With frantic, offbeat arrangements shifting genre and tempo at will, Ostrander Aardvark add a touch of the manic to It Came From the Attic. Cutting similar lines to Dunedinís well-loved TFF, ĎPanther Pantherí is a schizophrenic piece of oddball pop. Set for their debut release in the coming months, Sam Valentine spoke to front man Joshua Hunter and starts off by finding out what the hell an Ostrander is....
Hey dudes, howís it?
So, uh, whatís an Ostrander?
Ostrander is John Ostrander, the writer for the comic book The Suicide Squad. So take Johnís last name and put it in front of the coolest animal, the aardvark, and BAM!!
When did you guys start playing music together?
We all met at Bayfield High School. We never talked to each other at all really, up until this point. Phil and I were in the same music class and realized that we had a lot in common in the music department, and started exchanging odd sounding riffs. We jammed these with another drummer at that point but since he was a guitarist not a drummer we thought it would be best to get a real drummer, which paid off. From then on in itís been one big learning curve.
Have you been involved any other musical projects?
Yes, we are good old Rock Quest kids. We only got the chance to do it once; it was like playing at Wembley, but maybe we took it a bit seriously haha.
How did you get involved with The Attic?
We had played a show with Freddy Fudd Pucker, and heard that he was playing a show on that Sunday at The Attic. We didnít know what to expect at all, but we walked in and made a team decision that it was a cool place with cooler people!! It was a weird weekend; it was the first time that outside parties that we didnít know liked our music and OMG wanted to record us!
Is It Came From the Attic something youíre pretty proud to be associated with?
Yes itís nice be on this with people that are down to earth and make awesome music. This could not happen though without the powerful Attic crew who recorded and sorted all this just because they like music and not trying to make money.... even though I'm sure that would be nice.
Whatís your favourite track on the compilation, excluding your own?
I like all of them, everybody on there sounds tight! I havenít listened to it in depth yet but itís hard to pick a favorite when theyíre all so good. Freddy Fudd Pucker is so cool and different love the live shows of bass drum and bells. Fat Childrenís guitar line blew me away at the start of their song. Itís the first time Iíve heard Brown and Trick Mammoth and I really like both!! The Entire Alphabet song has a ĎShake Hands with Beef feel to it! The vocals in Astro Children are so catchy it!!! I donít know how much more epic space bats attack could be there sound is really massive and catchy tunes!!
Is your bassist a Les Claypool fan? I was getting some serious Primus vibes on ĎPanther Pantherí...
My Name is Mud. John the Fisherman. Too Many Puppyís. Tommy the Cat. Laquerhead. South Bound Packerderm. haha the list goes onÖ you name it, he can play it!
Itís nice to see some slap bass on what would usually been called Ďalternative musicí again. It doesnít have to all RHCP funk...
Aw thanks man. We just try write things that are fun to play.
Did you guys grow up in Dunedin? Whatís your experience of its music scene like?
Yes, we are all born and raised in Dunedin. I like that each band can have a different sound to others and still be accepted; The mix of all the people with different tastes. We havenít got much experience and still think of ourselves as being up-and-comers. A lot of work needs to be done.
Tell me about your song ĎPanther Pantherí...
Itís a song about a party animal that gets trashed at night. The song was first called Pat the Panther because that represents his mad party life style but we settled on the ring of Panther Panther. I just wanted to make a song that could have panther in the name.
I understand you guys have got an EP coming out soon too, right?
Yes!!!! Or an album, I think 9 tracks to much for e.p???? We want to get out of town to promote it and get known.
And finally, in typical UTR fashion, what are your thoughts on the New Zealand music scene at the moment?
Forever lovely amazing!! To tell you the truth, I donít listen to many New Zealand bands, which makes it hard for us to make a judgment what is going on. But with stuff like this happening I donít think itís going wrong at all!