Super Best Friends are a trio of “outraged party rockers” who have just released a new EP titled Handshake. The Canberrain (?) band’s newest single No Logo is a Joke is a blistering 2 minute and 47 second jolt of fun and agressive punk rock.
Rather then ask them a bunch of sensible questions about their music or their upcoming appearance at Groovin’ The Moo 2012, Music Feeds took the chance to get all conspiracy-y and anti-something-a-rather before calming down and asking them a bunch of sensible questions about their music or their upcoming appearance at Groovin’ The Moo.
What have you got against consumerism?
That corporations are all corporationary and they make money. No, we’re not really going on an anti-consumerist rant in No Logo Is A Joke. Basically, the name came from ripping off Public Enemy’s 911 Is A Joke and Naomi Klein’s book No Logo, which was on our reading list at uni. We’re having a go at ourselves and the fact that a lot of what Naomi Klein talked about in that book doesn’t seem to impact our choices anymore. We buy and wear stuff, even though we know it comes from a factory full of underpaid and overworked kids in a foreign country. It sucks that slaves made my shoes, but I want to look good. So I guess we’re sending up the hysteria around fashion and possessions and the fact we don’t really care where our products come from…but we’re not saying you shouldn’t buy stuff.
Is it that you’re against brands in general (which can be non-profitable and/or artistic) or more so the big business behind certain brands?
No, we’re not against brands. A band is like a brand, so that’d be a bit hypocritical. I guess “the big business behind certain brands” is a concern, if big brands are trying to exert power or influence beyond purely selling stuff and making money. I don’t trust Gina Rinehart increasing her media ownership – and it really sucks if big brands aren’t looking after their workers – but No Logo Is A Joke isn’t really about that stuff. If anything, it applauds big companies for making a comeback! Once upon a time they were being demonised by people like Naomi Klein and Michael Moore. Today, they’ve won the “alternative youth” market back! If kids didn’t like you for being a global corporation 13 years ago, they smashed your windows, but if you can convince them that you’ve changed your ways and all your products are green, organic or fair trade, they’ll buy your shit again. I don’t know if Nike has changed the way they make stuff, but it doesn’t seem to matter now – their street cred is massive! Everyone wears Nike, especially punk bands that sing about society’s ills. I’m writing to you on an Apple product, which may have been worked on by someone who killed themselves, after one too many days on the assembly line. It’s not the brands we’re having a go at. It’s us.
Did any of the brands featured or mentioned in the clip No Logo Is A Joke have to approve their appearance or did you just go for it without permission?
We did it without permission. Most of the footage is old public domain archive stuff. If we get a cease and desist letter we’ll let you know. We blur out the newer stuff.
Do you believe in the possibility of alternative forms of society that aren’t built around a monitory-based economy?
They used to exist right here in Australia, before Europeans came. The thing is, the Europeans always come. I don’t see an alternative to the way things are now, or how you’d even go about moving away from a monitory-based economy. I can’t speak for everyone, but we’ve got it pretty good in Australia. We could be using the nation’s wealth better to help everyone out, but there are community organisations and people elected to do that sort of thing. I don’t have any ideas on sharing the wealth better besides higher taxes, but then again, I can’t really afford to pay higher taxes.
We’re told that the capitalist system motivates people to pursue profits, which in turn boosts the economy and creates wealth on every level and thus serves the national interest (of attaining and maintaining affluence). If restrictions were put on how profitable a brand could become, would citizens lose their motivation for achievement and society decay as a result?
They’ve got to you too huh? Conspiracy! No, I can’t answer this one. Restrictions on profits would have to come from Government and then you’ve got the issue of nanny-state interference and central control. At the same time, I don’t see why CEOs need such big salaries and I reckon there’s a heap of misinformation and hysteria being pedalled by folk like Alan Jones and Gina Rinehart about certain forthcoming taxes. Maybe if you did restrict profits, we wouldn’t have to hear from these jerks all the time – (but now I’m getting off track). Like I said, we’ve got it pretty good in Australia and we’ve got it good because of capitalism. This band isn’t anti-capitalist or anti-globalisation, and we’re not communist, Marxist or anarchist. We’re not doing the RATM or Rise Against thing and calling people to arms, whilst selling millions of records. We don’t have a platform or any answers. We try to write our lyrics like the way comedians make observations about the world and human behaviour and make light of it all, except we don’t go for the big laughs. We admit to being part of what we’re satirising and don’t pretend to be three twenty-somethings who think they know better than everyone else. (But if you’re a white Australian and you’re scared of boat people and non-white Australians, then The Bleachers is totally aimed at you.)
What’s the meaning behind your new EP title Handshake?
We asked my friend Brad Cook to come up with some T-shirt ideas and one of them was the handshake design. We thought it’d make good cover art, so we went with it. The EP’s called Handshake, because Brad drew a picture of a handshake.
Your music is hard-hitting punk rock. Being that the band’s from Canberra, does the weather have anything to do with your aggression?
Haha! Canberra is actually sunny most of the time. It’s freezing for about three months and rains a bit, but for the rest of the year, it’s so sunny it gets boring. It must just turn on the shit weather whenever people come for their year 6 excursion to Parliament House, and that memory stays with people. We’re not as aggressive as we sound. We don’t even have one tattoo between the three of us!
Who are you lads most keen to see at Groovin’ the Moo (Canberra)?
Our good friend Tim Stevens aka STATEOVMIND just picked up the triple j Unearthed spot, so we’ll be racing over to see him after we play. I wanted to see I Exist, but we’re on at the same time. We’re good mates with Vacant Field from Sydney too. Other than that, Wavves, Kaiser Chiefs, Mute Math, Bluejuice, Andrew W.K, Parkway and PUBLIC ENEMY! Pretty awesome lineup and maybe we can get some tattoo ideas from 360.
Which bands on the lineup do you rock harder then?
Definitely Parkway Drive; those guys are a church choir compared to us. Not really. Everyone on the lineup rocks; we’ll do our best to also rock hard.
When can we expect an LP from Super Best Friends?
I’d say within the next two years. But then again, 15 minutes of our current sound is probably enough for any self-respecting set of ears.