By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
We knew nothing of The Know Nothings (dang that irony, fuck!) until they sent us their tape from all the way over seas in Tasmania.
It’s called Days of Foolishness, Nights of Idiocy, and we got acquainted with it pretty quick. Real swell indie punk, great songs, lots of enthusiastic vocalising – we play it in the car stereo whenever we need cheering up. And we always need cheering up.
UB spoke to bassplayer/vocalist for The Know Nothings, legendary Devonport/Hobart character Bek Binnie, to find out just who is behind this foolishness / idiocy…
What’s five things that inspire The Know Nothings?
Dancing bodies, beer, loud noises, nice/comical shirts and wearing sunnies inside. We write about shit moves by shit people, a dash of sour love and a butt-ton of sticking it to the man.
What other bands are youse in?
Sam our drummer plays drums in Phat Meegz who are a really awesome punk/ska/hardcore/hip-hop band who just toured with Leftover Crack. They have done a lot of touring with big names. Our latest member, Scout (keys/percussion/vocals), has added a new dimension to the band – you will have to wait for the next release or come to a show to experience. My favourite of her projects is an awesome all-chick folk band called Lordy Lordy. Scout has also been known to play in Chinese theme parks in the past. It’s the modern-day equivalent of running away with the circus. Keith’s last project Elementary Particles was chockablock of Hobart’s finest from Pinchgut, Powernap and Skun Knees. Our guitarist Dave plays in Powernap, which is pretty rouge bunch of humans/psych rockers. They are right up UB’s alley. They have a Bandcamp and you can stream and buy thier “Dexies”/“Paranoid” 7”. The video for “Paranoid” is awesome, too. I have only ever played in punk bands so The Know Nothings is really slowing it down for me but it feels so good to get the lungs working having a good sing. I play in a party thrash band called Skun Knees. It’s a skating/blowjob reference because we love skating, and blowjobs are funny, too. You won’t have trouble finding our Bandcamp if you can Google.
How’d The Know Nothings tape come together right now over me?
It only took us a few months to have enough material to get something out in the world. It took much longer to coordinate a day each week we could all make it to practice. Days of Foolishness, Nights of Idiocy was recorded at an old primary school now turned into share house slash arts space called the Arts Hall in Fern Tree. That is part way up Kunanyi (the mountain that looms over Hobart). I’ve been snowed-in there during band practices before so lucky that there are good chips and gravy at the pub next door and Dale of the Arts Hall always has tins. They hold lots of great shows and events at The Arts Hall. Our friend Zac recorded mixed and mastered the tape and did a bloody good job. He records a lot of great bands around town. He’s a musical genius, and so handsome. I better spruik his bands Axe Giant and Tantric Sax. That’s the great thing about Hobart, easy connections and clever brats means you can be super productive, releasing quality material without having to worry about much cash. You can grab the tape from Tommy Gun Records, which is an awesome little record store in town which stocks all the classics plus all the big and small Tassie releases. We stream the whole thing on Bandcamp and its also up for download. You can make a donation upon download to help us to keep up the good work.
What’s the vibe like in Tassie for places to play and heads to play to?
The Tassie vibe is great. Everyone knows each other and if you meet a band you don’t know or some young guns who haven’t played before they get some hype and a lot of support. Tassie has got to be one of the best places to start a band. Any new band gets a crack at playing at the local or great events like Little Bands held at the Arts Hall. A whole afternoon and evening of bands that have never played before. That’s a lot of talent for one little town/city. Most big names skip Tassie when they tour so when a big name plays The Brisbane Hotel, heads fill the room.
What’s next? Wanna get back over the seas at some point?
We have heaps of new material we are all chuffed with ready to be recorded. Hopefully we can have something ready to release again in the summer. We are in the process of hooking up some shows on the big island later this year. Brisbane, Sydney, Wollongong, and Newcastle are our ports of call. Folk of the Central Coast of New South Wales seem to have a crush on Hobart; a fair chunk have moved down and become super active in the Hobart scene, including Dave and Keith from The Know Nothings. I know Newcastle certainly shares some similar qualities in regards to the music scene. It’s good to briefly escape to the warm in the middle of a Tassie winter: Thaw out the bones and old brain. I’m certain there will be a Melbourne show in there somewhere too as it’s cheap and fast to pop over there for a weekend. We aim to spruik playing in Tassie to bands we meet and will try to help anyone nice who wants to bring their band down to Hobart!
The Know Nothings’ tape, Days of Foolishness, Nights of Idiocy, is available from Bandcamp.