Cover Story: Day of the Meerkat

Looking and sounding like the lovechild of Eagles Of Death Metal’s Jesse “Boots Electric” Hughes, and Travolta’s best friend from Grease (you know, the one with blonde hair who thinks he got Rizzo pregnant), the mutton-chopped and handlebar moustached guitarist and sometime singer of Day Of The Meerkat Tyler Broyles is a man of great charisma and raw animal magnetism.

Having spent the past few months applying their slippery digits to the recording of their debut EP, Dirty Tricks On Sinking Ships, and with the launch at The Gaelic Theatre on May 22nd looming near, Tyler dropped in to our offices recently to talk about the EP, their love of facial hair and the slightly Mormon relationship between band members.

“Aden’s got an infectious moustache, which is getting pretty surly and curly,” Tyler tells me with a wry smile and a laugh. “But I mean, we’re all pretty hairy which is important. I’m sprouting hair from my face at about an inch a day cos you know it’s the coming out party and the more facial hair you have the sexier you are and we want to be as sexy as possible.”

“Also we’re more attracted to each other the more hair we have and it is a bit of a five way sexless polygamist marriage, so the hair is an important lubricant for that sort of relationship. It helps you really trust each other, like lovers,” he pauses for a second before adding, “without having to, you know, bend over or anything.”

Regardless of how twisted and Freudian this relationship may be, you can’t argue with the results. The band have built their reputation on spleen-fracturing live shows, their musical ore heated in the furnace and beaten in the smithy of the Sydney warehouse scene, so they are very clear on what sort of a show they’re going to put on for the EP launch.

“If you’ve never seen us, we’re used to doing warehouse parties where you can do whatever you want. So with the EP launch we’ve had to think of things we can do at The Gaelic Theatre without getting kicked out.

“I mean we can’t use fire, we can’t break glass, and you definitely can’t give out shots of tequila from stage… Wait, can you give the audience shots of tequila from the stage, do we need a liquor licence for that?” He asks with genuine curiosity and confusion in his voice.

“Anyway, shit like that,” he continues after it becomes apparent I don’t have an answer. “Basically we want it to be the best party ever and when I throw a party I like to have a bottle of tequila for the crowd, but we’ll see.

“When your playing at a party, it’s a party, so your whole goal is to get rid of every wallflower in the building. You want it to be rowdy, you want it to be fun, you want it to rock and you want it to be a bit unpredictable and a bit dangerous, and some of these warehouse parties you know, it’s always a bit dangerous if you’ve got riot police on the stage. When you’ve got cops rocking up with helmets and bats and shields you know that’s a good party.”

We start talking about the Ep and straight away Tyler is off on a rant. “It’s a mix up of deranged ska, a bit of surf, some chicken pickin’ chicken-fried rockabilly, basically an assault on all genres,” he explains in his excited Yankee drawl.

The EP has a sort of venereal infectiousness to it, in the same vein of some of those irresistibly grungy and filthy women you meet at 2am in The Townie who leave you with a morning after itch and a few bills missing from your wallet. “It’s definitely got a sort of infected rockabilly virus quality to it,” Tyler agrees. “Is there a cure?… I don’t want a cure,” he laughs, an expression creeping across his face signifying he’s already beginning to regret some of the analogies he’s making.

“It’s definitely something that’ll stick to you,” he continues undaunted, an air of resignation impregnating his words. “You’ll be left with some rock and roll symptoms you know, like it’ll make you shake your tail feather, it’ll make you dislocate your hips it’ll make you… I don’t know, shit yourself,” he laughs again in abandon, “though I’m not sure that’s what people are looking for.”

Neither am I to be honest, at least not outside of Germany. However, aside from the EP’s status as a sonic STD, the recording process itself saw the band adopt a more raw and honest approach that they had once intended.

“Originally we were being all nitpicky about recording the vocal delivery, but eventually we stopped all that bullshit and just let Aden unleash and record everything on one take. That was a real changing point when we were like ‘ok this is shit hot’ and just gave him licence to do what he does. That was the highlight for me watching Aden just nail it. Like we had this tent we set up in his kitchen, this hot little tent and he was in there with half his clothes off just wailing.”

Sexual, reminds me of a snuff film I saw the other day. However, my own perversions aside, Day Of The Meerkat have always been a band to do things their own way, like Frank without the Mob affiliation. What makes their style so original is the apparently involuntary nature of its creation.

“It’s never gone through our minds to bring back old school, it’s like handwriting you know, you can’t help how you write, it just happens and that’s what it’s like when we play,” he says. “When we get together this music is just what comes out, we’re not there thinking like we want to be more Stooges or more Dead Kennedys or whatever, it just kinda… comes out.

“I think if we tried to make a plan on how to sound a certain way it’d sound shit, it just has to be sort of au naturel I think. Even when we play other peoples music it just sounds like us, like we can play a Barry Manilow song and it’ll just sound like us.”

While not being in control of your music might sound like a musician’s nightmare, Tyler is keen to point out that for Day Of The Meerkat it affords them an edge over other, more sonically conscious bands. “It’s great, we don’t have to worry about having a distinguishable sound or style or whatever which I think is something a lot of bands work really hard on,” he tells me with a haughty tone in his voice. “So ha ha ha really.”

Take that Evermore.

Day Of The Meerkat will be launching their EP at The Gaelic Theatre on Friday May 22nd.

If you’d like to grab a copy of Dirty Tricks On Sinking Ships contact the band via their MySpace http://www.myspace.com/dayofthemeerkat

Check out the hectic Interview we did with them around about this time a year ago. How far we’ve all come since then http://musicfeeds.com.au/interviews/day-of-the-meerkat-at-secluded-sundays-060708/

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