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Seven Quick Questions... Spermaids

Seven Quick Questions... Spermaids

Interviewed by
Danielle Street
Friday 23rd May, 2014 11:50AM

Spermaids is what you get when you put two guitarists in a blender with a set of drums, a few peddles, and push "go". The Melbourne-based duo create genre-mashing sonics, that if forced to define, would sit in the sphere of experimental post-punk - their cleverly named No Laughing Matyr came out last year as a condensed example of their neoteric approach to sound. The two-piece made it  over to New Zealand just after the EP's release to play a handful of shows, including sets at Camp A Low Hum and Chronophonium, and this weekend the pair are back in the country to play alongside local acts Girls Pissing On Girls Pissing, Mean Girls and Caroles at Auckland's Whammy Bar. With that in mind we thought it would be a good time to catch up with these sirens of sound, so here's Seven Quick Questions with Spermaids....

Hi Spermaids, can you please introduce yourselves?

Hey. Spermaids is Osh Felber and Zac Barkway. We play kinda heavy post-punk shit which is made up of guitar, drums and the odd triggered sample. We're actually both guitarists but instead of finding a drummer we just take turns trying to drum to each others riffs.

You guys were in New Zealand for a tour not so long ago... why back so soon?

Well, we have family and friends in Auckland, so we we're just going for a visit and figured we may as well play a show while we're here. We've played in Melbourne so much over the last couple of years so it's good to get out and play other cities as often as possible.

What was the most memorable thing from your last trip over this way?

Playing the last Camp A Low Hum was definitely memorable. Chronophonium too. Playing in our home town Nelson was rad. Also, I took some acid and jumped off a high cliff into a river in Kaitoke. I remember that very clearly. The whole trip was awesome, we're coming back early next year for sure. Keen to play more shows in the South next time.

Last year you released your second EP No Laughing Martyr, can you tell us a bit about that?

Yeah, we recorded that almost entirely at home actually. We're pretty happy with how it came out considering we made a lot of it up as we went along. Hoping to put it on vinyl soon.

What have you got up your sleeve for future releases?

Well, we just had a live set recorded last week so that'll be released at some point. We've been talking to another Melbourne band called Bodies about doing a split release so that's probably where you'll hear it. Also we just had a remix done of No Laughing Martyr by Auckland based DJ Lotion which you'll be able to hear probably in the next few days on our Bandcamp site.

How do you find the music scene over in Melbourne and what could make it better?

We've found it really accommodating. It seems like there's a pocket for pretty much any style of music. The only thing that could make it better is if it was easier for music venues to stay open. A lot have been struggling, whether it's because of new licencing laws or because of residents moving into neighborhoods that have hosted live music for decades, then taking local venues to court with noise complaints. It's bullshit. But that seems to be happening everywhere, not just Melbourne.

Lastly, I have to ask... Spermaids... how did that name come about?

Ha, well, it can be taken a few different ways. At first it was meant to be the name for a male mermaid. A mermaid might lure horny sailors into a storm or whatever, whereas we just lure bogans into pubs. But most people just read it as the words 'sperm' and 'aids' put together, which is pretty gross.

Please tell us a bit about the track you chose for us to listen to...

It's called 'Let's be Ninjas While We Still Can'. We recorded it at the very end of our recording sessions, we'd been recording drums for about 10 hours and thought we were finished. Our friend Ross who engineered and mixed everything asked us if there was anything else we wanted to record while we had the studio set up. I had a super vague idea for a song and he insisted we do it.

Spermaids are playing with Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing, Mean Girls and Caroles tonight at the Whammy Bar in Auckland. Head over here for more details.


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