Following a brief, but in-depth shit-talking session about the exercise in mediocrity that is Prophets Of Rage (which I sadly didn’t record), Osaka Punch’s bassist, Brenton Page, chatted me up about their superb EP, ‘Death Monster Super Squad’, it’s eye-catching artwork, the ‘Make The Call’ music video, & more.
My first question is more a statement, and that’s that this EP feels like a far stronger release than ‘Voodoo Love Machine’, in nearly every single aspect.
Yeah! I am actually the latest member of the band, as they recorded over in the UK and I joined when they came back here. So I was really excited to hear the new album when they got back and I was expecting something more hectic genre wise, but they focused the sound more, which they’ve really achieved. Jack [Venables] was always a good vocalist but now he’s stepped his game up a lot; in his singing, his melodies, performance wise. I think the songwriting for those guys improved so much while they were over there.
It really did! I think what works for Osaka Punch is that you’re not only good musicians with good songs, but that you all have such eccentric personalities in the band, that people can latch onto the music or you as people, and can hopefully appreciate the band nonetheless.
Thank you, that’s an awesome compliment actually, as we do try and cover all bases. We write and play music that challenges us but is also fun, and then we’re all happy. It gives us the freedom to do what we want and our personalities come across more.
Well, I think that shows really well in the music videos especially. Because I tend to like or enjoy a band a lot more when they show that they really do love what their art and their work. It makes a big difference.
Yeah man, and if we didn’t love it, we wouldn’t do it. Especially in Australia, you aren’t doing it for the money. If you wanna be a rock star to make lots of money than you’ve made a big mistake, buddy! With the Internet and that vast access, you can get swept under the rug and you’ve gotta attack it from every angle now. Music is just one factor of your band and many bands capitalise on hat through YouTube, so we just figure we should have fun with it in anything we do.
Yeah, of course. ‘Make The Call’ is a great example of attacking from all angles, if you will. On that clip, though, Dane [Pulverenti, drums] sent me a message about my KYS write-up to point out that Jack was indeed on LSD for that clip.
Oh man, the promo video we did was pretty exaggerated – we didn’t all have cock straws on the day. But the conversation really went something like that. We were shooting the video for Make The Call and we needed it by next week and it wasn’t going to get done in time. So we needed something we could do in a day. Chris [guitar] just said that Jack should go to the Ekka on acid and Jack was like ‘Yeah, we could probably do that’. If I didn’t have to do anything except for getting semi-naked in that clip, then I’m all good [laughs].
[Laughs] Well, that video raises more questions, such as…was that Jack’s first time doing acid?
I would say it’s probably not. But he’s one of the most responsible guys in the band. He has his own business, works so hard, never drinks before a show to keep his voice intact, he’ll drive most of the time. At the drop of the hat, he’ll drop acid and go to the Ekka for us!
Right on. With all of the intense visuals at the end, was that inspired by what he was seeing while tripping?
It’s funny, Jack could’ve looked and acted like that straight up. He’s a very animated dude at the best of times. For me, on-stage, that’s just Jack. When we watched it all back he just said ‘Wow, I just look normal’. [Laughs].
But with the visuals, we needed to give the viewer the sense that the trip intensified as the song gets heavier; where it all goes bad. Adrian Goleby did a great job with the effects. He and Jack shot it all in a day and they put it together so well.
Oh, fair enough. My favourite part of the clip is about the three-minute mark where-
-Oh, that girl? How disgusted does she look?!
I know! It’s so good! Just him singing along and her face of confusion and utter contempt she displays is just so funny.
Yeah, Jack is definitely…mid-coitus of the LSD trip, so he’s right in the pocket. He would have had the song going into his in-ears so he’s probably singing at the top of his lungs like a noob; in the middle of the Ekka; spinning around everywhere.
[Laughs] that’s rad. Now, I’m curious, who did the EP’s artwork? Because it’s an awesome piece!
The guy who did it, Jordan, he did the artwork for Voodoo Love Machine. They wanted him to do it again because he’s a boss at it. We wanted to have a monster attached to each song, with their own bios and everything. We’ve even got trading cards for them – just to make it as geeky as possible. With the EP’s name, we were watching an old South Park episode, where they’re taking the piss out of Japanese anime [“Good Times with Weapons“]. It was how when anime does English work, they get close with the order of words in their theme songs, so in that episode, it’s “Let’s fighting love!” Jack just joked around saying, ‘Ah, Death Monster Super Squad!’ and we knew that that was it. It opened the door for us to have this Suicide Squad and The Avengers thing going on.
Well, this EP is a million times better than Suicide Squad!
Thank you! I was actually thinking that, that maybe we should pitch this and see what happens! Whenever we wrote a song, we wrote a ridiculous bio of each monster and it really kept us busy.
Oh, the two you’ve put out so far are insane. I wanted to pick up on something you said earlier, and that’s about the trading cards?
Well, the art is so cool and colourful that we just don’t want to have it on the physical CDs. These days a lot of people want their dual stuff and it’s too good to leave the art by itself. There are tarot-sized cards for each one and you can collect them all if you want. Honestly, even if I weren’t in the band, I’d still want them. We’ll have the cards with us while on tour next week and as they keep coming out, we’ll put them online and put them in the merch bundles. Like, at our next show we’ll even have handmade Osaka Punch scented candles. But if you burn the house down, don’t blame us!
[Laughs] oh shit, those are some cool ideas. The artwork could work so well for your other merch ideas.
That’s just it. With the Stonk t-shirts, they were expensive to make because they’re so colour heavy but it was cool to get that print out there. The profit for us was minimal. Hopefully, for Jordan, this opens up a few doors for him. We can refer people straight to him for working his arse off for the artwork. He deserves it.
Oh yeah, it’s very cool stuff!
Yeah! Obviously, it’s about the music first and foremost, but you need something more now to keep up and stay relevant. There are so many great bands with great songs but no one cares because there’s nothing more to them and people move on. With us, we want to hit from every angle and of course, never lessen the music. We wanted to create something extra that people can get excited for whether it be the next trading card, the next bio, or single etc.
Going that extra step for the band and the music is really cool, and I hope it pays off for you guys – the EP is fucking amazing.
Thank you, dude, that means a lot!
No worries mate, and with that, I’ll let you get on with your day Brenton. I really do hope that the tour goes well!
Thanks heaps Alex, really appreciate you taking the time today.
‘Death Monster Super Squad’ is out now, and you’re aren’t too cool to listen to it, so go get it! Osaka Punch will also be out on tour this week. Dates below, tix here.
Wednesday 28th September – Sydney
FRANKIE’S PIZZA w/ Special Guests
Friday 30th September – Melbourne
DING DONG LOUNGE w/ Special Guests
Saturday 1st October – Sydney
THE TOWNIE w/ Special Guests
Friday 7th October – Brisbane
THE BRIGHTSIDE w/ Special Guests
Saturday 15th October – Byron Bay
THE NORTHERN w/ Special Guests