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Interview: Seven Questions For Regurgitator

Interview: Seven Questions For Regurgitator

Interview by Fluffy / Tuesday 12th March, 2019 12:11PM

Brisbane electronic alt-rockers Regurgitator return to New Zealand this week for a three date tour hitting Auckland, Wellington and Raglan, with support from such local heroes as Disasteradio, Cindy and Threat. Meet. Protocol. World-renowned for their mind-frying eclecticism and such party-starting hits as 'Polyester Girl' and '! (The Song Formerly Known As)' over a career spanning more than 25 years, the tireless trio are touring in celebration of their ninth studio album Headroxx and recently launched a super fun kids side project called Regurgitator's POGOGO SHOW. We felt it was crucial to touch base with the gang before they laid waste to our stages – roving reporter and "bit of a fan" Fluffy fired through a fistful of probing questions to founding members Quan Yeomans and Ben Ely via the series of tubes which is the internet. Read the Gurge's considered replies here and catch them in action at the dates below...

Undertheradar proudly presents...


Friday 15th March - Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ Brother and Sister, Cheshire Grimm, Cindy 
Saturday 16th March - The Yot Club, Raglan w/ Threat. Meet. Protocol, The Illicit Wah Wahz
Sunday 17th March - Valhalla, Wellington w/ Disasteradio, Muscleman

Tickets available HERE via UTR

1. I first discovered Regurgitator when I was starting to learn guitar as a youth while living in Brisbane’s West End. I feel like I encountered you guys at this perfect crossroads of my tastes beginning to lean more guitar-ward from conventional pop, while albums like Unit (1997) were an excellently accessible stepping stone between the two worlds. I also felt this immense sense of pride at our geographical vicinity. So, first up, I wanted to ask if it was your intention at the time to meld the musical worlds of alt-rock and pop together or if it just sort of happened?

Quan: I don’t think we had any idea what the fuck we were doing aesthetically at the time but we definitely wanted curb the axe masturbating and try writing some song songs.

Ben: Well we originally started as a pretty heavy alternative band for our first EP, then for our second EP Quan wrote 'Blubber Boy' and that was a big turning point for us. I remember the first time we played it at rehearsal and we went outside and had a discussion about weather or not we should take that pop route and decided it was fun as long as the lyrics were interesting or contained swearing.

2. Headroxx seems to encapsulate irreverence to me – jumping from synthed-up electronica to straight ahead, hook-heavy hard rock. I feel like this kind of aesthetic diversity / flippancy can be seen in everything from your artwork to your online presence. Do you like to keep audiences guessing? Do you get bored easily?

Quan: The art of romance is in the not knowing. As soon as you know what you’re doing the romance is over.

Ben: Yeah maybe we just get bored easily and like to throw our heads around in different directions. We would defiantly grow tired of just doing the same thing over and over.

3. You guys have recently made a foray into children’s music with Regurgitator's POGOGO SHOW dropping The Really Really Really Really Boring Album, which seems to have a heavy rap and dance influence, which reminds me of ‘Rap For Kids’ a hidden track from Mish Mash. What inspired you to move back in this direction?

Quan: The album for kids was I think a natural progression for all of us as fathers, forced into a grim landscape of sometimes mind-breaking child entertainment options.

Ben: Well we all have kids and have been writing music with them since they were little so we had a bank of songs there and thought we may as well use them. Pretty natural deevolution for us as we get older I feel.

4. Are we likely to hear any material from the POGOGO SHOW live on your impending tour of New Zealand? Or are the club events a more strictly adult affair?

Quan: Depends how many under 8s have snuck into the club that evening.

Ben: Yeah nah. The kids show is a different band altogether.

5. Your last album on a major label was 2001’s Eduardo and Rodriguez Wage War on T-Wrecks and you’ve showed few signs of slowing down since. These days there’s a tonne of conversations about changes in the music industry paradigm, with power returning to independent artists through easier digital distribution and the like. What are your thoughts and experiences around this?

Quan: The exponential proliferation of voices has been insane and for someone from our generation I think a little overwhelming. The way Spotify has altered my way of consuming music has been evolutionary. I find myself at once impressed and revolted by the power of algorithmic herding that has now permeated every aspect of our lives. I do also feel a little sorry for emerging artists who have to carefully groom their personalities through the art of social media which I guess is now just considered an essential part of the overall process but still feels a touch contrived and unnatural to me.

Ben: It feels great being off a label and doing our own music. We have freedom to release what we want and when we want to. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

6. You guys are known to record music in unconventional places. Have you been eyeing up any buzzy locations for the next release? How do you feel the space you record in impacts on your releases?

Quan: I think that the power of any recording comes from the energy of intention captured in the process. I believe the first two records we did were affected by the self-imposed limitations inherent in the spaces we used but after that I can’t say I’ve ever noticed it impact the music as much again.

Ben: Not really. The songs seem to come from a different place to the actual location. Somewhere from outer space maybe? Aliens maybe beaming them down. If we had a space ship we maybe able to track their location of origin.

7. I’m told it’s been six years since your last appearance in Aotearoa New Zealand. Do you have any memories of the last time you played over here?

Quan: If I really think on it I have flashes of Disasteradio interwoven with really good roti and curry.

Ben: Yeah! Our flight from Wellington the Auckland was cancelled so we drove to get to the gig. We drove through the black sandy desert in a storm. Such a trip!


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