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Melbourne, Australia’s Eddy Current Suppression Ring plays raw and catchy garage punk, stuff like X (the Australian one) or the Victims. But they also sound kinda like the Strokes sometimes—in a good way. They write songs about simple things: eating ice cream, waking up in the morning, and pitching a tent—you know, for sleeping outdoors. Their singer wears black gloves. I spoke with guitarist Mikey Young while the band was hanging out in Philadelphia getting ready to play a show with Pissed Jeans. The band will perform tonight at 9 p.m. at Velvet Lounge with La Brea Tea (ex Navies, members of Pissed Jeans) and Civilians. You can download an MP3 that the band contributed to the soundtrack for the film Constructing Fear here.
CP: Can you talk about how the band got together?
MY: We were at my work and we were drunk at the Christmas party and everyone left, we just picked up the instruments and played. It was in 2003 I think. Brendan—the singer—went away for a while, came back, and we practiced again, recorded a couple of songs and put out a 7-inch. We were just going to play one show for our friends. It wasn’t meant to be a band—it was just sort of funny the first time. We recorded the first practice. I worked at a pressing plant and I thought it was cool enough to just press 100 and give them to our friends.
CP:You work at a record-pressing plant?
MY: A factory in Melbourne. It’s good for pressing a 7-inch yourself. But there’s all this 40-year-old equipment that does whatever. We usually press bands I hate or bad local hi- hop or something—the vinyl market in Australia is too small to be picky.
CP: What bands were you into?
MY: Pagans, Saints, Devo, other bands that I really liked. We’ve never really thought about that.
CP: Are you guys playing a lot of shows back in Australia?
MY: We try not to. We’re pretty lazy. Probably play Melbourne once or twice a month. We want to be pretty excited to play every time we play. We keep shows spaced out so they’re still pretty fresh. You really can’t tour Australia—there are only a couple of places that you can play. Melbourne is good. Sydney sucks. You have to drive 10 hours to the next show. Any time we go to Sydney we just hope to break even.
CP: Have you ever been over to the U.S. on tour before? MY: This is our first time as a band. We’ve all been over for personal reasons and stuff. Haven’t had any bad press, everybody seems to like us except grumpy 40 year old men that hate every band around. We’ve been pretty lucky. We get fairly raucous and have a good time.
CP: How are you getting around up here?
MY: We’re sort of figuring that out as we go. We’ll probably hire a van on Friday to get to New York. Hire another van to get back to D.C. Jump on a plane to Austin. Then we’re going to drive over to Memphis. Maybe our inexperience in touring is going to show through.
CP: Can you talk about that song “Demon’s Demand” that you guys just contributed to the Constructing Fear soundtrack?
MY: That was just a one-off thing. They asked us to do a one-off thing for a film. It’s a bit of a different song for us. It was just a riff I had sitting around. Every time we’ve done it since, it hasn’t really had that same fire in it. We did record another take of it for the album but rather than put out a shitty version I’d just rather leave it.