Following the demise of Australian hardcore legends Jungle Fever, the band that is today known as Sex Wizard went through a series of name, sound and line up changes. Despite just completing a tour with Extortion and I Exist, and releasing a full length on Trial and Error Records last year, Sex Wizard still maintain an outrageously impulsive approach towards everything they do. We had a chance to catch up with vocalist Jiggsy to discuss wizardry, weed and double drumming.
First things first – tell us your name, what you do in Sex Wizard, and who in the band most lives up to the title ‘Sex Wizard’.
Hi I’m Jiggzy and you might remember me from such legendary hardcore outfits as Jungle Fever and Shotpointblank, as well as featured brief stints in Masstruma, Taking Sides, No Apologies, All It cost was everything, Pet Meat and Black Fucking Eye, just to name a few. The Sex Wizard resides within the souls of all existing and prior members in the form of demonic sexual energy. This energy can be harnessed when the constellation Orion and the moon align every 100 years and we all become potently sexual and like magic, an irresistible magnet force transmits from our bodies and draws both the same and opposite sex directly to our newly transformed 14” cocks.
You just finished off a tour with Extortion and I Exist. What were the highlights of the trip?
The highlights personally for me were Adelaide hydro, Canberra Celtic berry, Goldcoast biker-weed, Big Chief burgers, Acoustic Creedence Clearwater Revival Jams with Murph (ex hardluck, I-exist), adopting an SXWZD apprentice in the form of Sam (I-exist), glow in the dark mini-golf at Tabatinga in Coffs Harbor, Mopehead hire and scooter gang including myself and Jake (I-exist), Limp Bizkit karaoke followed by lap dances at Players on the Goldy, Wearing a cowboy hat nearly the entire tour, and finally smashing up Adrian Kelly’s beer Wizard staff with Jake’s newly bought wooden Samurai sword and destroying all his hopes and dreams. It should also be mentioned that it was great to watch two of your favorite Australian bands kill it night after night.
I know you probably get sick of this question but two drummers – logistical nightmare, or totally worth the hassle?
It definitely keeps things interesting both with setting up and enhancing the live show. We have managed to set up two kits at all the venues we have played so far and in my opinion if you can squeeze two drum kits onto the stage at the Arthouse, then you can do it anywhere. The actual hardest thing is trying to fit two drummer ego’s and personalities into a 12 seater van manageably.
From what I understand Sex Wizard started off sounding a little different to the way it does today. Tell us why things changed from the days of Thrush to the present?
Well really there are two main reasons why we have changed so much. Firstly I started smoking bongs when I moved back to Adelaide. And secondly the addition of new members and trying to write with two drummers made change inevitable. To be quite honest we will probably always be changing stylistically and maturing musically which I felt was always a limitation in my previous hardcore endeavors. I feel most hardcore bands get stuck into a certain sound once they establish a certain “hardcore” style. I’ve served my time in enough bands like this and I think SXWZD provides the right vehicle to step outside of the square and think three dimensionally. This may not sit right for more traditional punters but I really couldn’t give too much of a fuck as long as we are doing what we want to do and doing it well in our own right. We are in the business of making good music, not keeping john-hardcore happy.
Last year you released an LP on Trial and Error Records. Are you guys working on anything else at the moment?
We are constantly writing new material. As I mentioned before the addition of two drummers has forced us to write differently which is great. We hope to have something new out either at the end of this year or early next year. I’m not sure who will release it, but not that it matters who it is we are all keen to just record and experiment with things. We have done a little pre-production with our drummer Jimmy who is also an engineer at Capital Sound in Adelaide. We have experimented with recording both drums simultaneously with great success. I really look forward to producing something very different and out-there. We have no intentions of doing a “safe” hardcore recording.
You guys are definitely one of the most spontaneous bands in the Australian hardcore scene; is that what you’re aiming for? Or do you have a specific direction?
I don’t think we have a specific direction other than offering the audience something a little different than what they may be used to. The double drummer aspect really adds to this approach. Really we are probably the laziest band in Australia and we just do what we do without any premeditated thought. God we suck!
Is there anything in particular that motivates you to write music? What do you base lyrics around?
I’m glad you asked. When Gabe and I both broke edge we decided that some day we would start a band who’s main influence was a fully packed and thumb-screwed bong with embalming fluid dipped hydro Cheech. What we discovered however, was that it’s hard to really get motivated to do anything after a hit of this so you have to use more conventional methods like drawing inspiration from really good music. As for lyrics, there is no basis or message it’s just about what fits with the music and my mood at the time. It’s simple when you let it come like that. I like simple.
The balaclava has become something of an icon affiliated with Sex Wizard. What’s the story behind it?
It’s something I thought would look really menacing to wear at a show. I enjoy the idea that the audience wouldn’t be sure if you were going to be performing or robbing the door person and bar. I also decided it might be interesting to wear it in some of our promotional shots just as something different. It seemed to work and stand out. Anyways now I’m all about cowboy hats and intend on introducing some boots and spurs into the mix. Look out if I ever come across a space suite or a Bavarian dance costume.
What is the funniest thing to happen to Sex Wizard?
It’s probably not the funniest thing that has happened to us but definitely amusing. On the Extortion tour we hired a 12 seater van with a trailer. On our way to the first show in Canberra we managed to drive for at least an hour on a tyreless wheel attached to the trailer! Maybe the fact that we were mesmerized by the sounds of Neurosis at maximum volume in the front and that a majority of the band were high as fuck in the back of the van contributed to our lack of awareness as we cruised along at speeds of 110 kph without a tyre. Someone thought they maybe heard a noise coming from the rear of the van but some how thought it was irrelevant and didn’t bother to mention it. Eventually a loud thud was heard from the back of the van and sparks were seen flying up from somewhere. For some unknown reason we decided it would be appropriate to send the drunkest and highest members to go and inspect the problem which they promptly reported “ everything looks in order”. So we drove off again sparks flying and noises clunking loudly. With a more sober inspection we realized the tyre was completely missing and we had been driving on only the rim of the wheel! To make the situation worse the spare tyre fixed to the trailer was bolted in position and we had no tools to actually deal with the situation. We managed to flag down a truckie and mind you this is at 3am in the morning in the middle of butt-fucking nowhere. Lucky for us this truckie was an absolute guru and he completely emasculated us and proved that we really were a bunch of pathetic fuck-ups as he proceeded to unhinge the spare tyre only to discover that it actually didn’t fit the stud pattern to the wheel base! So we had to leave the trailer on the side of the road load the van up with all our equipment and set off to find some accommodation for the remainder of the night. Early the next morning I drove about a 100kms back and forth from a wrecker to get a replacement wheel and tyre.
What made you want to start a new band after Jungle Fever broke up?
I actually had a bunch of thrush songs written when JF were still together but to be quite honest I would have started or joined another band regardless. I can’t seem to shake not being involved in music in one form or another. I can’t remember not being in a band ever since a picked up a guitar as a teenager. I knew that what ever I did end up doing it would need to be directionally different to what we were doing in JF to at least keep me interested. Not that JF bored me or anything like that in fact it was just that I had accomplished everything I had set out to do within that band format. There just comes a time when you need to force yourself to try something new a push yourself in another direction to achieve something fresh.
Best and worst thing about the hardcore scene in 2010?
The best thing is that a scene still exists in 2010. I hope it’s still thriving in 2020, however I’ll be 42 then and if I’m still going to shows with 17 year olds then there is definitely something wrong with me or the scene for allowing it! LOL. As for the worst thing, well I’m far too much of an optimist to get all negative on the scene about what’s right or wrong with it. Plus to be quite honest I don’t really care anymore and honestly who care’s what a 32 year old washed-up dad to be has to say about it anyway. I’m probably jaded with most things hardcore but I still love going to shows as much as I did when I was 16 and when you dedicate half your life to something you like to think it’s at least been worthwhile commitment.
Tell us your favourite pop song of the last 30 years?
This question is definitely more fitting for Gabe to answer as he is the absolute definitive guru when it comes to pop songs. I’m gonna go with Billie Jean by Michael Jackson just because that song and pretty much everything on Thriller is genius and absolutely flawless and still stands up today. You may not be aware of this but I actually possess special wizard psychic powers and I am sensing that you would like to ask me a new question…. So go ahead and ask…….
What’s your favourite Creedence Clearwater Revival song?
Ooo that’s a good one! As it so happens my favourite Creedence Clearwater Revival song would be a mash up between Suzie Q, Heard it through the Grapevine and Bad Moon rising.