Frenzal Rhomb - The punkest band in rock
How the Frenzal Rhomb came to be
"And the second punkest band in rock," says Frenzal Rhomb lead singer Jay. Massive! is sitting in a cafe (70 Please in my Kitchen in Newtown, Sydney) with Rhomb members Jay, Lex and Lindsay (Nat had to piss off), shortly they head for the US where they are touring with Less Than Jake and Blink 182. We tried to talk to them about their new album, their past and life on the road. Um, this is what we got...
Jay I was born in Glasgow in 1972. I was an orphan until I was about 15 until I met Lex and he sort of fathered me. He was my male role model for quite a while.
Lex I told him how to grow dreads.
Jay Lex was a male prostitute until I met him. Once he got the father figure role happening he gave that away.
Lex Nat was born in about 1940. He was a baby-boomer. He'll always be a baby-boomer. Nat's actually the only person in the world who knows how to invent a time machine. That's the only way you can explain his age and his looks.
Jay And as for Lindsay - we found him at a pub. Then we all got together and decided to form a band. We decided to call it Frenzal Rhomb because it means nothing.
Lex Nothing at all.
Lindsay No story behind it.
The "controversial" 1994 release "Dick Sandwich"
Jay All it was was severed penises! IT was just a drawing - it wasn't as if it was a photo! It does seen to be easy to cause a bit of an uproar. Even saying stuff like fuck in your songs seems to still make some people hideously offended.
Lindsay But it's always in context. When Jay sings things such as [we had to censor this bit] it just fits into the context of the song. He's hardly making love when he's talking about that!
Jay Is this a G rated magazine? Is it mainly kiddies that buy this magazine?
Lex [returning briefly to the question!] I think we were surprised by the reaction to "Dick Sandwich" but at the same time we are convinced that we are the punkest band in the world and everybody will always be catching up to us in terms of punkness.
Jay Every time one of us does an interview on Triple J or with a paper there is always something that manages to get us in trouble. We actually got cut off the air on Triple J after a gig in Melbourne. We weren't actually being rude we were just saying challenging their playlist and stuff. We were suggesting that maybe they could concentrate more on young Australian bands and actually do what their agenda says they are supposed to do instead of playing the same 40 or 50 songs again. I think we got into half a sentence about why do you only play 40 songs a week and they cut us off. The producer came in and said "Piss off mate, don't fucking come back". That's now on the back of one of our T-shirts. And, er, once we threw a couch into the harbour!
Jay We tried to be funny in front in front of all these industry wankers and hoped it would get caught by the paparazzi - but it didn't!
Lex There's all the Recovery stories too. The first time we went on we attempted to shave Dylan's head. The next time we went on we obviously had to do something so we drew on his face.
Lindsay Next time we'll probably rape him!
Lex Maybe a destruction of the set.
Jay I was thinking on sitting on the set on camera and masturbating frantically!
Lex We simulated oral sex on Dylan from Recovery at the end of Recovery on national TV!
Tim Webster TV star
Jay We're hoping to catch up with Tim Webster [Ten Network sports personality] after the release of our next record because there's a song called "Tim Webster". Hopefully we'll get to meet him.
Lindsay Probably in court!
Lex He's got very strange eyelids. Nest time you watch Sports Tonight have a look. We've got many theories. I reckon he's been out in the sun too much and his eyes have gone a bit funny.
Frenzal Rhomb stateside!
Lex We are going to the USA for 45 days and playing 42 gigs.
Jay I like saying 40 days and 40 shows in 40 nights - the Noah's ark tour.
Lindsay We are in fact prophets of punk!
Jay I'm spending y birthday in Milwaukee with the Fonz! Which by the way dear reader, is 22 of September in case anybody wants to send me a birthday present. If we live through this [US] tour we are going to bring Less Than Jake over here to do a tour. After they've been playing venues holding about 3,000 across America it will be really good for them to come here and play in front of about 20 people in Dubbo!
The "Meet the Family" CD!
Lex It's the best thing that you or I have ever heard.
Jay It's going to be called "Meet the Family" and it's got about 18 tracks on it.
Lindsay Every one a hit.
Lex Hit after hit after hit!
Jay The album's a lot better than anything we've done. You can actually hear what's going on for a change. As far as content goes it's probably a little bit more political than the last. And a lot funnier! The last album focused a lot on violence and stuff and some environmental issues. On this one there's a couple of songs about the current racist climate. There's also a couple of animal liberation numbers because that's something that not really many people think about. And it's also got a fair whack of arse humour!
Lex There's highly political songs like "Mum changed the locks".
Jay Another one is "Be still my beating off".
Lindsay Probably the most affronting and politically controversial song on the album is "Beaded Curtains" [Parts 2 and 3]. It's one of those songs that we may get into a bit of trouble with because of the new left.
Where the Frenzal Rhomb songs come from!
Lindsay The heart.
Lex Lindsay's arse!
Jay I actually write all the songs and the lyrics and work out everyone's parts for them and send them around. That's when the real magic happens when they actually duplicate what I have written.
Have Frenzal Rhomb been playing the album live?
Jay Yeah, we've tried to.
Lex We can't play 'em, they're too damn hard.
Lindsay For me it's really hard to learn how to play guitar onstage and to look really good at the same time!
What will Frenzal Rhomb do next?!
Jay Explore various other parts of our sexuality. It can only really happen on tour though.
Lex I don't think we'll stop recording Frenzal Rhomb songs until we are 60.
Jay We'll be sad, sad shells of our former selves.
We are punk 24 hours a day non-stop. We never stop being punk. We live, breath, sleep it.
If at first you don't succeed it's probably because you're crap!