Amyl And The Sniffers
With the announcements coming out about CherryRock017 we already know that this year’s festival will feature international acts such as Shihad and Nashville Pussy but often the announcements about the local bands get pushed to the side… but not here at Heavy!!!
One of the local bands fronting up to CherryRock017 will be St Kilda four-piece rock outfit Amyl And The Sniffers who have made a name for themselves over the past eighteen months with the release of two well-received EPS, Giddy Up and Big Attraction, while they have had successful shows playing at festivals such as Chopped and Sounds Of The Suburbs as well as opening for the legendary Cherie Currie at her Cherry Bar gig in Melbourne.
Heavy caught up with Amy from the band who simply couldn’t hide her excitement at Amyl And The Sniffers being selected to play at this year’s CherryRock and she says there was no second thoughts about it. “We just simply got a text message from James Young [the owner of Cherry Bar, the Godfather of live music in Melbourne and the man who gets to personally hand select every band that plays at CherryRock] and he asked if we wanted to do it and we were just like ‘yep lock it in… LET’S DO THIS!’” she says laughing out loud. “Pretty straight forward but we are very excited. Me and James have been good friends since the band first started. One of first gigs was at Yah Yah’s, which he also owns and he must have come along and watched us some time. I met him once, I saw him there and he was dressed in a cowboy suit and I was like ‘wow love the suit’ and we pretty much just became mates from there. He’s a nice bloke.”
When we delve into the history of the band Amy said the band simply just started because the band lived together. “We just came from uni and work together one night and we just set up to record. We wrote and recorded some music and the next day we were a band. Everything was all pretty make shift but we’ve had a fun time. We were really inspired by 1970s Australian pub rock and stuff like that – a bit of the Melbourne garage sound going around at the moment as well a bit of punk, a bit sexy but a lot of good times. Living with my bandmates is pretty good – I don’t really have any complaints from the band side of things but I do wish they would put the dishes away. I do love them all to bits though.”
So does living together make it a lot easy to record and to jam? “Yes and no really,” says Amy. “We have a new bass guitarist now, our original bassist left, but back then all our rehearsal and recording stuff was set up in his bedroom so we could just all jump in there and practice but in another way we were in his personal space… his bed was right there. I’d literally be sitting on his bed while we were recording. So it was easy to book things and chat about things though. Recently though we’ve been going to Bakehouse Studios… we’ve done that twice now… and it is actually so much better. There’s a proper PA there and it’s huge and nice. I prefer a studio definitely.”
Amy admits that the new Big Attraction EP does see the band try to change their sound up a little bit as well. “We’ve been playing these songs pretty much since we started being a band,” she explains. “We thought it was time to put them out there so the wider audience could give them a bit of a listen, but this time we’re trying to sound less garage and rockier. Declan wrote a lot of the songs this time, so it’s more hookey with some sharpie shit. We sounded really garage because it was cheap, which I guess we still are cheap, but it was done in four hours, and we wrote it on the spot it was made the shift. So now we want it to sound heavy, tough and mean but less like it took four hours.”
For many Melbourians there first introduction to Amyl And The Sniffers was at the Cherie Currie gig, and Amy says the night was a night of mixed nerves for herself. “It was very exciting because she is a huge inspiration for me… I think she is an absolute legend,” says Amy. “It was probably one of our only shows where I have been properly nervous before, but it was a good night. I was backstage afterwards, and I went to put on some Motorhead on the juke-box, and she told me to turn it down. I didn’t get to talk to her much, but it sure was an honour getting to play with her. I try not to think about it [the nerves] much, and I just tried to think it doesn’t matter what she thinks because she is just another person. With the nerves, though I just try to channel into energy and then turn it into fun… try not to let inhibitions get the best of you!”
Amy says there are a few bands on the CherryRock bill that she is looking forward to checking out as well. “I’ve heard that Nashville Pussy are supposed to be pretty good,” she says. “But I also want to see – Stiff Richards are cool I’ve seen them before at Cherry, and they blew me away.”
CherryRock017 will be held at the Cherry Bar in Melbourne on the 7th May. Bands that have been announced so far include Shihad, Dwarves, Nashville Pussy, Bala, Bottlecap, Totally Unicorn, Child, Mooner, Amyl & The Sniffers, Zombitches, Stiff Richards, Kelompok Penerbang Rocket and there are still more to be announced.
Written by Dave Griffiths