Having only formed back in March 2010, the Australian Garage-Pop Punks, Bleeding Knees Club’s debut effort, the Virginity EP, didn’t quite achieve multi-platinum status. It did, however incite some great reviews from major music publications and land the lads a handful of shows on the other side of the world, here in England, to promote their forthcoming debut album Nothing To Do, set for release on 27th February. Taking all of this into account, we caught up with the band to discuss the album, the UK and some things that would have been more beneficial if we were kept in the dark, unbeknown.
So after the conventional polite introductions we got down to the raw nitty-gritty. Playing the safe card to start with, asking the band about their experiences of the UK, with each member – Alex and Jordan – agreeing that “it’s pretty cool and the weather is good” as drumming front man Alex went on to justify an unexpected fondness for the cold, gloomy weather of central London with “lips pink and damaged from the cold.” Then going on to tell all about their headline show at Camden’s Barfly the previous night, ranking the gig as “one of the best London shows” but assumingly overridden by “a Karaoke bar in New York, it was really different, and fun.” Also forcing Alex to sing through the Karaoke PA, something that doesn’t happen quite enough in the Rock ‘N’ Roll world. But when we asked about the crowd reactions that the band have been receiving in London, the results were that “they’re just getting used to us, so they’re pretty chilled. They just worry about how they look, so don’t want to let themselves go. But there was a pretty cool guy, wearing a red hat. What was he on?”
Then came a different turn to the interview, let’s just say; a graphic portrayal of actions generally left residing behind closed doors. As the band went on to (literally) tell all about the early days and formation. Alex’s exact words were: “Well I had a crush on Jordan (Malane, guitarist) and met him in a bar, then we were in bed one night and he suggested we form a band, so I told him that it was a good idea. So we got up in the morning and I picked up a guitar and serenaded him, he thought it was genius. So we rolled with it.” The explanation went on, but let’s keep it PG, and leave it at the fact that the band’s name came from a resurfacing of personal experiences of homosexual oral fun on gravel. Needless to say any more…
Providing the time for a swift move, we talk about the album. “It has twelve tracks, and is kind of like a mixture of our EP and a progression of everything we’ve learnt along the way. There’s songs about drugs and girls and all that kind of cool stuff. But Dev (Hynes) worked on it and made us sound pretty.”
How did you hook up with Dev Hynes? And what did he bring to the table? “We toured with him in Australia, when he was Lightspeed Champion. Our manager hooked us up. He played bass on the whole album and some keys. Plus, he arranged all the back-up vocals. But mainly he just gave us confidence in our songs.” Then the band revealed the recording process mishaps, being that “Dev got stuck in England because his passport expired, so we just waited around in New York for five weeks for him to come home.”
So as the chat with the band was coming to close, we asked two final questions: one about personal hobbies out side of music and, finally, the band’s plans for the rest of 2012. The former received a blunt, simple answer – “Umm, girls?” followed by “reading books and croquet” not very punk rock? But leading us to the latter answer: “To just release the album, tour it and see how it goes.” Ending with a role-reversal, seeing a repeat of the same question, but coming from the band. So there you have it, if you enjoyed the EP, then make sure you pick up the album. The UK crowds spend more time mirror kissing than enjoying themselves and to the guy under the masque of the red hat: whatever you may be doing, you’re doing something right.