With so many of the country’s leading and inspiring bands hanging up their guitars, (Powderfinger, Silverchair et al) someone or someones need to fill the void. Could Regurgitator fill that void? With nearly two decades knocking around the country and world playing one of the most innovative versions of pop rock seen in years, the band are back on tour and back recording new music. I caught up with Quan to discuss waxing, low expectations and deadlines.
Music Feeds: What’s been different this time around for Regurgitator?
Regurgitator: Not that much, but we did decide to do the entire recording completely hairless. Benjamin has a good Brazilian beautician friend called Fernanda who’s broad waxing skills were put to extensive use from the pre-production stages right through to the mixing. Even if the regrowth was minimal, we’d often just go in for a quick, no-nonsense session to reignite our faith in the project. We found that the pain and humiliation associated with the process refocused us whenever our attention drifted or waned, and I think in the end it imbued a slick, smooth sheen to the final sound of the recording.
MF: How are the new songs coming along?
R: The new songs sound really new and fresh, like they’ve never been heard before and just written. I guess they were always going to be a little bit naive. We managed to get them to come along with us by offering them boiled candies and the promise of wild adulation. It will of course all end in tears and accusations of molestation.
MF: After the break apart, do you feel any pressure to live up to the fans expectations with the new material and playing live?
R: Perhaps one of the more fortunate things about playing in Regurgitator is that our fans have very low expectations of the band, which of course makes them the BEST FANS IN THE WORLD! We can basically record ourselves farting in a tunnel and they’ll still seem willing to encourage us and be supportive, which is really lovely. It’s kinda like we’re their children.
MF: What do you remember of the first Regurditator show?
R: It was an ironically ‘free-to-get-in’ benefit show for Amnesty in Brisbane’s Albert Park. We played our then 5-song repertoire twice I think. Our first drummer Martin was experimenting with cutting edge drum sampling technology at the time and, utilising an Alesis D4, triggered dog barks and glass smashes intermittently but tastefully throughout the set.
MF: How much has the musical landscape changed for Regurgitator since the mid to late 90s?
R: It’s been like hopping into one of those cryo transport chamber thingies in Aliens and been woken up 10 years later by Sigourney Weaver screaming into your ear – “You better just start dealing with it. Listen to me! Just deal with it, because we need you and I’m sick of your bullshit!”
MF: You’ve toured with so many great bands; who has been the best to hit the road with?
R: I really liked the cultural intrigue involved with touring with the Boredoms. Fumbling along with them in broken English and Japanese, watching them fall into catatonic naps at any given moment (I don’t recall EyE ever removing his inflatable airplane neck-pillow the whole tour), then watching them explode in amazing bursts of noise and energy on stage. It was very inspirational.
MF: In this modern landscape of music distribution, do you still believe in making albums?
R: I don’t personally believe in the necessity of sticking with a format that is less and less appropriate for a generation brought up on entirely new listening and distribution technologies. There may always be a place for the artform of the album, but there are now many alternatives that make more sense for a lot of recording artists to utilise. Having said that, the one thing that the album does often provide is a project focus with all its inherent deadlines. Deadlines are, as I have recently rediscovered, a very powerful motivational force for finishing things and finishing, as a lot of creative people will tell you, is perhaps the hardest thing about what they do.
MF: What can we expect from this tour set-wise and show-wise?
R: We’ll be playing quite a few new songs, until of course we realise from crowd reactions that no matter how proud we may be of the new material no one is particularly interested in the noodlings of old men and would rather we just stick to the largely nostalgic element of our show, which showcases a period in our protracted career where we were actually tapping into something of quality. We had a plan to encourage audience participation in the visual backdrop side of things by setting up a Vimeo channel for them to send snippets of random pieces in for us to project behind us when we were on stage, but I’m not entirely sure how that’s going?
MF: First song for a mix tape?
R: Yamaha – The Dream