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Seven Quick Questions... Bloodbags

Seven Quick Questions... Bloodbags

Interviewed by
Danielle Street
Thursday 18th August, 2016 11:10AM

Auckland's own rock 'n' roll rascals Bloodbags are heading over to the States next month to join the illustrious garage-rock throw down Gonerfest. The Memphis-based event which is hosted by Goner Records has over the years drawn acts like Ty Segall, Black Lips, Quintron, Jay Reatard, No Bunny, Total Control, Guitar Wolf, Thee Oh Sees, Vivian Girls, Hunx And His Punx and loads, loads, loads more.

For the 2016 festival Bloodbags are one of two New Zealand bands on the bill - alongside Dunedin's Opposite Sex - and this weekend the Bags are holding a little shindig to help raise some funds to get them on their way to Texas. So in anticipation we threw some questions at legendary frontman Andrew Tolley to find out the haps...

1. First up, who is Bloodbags and what kind of music do you make?

BLOODBAGS came together near the end of 2012 in Auckland, from the demise of two previous bands, BLOODY SOULS and THE DIRTBAGS. 2/3 from each combo... we super sized from two previous trios to one more unwieldy quartet.

Popular rhythmically minded dynamic duo, Mr Matt Rapley and Mr Sam Ralston, ex-drummer and bassist for the DIRTBAGS were persuaded without too much fuss, to embark on a new endeavour with ex-BLOODY SOULS guitaring men Cameron Rowe and Andrew Tolley. Pretty much a jump in with both feet, throw some loose ideas around and see what sticks... guitar riffs, repetition, rhythmic propulsion and dynamic, seemingly well placed hollering, play 20 times, see if said tune is still favoured at the end of the ritual, enough to keep on playing? We listen to soul, blues, rockabilly, surf instrumentals, new wave, no wave, glue wave, punk, hardcore, rocknroll, country, electronic noise, guitar noise - from here, Oz, Europe, the Americas... all of it informs our primitive howling and battering.

2. We've heard your Auckland's tallest band? Any truth to that?

Pretty sure we're all over 6 foot two, so possibly the case, we liked to call ourselves both "tall and punctual" fer a while, because fer a while we would always turn up to sound checks on time, play when we were allotted to play, and for the duration we were allotted to play for. Something most bands don't do....course those good habits of punctuality have slipped rather badly in recent times, no-one seemed to appreciate our timeliness, so we've fallen in line with general accepted behaviour of lateness and playing over time...

3. You guys been added to the bill for this year's Gonerfest, which kicks off in Memphis next month. How did that come about?

Well we had actually been booked to play last year 2015, but thru poor communication and complete lack of money, we missed the boat. I have met Eric Goner previously so was maybe kinda on the radar which probably helped to be considered. I think they like having oddballs from other countries play GonerFest jus to mix it up from the usual Amurikin fare... I hit them up again this year after last year's missed opportunity and they thought why not?

4. Who/what are you most looking forward to at Gonerfest?

There is way too much to leave out - Fred/Toody of Dead Moon, the original first line up of Greg Oblivian's REIGNING SOUND, KID CONGO & HIS PINK MONKEY BIRDS, Bobby Hussy's FIRE RETARDED, USELESS EATERS, BLOODY SHOW, BLACK LIPS, SICK THOUGHTS, TRAMPOLINE TEAM, SPRAY PAINT, KOOL 100s and strangely enough, a band I've never seen, our fellow country peeps OPPOSITE SEX from Dunners, who I've heard sound like cross between the Shaggs and High Rise...

5. Any other plans while in the States?

Thru 24 hour Facebook surveillance, and several thousand emails, I've managed to sort two shows in LA, shows in San Francisco, Tempe, Arizona, San Antonio and Austin in Texas in the week-and-a-half leading up to GFest, with some pretty ace bands, MUSK, FNU RONNIE CLONE BAND, XETAS, SHOVEL, BOLOS, NAMELESS FRAMES to name a six shows leading up to Memphis mean we should be at our best come GFest time....also there's an outside chance we may play Nashville after Memphis at Third Man Records, thru a hook up of Cam's...pretty exciting stuff...mosta the folk I been communicating with have been pretty awesome and enthusiastic, so it will be ace to meet them in the flesh too.

6. What’re your thoughts on the local garage scene at the moment?

There are always awesome bands at any time in NZ, just depends if they get the chance to play the right places, record some mean stuff and get a lil attention that allows them to have a good chance at playing elsewhere, record more than usual and leave a memorable mark. It seems there are still a lot of choices of venues for folks to play around the country, and probably more bands around than I can remember, so it's very good fer the gig goer at the moment, there is an extreme wealth of decent offbeat music being made right now in NZ.

7. You released the ‘Talking Apes’ 7-inch last year. Any recordings up your sleeve?

Yup we got two more seven inches in the works, we recorded a bunch of tunes with Guy outta ECHO OHS at Whammy on his temperamental reel-to-reel tape contraption. It came out sounding pretty much like the wild and woolly beast we know we've created, ie exactly how we wanted. We're pretty stoked with the tunes. Jus gotta hope the fickle hipsters and faithful aficionados feel the same way...we're gonna whack all these tunes on a couple hundred cassettes to hock off whilst we're in the Amurikas.

Bloodbags are throwing a fundraising show this Friday 19th August at Wine Cellar in Auckland, with support from Bargain Bin Laden and Blazing Shade. Head over here for more details.


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