The Meanies - article from Forte
The Meanies play punk rock the way the Banana Splits intended. Setting buzzsaw
guitar riffs to choruses that sound like the old "Na, na, na, na, na-na, na"
Link, Wally, Ringo, Tas aand that other guy provide the greatest rock music
since that guy fromm the Great Space Coaster first strapped on the pointy
10% Weird is a fantastic album. US hardcore legends Bad Brains
honoured The Meanies last year by ccalling their joint tour (and that's not
referring to what was consumed backstage) the Rise For The 10% Weird
Tour. The Meanies' latest release is a single called Ton Of
Bricks which follows up the recently much-played AC/DC tribute 'It's A
Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)'.
But covering seventies hard rock songs is not what the Meanies is really known
for in the wider community. These gusy're known better for the beer- down-
the- front- of- the- flannelette shirt- thrash they've been giving up to
audiences in Australia, Europe and Japan for years now. I called Meanies'
superbassist Wally Meanie to ask his opinion on a number of things:
On Ton Of Bricks: The single was actually done in a few different
places. Although it said something different on the credits because I had
f--cked up, it was recorded in Melbourne last July at Birdland Studios. 'The
Rhyming Logic' was recorded live in the Triple J studios in Melbourne,
'Homonculus' waas recorded at the same time as 'Ton Of Bricks', 'Monopoly
Money' was the same and 'One Right To Groove' was actually recorded at Sing
Sing studios in Richmond in January 1993. 'Ton Of Bricks' is track 3 off the
10% Weird album. Basically we like to put songs that you can't
get anywhere else as the bonus tracks, but we've run out so we chose songs
that are hard to get anywhere else.
On line-up changess within the Meanies: With the 10% Weird
album I think four or five of the tracks were recorded last July and
by that time Tas (Bilzzard, of the now-defunct Seaweed Gorillas) had left the
band so he played on nine of those songs on the 10% Weird album
and, you know, two of which..., hang on, f--k me drunk! He didn't play on any
of them but he's back in the band now - which is great. It's been a bit of a
shot in the arm, it's made playing more enjoyable. We were a four-piece up
until Tas joined about two years ago and Tas stayed in the band for a year
and he's had a bit of time off and how he's back in the band so now we're
back to being a five piece, which is really what we should be.
On the new band chemistry: It get better. If Tas was an arsehole
we wouldn't have asked him to join. It might have made the chemistry worse
than it alreadyis. Because the man is a living legend it makes it better.
On Geelong bands: There are now and there always have been many
great Geelong bands. I don't think there's one that I haven't like (Oh yeah,
Wally? What about the People's Poets?) but then I'm pretty easily pleased
On the Poppin' Mommas: Well, they're an institution - one of the
greatest bands ever to walk the face of the earth. There's no disputin' that
On the Bad Brains tour: The reason we did that tour, purely and
simply, was because Link worships the ground they walk on, otherwise we
probably wouldn't have bothered. That was my attitude at the start and that
was the only reason we were playing but then, after the tour started, it
ended up being really fun. They were really good people and fun to hang out
with. The drummer was the quietest man I've ever come across but the other
guys were really good fun and it was enjoyable.
- David Trethewie