Mittwoch, 17. März 2010

Oi! Core from Wombat City, Down Under

Here it is guys, the interview with the great MOUTHGUARD from Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. They are a great band, surely, melting Oi! and old school Hardcore together to one outstanding genuine underground music cocktail. Brilliant stuff!!! So there's no need to say more at this point, so now let's go to the interview. Here it comes:

*** MOUTHGUARD *** - Oi! Core Champs from Australia ***

(01.) First of all guys, I want to send an honest and big THANX to you for doing this interview!!! Great!!! Everything alright in the MOUTHGUARD camp these days?!? First of all... uhm, maybe second or third at all... guys, I think you are still something like 'Newcomers' here in Germany for maybe the majority of the interested music lovers, so, I can't spare you the maybe annoying question for your bandhistory so far. So introduce the readers and me to your bandhistory right up to this day, and please introduce yourself (in the band and maybe even outside the band, age, hobbys, jobs, former bands you've played in, etc.) to us, too.

Okay Andy thanks to you for waiting to interview us, we wish you all the best. MOUTHGUARD have been around for about 11 years in one form or another. The current line up has been together for about 5 - 6 years. So the band now is:
We've all known each other for many from going out seeing bands. We used to go watch Ian, our drummer, play with the INSANE HOMBRES, a pioneering Hardcore band in Brisbane. Darrin (The Vicar) used to come and watch early versions of MOUTHGUARD play and played in various Punk bands along the way. The Big Monkey (Viktor) was originally a two tone Rude Boy and featured Otto in his Skateboarding comic strip in "Slam Magazine" well before the band was going. Back then Otto wasn't a bad ramp skater and somewhat resembled Emilio Estevez in the movie "Repo Man".
The band formed in September 1998. Otto and Viktor had been to the Hardcore Superbowl in Sydney and saw so many great bands - TOE TO TOE, VICIOUS CIRCLE and THE ROCKS. Then a week later we went out and saw some bands in Brisbane. We were bitterly disappointed as the local batch was lazy and a little lacklustre and we thought we could do better. Then one night we were out a show and this kid walked up to us and said: "When are you guys playing?". So we thought we'd give it a go and formed MOUTHGUARD. Eight weeks of writing and rehearsing and we were up and playing our first show.
MOUTHGUARD have enjoyed a great 11 years, just reading this bio brings back a lot of great memories of shows and friends we have met in our travels.
When they came back to Brisbane the scene seemed a bit lacking. So they got the first line up of MOUTHGUARD together.
All four have enjoyed the music scene for some 20 odd years since we were all teenagers so that oughta give you an idea of our ages. We all still have a passion for Punk, Oi!, Hardcore music both in Australia and across the world. We started the band to enjoy watching other bands and have a few beers - 11 years later we are still enjoying it.
(02.) To be honest, I only own your truly great "One More Round" 10" released on the congenial german label "Bandworm Records". Are there more releases of you?!? On which labels came the stuff out, are there still copys around?!? Oh, are you satisfied with the record put out by "Bandworm Records" and the work of them, and will there be more releases of you coming from this label?!? Ah, I think there's also a new split record of you out, with the guys from THE AGITATORS. It's a shame that I don't own this piece, but on my next mailorder list it will be on top, I swear. Can you also tell us something about this split, how did it come to happen, why and how did you choose your split-partners, etc.?!?
Here is a full list of our releases...
'MouthGuard" (self-titled) - 13 track CD (Self Released 1999)
'Siege Mentality / Drunk Again' - 7" Clear Vinyl (Self Released 1999)
'Born Out Of Disgust' - 16 track CD (Stout Records 2000)
'Carry On MouthGuard' - 8 track CD (Self Released 2003) (This was given away at a gig and featured all covers including COCK SPARRER, COCKNEY REJECTS, PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES, JOHNNY THUNDERS, GG ALLIN, etc.)
'Split EP' with HARDxTIMES - 7" red and black vinyl (Narayan Records, France, 2004)
'House Of Stoush' - 20 track CD (Round 3 Records, 2004)
MOUTHGUARD / DRONGOS FOR EUROPE 'Split CD' (Bullpit Records, 2005)
'Killed By MouthGuard' - 12 track CD (Self Released 2006)
'One More Round' - 6 track 10" (released on Bandworm Records, 2009)
The "Bandworm" release is great, the final product looks good, the guys from "Bandworm"have been a great to deal with. Hopefully there could be another release with them. We need to pull our fingers out and start writing some new material and record.
Our split releases have come around through playing with bands and becoming friends. We have split with the DRONGOS FOR EUROPE from the U.K. who we played with in Birmingham in 2006.
That year we also became friends with our belgian beer buddies THE AGITATORS. They helped with organising some shows for us in Belgium. We have a great time when we meet up it's a regular party and I think we a very like minded and the split came about due to this friendship. There are three songs from each band and the release has a distinct football flavour to it with THE AGITATORS paying tribute to the "Royal Antwerp Football Club" with their tune "Red & White". Meanwhile MOUTHGUARD pay tribute to Prague football team "Bohemians 1905" in their song "Green & White". This Czech team was the first international soccer team to tour Australia way back in 1927. Special guest player for MOUTHGUARD squad is London's FRANKY FLAME who provides some fancy footwork in the way of guest lyrics, vocals and keyboards to pay tribute to his team "WestHam United".
(03.) Let's get to your record, respectively your music: I think you guys are playing just a great Old Tyme Hardcore with a very strong Oi! background, very tough and fast, but also melodic and hymnal with a lot of intense Sing-A-Long parts in the songs. A very little bit you remind me off the also from Down Under roaring BULLDOG SPIRIT, a truly great band, too. Do you know them?!? Would you somehow agree?!? In general: What are your influences, and from where do you get your inspirations?!?
Yes, we know BULLDOG SPIRIT, they are friends of ours. So the band has long history of listening to Punk, Oi! and Hardcore from across the world. Each one of us influenced by the different styles of music and so it comes in the music the different influences so I don't think you get one particular style but perhaps a unique sound that's ours.
To list all the bands that have influenced us would be take another page so I won't go into all of them. So definitely bands like AGNOSTIC FRONT, THE BUSINESS, COCK SPARRER, VANILLA MUFFINS, THE AGITATORS, SICK OF IT ALL, and Australian bands TOE TO TOE, VICIOUS CIRCLE, ROSE TATTOO. We were also inspired by touring Europe and experiencing some of the great European bands.
We have tried to add more singalong parts in our music to try and involve the audience, if the audience can identify with a song then it makes it more enjoyable for us and the crowd.
(04.) It's a little bit pity, but your lyrics are not printed in the inlay of your "Bandworm Records" 10", so please tell us something about your lyrics and the contents that you deal with in them, and from where do you get your lyrical inspirations?!?
As a band MOUTHGUARD write about a veriety of subjects. We have some political songs, but we try and be fairly subtle, we tend to write lots of positive personal messages, some humour and some drinking songs. There's enough bullshit in this world and we just want try and give our audiences a good time, perhaps take their minds off any shit they're going through.
I think "One More Round" is lyrical upbeat and positive - a celebration of what we like doing. Some songs were inspired by our visit to Europe in 2006. The song "Tram 22" is a tribute to our favourite pub 'Ujezd' in Prague and our adventures there. "She Is A Hooligan" is one for the football fans. "Drink All Night" is another one of our Drinking Songs. "Eye For An Eye" is abit of a different song for us. It was written by a good friend of ours, Hap Hathaway (ex-BLOWHARD). Hap's lyrics tell a tale of revenge - imagine a JOHNNY CASH song from the perspective of serial killer Henry Lee Lucas. Hap did a Rockabilly version of this song whereas we give it the MOUTHGUARD treatment.
If we have any kind of band philosophy then it's to be positive, keep things fun and celebrate our scene. We try making it a positive experience for everyone involved in the scene.
We have written some politically motivated songs usually about something that is happening in Australia. Some are personally motivated about a current situation that one of us may be enduring or have gone through.
(05.) If I heard and understood it right, then you are showing in your song "Drink All Night" a great lyrical "Fuck off!!!" Middlefinger to the Right Wing Fascist Scumbags, the true Subhuman Scum. I don't know much about it, but how is the White Power scene in Australia, are there a lot of problems caused by the supporters of the White Supremacy Movement and do they have an notable influence on politics (local, regional, national, ...)?!? And how is their musi scene in Australia?!? I know about this Blood & Honour Viking Rock band of the name BLOOD RED EAGLE, and I think this Blood & Honour R.A.C. band FORTRESS also comes from Down Under, and there is also this NS (Black) Metal band of the name of SPEAR OF LONGINUS, do you know them?!? How strong is this subhuman scumbag music scene in your land?!? Give us something like an 'insight view'.
There's a small contingent that keeps to themselves. There's no room in our scene for that shit so if it rears its ugly head it usually gets put back in its box fairly quickly. Their scene is very small and they are more popular overseas than locally. I think at a global level when the Fscist, White Power is showing an increase generally Australia follows but doesn't last long. It was pretty big in the 1980's but not so much now. There're still shows being organised very infrequently though.
So yeah, it is a fuck off, the song is about the good times we have with our friends at the bars in Brisbane and around he world. So it's a statement to say don't bring your bullshit into our circle and if you do we won't stand for it.
As a band we has often played benefit shows for green and social justice cause and are presently recording a THE OPPRESSED song for an upcoming Anti-Fascist CD compilation.
(06.) What I think is really interesting is the 'Ultras est. 1998' slogan in your logo. What is the deeper meaning behind this, which ones Ultras are you?!? Of an australian soccer team?!? Can you maybe tell us a little bit of the australian soccer world?!? When I think about Australia and Sports, I always think first of Rugby. Are you into that sport, what's your opinion of it?!?
Our bass player is of Czech origin and a football fan has embraced this style. We really became fans of the Prague team "Bohemians 1905" after the MOUTHGUARD tour visited there in 2006. We met many Bohemian Ultras and many were also into the music scene and fans of music we liked such as SKA, Punk, Hardcore, Reggae, and Oi!. We found it strange and a little confusing that a Czech club had a Kangaroo as their logo. Afterwards we read about how the Bohemians toured Australia back in 1927. They were the first international football team to tour Australia and the tour received a lot of media in Australia and the then Czechoslovakia. After the tour the team were given ral Kangaroos to take back to Prague and they then adopted the Kangaroo as their emblem. I found this story fascinating and it gave me an interesting connection between the two countries.
In 2006 we went to a couple of games with friends and found the terrace had a great vibe and the fans were great so we were hooked.
We have now adopted the club's "Om Pa Pa" song "Zelenobili" ("Green & White") as our introduction when we play a gig. Our australian audience is now accustomed that when they hear this tune we were about to start our show. Ha ha ha... many of them are confused about what it means... they think it's some crazy polka song.
I think the Berlin band THE RUCKERS also support the "Bohemians 1905".
Ha ha ha... some people do play football in Australia! Th Socceroos even made it to the last World Cup in Germany. Australian soccer hs a competition known as the A-League which has teams from all the main capitals in Australia, major regional centres. The Ultras Style Fans are slowly gaining momentum and is nowhere near as popular crowd as European soccer. One of the best games we witness this year was when our home team the "Brisbane Roar" played a friendly against Glasgow Celtic F.C. We tend to have an interest in the European Anti-Fascist Football Clubs, like "Bohemains 1905" and "St. Pauli".
Rugby League and Australian Rules Football are the two codes that are followed by the masses. We sometimes watch these games but generally prefer soccer.
(07.) Next I wanted to ask you, if you are into Boxing, Kick Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts and other (great) stuff like this, because of your bandname and the coverartwork of your "One More Round" record?!?
Yeah, a "Mouthguard" is worn by players of contact sports like Boxing, Ice Hockey and Rugby. We like the tough imagery of this name.
We are also fans of Australian Hardcore band TOE TO TOE and "Toe To Toe" is also a boxing term. We were looking for a name and one night we were on our way to see TOE TO TOE play a gig and the name was suggested. It seemed to suit and it gave us a connection to one of our favourite Australian bands. We went on to play with TOE TO TOE several times.
Darrin is our Martial Arts man, the rest of us enjoy a watching the Boxing. We wanted to capture the Australian Fighting Spirit that is now and historical.
Paradise from "Bandworm Records" came up with the album design and he has captured the Australian flavour very well. The album title is a play on words, "One More Round" can have a boxing meaning or another round of drinks at the pub.
(08.) Today there are a lot of really good bands that come from Down Under beside you, just to name the great BULLDOG SPIRIT, MARCHING ORDERS, TOE TO TOE, R*U*S*T, LEGIONS and not to mention THE CORPS. Do you know the listed bands?!? I think so;-). What do you think of them and which bands do you think are something like a must-know when it comes to australian music?!? And how is the scene in Australia in general?!? Some notable Fanzines and stuff like this?!? Give us some 'payable informations'.
So I think you named all the biggies, and yes, these guys are friends and generally we will play on the same bills. Other bands worth mentioning from the Hardcore side of things: TOE TO TOE, MINDSNARE and VICIOUS CIRCLE are also still playing and still as good as they always were. We also like SPITFIRE LIAR and PRIDE OF PLACE and the great PROVOKE who do Old School New York Hardcore very well.
From the Punk / Oi! side of things there's BASTARD SQUAD, BLOWHARD, STRANGLEHOLD, SLICK 46. We love MARCHING ORDERS and BULLDOG SPIRIT from Melbourne, and R*U*S*T and THE CORPS from Sydney. We also like a lot of Celtic Punk bands like THE GO SET, THE CURRENCY, CATGUT MARY, JACK FLASH and SYDNEY TRASH.
Australia has good healthy Punk, Oi! and Hardcore scene, that is generally well supported. Locally we have a crew Punkfest organising shows for the Punk and Oi!. Greg from AGAINST does a good job organising the Hardcore shows with "Resist Records" of Sydney.
We generally try to mix our gig lines up and it's not uncommon to see us play along side a Hardcore band, SKA band, even Rock & Roll and Rockabilly bands.
"Thirty Roo" is a new Fanzine that has just started up in Melbourne.
(09.) Coming to a close, please tell us something about the life in Australia in general (work, jobs, family, politics, social environment, holidays, culture, etc.)!!! I'm a big Australia fan, and so this would be really damn interesting. At least to me;-).
Australia is a huge continent, that takes about four hours to fly from one side to the other. We have a two hour difference between East Coast and West Coast. From where we live Sydney is 1.000 km away and Melbourne is 2.500 km. We have driven several times to Sydney to do gigs but these days most bands tend to fly. Bands support each other when band travel - I am sure something similar happens in Europe when bands travel. MOUTHGUARD and PLAN OF ATTACK have hosted MARCHING ORDERS and R*U*S*T when they've travelled up here. Doug from BULLDOG SPIRIT hosted Viktor when he went to Melbourne to do his Skinhead Reggae, SKA, Sould and Oi! DJing.
As a country we have beautiful beaches, large deserts and awesome forests. In some parts you can go down the beach and walk for miles without seeing another person. We have Rainforests in North Queensland that meet the beaches. We also have the majority of the worlds most deadliest enemies from Spiders, Snakes, Sharks, Crocs.
Australia has reasonable employment that took a downturn during the global recession. Because of the mines and metals industry in Australia employment is good.
It has a great social environment and the Punk / Oi! music scene is welcoming the international guests. We have personally hosted BEERZONE and the U.K. SUBS in our home.
(10.) So guys, that's all from me now. The last words shall be yours!!! Once again a big THANX to you for doing this interview!!! The best greetings from germany, Andy. Oi!
Okay, thanks Andy, hope we have given you some good material.
Stay positive and we wish you all the best. So a big Cheers! and Oi! from Australia.
Yeahr, that it was, the interview that I have done with the sympathic guys of the great australian band MOUTHGUARD, and you should really do yourself a huge, huge favour and try this awesome band out, great stuff!!! During the last year more and more fantastic bands found their way from Australia to us, just to name the fantastic SLICK 46, or great acts like PLAN OF ATTACK (with- I guess- Viktor o MOUTHGUARD), R*U*S*T, and many more. Good to see that the most southern continent of the west is delivering us one great band after another!!! And yes, but still MOUTHGUARD are pretty much outstanding, so damn, get known to this band!!!
The reviews to the "One More Round" 10" and the Split 10" with THE AGITATORS will follow soon.


  1. Servus,

    Danke fürn Eintrag in die Blogliste, hab deinen Blog erst so gefunden, hab dich mal auch verlinkt... Wie stell ich das ein das die Blogs da rechts so erscheinen wie bei dir?
    Wurscht, also schönen Blog haste, hab zwar nur 3 Sachen mal überflogen, aber wie mir scheint, ziehst du so dein eigenes Ding durch, bzgl. Bandauswahl, Politik etc. Und du machst sogar Interviews, hab ich mich nicht mehr aufgerafft nachdem eine Interviewanfrage unbeantwortet blieb... Woher kannst du so gut englisch? Ich mein verstehen tu ich ziemlich viel, aber ansprechende Sätze fabrizieren is dann wieder was anderes.

    Beste grüsse,


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