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Interview: The Admiral

Interview: The Admiral

Wednesday 23rd July, 2014 1:48PM

Two-piece trash act The Admiral is formed by good pals Matt Rapley and Samuel Ralston, who flat together and also present the popular Dirtbag Radio show every other Monday on 95bFM, as well as playing in a band together. Earlier this year, the Auckland duo joined up with their buds Cool Runnings to release a split 7-inch and then followed up with a fuzzed-out video for their single 'Bother Me', which saw them smashing up junk in their yard. Tomorrow night The Admiral will be tearing things up again, this time at the epic opening night of Bloodfeast III, along with a bunch of awesome acts at Newmarket venue the Lucha Lounge. So we thought it was a good time to catch up with Rapley, who takes up bass and lead vocals for The Admiral (while Sam does the impressive juggling act of drums, guitar and backing vocals), to ask Seven Quick Questions...

UTR: How did the two of you initially meet and become friends?

RAPLEY: Me and Sam both were going to MAINZ about 13 years ago doing a live sound course, and during lunch times we would have jams in the auditorium with like 15 guitarists (everyone just played guitar back then?), and Sam on the drums and me on the bass. We really became solid mates after being on the road setting up and doing sound for weird little gigs around the country and smoking lots of weed.

You live together and do a radio show together. When did you decide start playing together as a band... and do you ever get sick of each other?

I think we started playing in bands before we ever lived together or did any of that other stuff. I think we just work well together musically and have the same ideas for whatever we're trying to make at the time. We had a few jams in a loft on Elgin St in Grey Lynn that turned into a six piece experimental/dub type band. That did reasonably well for a time, then when that went pear-shaped we had a two-piece electronic act named Black Foldy (named after my cat). We never played live, but we got commissioned to produce tracks for a local dance company that, if I'm not mistaken, went offshore to other companies. Other things came and went for us individually, but the whole time though we were keen on playing rock 'n' roll and punk together. And then came The Dirtbags, which was great playing heavier music but was unfortunately short-lived, but did lead onto Bloodbags (2/3 Dirtbags with 2/3 Bloody Souls), and then ultimately The Admiral, which was kinda something thrown together for Bloodfeast II. To answer your other question, from time-to-time I guess we can probably annoy the shit out of each other, but it's nothing a beer some tunes and a laugh can't fix.

How did you choose the name The Admiral?

The name came from a pitch of mine (The Shitty Admiral) when we were throwing around names for The Dirtbags. I really liked it, but the others not so much. For me it envoked the image of the old stinky drunk guy regular propping up the end of the bar having rants and telling yarns and everyones like, "oh there goes the shitty admiral stinking up the joint and talking shit again", which was funny to me. Then I decided that having "shitty" right there in the name might be a hard sell to get people along to even see us, so it just became The Admiral. So the name was around before any jams or songs, I just knew it was gonna be trashy, two-piece and involve myself and Sam. I do still however DJ under The Shitty Admiral sometimes 'cause it still cracks me up.

Sam plays the drums, the guitar and sings backing vocals all at the same time. Wouldn't it be easier to get another member?

Probably yes, and it is something we have thought about. But after our 7-inch release where we felt we had a killer show with just the two of us so we thought why bother? The limitations also help the trashy sound, and I reckon it looks cool on stage. We won't however rule anything out for one off shows or tours, it's good to change it up and keep people guessing from time-to-time.

Can you tell us a little bit about making the ‘Bother Me’ video you put out earlier this year?

Our good mate Ian Brown from the band Dad Jokes was a fan of the track and he happens to be good at, and have the gear for, shooting videos. He told us that he was keen, and after us being slack as hell he finally forced us to commit to a date. It was all done by Ian and Luke McPake on a really hungover Sunday at our house in Grey Lynn. Our only expense was beer and weed for our friends and hiring ridiculous costumes for ourselves (which I dont think we ever actually paid for, sorry Tam xx). It was a real fun day of smashing things and getting smashed with our boys from Cool Runnings, PCP Eagles, The Cavemen, Bloodbags, Pals and various other GC's.

Which act at Bloodfeast III are you most looking forward to seeing?

THE DEMIWHORES!! Who could not be excited about that! It's been so long and there has been no one even close to doing what they were doing in this country since they hiatused a few years back. Also really looking forward to seeing the Stink Magnetic labelmates I Drink Your Blood! and Double Ya D coming up from Wanganui and Wellington. They will definitely be a putting on a couple of do not miss shows.

What has The Admiral you got up its sleeves for the future?

We have a EP (Thanks to Rohan Evans) pretty much ready to hand over to our label 1:12 Records and get pressed to vinyl. Do a bit more touring NZ (Wee wanna get down to the South Island for once!), and there is talk of us hopefully getting over States ways next year with another local band for a tour. Definitely more videos, shenanigans and self-produced trashy lo-fi goodness to follow too... A bedroom recorded brand new track will be sneakily released this weekend on a certain festival's compilation CD But in the immediate future get your asses to BLOODFEAST III, we play the Thursday at The Lucha Lounge in Newmarket. This is gonna be a mother of a weekend!

The Admiral are playing tomorrow for the first night of the three-day mania that is BloodFeast III. The pair will be playing alongside Mean Girls, Roy Irwin, Invisible Threads and The Cavemen at Lucha Lounge in Newmarket. More details over here.


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