By Danger Coolidge
Unbelievably Bad Editor
It’s the local LP that every scumbag and their pet rodent have been waiting for, and UB has an exclusive sneaky stream ahead of its release this weekend. Of course, we’re talking about the self-titled debut from Sydney five-piece Robber, which drops via NGM Records this Saturday at East Brisbane Bowls Club as part of Total Attack Fest VII.
Robber vocalist Oli Hopes explains a little about the making this monstrosity, the crimes that inspired the songs, and choosing Martin Bryant as a cover model.
Where did you record the LP and what do you think of the results?
We just pretty much recorded it ourselves with the help of Laurence Williams from MOB who just did the Orion record. We hired Tempe Jets Club for the day and just used all our own shit to do it. I reckon it sounds pretty flash for a total DIY job. Laurence just mixed it all at his house. I had to bring my speakers over though, ’cos the ones he had were a little hows-your-father. We learned heaps doing it and I reckon next time I might dust off my old cassette 4-track and go all necrohell. I haven’t heard any test pressing or mastered version and don’t want to. I listened to it heaps when mixing and like to go in fresh. So if I hate it when it finally comes out, too bad.
What sorts of things are you singing about on the LP – robbery, obviously…?
Yes there is a tad of robbery in there. Also some shit about famous crims like Martin Bryant and the Stocco’s father ’n’ son fugitive team. “Icehead” was about a mate of ours who lost the plot and we still don’t know what happened to him. There was a rumour he got murdered but it’s pretty unsubstantiated. “Pink TNs” basically is just summing up my love for redhots and junkie girls when staring out the bus window. “Drink Graff Rack” was sort of about my old neighbour who I had a Mr Wilson/Dennis The Menace relationship with, except we never became friends. He ended up having a stroke actually and having to move to a more disabled friendly home. His hatred for me was so pure and clean. I miss him though.
Who did the artwork and why was Marty Bryant a good idea for a cover model?
Me and Brent [guitar] did the artwork. Just heaps of pics of all the crime related stuff we like. And then cos of the song “Main Man” we chucked Marty on there. He makes a great model I reckon. I even made a T-shirt for a mate’s b’day which had Bryant lying on a couch with his blonde locks flowing, in a sweater looking all male model, so I chucked a Calvin Klein logo on there and it looks 100% legit. But for us, he’s just an interesting character to write about. Obviously he’s notorious for the mass killing, but it was what drove him to it that I was interested in. The feelings of loneliness and exclusion in the world and not being able to fit in. And how everyone wants to find a scapegoat for something like that, like violent movies, bullies, stigma of mental illness, etc. But in reality, he was just a sad case that couldn’t fit in anywhere and the complicated recipe for the perfect storm slowly just brewed over the years. Born Or Bred is a very interesting read I reckon. Except for the fact he was a patsy and the government orchestrated the massacre to disarm the people.
What is your favourite song on the LP, or the most meaningful, whatever?
The most meaningful song to me personally is “Two Poles” cos it was about my late step dad who had really bad bipolar. He died just as we were doing the artwork, about two weeks before Christmas. He introduced me to shit like Radio Birdman, Iggy and the Stooges, The Saints, etc. You can even see him in the Saints video for “Ghost Ships”. But my favourite is most peoples’ favourite, “B’n’E”. That was I think the third song I wrote before we had members or a name or anything. At the time I never thought much of it, but as we started jamming it over the months and now years, it’s come together heaps better. Heaps more evil sounding and how a song about a skinny fucking addict going through your shit should be (enough to make you sick). Thanks for the interview and see you all at Total Attack, xxx.
Stream the Robber LP by Robber here:
Robber LP is out on NGM Records and will be released this Saturday, April 29, at the East Brisbane Bowls Club as part of at Total Attack VII.