Interview: On Holiday
Unions: One Day Longer
Industrial: Never Mind the Bollocks
Politics: Spun Out
Economics: If the Grog Don't Get You ....
History: Taking a Stand
International: The Split
Legal: Pushing the Friendship
Poetry: Simple Subtractions
Review: Sydney Trashed
The Locker Room
AFL-CIO Not The Only War
We Love Morris
A Readers Suggestion
"We didn't wear cowboy hats when we grew up on farms,
But neither did Lee Kernaghan and he's won a shitload of golden guitars."
Combining a no-nonsense punk approach and country and folk roots, Sydney six piece Sydney City Trash are something new in both the city and the bush. Their lyrics are simple, straight to the point and laced with Aussie laconic humour. Fiddle, acoustic guitar, and country bass clash with distorted telecaster and heavy drums. And their proudest achievement is it's all done with Aussie accents.
SC Trash don't pretend to be something they're not - and they make a point of it. They wear baseball caps, not Stetsons. They wear skater shoes, not cowboy boots. They smash two of the most stereotyped music styles out there - punk and country. Free from the shackles of formula, there is a realness and honesty about them that is rare on the music scene.
That realness is reflected in the band's approach to politics. Most of the band's songs have something to say. They sing about things such as big business taking away someone's home. The crowd favourite is "the Ballad of Little Johnny" which is about the utter frustration that stems from our immovable Prime Minister. There is also a very strong union element to their songs, and the band does a modern version of the classic Union Boy.
Where does their politics come from? It comes from family and is a result of their own experiences. It isn't ideologically driven. As singer Mitch Hell says it's just the politics of common sense.
"We try to pitch it towards people who have these opinions but don't necessarily consider themselves political or anything like that, but they're smart enough to realise certain things are wrong and certain things are right," Hell says.
Violinist Jim Bones says, "I can't see of any other way of being politically. It just seems that right wing politics tends to lead to people being poorer - or dead."
They say the old union songs are becoming increasingly relevant in light of the government's industrial relations changes and when politics seems to be in freefall to the right.
"When you look at these songs people would almost laugh at them and say 'why are they so pro-union, and if you don't join the union I'll scratch out your eyes or kill you and stuff', but there was a reason they were written like that and there's almost a call for them now," says singer Mitch.
"They [the Government] are just taking back on a whole bunch work unions have put in over a long time.
"I know my history so I know we've already been through this argument, so why do it again?
"But people seem complacent and resigned to it. They're more worried about vendor taxes or investment properties and stuff like that."
Inspired by the old songs SC Trash try to push the label in their lyrics. They say their aggressive but humorous lyrics are needed to cut through in an environment where people have been de-sensitised.
"Sometimes you need to shock them out of it," Hell says.
"If you want to make people step back and have a think about it sometimes you've got to go real far to wake them up." says Bones.
One example is their version of God Save the Queen, which takes a highly irreverent view of the monarch, but not only for the sake of protest, but also with a view to history:
"God save the queen, well I think fuckin not,
And I pray every day that in hell she may rot,
They brought us in chains, convicts the lot,
And when we tried to stand up, they took aim and shot."
Although they don't necessarily make friends with everyone (the above song led to a scuffle with some skinheads in Melbourne) their music does unite people from a range of backgrounds, from punks to hippies to people who just want to have a good time listening to a band with a good sound and irreverent lyrics.
"Although it's punked up and its really fast, because its got that bush influence it's just really danceable music - it's been like that for generations and that's why they play it," Hell says.
Bones adds, "You can't be serious 24-7, you gotta have fun."
Sydney City Trash are heading to the studio to cut a new album, Once Upon a Time in Australia, followed by a concert in Newcastle in September. To find out more visit their website home.ozonline.com.au/mikebec/SCTrash/
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|
© 1999-2002 Workers Online