For those who have heard their music or seen them play, it is exceedingly apparent that Fixtures are one of the most furiously chaotic ensembles currently terrorising Sydney’s stages. But despite their barbaric exterior, beneath lies a profound intelligence that few bands of such youth could hope to emulate. The band’s vocalist Oliver Cation answered a couple of questions about the current state of the band, and their direction for the future.
First up, tell us your name, role in Fixtures, and who you support in the great Newtown burger debate (Burgerfuel/Burgerlicious)?
Im Oliver, I scream for Fixtures and provide between song banter and there is absolutely no question that Burgerfuel is the king. The debate is simple, tasty burgers, malt shakes and Doofers vs Wraps, chunky flavourless chips and side salads.
You released a demo last year which is basically flawless, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who is anxious to hear more. Do you guys have anything in the works right now?
We are looking to record a few tracks in September/October which might be released as a second demo, or possibly a split, depending on how we feel about them. After that we should be recording an EP, we have some people we would love to work with on the EP, but probably wont make up our minds until a few weeks before. The newer songs sound quite different from the demo, just because when we recorded that we had never played live or as a whole band. So hopefully people still dig the new songs.
I remember Zach trying to get Fixtures started at least two years ago, how did it all come together?
It was a long process. It started out as the guitarists Jack and Zach jamming together after having played in a shitty metalcore band previously, Johann the drummer was picked up as a friend of a friend. I came into the band after the guys from Endless Heights had recommended me to Jack and Zach. I loved what such young guys were looking to do and was keen to get involved. Our bass player Ben Vegan we found in a drain on a Sunday morning before practice and thought he looked the part because he had a Shai Hulud chest piece.
Based on the lyrics of ‘Reality and Reason’ and some of your stage banter, am I right in thinking you’re pretty hostile towards religion? Is this something the whole band feels strongly about?
In the past I would have agreed that I was aggressively anti-religious, more recently I think its more about people educating themselves about what religion is, how it was founded and how it effects their lives. I’m very Atheist and hope that others come to the same conclusions as me, but its something that has to come about by personal discovery, not because someone tells you to. The rest of the band differ slightly in opinion, but we are all basically on the same page in believing that organised religion has negative effects in peoples lives.
Do you find it complicated being in a band with younger members? From what I can gather it’s difficult to coordinate things when members of your band have bigger commitments.
With the HSC going on now for half the band and a member living in Woolongong it is sometimes tough, but its something that we are trying to work around. All bands are going to have issue with jobs, education, families, etc but when playing music is a positive release, then it’s easy to fit it in amongst other commitments. Hopefully once HSC is over the band will become more of a priority, but until then, we do as much as we can.
So far you’ve only unleashed your rage on Sydney and Canberra. Are there any plans in the works to show the rest of Australia how much of a mental case you are?
My mental problems will be displayed to as many people as possible. Canberra is like a second home to us by now, people down there are always rad and we’ve had to opportunity to play with some awesome bands there like Vera, 4Dead, Craterface, Observer and Eye-Gouge. We would love to go further afield and will hopefully jump on any opportunity given to us or that we make ourselves. Hopefully we will play your hometown soon, if you want us to or not. First I might have to hit up a gym though.
Fixtures has shared the stage with some of Australia’s most distinguished hardcore outfits, and even a couple of overseas acts. Who is the most memorable band you’ve played with?
Silverback. But seriously, Dangers, Shai Hulud and Bishop are some of my favourite bands ever so it was a privilege to share the same stage as them. Hopefully we will get to play with more bands like that in the future.
I think you make your convictions pretty clear in your music, but to hear it in your own words, what message do you want to communicate through Fixtures?
I hope I don’t come off as preaching in my lyrics, but at the same time, what inspires me to write is stuff I care about, whether is be the disrespecting of women, the herd mentality in hardcore or the evils of organised religion. The overall message that I wish to put forward is about opening your mind to the real world, looking past what you are told, and investigating further. It could be as simple as travelling or reading a book, fuck even reading Wikipedia, its about ignoring the celebrity culture and learning something important.
As a seriously active member of the hardcore scene, what is your honest opinion on it?
I feel differently week to week, sometimes I love the amount of awesome bands like I Exist, Endless Heights, Legions, Marathon and so many more that pop up each week and that sometimes hundreds of kids will come out to see them. Other times you see horrendous kids, terrible attendances and bands like Creations. But in the end, the music is what I love and that’s all that matters.
What are you influences? Anything out of the ordinary that you guys listen to heaps?
Obvious stuff like Converge, Botch, Rorschach, Norma Jean and Pulling Teeth. Although it seems pretty common these days, we collectively listen to way too much Paramore, though most of it is because we would like to collectively take Hayley Williams out to dinner, then a movie and present her with flowers.
If you could put on a show at any venue with whichever bands you liked, where would it be and who would play?
It would have to be at the spiritual home of North Shore hardcore, Fitz Youth Centre St Ives, and would include, Converge, Remembering Never, The Broderick, 4 Dead and Dixtures but then again we would also love Robotosaurus, In Trenches, a reunited Botch and Slipknot with Paul Gray.
Do Zach and Jack hate you yet? Seriously, stop hitting the poor kids – I hear Jack gets roughed up enough as it is.
Jack’s girlfriend beats him up too, so he is pretty used to it by now. Zach is a delicate flower and I once damaged his manicure, but he just got his mum to pay for a new one so it was all fine. I’m getting my fair share in return, I’ve been left bleeding the last few shows.
Thanks man, anything you else you want to mention?
I’ve always got more to say. Listen to more local bands, don’t listen to Creations or Steady The Fall, come to more local shows, read a non-fiction book, always ask questions, don’t accept anything, tell Diaz to go to AA. Thanks for the interview.