Sydney surf sextet Tropical Zombie want you to have a rip-snorter of a time. It's just in their nature: nothing is serious. Nothing is sacred. Everything is a scuzzed-out fever dream; and the video for their latest single ‘Call The Police’ is no exception.
The 6 punters joined us for a chat yesterday after they'd finally made it to the sweet town of Byron Bay from the Central Coast, one stop closer to Noosa to play some tunes on the beach later that night. Heres what they had to say whilst sifting through the sand looking for pippies..
What have you guys been up to today?
Well live down in Byron and the other guys live down in Central Coast near Sydney, so they all drove over night and arrived at 5am! So they’ve all only just woke up really (laughs). They’re all little corpses walking around trying to find their feet again. We’re all heading up to Noosa pretty soon for a couple of those this afternoon.
You guy are pretty known for your high-energy shows, how do you think that will go tonight after all the travelling?
They’ll be right, after a few beers the boys will perk up and they’ll be fine and get into it. No one here does much exercise so when we get on stage we try to exercise as much as we can. We’re planning to get a couple of beers on the beach before we play, so I think we’ll be alright
You guys officially joined as Tropical Zombie in 2012. You played a one off gig as two separate bands, but what was the process of actually conjoining these two into one?
Yeah we joined in December 2012, we all grew up together in two separate bands. We used to play a lot of shows supporting each other around the Central Coast where we grew up! Then we all went travelling for a few years and when we got back some of the guys from each of the bands were still overseas, so there was this gig on the Central Coast called ‘The Reunion’ and it was a lot of the old bands that got back together to play a show! We were two of those bands, and because we had members overseas we just joined the two together! Yeah.. the other two guys got a bit cut, yeah they were removed from the band. But I mean we already have 6 so if we added two more it would be pretty hard to travel around.
(Rob Swords, vocalist of the band, then took the phone to have a chat)
So Rob, what are you favourite things about being in a band?
Aw playing with ya mates! It’s almost just like a big vacation for us, we get to travel a lot and visit heaps of beautiful spots! We’re just about to go to the beach, its pretty amazing, we’re pretty lucky ducks!
You did a massive 20 shows in Europe for your last LP, what are some of the perks that come with touring?
We got to travel in a bus actually; we got to put all our gear onto a big bus so that we didn’t have to lug it around. We got taken to every venue, got free drinks, and then got to see some amazing places! We got to have two days of looking around places of Europe
When was the last time you vomited?
The last time I vomited! Umm.. last weekend! (laughs) Just from drinking, I vomit a lot, I do a lot of tactical spews. I think I vomit before every show. I don’t think it’s a nervous thing, I just need to get it out! Better out then in, isn’t it. I don’t think I'm bulimic, no, definitely not (laughs).
You’ve released your new single Call The Police, which is fricken mad, how would you say it differs from ‘Waterslides’, your previous single?
Well its different because I’m singing on this one, Alain was the main vocals on Waterslides. It’s a bit more energetic, more of a chugging song. It chugs along. Its also got harmonica in it (laughs).
In your latest video clip, you’ve got a hopeless zebra, a giraffe doing hand amputations and a very aggressive hippo, who came up with this craziness?
It was my brother Matt, we were both driving somewhere and decided to make a film clip, and Alain suggested we did something with a policeman getting into a chase. But we thought that was too literal. We thought, lets do something completely different, so we looked for some masks that we could find, and we saw those hooves and thought ‘perfect!’ A zebra that cant do anything with his hooves on until he saws them off! Its pretty weird isn’t it. It doesn’t at all fit in with the song. We were thinking, because we watched it a lot when we were editing, and thought ‘holy sh*t no one’s going to even get this, but maybe it’s a good thing because then they’ll watch it again and again to figure it out.’
Tell us about some of the dance moves you like to whip out when you’re on stage?
We’ve all got our own kind of moves! We get into our own characters. I do a few little leg shakes, lots of jumping around for Ben our base player, we’re all different, and we all really don’t give a sh*t what we look like! We look like the biggest kooks, but I think everyone can see that and they get that energy and think ‘well these guys really aren’t giving a sh*t’, so then everyone else gets into it. It’s a bit infectious. Chuckin’ out lots of energy, so its good. That’s how we get people dancing!
Do you think that will be the plan for your Boardriders in Cooly gig?
I don’t know! It depends on the night and what’s going on, and if we’ve had a few beers or… well not even if we’ve had a few beers, we’ve been pretty good lately! We’ve haven’t been hitting the piss as hard so that’s good. There still might be a vomit, depends if we go have a good old burger somewhere, we love eating burgers (laughs). I'm sure people will dance, if we’re feeling it I suppose everyone else feels it, it kinda goes like that
Other than Boardriders where else are you playing?
Next weekend we’re in Tassy, Launceston and Hobart, but then the 2 weeks after that we’re in Torquay for the surf comp on there, and then in Melbourne as well, Sydney and Wollongong.
You’re doing a few shows for surf comps I’ve noticed, do you guys have an interest in surfing yourselves?
Yeah definitely, the boys are just walking up the beach now to go for a surf! And I'm standing in the water. I’ve got my feet in the water, digging in the sand looking for pippies (laughs).
Because you’ve just released this new song, does this mean there ay be a new album coming out in the near future?
Yeah definitely! We’ve recorded a few others as well so we’ve got a bit more tweeking that we want to do, but hopefully by mid-sometime this year we’ll get something out! It’s non-stop.
Head down to Live at the Boardriders in Coolangatta tonight to see TROPICAL ZOMBIE and Jesse Pumphrey