Words by Paul Maland
Byron Bay ratbags Skegss just finished a huge sold-out tour supporting Dune Rats across the country. Ahead of their new EP Holiday Food dropping this Friday, the boys have dropped a new video clip, dates for a headline tour in Europe, a national tour in June, and a headline spot at The Blurst of Times festival in May.
We caught up with guitarist and vocalist Benny to have a chat about joining Dunies for their biggest tour yet, recording their new EP, and the band's journey so far.
“The coolest thing about it was 'cause we're buddies with them and Gooch Palms it was sick to be able to share three weeks together, being able to wake up and hang out each day, and then go and play a crazy show every night to that many people," Benny says of the tour supporting Dune Rats.
"It was pretty much just a buzz the whole time. Every night just felt as crazy, it would kind of blow you away how many people were there each night when you walk on stage," he says.
As fun-loving as touring in a live band is, Benny agrees that fans sometimes forget that non-stop partying doesn't necessarily encompass everything they do.
"They definitely do. They follow your Instagram and I think some people would sometimes forget that it's an entertainment platform to promote your band. They see you post a photo, and it might be from a week ago, and they think it's from the current time, and that you're just drinking a beer or something all the time,
"Some people definitely assume that you're just getting fucked up every day and stuff. When we’re on tour, it’s just on the weekend like everyone else," he says.
Although things are definitely picking up, with their music now taking them across the globe, the Byron Bay trio remain pretty modest about their success.
"We've never really had any goals or expectations with it. We've kind've just enjoyed the ride the whole time. Definitely just wanted to make songs and play as many live shows as we could. It's cool how much we can do it at the moment... but we're real bad," he laughs.
"I've never been to Europe, so I'm really excited to go over there. People always tell us to come over there in comments and stuff, so hopefully those one or two people come to the show," he says of their upcoming Europe/U.K. tour.
Skegss' new five-track EP is set to drop at the end of this week, and is one of their proudest productions yet.
"[Recording the new EP] was sick. Since we've put our last one out, we're always writing songs. They came together real' quicker than some songs do. All five of them just felt real' complete real' quickly. We didn't have to do too much to it, too much structuring,
"Chris Collins, the guy who mixes our stuff, he knew the sound engineer in the studio we recorded at in Surry Hills. It worked really well, they had chemistry, 'cause Chris usually mixes our stuff, and we're always telling him what we want, but not getting it 'cause we might not have done what we needed to do in the studio for him to be able to make the mix sound like that,
"After doing two EPs with us, he knew what we wanted [...] He was able to get it tight, and semi-produce it for us, and get it how we wanted it. We were psyching, and the whole time was just so much fun, just a good time with Chris and George, there were no eggy moments,
"Me and most of the fellas are just real stoked to be able to have made something we're a little bit proud of. Even if it's something that no one else really likes — it's coming out on a vinyl, and we're psyched to have that kind of memento," Benny says.
On top of their most recently dropped video clip for Got On My Skateboard featuring comedian Aaron Gocs, we had a chat about the inspiration for their previous video clip, Spring Has Sprung.
"That was just one of our buddies, we roped him into doing it. None of us were actually there when they were doing it, we might've been away on tour or something.
"The idea came about, I think it was a rip-off of a Sonic Youth video clip with Macaulay Culkin. The idea kind've came from that — he's just kissing one chick, just our friends girlfriend.
We also asked Benny for some up-coming bands on his radar across Australia.
"Pissed Idiots out of Sydney, whenever I've seen 'em live they've just got good energy, Verge Collection from Perth. They're a band where you're just excited for them to put another thing out so you can listen to it, Dump Punts from Melbourne. They're always writing good songs," he says.
Taking a page from when Skegss interviewed European band Molly for Tonedeaf, we asked Benny if there's any genre or style of music he can't stand.
"Sad songs — no one needs to hear 'em."
Skegss' new EP HOLIDAY FOOD drops this Friday, April 7. Pre-order the EP and grab tickets for any of their upcoming shows in Australia, Europe and the U.K. at skegss.com