East Coast Bus Tour ’09: Killed Two Birds

Having fast earned themselves a reputation as an incendiary live act as well as bizarre showmen, Music Feeds caught up with the Sydney psychedelic folk/blues/pop 7 piece as they tracked up the coast on the Music Feeds East Coast Bus Tour, along with Captian Kickarse & The Awesomes and Sickboy.

Music Feeds - Killed Two Birds

Photo by Toby Smith

“Ah well… Newcastle was good,” Killed 2 Birds and Captian Kickarse guitar wizard Phil tells me, “we had a sick show. There were heaps of people there, all these old dudes who were getting in to it. It was crankin’. Then we went to Port Macquarie. We were staying in the school backpacker and we met this crazy guy on acid and he was weird. This tour is dedicated to him, he was very strange.”

“Otherwise we’ve been fishing since then, and now we’re in Bellingen. I caught a flathead, that was good. We’re playing tonight at a pub in… I dunno, a pub in some hole. Geez, we’ve just organised this gig but we’re kickin’ our way along. We’ve got Coffs Harbour and then Brisbane and the next night Lismore.

I ask about enigmatic and hirsute frontman Joel “The King” King, and whether he has been spreading his proclamation of musical revolution along the coast.

“It’s interesting that you’d touch on Joel’s lofty concepts, delusions I’d call them, of revolution. It’s quite interesting you’d bring that up. He’s threatened to go home many times. We’re just trying to stretch him out as much as possible really. But mainly he’s been fishing.”

I ask whether they’ve had any luck beyond the flathead, and it would seem that they have, even if their catches are mostly inedible. Joel’s caught a bunch of fish too small to eat but Joey (Berben, bass) caught a string ray. But  Joel gets funny when he goes fishing. He’s planning on buying a caravan park up here, so generally the revolution is now moving onto a national scale, or at least a statewide scale.”

I ask if this fishing obsession might have something to do with the avian name.

“Definitely,” Phil responds. “It must be an intrinsic bird-like thing that Joel has. It’s some sort of deep-seated emotional problem I’m sure.

Eager to protect the magazine’s investment in a bus I enquire as to it’s condition.

“There’s just cocaine all over the bus, he admits. “It’s quite amazing. None of it’s ours. I don’t even do cocaine. The bus is just covered in it. It just rocked up covered in cocaine from the rental place,” he alleges. “We thought it was strange, and I don’t know if anybody mentioned anything but that was a nice touch. It’s the service that makes it.”

After their performance at Music Feeds presents having been interupted by a bear attacking bassist Berben on stage, with the bear then being adopted into the band, it would seem however that young Jackie the Bear’s musical career and life has been cut short, just as so many promising musicians before him.

“The bear’s not here. Well, he came but he od’ed on the cocaine in the bus the first night. I can’t explain it any more than that, he just didn’t know when to stop.”

It would also seem that The King’s fiery attitude and frequent shouts of abuse toward the crowd have been tempered by the coast’s tranquil envorons, if not having been totally banished.

“He hasn’t abused the audience yet actually. He abuses us up on stage but not any audience members yet. He tried to in Port Macquarie but there just wasn’t anybody there.”

The tour has also offerred the bands a chance to really get to know each other outside of the hazy headspace of the Sydney scene.

“Definitely. Having Captain Kickarse within Killed 2 Birds as an annexed band has worked well going on tour. We went for an early fish yesterday at seven o’clock.

We’ve bonded, haven’t we? Oi, we fuckin’ bonded didn’t we?”

With the tour culminating in Killed 2 Birds’ album launch at The Gaelic Club on january 31st, Phil seems very excited at the prospect of being able to offer up some new Captain Kickarse material.

“We’ll will be playing all new material that we’ve only sorta started playing on the road. Everyone should come because other people are coming. That’s why you should like our band, because other people like it. Claire will still be filming that gig too, so come to the Gaelic because you could be on camera.”

It is at about this point that Phil trails off into incoherence and a lot of shouting comes over the phone line.

All of a sudden I hear Joey’s voice come across the phone in a tone of desperation and fear, as he screams, “you have to get me out of here. They’re holding me against my will, you have to get me out. You have to get me out. Argh. Argh help…” and the line goes dead.

I try and call back and Phil answers telling me that everything’s fine over sounds of struggle in the back ground, before faking white noise and hanging up. Maybe they have gone a bit bush?”

Killed Two Birds will be celebrating their end of Tour Album Launch “Better Plan” at the Gaelic Theatre, 31st January 2009!

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