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Inappropriate Tough Guy Behaviour

Written by Kate Dunlop on February 6, 2009

Melbourne DIY Punk band, Inappropriate Tough Guy Behaviour, were sadly not named in response to the douchebags at gigs and festivals that we all know and hate, in fact there is no significant meaning behind the name but it invokes a lot of discussion none the less – ‘insert your own meaning here’. Born out of the heavy, experimental 3-piece band Fire Witch, Patto and Jem formed ITGB in 2007 out of an unwillingness to come down from three years of touring and recording when Fire Witch took an indefinite hiatus.

In the past these guys have toured with the likes of local underground gods the Hard Ons. Any gig with those guys is special, according to Jem, something you have to see for yourself; “watching them do a 20 minute version of Suck and Swallow to about 15 people in Geelong, all of whom were punching on was pretty bizarre”. ITGB learnt a lot through their bond with Blackie and Ray, from the Hard Ons, which developed through the gig scene. Unaware that they were in the Hard Ons, Jem and Patto had assumed Blackie and Ray were “fellow gutter dwellers playing to the same empty rooms as us!” From there the relationship flourished.

WeEmptyRooms is the label these guys started as a result of putting out their own independent releases from their various bands. Jem readily admits that this is new territory, but for someone who doesn’t claim to know what he’s doing, his determination and enthusiasm in keeping the band self sufficient makes it work. This DIY approach is really significant these days in bands keeping their power as opposed to the commercial puppets who dance to the tune of their labels. The labels have become more ruthless and shallow since the “good ol’ days”, but Jem believes that it’s not too bad a moment in time to be. Thanks to the internet and forums, ITGB were able to book a two week tour in NZ without leaving the comfort of their sofa. However, with the technology of the last 10 years, has come the pitfalls – the guys are all too aware that with each year, bands get paid less and less. Unfortunately, Jem feels that to try and unionise and demand better pay may be redundant, as there are always a thousand other bands willing to sacrifice the cash for their chance in the limelight.

Gigging in Sydney is a bit of a treat for these guys who have a real respect for the Sydney scene. From Jem’s experience, the underground and the commercial scene is more divided than in Melbourne – he even goes as far to say that “even the underground [in Sydney] is more divided and more underground”. Overall, they feel that the kind of music they play is better received in Sydney than in Melbourne. An interesting thing about these guys is that they have very limited tracks on their myspace in a bid to keep it old school “Like those days when you had to actually go see a local band to hear them” – it’s a shame to keep their music less accessible online, but you have to respect their loyalty to the essence of underground music.

The album is now available through WeEmptyRooms records and is a self-declared “short attention span punk rock record”, it’s a live and messy sounding album, which has no overdubs, and that’s what they love about it. And what can we expect from the upcoming gigs? “Two blokes who may as well be brothers facing each other and doing what they love more than anything,” Says Jem, “Stuff will probably break and clothes will be shed” – sold!!

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