By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
Just a tip for all you underground musical entrepreneurs out there – Ether Rag is no more and it’s left a gaping hole in the Sydney hardcore-grind market. It’s so wide open it looks like something RedTube should’ve banned.
Drummer Alex ‘Dino’ Wood moved to Melbourne and that was sort of the end of it. Except they did one final recording that’s coming out shortly via Bandcamp, and there’s a split tape with a Dead Alley from Indonesia in the works.
UB gets the wind-up orders from (former) guitarist and self-confessed sook Aaron Clarke…
So…‘Dino’ seriously ain’t coming back, huh? How did the conversation with Alex go when he told you he was moving to Melbourne? What was his excuse?
Nah, he ain’t coming back, he’s officially a Melbourne Grindcore Syndicate transplant. I don’t think his moving fucked the band up, not this time anyway! He had previously moved overseas, ostensibly forever, and the band was dismembered at that point, until he reappeared back in Australia and we duct-taped ourselves back together again. I don’t remember the conversation, or his excuse, I think it was just, “hey I’m moving to Melbourne”, which is fine because he seems much happier down there. I think there was a bit of an idea that we would somehow limp along with a long-distance relationship, but I probably scuttled that. I think at that point I just didn’t really want to do it anymore. I am a sook.
How have you all handled the “break-up” – do the rest of you get together regularly and discuss men’s issues in order to cope?
Ha, we’re not a very manly band, so men’s issues is not really on the agenda. I don’t know how the other guys feel about it but I feel a bit relieved because it’s one less thing to stress about, although listening to the record recently made me miss it again. We’re all just doing our thing; Rob [bass] has been working really hard on playing acoustic classical guitar stuff, I think he might be doing another mad hardcore band as well. Simo [vocals] has a wedding coming up and is working hard on his garden, and screaming in an as-yet-unnamed new band. Alex is playing in Christ Crusher, Shitwreck and Under the Cut. I’m playing in Thorax, Turds of Prey and Coward. And we’re all just working jobs and shit.
Real men don’t talk about feelings, they talk about sport. Anyway, Ether Rag is a big loss to Sydney, who’s gonna fill the void now?
Ha! Nice of you to say, but I reckon the “void” we are leaving is more of a small gap that smells like weed and farts. There are plenty of cool-as-fuck fast bands in Sydney I reckon. Young grinders Avian Terror are worth keeping an eye and ear on, Frame 313 the same. Dispossessed are the most interesting band to hit the scene in a long time, they have a lot to say and some sick riffs to say it with! Canine play a sick blend of fast thrash and stoner kind of riffs. Many more too, but this isn’t fucking ad space.
The “final” Ether Rag recordings – tell us about them.
We recorded at Monster Mouse in Marrickville with the assistance of Jason Suplina (Ill Capone, Spoonfed, etc). It was pretty haphazard. Rob had a couple of songs already written, we started working on them together a few weeks before recording. I wrote a couple during that time, and then one more on the morning of the recording. Alex flew up for less than a day, we went in the band room and recorded the songs as we learned them. Super rough. They sat on my hard drive for a year, and then Lachlan Vercoe (Thorax), the mighty Shithawk, kindly brought his recording gear to the basement at Thunderdome so me and Simo could lay down some howls. Then I mixed it. They are very rough, but brutal, and probably more representative of how the band sounds than our 7″ recordings, which were pretty slick. We are not slick guys.
How would you like Ether Rag to be remembered?
The fastest, loosest, least pretentious, most stoned band in town. Most fun in the pit!
How will you personally remember Ether Rag?
Frustrating and rewarding in equal measures. A good time with good guys. Too fast to keep up. EXTREMELY STONED, EXTREMELY DISORGANISED. I will also add at this point, thanks to Bubsy for all you did for us, sorry it got a bit weird. And finally, never say never…
Check out Ether Rag’s recently released Unreleased Shit:
Final recordings dropping soon.