.”
Girl: What number appearance at Greazefest will this be for you guys?
MH: “This year will be number four. It is crazy that we keep getting asked back and more and more people come to watch us play each year. Lori Lee who puts the whole thing together is a great supporter of Australian music. She has opened a lot of doors for us.”
Girl: What’s so great about that festival in particular that keeps you going back?
MH: “Greazefest is one of those unique festivals that celebrates Kustom Kulture. I think the thing that I like that most about playing is catching up with old friends but also making new ones. There is something surreal about sharing a stage with some of your childhood heroes, but also knowing that some of my favorite bands got their start playing at the same festival.”
Girl: What can you tell us about your latest EP?
MH: “The new EP was recorded live. We got into a room and said, ‘Right lets do it,’ and we just played. I think it is the most we’ve ever sounded like us in a recording, which is great because that is what we were aiming for. It’s five tracks from Australian bands that we love. We cover Midnight Oil, AC/DC, Paul Kelly, The Angels and The Hoodoo Gurus, who we were lucky enough to share the stage with last year. The album cover is a sight to see. Really takes you back to the primary school days of drawing your dream car.”
Girl: Any personal fave track/s? Why?
MH: “My personal favorite track would have to be Beds Are Burning by Midnight Oil. We take a song that has strong ethical and cultural meaning and put our own spin on it. It’s amazing seeing people dance and sing along to this classic. It’s great to see the song stand the test of time. I just hope that people can still understand what the song is about.”
Girl: Where else should we look for you?
MH: “We are doing a lot of local Townsville shows while we work on our first full length album. So you can jump onto our Facebook page to stay up to date with shows.”
Girl: It’s quickly coming up on one year since The Venue closed its doors to live music, and a month since the new liquor legislation came into effect – what do you think of the local music scene now? Is it thriving or struggling?
MH: “The Townsville music scene is like a rollercoaster. It’s hard to see bands come and go without standing the test of time. But I am happy to say that the scene seems to be picking up. Great new venues opening up that support live music, new festivals and after attending the Loona Lounge over the weekend I can honestly say that there are some amazing new bands on their way up. All in all it comes down to people coming to shows. Everyone needs to go out and see some live music. Check out a band you haven’t seen before, go and see some original music. That is how we build a kick ass scene.”
Girl: Anything else we should know?
MH: “Stay tuned for our new album as well as more shows locally and nationally before the end of the year.”
Watch Suffer from the Dead End EP here: