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  • India Wallis

Rockin' The Suburbs With Boys At The Back

Meanjin's hiphop/punk four piece Boys At The Back have just shared their single 'Delivery Expert'. We had a chat with the band to find out their thoughts on the city we call home.

How did you form the band?

Jarrell (vocals): "Well, we first kinda formed as a band back in high school for a simple music assignment as we were all in the same music class and all knew each other for ages. Our first-ever performance was covering 'Hey Ya' by Outcast. I think this was in like grade 9 or something. Then we stuck together as a class band from then on. I remember our first bigger performance was for a battle of the bands our wonderful music teacher signed us up for, but yeah a few years later here we are."

Jiang (drums): "We did some incredible music class covers of some popular songs for assessments, until we found out it was actually fun. Now we try real hard and don’t even get marked for it."

Your live performances are reminiscent of Rage Against The Machine. Who else are you influenced by?

Jarrell: "Rage (Against The Machine) was the first band we fell in love with back in high school. We thought they were the hardest and dopest sounding band out there and it kinda stuck in our minds that’s what we wanted to sound like/have that type of presence when we were playing. Some other bands that we absolutely loved and are influenced by are Viagra Boys for how loose and playful they sound and come across as well as the heaviness and groove they have in their songs."

Jackson (guitar): "Definitely a big one for us is Viagra Boys, the groovy, heavy, bass line drive is unmatched along with Seb's professional goofy frontman skills just go so hard. But realistically we all draw influence from our own personal styles, we all listen to heaps different artists. From Jarrell’s old-school hip-hop knowledge to my Hardcore scene addiction, it all just comes together somehow?"

Jiang: "Mostly post-bop jazz music, you know, Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane, and the likes. In seriousness, our influences aren’t really limited to any one band or sound, we have this collective opinion on what sounds fun and goes hard, and we cram as many of those ideas into each song as we can. It seems to work pretty good at least so far."

Linze (bass): "We all listen to heaps of artists with different styles but we’re definitely influenced by Viagra Boys with their fat bass lines and humour in their lyrics."

The question that divides Brisbane… Northside or Southside?

Jarrell: "Southside all the way! Yeah obviously grew up here but I love the music scene here, just amazing bands left right and centre. Just smells better too."

Jackson: "Southside born and raised, Violent Soho’s Southside, Southside no question "

Jiang: "Northside… Jokes, LOL imagine living there"

Linze: "Southside is cool"

What local acts have you been digging lately?

Jarrell: "I feel like there are heaps but some main ones to point out would be The Splints because they have absolute tunes, Dad Fight are top blokes with energy like no other and Pvcker Up because they fully deliver every goddamn show they play."

Jackson: "Lately I’ve been bumping Vinted Vineer, The Splints and Dad Fight. All three of these bands have been absolutely killing it!"

Jiang: "Talk Heavy have been doing bits lately, loving their most recent stuff. We’ve been good mates with the Tubescreamer guys since primary school too, they’re always a killer show. A shout out to the Moree boys Kicked in Bickie Tin, been spinning their most recent single “High again” non-stop."

Linze: "I’m a huge fan of The Splints, they just have so much talent and have an incredible sound."

Time to give some local businesses some love. What are your go-to restaurants and bars in Brisbane and why?

Jiang: "PAZAR Mediterranean Grill slaps, best yiros I ever eaten. That creamy sauce goes down so damn good. Also Dominos Upper Mount Gravatt, for delivery expert reasons."

Linze: "Oishii Sushi Bar in Pinelands is my go-to, it’s just simply the best."

BATB are grabbing a post-show feed in the valley. Where are they going?

Jarrell: "Ahh yes, well we all have our own favourites but usually more times than not we have to hit up a quick maccas feed, you know, just to fuel us up before ripping it on stage"

Jackson: "F*ck I don’t even know, we’re kinda like a quadruple couple and can’t decide most times so probably four different places. Me personally, the dirtiest snack-pack I can find."

Jiang: "New York Slice on the corner of Wickham and Brunswick Street. $6 slice of pepperoni is the best sustenance one can buy."

Linze: "Some bao buns or fried chicken go hard after a good gig."

Do you have a favourite cafe?

Jarrell: "It’s got to be Bear Bones Cafe, they have a great parking lot out front to park up at and totally get a coffee and then head to a gig."

Jackson: "Bear Bones is easily the best, not for the coffee, the parking lot I mean."

Jiang: "Bear bones yes. The best cafe around, everyone should go check it out."

Linze: "Bear Bones coffee is very good."

If you could play a show with two national acts, who would they be and why?

Jarrell: "I reckon I would have to choose Violent Soho even though they are on hiatus, it would be magical. Another one would be Dune Rats as that would also be a super special moment to meet them and play with them."

Jackson: "God, there’s so many bands I could name, but playing with DZ Deathrays or Ocean Grove would be unbelievably sick. I think I’d probably pass out tryna perform with enough energy to keep up with them. In a world where heavy riff-based music ruled, they would easily be the Australian Kings."

Jiang: "DZ Deathrays would be a dream. A bit out of left field perhaps, but as a fellow QUT student, Ball Park Music are some huge idols of mine. Another enormous inspiration would have to be a gang called Speed.

Linze: "Ocean Grove and Psychedelic Porn Crumpets have a FAT sound and I’d kill to play a show with them."

What can we expect from Boys At The Back for the rest of the year?

Jarrell: "A lot of stuff in the works at the moment, except absolute bangers, cool as art and jam-packed shows to come"

Jackson: "Plenty of new bangers to be written & some crazy shows to come up towards the end of the year! Maybe even an EP if we make enough money."

From photographers to visual artists, videographers or booking agents, do you have any Brisbane creatives that you’d like to give a shout-out to?

Jarrell: "First off I wanna give a shout-out to our new booking manager Jesse from Crushing Promotions, he’s an absolute sick c**t. Also a big shout out to our mate Patrick Staples for filming some amazing shots over the past year. Another big shout out to our producer James Walmsley and also James Waters our legendary mixer. Kenny from King Lears who saw us at our first show and helped us gain traction in the Brissy scene. Scott from Tomcat’s another top bloke who has put us on heaps of shows. All of these people are amazing."

Jackson: "God the list is so long there’s so many talented people in this scene. First and foremost our friend and producer James Walmsley our producer and James Waters our mixer, together these men are unstoppable and our music would sound lame without them. Gabrielle Rankine & James Latter, both wizards behind the camera. Kenny from King Lears Throne and Scott from Tomcat also are some of the nicest blokes I’ve met keeping the scene alive!"

Jiang: "Sending some love to who is basically our live sound engineer and lighting guru Keegan Li-Sehl, our sets have never sounded bigger or looked sexier."

Linze: "Gotta give a shout-out to the man Ben Wells aka Blanco.Draws for amazing visual art and keeping me from ripping my hair out trying to bring designs to life."

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