Gotye and his bandmates in The Basics are looking to bring a rock and roll revolution to Victorian state politics. Having conquered the Grammys and the international charts, the man known to his mum as Wally De Backer together with fellow Basics members Kris Schroeder and Tim Heath have launched the Basics Rock’n’Roll Party.
“Politics in this country is treated like it belongs to the elite,” Schroeder told the AAP. “We have these career politicians who often come from well-to-do families… and they are groomed in to becoming these life-long politicians that have no other life experience outside of either being in the young Liberals or young Labor, and becoming a Member of Parliament,” he added.
The Basics Rock’n’Roll Party (BRRP) is looking to change all of that. The band have been rigorously campaigning via their official Facebook page since late last month, with the hope of running in the upcoming Victorian state election. In order to be in contention for the November election, they need 500 registered party members who are also registered with the Victorian Electoral Commission.
As stated on their Facebook page, the three pillars of the BRRP’s political ideology are “innovation, education and Rock ‘n’ Roll.” Their objectives include improving indigenous local learning in Victorian schools, compulsory first-aid training in high schools and increasing access to music in rural areas.
“Decisions don’t have to be made by these elite, you can just be musicians,” Schroeder told the AAP. “We’ve all got higher education degrees so we’re not just musicians, but we haven’t come up through any political ideology. We just care about certain things like indigenous affairs and education.”
Should the party be successful in the upcoming election, Schroeder says the band could follow in the footsteps of other rockers turned politicians and take things to a federal level. “A lot of the issues we’re discussing are really federal issues, I can see that being an arena for the future,” the bassist said.
However, though Schroeder admits a love for Midnight Oil, he believes frontman Peter Garrett compromised on his ideals and that of the band by joining the Labor Party. “We look up to the ideals that Midnight Oil espoused through their music, and we would like to look at his example as a lesson learned and think if you’re going to do something like that you should do it on your own,” Schroeder explained.
According to Schroeder, the band “recently recorded stuff at Abbey Road”, completing 16 tracks, the bulk of which will make up their next album, though some will be released “this side of Christmas” as an EP titled The Lucky Country. The bassist described the EP as politically and socially conscious.
“I’m sure it will get plenty of comparisons to Midnight Oil,” said Schroeder. “Hopefully people will appreciate it on its own merits. But I do love Midnight Oil.”