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The Corps Interview

05/08/2007

How did the band members all meet? At one point did you decide to form a band and how long did it take to your first gig? have you all been in other bands, if so what?

We all knew each other through punk and hardcore shows. Me and the drummer, Jordan, had been mates in high school as well. Me and Jordan decided to form the band as a side project as we were both in a black metal band called Punisher at the time, and wanted to play something a bit easier and for fun. This was in 2004. We knew Mike (bass) from other bands around the scene and knew he was keen to do something a bit Oi!, and then we got Pat (guitar) who we knew from a country/punk band called Sydney City Trash. For a short while we had a guy, Matt, also from SC Trash, sho helped with the writing of some of our early songs, but he was always a temporary option. We needed another guitarist to beef things up and got AJ who was one of Mike's friend at the time from a few years below him in school. AJ was 16 when he joined. We played our first gig roughly 6 months after forming to a basement packed with people. It all went well, so we recorded straight away. This recording was to be the "Into Battle" EP.

Who have you got to gig with? Is there any band you would be partially happy to tour with? What makes for a good gig?

The most notable bands we've played with would be Rose Tattoo and Flogging Molly. While they were fun shows, and we would not hesitate to play shows like them again, as a support band, you are playing to their crowd. These are established bands, and people often don't care about seeing new music from supports they don't know. We would love to do a run of shows with a band like Rose Tattoo so as to have repeated exposure to their (older) crowd by touring with them. They go to some pretty regional places, and still get descent crowds. My favourite gigs though, are the ones where everyone is there for all the bands. These are also the gigs where everyone seems to know the words, or wants to, and yells anyway. This is the best because even the openers get a good crowd to play in front of, and people are really pissed and excited by the headliner.

Tell us some of the weird and wonderful things that have happened when on the road?

There's not much road traveling in Australia because all the major cites are so far apart, and the small ones in between are often not worth playing (and are far apart too). Most of the time we fly. Once there though it's like you're on holiday and you don't have to think about driving or any of that crap. One time, AJ came straight from the airport to a gig in Brisbane (in Queensland, a Northern state of Aus) where we were playing. We knew time was tight and were getting worried he wouldn't turn up as he was a bit late. We went outside to find him in a fight, still with his huge backpack over one shoulder. He smashed the guy one handed, and marched straight in to play the show.

ow was this years' album received? Lyrically and musically what can people expect ? What is your favourite track on it and what goes down best live? I hear that your first eps sold out?

I think it's been received well. It's pretty early yet. Wouter from Rebellion tells me it's going good. There was a long wait on gettig it out. Not really from Rebellion's end, but more the whole process of finding a label, changing our minds on which labels, blah blah blah. Mostly hold-ups from our end really. It was recorded in Nov 2005, but it's out and Rebellion have done an excellent job all round. Lyrically, we generally don't go for all out Oi!/Streetpunk subject matter. There's a few about women, a little bit of the drinking streetpunk stuff, and just rock'n'roll type stuff too. Our best songs live are tracks like Itchin' For Evil and One By One. They're obvious and catchy and fun to play. We've played them so many times as they're sort of old songs for us now. Our favourites on the album would have to be Nail It Shut and Sold Out and they get played a fair bit too.

The first EPs sold out a while ago. We released them ourselves and pressed each of them twice, then let it lie a bit to make way for the album. But it seems people still want them, so they're getting re-released in Europe on one disc.

How do you think living in Australia influences the sound and lyrics?

I think the influence of the Australian pub rock sound has had an influence on us. Bands like AC/DC, Rose Tattoo, The Angels, etc. While we're a bit heavier, there are similar styles of song writing involved. They got their songs to flow by changing the emphasis and accents of riffs as they went along. This is something we try to do, rather than moving on to another riff. Also, we try to use vocal melody to carry tune in the verse like these bands did/do. My voice is pretty rough, but it's something we try to instead of it all being about the notes on the guitar.

Tell us about the Australian scene and how can you see it changing?

I think people aren't as afraid of skinheads anymore as they once were. People are realising that the far right element has left the Aus scene for the most part and that they're not all bad guys. This is good as it makes for mixed billed gigs with mixed crowds, more fun. I also think that this makes things less cliched because bands have more varied influences. People still have their styles and their particular fan bases, but they're not at war. In a bigger sense though, it does seem that there is no room for up and coming bands when it comes to bigger gigs and international support slots. Unless you have really good (ie big label) management, you are not going to get certain shows or opportunities. This is probably the same everywhere I guess. For bands like us, it's mostly DIY, so it really helps when someone really organised lends you a hand (cheers Wouter).

What bands would you recommend checking out?
I would recommend RUST, Bulldog Spirit, and Marching orders for the Street rock stuff. And for something a little more thrash, I recommend AVO and Smash n Grab. These bands are all great live. Great songs, and played really well too. None of that straining through the shit to figure out what's going on.

What are your thoughts on the internet revolution?

It rules. Without it The Corps would be nothing outside of Australia. We would have had some crap deal off some small puppet label who is basically a broker for a larger major label, neither of which will do anything for you. Things like myspace are excellent. People knock it all the time, and I wouldn't bother with it for a personal profile, but it's excellent for bands. Better than a website (which we dispensed with). The internet softens everything because woose bags bags can present themselves however they want and crap music gets it's tentacles further afield, but it really helps smaller bands in a way that no one can really control, so it allows for really good outcomes driven by the people who stand to benefit. .

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2007.

At the moment, we're trying to get on one of the Motorhead shows when they're out here, but I doubt that will happen (see question 6). Wouter will be releasing the album on vinyl some time later in the year. We have some recordings that currently do not have a home, and really we're looking for a good Euro or US band to do a split 7" with (anyone keen? drop us a line myspace/thecorps). We're also writing songs to record another full-length in Jan or Feb.

Any final comments?
Cheers for the support.

Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.

 

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