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They're the voice.

The full version of an article I wrote for Opus, my Uni's Newspaper, on 1st September, 1997.

Oh God, it was a horrible joke that went totally wrong. We just played it at the Big Day Out this year. We had done an Elvis cover on the first CD, so we thought ‘time for another cover’ and we thought we should keep it local, support old Farnesy. It just escalated from there, people kept asking for it at gigs and we were like ‘fuck, stop asking for it’. So we put it on the CD so people would stop but they just ask for it more. I just wish we had never ever done it.

Gordo, the drummer of the Gold Coast’s favourite punk sons Blister, explains how a cover of Farnesy’s ‘Your The Voice’ ended up on their new album ‘The Revenge of Tommy Lobster’.

I heard it and i just went ‘what the fuck?!?’. It is just bizarre because it was ten years ago that was a hit, so i was only eight or nine years old....
Yeah, I was a bit of a youngster too when that was out.

After releasing ‘Busted’ and ‘Hoots Mon’, two very fine EPs containing large quantities of the melodic punk these guys do so well, they hit us with their debut long player. Nestled on it are 12 tracks of pedal to the metal punk laced with healthy doses of raw Aussie humour, followed by a lounge version reworking of ‘Boogie Board Rider’, originally off ‘Busted’, and that infamous cover to round things off. Their material is just so wide and varied, I just had to ask the question.....

Where does your inspiration for your songs come from?
You name it, it probably comes from there. Everything goes, television, the Gold Coast, whatever, magazines......

So the song ‘Windsor Beaver’, do you actually know someone with that name?
Na, I was watching Letterman one night. The whole audience was from a single town and they were having a Q and A on the town. He was just picking on audience members and asking general knowledge questions. He picked this girl and she stood up and he asked what her name was and she said ‘Windsor’. He was complimenting her on how nice her first name was, so he asked her what her last name was and she said ‘Beaver’. It was highly amusing. So I ran off and got my note pad and wrote a song.

Are you relating to personal experience in ‘Boogers and Spiders’?
That was Phil, the singer. He was sitting at a guy’s house and flicking through a Rollin’s book. This kid wrote a letter to Henry Rollins and it said something like ‘Dear Henry, you should write more songs about boogers and spiders’ so we thought, ‘fuck it, we’ll do it’.

Bodyjar photo Do you think it is important to have the range to go from a really piss take song like ‘Boogers and Spiders’ through to a serious song like ‘Paradise’ to separate yourselves from all the bands playing punk similar to you?
I think so. We try to keep everything with a sense of humour, but every so often something a bit serious just slips out and you just sort of go with it.

From the whole theme of ‘Paradise’, I guess you guys are a bit pissed about the way the Gold Coast is going?
You can’t really say enough about how bad the Gold Coast is at the moment. It is just real dodgy.

Do you get good responses to your piss take humour from crowds?
Some people kind of get into it. Some people don’t get it at all. They think we are trying to start a fight or something. Most people just get drunk and laugh along. We just poke fun at everyone.

Your first two EPs sort of aligned you with the SoCal image. I just got the feeling with this album that you are trying to break from that.
In a way I guess we kind of are. It is hard not to sound like that when that is pretty much all you listen to. There is a heap of Australian stuff we listen to but of course your going to be influenced by what you hear. We try to get away from it because, obviously, we are Australian.

Strange Harvest Like ‘Tony Pepperoni’ with the different rhythms and stuff going?
I guess you could almost call that a ska song, sort of. But we all listen to heaps of ska and stuff. I guess that's where that came from.

You have also redone ‘Boogie Board Rider’. Was that just messing around in the studio?
No, we had been doing that live for a while. The initial idea was to play the song in a different genre every gig. We had a death metal version planned and a blues version and a country and western version and all this shit. It just never got off the ground. We ended up just getting stuck with the jazz version.

Blister appeared on Recovery earlier this year as the house band, dressed up to the nines in kilts, would you expect anything less? That would have exposed to about half a million early rising Australians. I had to ask them about the biggest live crowd to be exposed to their rowdy punk antics......

You guy’s got to play the last Big Day Out on the Gold Coast earlier this year. How was that?
That was awesome. That was very cool. They gave us lots and lots of free beer. Apparently we had the biggest crowd at our stage for the whole day. I dunno who else played on the stage, I think it was like Pangea and Paradise Motel and a couple of other bands. There was 8000-9000 people or something. It was the biggest crowd we had ever played to and we walked out and went ‘bloody hell’. It was a bit scary.

Are hoping to get on Homebake or Warped this summer?
Actually, I think we may have one of the Warped shows. I dunno if it is definite yet but someone was saying we may have one. I am crossing my fingers because that would be cool.

A few days after the interview I received confirmation. Blister will be playing the Queensland leg of the Warped tour in January 1998 in support of bands like Pennywise, Blink 182, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, the Vandals, the Porkers, Bodyjar and the Living End.

You guys are just about to go on tour with Agent Orange. Looking forward to it?
Fuck yeah! It should be rad!

You guys hoping to do a tour of your own soon?
Maybe, I think after we get back from the Agent Orange tour we might be heading back down to Melbourne to play some shows with Nancy Vandal.

Blister’s ‘The Revenge of Tommy Lobster’ is out now on Rapido thru MDS.


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