After speculation that bands like Silverchair, Powderfinger and Jet could be reforming and supporting AC/DC on their 'Rock Or Bust' tour - Melbourne's own Kingswood band have announced they will be taking the honour of opening for the Aussie legends this November.
Last time Kingswood played at The Gov Yewth were lucky enough to catch up with bassist Mango Hunter. We talked beer, music and why rock died a long time ago...
I’m outside the door of The Gov’s backstage room – inside is the bass player for Melbourne rock, indie four-piece, Kingswood – they’re getting ready to play a free gig for a crowd of lucky Adelaide fans, who are making the most of the free dark ale available to them all night long.
I walk inside and see Mango Hunter, comfortably sunk into a green suede lounge from the 60s, sipping on a Coopers. Mango welcomes me to join him and asks me what kind of questions I am going to ask him... I reply honestly and say in an uneasy voice, “I have no questions prepared, I’m justgoing to ask what comes to my head.” He looks at me with a grin that forms in the middle of his Ned-Kelly-like-beard and says, “As long as you don’t ask me questions like ‘Where’d you get your band name from?’”
It’s winter (at the time) and Kingswood is doing a string of free gigs sponsored by Coopers Brewery to promote their lesser-known dark ale. Those lucky enough to win tickets through Coopers were treated to free tickets, free beer and free finger food. The first thing I notice is Mango isn’t drinking a dark ale, instead a bottle of Thomas Cooper’s Artisan, “I like this one actually,” Mango says. “Last time we played at The Gov we went and did a factory tour at Coopers and they gave us a slab of this on the way out.”
Four gigs into the dark ale tour he says, “We needed a break from the dark ale so we thought we’d get them to bring some Artisan down.” He adds, “It’s really nice, Coopers is great.” (I start to wonder if this is part of marketing for the tour) – Mango reassures me, “If Carlton Draught or CUB said ‘Do you reckon you wanna do some gigs for us,’ we wouldn’t be as keen... because it’s like a big conglomerate [while] Coopers is a family owned company.”
Kingswood are a rock-band which means it can be hard for them to stand out among all the other long-haired, guitar thrashing rock groups that have been and gone. “You can’t be a rock and roll band and be original,” he says. “It’s all been done.”
“Rock probably died the start of the 80s... After that there wasn’t much further, besides ‘cock-rock’ American-Motley-Crue-stuff. Everyone associates rock with a certain band like it could be the Stones, could be The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Floyd... It’s not like you are going to reinvent a new genre of rock. Mango concludes, “Grunge was the last movement in rock.”
The bass player doesn’t want the next generation of rock bands to worry about breaking it on the radio with that one hit. “There was so many bands in Melbourne that would come out and get their song on Triple J and then they just had nothing to back it up with,” he stresses. “So people would just forget about them. If you can’t back it up, it’s like no-one gives a fuck!”
While Kingswood may not be re-inventing a new movement in rock, songs like Ohio from their debut album Microscopic Wars prove that Mango and other members from Kingswood (who have never seen a Gillette shaver) are more than worthy of representing the genre and inspiring the next generation of real musos in Oz. It's little wonder why the ACADACA picked the boys to join them on tour!
Tickets available here.