“I’ve only vomited once on stage, at the Gaelic Theatre,” Ouch My Face’s powerfully petulant singer/guitarist Celeste Potter confesses to me sheepishly over the phone. “We were all so nervous that we drank two bottles of Canadian Club before we went on stage, the rest is history.”
With a live show that borders on epileptic, Ouch My Face is an incredibly apt name for the band. Potter’s vocals come hurtling at you like glowing shit thrown at you by a radioactive monkey, the difference being that with Potter you kind of like it.
Her spasmodic, banshee-like ways aside, Celeste tells me she’s not the type to prepare for a gig with marathon bouts of debauchery and excess.
“As a band we have a little football huddle and chant before the show. People might have an impression of me of being the type who walks in, screams yeah rock n roll, with a bottle of whiskey in my hand, sucking down cigarettes. I’m actually quite retiring, nerdy and shy. I like to spend time at home with my cat so it’s balanced out that way.”
“If someone pisses me off then I’ll usually not bring it up with them I’ll just talk about it in song. That’s kind of the way I do it. A lot of my art, my drawings, is filled with monsters biting people’s heads off and stuff like that but I’m not actually like that in real life, fortunately for my loved ones.”
Indeed, especially considering some of her artworks feature giant birds laying waste to all around them with laser skulls.
However, no matter how calm and reserved Celeste may be off stage, on stage she is a woman possessed, with band mates Ben Wundersitz and Steve Huf serving as the high priests in musical exorcism. Their recent album launch at The Tote in Melbourne proved to be a particularly pea soup-soaked affair, as Celeste recounts.
“The launch was fucking incredible! I couldn’t believe it. We had close to 300 people there, all going nuts,” she explains. “Normally Melbourne people are quite standoffish because we have so much to choose from, such a huge boiling pot full of amazing artists, so everyone kind of stands back and pays attention. You know if you’re nodding your head and tapping your foot it means you’re really excited about it. But the crowd on the night was really excited and into it.”
The secret to the band’s infectious mania is that while Ben and Steve keep the groove pumping, Celeste invokes her witch like powers to get the crowds jumping.
“I try to make our stuff accessible cos it’s really heavy and punky. I feel like a lot of people get a little alienated by that stuff a bit. A lot of people who come to our shows aren’t into the really loud kind of screaming; beat your face in music. It’s a real punk show but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. People like to come to our shows to go nuts and have fun at the same time.”
They’ll be bringing their menagerie of musical spasms to Club 77 on June 26th.