Listen, And, Decide
They've been working hard touring like crazy over the past couple of years and it hasn't gone unnoticed! Bagster play a powerful combination of punk, pop and straight out rock n roll..complete with a ballsy horn section.
Interview: 25 September 2006
Bagster are the NSW winners of our Taste of Chaos competition. Find out more about this competiton and view the winners from other states. more »
You've been touring pretty relentlessly over the past couple of years. What's been your best gig so far?
Funnily enough, not one of our "bigger type" shows, on our last tour we had to make a last minute decision for our final show of the Melbourne leg, we'd just done a show in Bendigo and had to race 2 hours back for a late slot at Pony in the city, the effects of doing 4 shows over 2 nights in 2 states were taking it's toll and after the Bendigo show Tommy was exhausted and not in the best of shape, some quick thinking with the band we took on tour, The Quickening, we decided to let Tommy rest in the van and we played a song for song set, ie. we played one song, then they played one, then we did another and so on. Basically once we did our song, we'd race to the bar, have a beer, then do it over again for about 10 songs each. The crowd loved it, we loved it, it was great fun and fresh, we've heard stories of other bands in the crowd already planning to give it a go, funny how a bad situation can turn into something positive and memorable.
Who's been a big musical influence for you? What inspires you?
There is so many between us all, for me though one standout is, NOFX and the Fat Wreck Chords team. They began as an awful band, and stayed that way for years, but they never gave up, didn't change to fit the fad or feel the need to style their hair like Cindy Lauper and whinge like fairies on stage like so many these days. They did their thing, and stuck it to the man, now look where they are! We take great pride in our own DIY approach, we're not exactly "punk lives forever, oi oi oi!" types, but we love the people that have kept true to what they've been about, and worked it in a way that has brought their obscure music into the lives of everyone in the world that will gain from it.
What's the best thing about being in Bagster?
Being part of the anti, we don't boast to be more "punk" than anyone, we don't really care if you call our music "ska" (but you are wrong if you do, ha ha). But seriously we love being in the minority, and thrive on being "that different band" to everyone else on the bill, we've played lineups that on paper look like huge mismatches, but work perfect for us because we continue to play to new audiences and for the most part, the majority respect the fact that we aren't afraid to be different. In today's scene, particularly the punk (whatever you may define it as these days) there are so many sheep, people tend to stay safe and follow what's cool and force fed down their throats, there are less bands taking the plunge and mixing up their bills, who seriously wants to see a show where 4 bands all sound the same, it happens too much. On another note, we have a healthy respect for one another (until about the 11th hour of an interstate drive overnight), and all love the eccentricities of each others playing styles, so we feel like our music has more energy and potential for growth than a lot of other "trendier" bands.
...and the worst?
Really, I don't think i could say there is anything that is the 'worst'. I mean everyone has their moments, we tour pretty chronically, often resulting in many hours cramped in smelly vans with no money, hard floors & dodgy meals together and various other not so ideal circumstances, but in the end you learn from every experience, we know each others personalities inside out and have the touring thing downpat now, so when there are hiccups or hard times, someone will resolve pretty fast. As they say, 'without hell there would be no heaven'. There are many things we could let get to us, but we're happy with where we are and what we do, so we have nothing to whinge about. Actually there is something... Toyota if you are reading this, put more windows in Hi-Ace's and Tarago's, things get too smelly, too fast without them!
What have you got planned for the future?
Continue to do what we do, plain and simple, we are a live band, so we spend most of our time on the road, so plenty of touring is instore. We'll hopefully get a debut album out in the near future and try and play anywhere that will have us, scope out a bit of overseas interest and maybe get a touring holiday out of this band that we have had in full throttle mode for the past couple of years now. We'll continue to promote individuality over conformity, we'll keep mixing up our bills and tour lineups and show people that there is more out there on offer than you see in the mainstream media, and it's right here in our backyard. When JTV becomes the new Countdown, we want to put in now and say we want to play the 30 year re-union spectacular arena tour.
Australian music is…
The pride of our nation! We're only a small country in the grand scheme of things, so it's always frustrating to see so many young local bands today seeing these fly by night international bands or tv star turned musicians that grace the mainstream media and straight up copying them thinking it will work for them too. Who's fault that is, I don't know, but it would be great to see more major labels focusing on development rather than overnight success, quick bucks and "safe signings", it's a pretty sad state of affairs when "artist development" is not constant touring and building a fanbase that way, but spending a few weeks in luxury, all expenses paid then shoved on TV for a few months with millions of dollars thrown down to buy an audience, only for the artist to disappear when the next crop comes along. That said there are some incredible young (and old) Aussie bands doing it the traditional way, not ditching the unique aussie accent for a whiney imitation US accent and a pair of girls jeans, and we salute those, as should you. They are out there, you just have to look, you'll be glad you did.