On the other side of the world sits a band that only through the internet could we have become acquainted, because I’m a broke blogger and they’re just starting out themselves. The Playbook might still be considered rookies in the pop punk game being only born in 2010, but you wouldn’t second guess the bands age when you listened to them. They encompass a raw sound that reminded me of New Found Glory just a smidge when they were still A New Found Glory, minus Jordan’s distinct vox.
The Playbook’s All Jokes Aside is textbook pop punk with fast paced words of angst, but of the adult variety. Parker will be the first to admit that he wasn’t one of those sad kids filling up notebooks with endless clichés of how it’s “so hard” to be a teen. He didn’t find his writing muse until he hit the reality of adulthood. And that comes across loud and clear in “Stresshead.” From adult angst to finding your way home with help of “Leave the Porchlight Home,” these Aussies are on the right track, so take note of their name.
And in case you need help remembering it, keep on reading to see what the boys had to say about hitting the US, birthdays for Bizkits and what Neil Patrick Harris has to do with their lives.
Kendra: What happened almost two years ago that made this band idea seem like the right choice?
Jamie: Brent and I grew up listening to bands like New Found Glory and The Ataris. We had been discussing starting a band of that genre for a really long time, so after months of procrastination, we finally started working on some song ideas. Rudman got involved through a mate of Brent’s and then I got Jenkins on board because we had jammed together a bunch of times before and have almost identical musical tastes. Parker was the last to join the band and we were really stoked with his voice when he came to hang out with us, so we got to work pretty much straight after that and managed to record a four track demo in our friend’s bedroom only two months later.
Kendra: Other than fun times, what are three things, rather goals The Playbook has?
Jamie: Brent likes to dream huge and we love that about him. I think the rest of us are more into shorter term goals though and are keen to achieve a few things before the end of this year. First of all, we have our first shows booked interstate so we’re hoping they go really well and we can win over a few people. The second thing is that we’ve got a bunch of songs in the works that we are really stoked with. We’d love to release a split before the year is out. The aim would be to do it with an international band that has intentions to tour Australia soon and would like some extra promo down here. If we could do a split release with a band like Handguns or The Story So Far, that would rule! Finally, we’d love to land a national support slot for a band we all love; so much party.
Kendra: Given your name, can we assume you all were or are athletes?
Jamie: We are named after an episode of How I Met Your Mother. We aren’t overly athletic; however, Jenkins assures us he would look amazing if he was ripped.
Kendra: Okay, that ripped thing made me giggle. But moving on, I know what you sound like and I hope you know what you sound like, but for people in the dark about your music…If you had to compare your music to a sport, which would it be and why? (even though we just learned sports aren’t their best friends…)
Jamie: Our music is like a 50 meter swimming race. It is over quickly and it leaves bitches wet. Actually, that’s a lie… It’s like golf. We’re not bad, but most other options are better.
Kendra: Haha, giggle fest with you guys. Now to the words behind the sound. Most start writing in their teens to deal with shit. But “Stresshead” has apparent adult angst. If you were one of the many who started writing in their teens, do you find it easier to write from the perspective of a pissed off kid or a fed up adult?
Parker: I guess I kind of skipped over that phase of writing as a pissed off kid. When I joined the band I had just turned 23 and started working full time, straight out of university. I was never really a pissed off kid anyway, but after going through university for 5 years, and working for 4, I guess everything starts to wear a bit thin. I wrote the lyrics to “Stresshead” while I was going through a rough patch with work, so writing as a fed up adult came a bit more naturally. Most of my friends are adults now, so we are all dealing with the problems that come with that, and that makes it more relevant to us I guess. It would be weird if I was still writing songs about how my parents won’t let me go out, or stuff like that.
Kendra: The Wonder Years are the current kings of adult angst as you know being fans and shouting them out in “Sinking Ships.” Was that written before you shared a bill with them?
Jamie: Yeah, that song was written way before they announced they were returning to Australia. We tried not to emphasize the Wonder Years references when we played with them, but our friends sang it extra loud that night. The Wonder Years are the most incredible band, so we were just stoked to see them live again, let alone play with them!
Kendra: Is it ever awkward being a fan of a band you’re sharing a stage with? Like I know I’d stand side stage and be a total dork/super fan if I toured with say, NFG.
Jamie: Nah, it’s not awkward. We are big fans of many of the bands we share the stage with, local or international. We’re not into that whole side of stage thing though, we’d much rather sing along with everyone else and have a good time. If your clothes aren’t sweaty after watching a band you love, you’re doing it wrong.
Kendra: That’s interesting and well understandable…So being down there in Melbourne, are there any current plans to hit the states?
Jamie: We would love nothing more than to tour the states, but we are way too small to do that on our own at this point in time, so I don’t see that happening anytime soon. However, if we got asked by an American band to go on tour with them, we’d jump on that so quick.
Kendra: Are there any American venues you’ve heard about that you’re dying to play?
Jamie: Honestly, I don’t have a great knowledge of American venues. 924 Gilman Street and the House of Blues are about as far as my knowledge goes and that is purely from growing up on Operation Ivy songs and Vandals DVDs. I’d want to play a house show with a bunch of rad bands.
Kendra: Check out Chain Reaction for sure when looking up US venues. It’s the best. But back to the homeland now…How does the Aussie pop punk scene compare to the US?
Brent: The scene here is great. I’d say it’s slowly growing since there’s a lot of new bands coming up playing shows as well as a bunch of old ones still kicking around. The bands from around our state are all pretty close and everyone gets along too. I mean, the scene isn’t anywhere near the size of it over there but hopefully one day it could be. I think touring over here is a lot different to over there as well since there’s a lot less bands and the distance that would be spent traveling seems to be a lot more between states. I hope that one day it gets to the size of yours. You should check out a few of our friends bands! Check out My Favourite Accident, Raise The Stakes, Up And Atom, Strickland, Cavalcade, Perfect Fit, Know Your Knot! and Sunsets.
Kendra: Okay, I’m not even going to try and transition into this one. I have to just come out and ask…What is this about a Fred Durst birthday party?
Jamie: We’re playing a night club show. The event is called Bang and they have bands on until midnight, followed by DJs playing a mixture of alternative music. Every so often they have special themed nights and this is one of those occasions. They will be giving out Fred Durst masks and they’ve turned one of the rooms into a ball pit… just a bit of fun. It’s a novelty factor that seems to get extra people through the doors. We’re not into Limp Bizkit or balls, so for us it is all about the sweet pop punk line up. Do yourselves a favour and check out Skyway and Perfect Fit. They’re playing the show too and they are both really great bands.
Kendra: Not into Limp? Must be an American thing…Okay, time to make me a mixtape. A demo recorded in a bedroom made me want to ask for your top 5 songs to sing and dance along to in your bedroom when no one’s home…go!
The Playbook: We will make this a 100% Australian band mix tape. Check these bands out!
Jamie: The Duvtons “The Last Laugh”
Brent: Arrows “What Happens At A Gifthorse Show”
Parker: Skyway! “… And Your Toe Tag Will Read ‘Sell Out’”
Jenkins: Cavalcade “All the King’s Horses”
Rudman: Be’lakor “Sun’s Delusion”
Originally published on August 20, 2011