You think you've read a boring interview before, but then you haven't read this piece on
by David Nichols
(Originally featured in Party Fears #7, October 1987)
[photo] Matthew, Phil, Richard, Paul.
Rabbit's Wedding, the band so nice I became a record company to release their first single. What more can I say, except that they're a fine upstanding bunch and deserve more than the flippant tone of this cynical youth's smarty-pants prose.
During this interview, Matthew Hall (the Rabbit‘s bass-player) and I periodically explode — these explosions are in fact part of nearby railway repairs (or railway sabotage maybe). Most of the interview is about Perth. You may contend that it‘s silly to talk to someone from Perth about Perth for a Perth magazine, but I contend it's not ...
How long did you llve in Perth?
“From when I was born to when I was six, and from when I was twelve until last year."
How do you feel about Perth now?
"It's nice. Like everything it`s got a lot of good points and a lot of bad points. The good points are that it's nice and small, not too much of a strain, it‘s very cheap to live there ... just nice. You don't have to do anything. You can become a millionaire just by living on the dole. (?! — ed.) The bad points are probably the same (explosion) things as well. (explosion); the fact that it's so small gets to you after a while. And, um ... it's very naive, lots of people don't really get out of Perth." (possibly why they're still there — ha) "and those that do, do so in a big way, they don't go from Perth to Adelaide or Perth to Bunbury, they move into the ... fast lane."
I make some noise about how I'd like to go to Perth, it sounds good.
"It's a really nice place to go for a holiday, but you wouldn't want to live there for too long. It's a very complacent place."
Do you think the Rabbits could have come out of any city?
"I don't know, it's not ... it hasn't ... either by birth or just pot luck we all ended up in Perth at the same time ... I'm not sure ..."
Are there particularly Perthian things about Rabbit's wedding, in attitude and style?
"No, not really. I don't think something distinctly from Perth . .. I mean. what is ..."
A lot of people would like to think there's a big group of Perth bands, which maybe starts with the Triffids, or even with the Hoodoo Gurus (explosion) or something ...
"None of those bands (explosion) have got anything in common really. I don't think there's such a thing as a Perth sound. Maybe the less successful bands in Perth are similar because they're not regarded in very high esteem in Perth, which could be a common characteristic."
(God, just try and get someone in a band to admit that their music sounds like someone else's — it's enough of a feat getting a band with all guitars to concede they might be a "guitar band" ...)
So what's so good about Sydney for the band?
"Just another place to play, I guess. There's a lot of people here, we've got a stronger chance of showcasing our songs to people. People aren't interested in what goes on in Perth, and they are interested in what goes on here."
What's your strategy for world domination?
"I think the only way a band can prove itself is by making records. As far as radio stations are concerned, you don't exist until you bring out a record."
Do you write a lot of the music for the band?
"I write a bit. It used to be everyone putting in something here and there, but now it's Paul with Richard or myself."
What do you think of Party Fears?
"It's good. It's good to find something coming out or Perth which is reasonably professionally done. Sometimes it gets a little militant. I know there's a lot of ill-feeling betwen the mainstream music magazines in Perth and the ones like Party Fears. There's lots of ill-feeling between the independent music scene in Perth and the commercial one, I guess that's a crossover from that ... no. but Party Fears is a healthy thing."
They've never been too keen on you. (Rabbit's wedding are wonderful, and were getting much better performance-wise last time I saw ’em, and at the "Clarinet Magic" shows — ed, 6/87.)
"Oh well, that's their prerogative. We're never ones to carry a grudge, it's probably just personal taste."
Well, that's the end of the Party Fears interview. now for the real one. I want you to go through this Top 50 chart and tell me what you like off it.
"From top or bottom?"
... alright, that's all you're getting. The other interview of which you've just had a tantalising glimpse is to be published one day in the final "Distant Violins", and if you're offended by that blatant self-promotion, don't be, it'll probably never come out.
I have seen Rabbit`s wedding four or five times this year; three times I found them average, once I was half-convinced and once (most recently) I was highly impressed. The new songs are excellent, though at the moment my favourite is "Four Kisses" from the record, pity the song has such an archetypal romantic-new-wave title. This band is headed for big things, and when I say big, l mean BIG — ie. people reading about them in the Perth independent press, supporting Chad's Tree, people dancing to them ...
(c) the Distant Violins Empire of Terror, 1952.