There's the good, the bad and then there's Frenzal Rhomb. We recently sat down with Australia's finest when they played at Groezrock for the very first time in their 23 years of existence and got answers to all of our questions. Well… Or did we?!
PRT: Hi guys! Welcome at Groezrock!
Wauw, that’s like the 13th pronunciation of the festival’s name I’ve heard today!
PRT: Well, you know, I’m from around here, so I guess mine is the one to copy :)
Do you know the song by Electric Light Orchestra, Don’t Bring Me Down? That has the correct pronunciation in it!
Sings: “Don’t bring me dooownn… GROEZ (high voice)!”
PRT: You’re right! Wow, hadn’t noticed that at all! Okay, so now we’ve got that cleared up… Let’s talk about Frenzal. On Facebook I read that you hadn’t been to the UK since 2004 and that this is actually the very first time you’re playing Groezrock. How come it took you so long to get here?
Well, that’s because up until now they only offered us 8 dollars to play here. But this year, they doubled it. So, now 16 dollars, that’s like 20.000 euros. We couldn’t ignore that any longer.
PRT: Yeah, I know… You earn a lot more in Australia than we do here in Europe.
Sure! And we’re in a band, so a helicopter is picking me up in a minute to take me back to the band room…
PRT: Yup, don’t believe any of that, but sure! When you announced that you’d be playing here, you wrote that you’d come and drink all of our Leffe…
Oh, so you’re calling us out, because we haven’t drunk all of your Leffe yet?
PRT: No, not really. You can if you want to, because I wanted to ask you whether you don’t know any other (better) Belgian beers?
Well, I do know this… If you would have a sip of every Belgian beer in existence… You’d die! At first I thought there was only Leffe. I thought Belgium was actually a Leffe colony. No, now I know there’s lots of beers! We had for instance a Jupiler.
PRT: Oh yeah, but that’s a “normal” beer. We’re more famous for our stronger beers like Karmeliet, Chimay…
Chimay?! That’s a horrible name for a beer!
PRT: Haha, well… Okay, you should try it though! So, are you here mainly for the beers or for the music?
Oh, definitely the music! There are terrific groups playing. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the band Off!, a great Belgian band. And a fantastic band from Antwerp called Refused. And Teenage Bottlerocket from Hasselt.
PRT: Yeah, a lot of talented bands in Belgium. And we even have a band called Frenzal Rhomb, who are from Chimay!
Yes, Frenzal Rhomb is an ancient Belgian word for Barbed Penis.
PRT: Wow, I’m learning so many new things here! Now, let’s talk about Barbed Penis’s music then… We’re expecting some new songs from you guys.
PRT: Yes, because you said, and I quote: “We just spent the last three days at Bakehouse in Melbourn writing awesome songs that will blow your fucking minds… APRIL FOOLS, they’re actually not really that good, but they are new.” So, what should we expect?
There will definitely be songs…
PRT: I hope so! Along the lines of Smoko, or…?
Well, we’re going to record them at the same place, so they will sound the same, but they will sound like they’ve been written by a bunch of people who are now 4 to 5 years older. And thus, a little less interested in the craft.
PRT: Yeah, I did hear you say: “Come see how old and fat we are now!”
Yes! Well… As you can see… We’re now corpulent!
PRT: Yeah, it’s impressive even!
PRT: Okay, so for real now… Should we be waiting for music that reminds us of your other records or something completely new this time?
I think every album is a progression. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel. We’re climbing up the ladder. We’re giving the people runs to climb up, so they feel they’re heading somewhere a little bit different. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised!
PRT: Jason, you’ve been in Frenzal since 1992, which is quite a long time if I may say so.
Yeah, well… Not in the scheme of the universe, but in context, yes, it is quite a long time to be here!
PRT: What I noticed was that you’ve only recently added an Instagram account for Frenzal Rhomb. Did you feel obligated to because all the kids were doing it?
Well, I just wanted an Instagram account to have more opportunities to get photos of our drummer, Gordon’s penis to make their way into the social media!
Sometimes we see such great things! And today you have to put the photos up… Otherwise people just won’t care about the stuff you saw.
PRT: So, have you posted any Groezrock photos yet?
Yeah! We went and saw a band called F.O.D. from Belgium and they played their song called Frenzal Records. And I videotaped that song and put it on Instagram.
There’s a 139 likes up until now!
PRT: We’re friends with the guys in F.O.D.. Did you know about this song before you came here?
Yes, we did! Just that song, though… And it was really awkward. Because, you know… We can never truly be friends with them. We could try to be friends with them, but there will always be this great divide in this friendship, because they’ve written a song about our stupid band.
PRT: In that song they also ask one big question and maybe we can help them out right now. Is there a story behind Bird Attack?
Woah! Man… How long have we got? We’ll give you the medium length version. Or no, I want to give you the full length… Okay, so settle in... People get attacked by birds.
PRT: Intriguing answer! But it’s true, though… I had one poop on my head once…
Yeah! You know what? If you have an ice-cream helmet with eyes drawn on it, then magpies are less likely to swoop you, because then they think you are looking at them. We know, because we’re from Australia. This explanation has already taken us longer than the song itself now.
PRT: Yeah, indeed. But the most important thing is that we finally have an answer to F.O.D.’s question.
Yes. There is a story behind Bird Attack! It’s a short story, but nonetheless…
PRT: One last question then…you’ve recently parted ways with a dear old friend, namely Old Spermy. Do you miss him?
Oh! Gordy’s drum kit! Yeah, he was with us for a long time. I don’t miss the smell… It was almost like you could taste it! It smelled like you were being ungenerously made love to by a big amount of metal and wood. It wasn’t great, but we did make a huge amount of money, selling it to Kye Smith!
PRT: Do you think he still uses it?
He broke his elbow two days after he had it! Probably broke it using that high quality material!
PRT: Let’s hope he’s healed well then! Thank you for this enlightening interview!