Everyone is quick to make assumptions about things they don’t bother to investigate. We think that weird checkout guy at Ralph’s has no friends when in reality he is a 40-something punk rocker, we think we could never feel anything real for a movie that’s not in our favorite genre but it ends up becoming a favorite and if you’re like me – you think Australia is the size of a pea. Paul Durkin of Drawcard calls that place home and likes to point out that it’s not as small as one (I) would like assume.
He assures me it’s big enough for every great band coming out of there, no one is stepping on anyone’s toes, and that while he has seen The Goonies when he was eight, he has very little memory of it. Can I send him a copy? While I realize that the shipping on that would be insane, you take the time to get to know more about this rock band from the land of koalas that’s bigger than a pea.
Kendra: Being from Australia, it’s not as huge a space as say the US, and I’ve always wondered, is it a tight knit group in your music scene or more competitive?
Paul Durkin: Firstly, like any country, there is a lot of great bands in Australia that work their asses off because we love music, we love expressing ourselves through our music, and fans are passionate and very appreciative of what we do. There’s a great community of artists and bands that are continually pushing the proverbial envelope. Everyone (in my experience) gets along really well and encourages one another to go harder and to do the best they can with what they’ve got. When we’re touring there is always a band on the bill that is happy to share some of their gear and a space in their home for touring bands to stay. Yep. The music community here is alive and well and supports one another.
Kendra: I’m sure you’re all friends, so moving in…Your latest EP, Goons LTD, has some stellar tracks but I want to know more about your latest single, “We are the Future.” What was the mindset you all had when constructing that one and what made it stand out to you guys as being single-worthy?
Paul: I wrote that song only about a week before hitting the studio. The basic progression and melody was down-pat, but I wrote most of the lyrics early in the morning before each day’s recording session, sitting on the pier, with a picturesque dawn backdrop. The final touches were done on-the-fly in the studio. Its a simple song that builds and builds but just has a killer melody and chorus. We chose it as the second single to release as we love the song, it shows versatility in our style and is a very powerful song with a strong message. It contrasts well against our first single ‘kids’ which is a bit more hard edged and punk rock-ish with some nice proggy mellows. It has been received really well with fans and radio/media alike.
Kendra: By the time this makes its way to the masses, you will have just wrapped up some dates. How was the tour? Any memories made that you’ll never forget on this run?
Paul: Memories!! Shit Yeh. This tour is so much fun. We kicked it off with a rad festival slot alongside Violent Soho, John Butler Trio, Dune Rats our buddies Dallas Frasca and a whole heap of rad local and national bands. I’m on a flight back from our sydney show as I write this and wow…what a rad time that was. The show was awesome and we met some of the nicest most appreciative fans. Ok so skipping forward a few days – I had to ‘switch off devices’ on the plane and it to me a few days to get back to this. Hometown show on Saturday was nuts! Definitely the best to date.
Kendra: Again, I can’t imagine there are a ton of places to play down there. Do you guys find yourself playing the same venues a dozen times throughout the year or am I making Australia sound a lot smaller than it is?
Paul: Yeh, I guess it’s not as small as you’re making out but we definitely don’t the amount of venues as the US but it’s all relative to the population really. Some of the smaller regional cities will have maybe four or five ideal venues, but there are plenty enough places to play relative to the population.
Kendra: Will you be touring anymore this year, possibly in the states somewhere?
Paul: More touring later in the year and we are working on making something happen in the US I’m heading over there in August/SEPT for a suss, a bit of holiday and to check out some venues and bands. Anyone got a couch for me to crash on?
Kendra: Having been a band almost a decade, what’s some advice you have for bands just starting out who think it may be a piece of cake playing music?
Paul: Be true to yourself, write good honest songs or whatever makes you feel good. life’s all about hills and valleys as is music and being in a band. Ride it out and stick at it.
Kendra: With a song called “Kids,” if you had to make a mixtape that was for the kids to teach them a thing or two about music – what five songs would have to be on it?
Paul: Five?!! Shit, could write a whole discography, but for the sake of the question, here are five in no particular order.
Cream – “White Room”
Led Zeppelin – “Black Dog”
Pennywise – “Society”
Millencolin – “No Cigar”
Jimi Hendrix – “Foxy Lady”