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The Keepaways

The Keepaways

Interviewed by
Danielle Street
Monday 24th November, 2014 2:17PM

Brisbane-based trip-punk outfit The Keepaways will be jumping the ditch next month to play at the inaugural Ageold Festival, an event that will see an epic line-up take over the Ellen Melville Hall for one night of entertainment for music fans of all ages. With The Keepaways being the sole international act on the bill we thought it might be a good idea to peel back the shroud of enigma and learn a little bit more about our new Trans-Tasman pals. UnderTheRadar called up drummer James aka Dogboy to ask a bit more about the group and their Demon Tapes project...

UTR: HI James, first of all I wanted ask, you’ve got your band Facebook page says there's two of you, but there are photos with three of you playing...

James: Yeah, we’ve recently just changed to a three-piece, because if you listen to the stuff it’s got all those samples and electronic sounds over the top of it, so now we’ve got our friend Ben basically just pressing buttons on a keyboard to make those sounds when we play live. And he’s always been with us, he’s alway been a Keepaway because he’s our best mate.

So the two original members are listed as Dogboy and Jinki, which one are you?

Heh, I’m Dogboy, Jakob on vocals is Jinki, and DJ Gadgets is Ben.

How did you end up with the name Dogboy?

Ah, it’s a funny thing. Me and my girlfriend were talking about naming kids one day, and I was like “let’s just name our kid Dogboy”, and then I was like “that’s a stupid name”, so I just started calling myself Dogboy.

Have you read that comic called Dogboy by Charles Burns?

No I haven’t… I should check it out though.

Yeah, it’s pretty cool, it’s about a boy with the heart of a dog. Anyway, I also wanted to know when you guys start playing together?

Jakob and I met at uni, so we’ve been playing together for about three years now. We were in another band previous to this and that kind of dissolved and this year we started The Keepaways properly, and playing gigs and releasing stuff.

So, what are the Demon Tapes?

Well, we came up with the idea at the start of the year to release a song and a video every month, and we were like “oh we’ll just call it Demon Tapes”. So yea, we’ve been releasing a song and a video every month. We just released number 10 for October, obviously, and we’ve got two more to go until the end of the year.

Are they hard to keep up with?

It wasn’t at the start of the year because I was unemployed so I had time on my hands to edit videos and piss around doing that stuff. It’s pretty hard now coz I’ve got a job, so we are trying to squeeze it in, but it’s getting more and more difficult.

How has it evolved since you started in January?

Well, I think I’ve got better at making videos, because I’ve no idea what I’m doing I’m just pissing around on Final Cut. And the songs have changed completely because at the start they were kind of more rocky and more like our old band, we were kind of just figuring ourselves out at the start of the year, but now that they have kind of got a sound on that I’m really stoked on, it’s really kind of intense and we are pushing our boundaries now with sounds.

So the songs have been written throughout the year, rather than as a big bunch at the beginning of the year?

We were going to do that, we had a whole bunch of songs recorded and we were like: “oh yeah we’ll just release one a month”. But as the year went on the majority of the songs have been written the month that we release it. We’ve been running it month by month because our sound has changed, so those old songs aren’t really relevant anymore because we don’t really play them.

Do you plan to put them out as a cohesive release?

That’s what we want to do at the end of the year, but all 12 on one whole thing. I don’t know what to call it. It’s an album really. We plan to have it out by the time we come over for the gig in New Zealand.

Going back to what you were saying before about how your sound has changed. Is that a conscious decision? Where does this sound you describe as trip-punk come from?

We have no idea what we want to sound like really. Jakob and I go in there, and we tend to go in to the jam room really late at night. And when we are really over tired that’s when all the songs come out. That’s why they are all tripped out and we listen back to them and go "woah these are sick", because we just record them on our phones. So yea there is no real idea behind what we are doing. Trip punk is just the only way we can describe it, because people always ask what genre we play, and we don’t know. We used to play punk and this is like a weirder more tripped out version of the punk songs we used to do.

Yeah, genre is a hard one, sometimes you just need to mash words together until you get something that fits...

Yeah, that is the way to do it. You just need to say a bunch of things that kind of describe what you do.

I’ll make this my last question… do you guys actually have degrees in bio-medical science as claimed on your Facebook page?

Haha, no. We definitely do not have that.

Ah, that's a shame. That would have been very impressive.

Yeah, it would have been, but we are not actually too intelligent. We just lie on the internet.

The Keepaways will be playing alongside Die! Die! Die!, PHF, Trust Punks, Miss June, Heroes For Sale, Desperate Models and Charlie Freak at AGEOLD all ages show on Saturday 13th December at Ellen Melville Hall in Auckland. Head over here for more details and to buy tickets.


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