One half of the two-piece, Brendan Harvey, talks about the past six years of making music from the backseat of his ute
Brendan, what’s up in Melbourne today? It’s a nice day here. I am sitting in my ute in Williamstown, just over the west gate overlooking the bay. I am a boat builder by trade and I’ve just been mucking around with an old boat down here so I thought I’d jump in my ute and get away from all the noise.
Your debut album is literally just out. We’ve had an EP out since 2008 but this our first full-length album and we’ve been quite keen to get it out.
It sounds like Cock Rockin’ was in the oven for a while. We recorded over a long period of time but we didn’t know where we were going with it. We were just doing it for a bit of fun. In between gigging around the countryside and life we snuck in to a studio here and there.
What facilitated the release? We had the album ready about a year ago ourselves, mastered and ready to go, and we were just going to start selling it at shows. But we shopped around a bit and it got picked up by Warner Music. It was pretty exciting. We ended up remastering it with them and now it’s coming out on June 8.
Where did the title, Cock Rockin', come from? It’s the name of a track which we made a along time of ago. It’s a bit risque and we thought, 'Why not call it that?' With our live show we like to let it all hang out, put as much in to it as we can. Like people say" rockin’ out with your cock out. That type of saying; not quite as bogan as that, but it’s there.
You’re pretty much as straight-up rock’n’roll as it gets. We have a blues element to our set. But we’ve always been called a boys rock act. That’s what we love. That’s what we grew up listening to and that’s why we play it, we just enjoy playing loud dirty rock.
Which musical periods, or artists in particular, fuel your high-octane sound? The '90s was big for me. Especially when I started learning guitar, I always wanted to hear Australian bands like Spiderbait and the Meanies through to Guns N' Roses. That rock’n’roll sound; Blues Explosion.
Let’s rewind. What got you going on guitar in the first place? My sister is heavily in to theatre and I remember sitting at one of her productions and there was a guy on the stage in a chair just playing a Bob Dylan track acoustically and I thought, wow it must be an amazing feeling to do that as well as nerve-racking as hell. I thought I’d give it a go and I had a guitar in my cupboard that my grandpa won playing cards, so I dragged it out and started annoying the family with that.
All that annoying paid off. You seem to have mastered the strings. Just keep practising and have a few beers.
How did you and [bandmate] Dale meet? I was in a local cover band and we played a New Year's Eve gig for about $1,500 which, back in the '90s, was quite a lot of money. So we decided to go to Adelaide and record a demo on tape, back in the cassette days. We had a four or five o’clock departure in the car and our drummer didn’t show up and we couldn’t get hold of him. We had the studio booked so I ended up dialling his younger brother, dragging him out of bed asking if he wanted to come and do some tracks in the studio. I didn’t really know him form a bar of soap. We threw him in the car and taught him the track in the four hour drive there and we’ve been on and off together ever since.
Why are Sydneysiders going to come to witness you storm the Vanguard? They’re going to come and see some sweaty dirty rock and roll, that's why.