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Cover Story: Regular John

Written by Daniel Clarke on June 19, 2009

They say you learn something new every day. Today I learnt that in the fifties a male hooker was called a regular john. I’m talking to Brock, guitarist and vocalist for the Sydney based band that shares that rather lewd moniker. He elaborates on their choice of name.

“We thought the hooker thing was pretty cool, but it was more because it was an ‘anti-name’ that we liked it. It could be anything. You see Regular John there and it could be a country band, it’s not particularly any one thing.”

Rejecting any strict genre labels, aside from “playing heavy,” the band have spent the last two years criss-crossing the country, giving crowds an idea of just what their sound is. With an east coast headlining tour on the horizon soon, Brock assures me the band is well prepared.

“We’re a bit used to the touring, supporting other bands and international bands as well. This one we’re all ready and psyched. It’s our first headline tour. We’re taking another Sydney band on the road with us, The Talons. They’re good friends of us guys and they’re about to release their own album.”

Life on the road might have been all whiskey and groupies, but their downtime has been well spent. A gap in touring at the end of last year gave the band a chance to jump in the studio to record their first long player. Brock says, “it was good to get in the studio because before that we’d only had a day or two to record tracks. This time we had a month to record, which was great for us because we’d never had that opportunity. That experience for us was definitely something we all take away with us.”

Tim Powell, drummer for post-punk shoegazers The Church was brought in to produce the album. While he had “never really done too many loud rock bands” that was part of the attraction for the guys, and a good enough reason to get him on board.

“For that reason we liked it. It was more about experimenting with the sound instead of just getting us in there to record. Working with Tim was great, he really worked us and he’s been producing bands for many years.

“We tried to make the album as diverse as possible, adding a little bit of everything into it instead of having one straight sound. There are also things personally and politically that affect us that we want to put into our music.”

Regular John hit the road throughout June and July. Keep an ear out for possibly the greatest line in a rock song from the last few years – “We spell love… F U C K!” Gold.

Get the debut album and their EP on Regular John

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