Latest release: Rest in Piss (Poison City)Website: www.facebook.com/BATPISS-255752641144074/
Melbourne’s Batpiss are about to release their third album, Rest in Piss, that takes a very different musical approach to how they’ve gone about things before. Dark and abrasive with experiments in drone, the album has already won solid plaudits for the trio. With the album launch tour coming up in August, we had a chat with vocalist/bassist Thomy Sloane.
I have to be honest and say that when I see the name Batpiss, I don’t think of a band that sounds the way you do.
Yeah, it’s sort of a crusty punky sort of name really!
There is a crusty, punky element to what you play, but it’s a lot more expansive than that too.
Well we when first started off we were playing that sort of style and then we began exploring our own sort of thing.
So was it too late to change the band name by then?
(laughing) Well at the start we just thought, fuck it, whatever. Pick a name. Later we thought, should we change it? Nah, fuck that. We had other stupid names too.
So what do people think when they see you for the first time?
I don’t know. A lot of people hate it. People like it, which is great, but I have absolutely no idea.
The clips that you have released from the new record so far have featured some pretty interesting visuals.
Yeah. The first one, ‘Weatherboard Man’, is all footage from Cyclone Tracy. Paul, our guitarist, his dad was living up there [at the time] and that’s all his footage. The day after he was driving around, filming it all. He gave us a call one day and said, “I think I’ve got the footage for the new video.” We all looked at it and went, “Fuck, that’s unreal.”
It’s a perfect fit for your music too, it has a very downbeat feel to it.
Yes, and what’s funny too is that after that video came out, we started getting heaps of messages from people who had lived through the cyclone, telling us their stories and stuff. It was really cool.
Is there an actual meaning behind the title Rest in Piss or does it just go well with the name of your band.
There’s actually a few meanings behind it. We’ve lost a few mates over the years, so it’s a bit of a tribute to them, plus we’re getting more musically diverse and starting to move away from the punk sort of shit and getting into the theatre sort of stuff, so it’s a see you later to our old sound.
Are you looking to have installations and screen and things like that, or are you not looking to go that far?
Oh that would be cool. Definitely anything is possible at this stage. Whatever we feel like doing at the time, we have to do it.
Having that Tracy footage playing behind you while you were on stage would certainly add a new dimension to your show.
We’ve done a couple of projections here and there, at two or three shows. It would be cool to incorporate it more into our live show one day.
What other plans to do have for Batpiss after this tour?
We’re gonna try and do a couple more tours after this one, and then, I guess, writing our next album as well. Hopefully we want to try and get overseas next year. We’ve never done America or Europe, but we have done Indonesia and places like that.
You’ve been through SE Asia, so what’s the vibe like there compared to the crowds here in Australia?
It’s very strange and eye-opening. It does feel like they’ve never seen a Western band, there’s a million people trying to take your photos. It’s kind of overwhelming. I think it’s a bit weird, but the enthusiasm of the crowds is fucking insane compared to people here. Our first show over there was at a skate park just playing through a vocal PA and 900 kids rocked up on their scooters and put on the biggest fucking circle pit you’ve ever seen. That was really cool. I highly recommend touring Indonesia. You won’t get any money, but it’s not really about that.
How tough is it to be out touring, and not making any money from it?
It’s tough, but I love it. Being on the road, you get to drive somewhere, play a gig, hang out. I don’t think about the money shit. I just love doing it, getting away, getting out of town – that’s what’s cool.