It's late July in Madrid. Melbourne's Meanies are perched on a sidewalk. Singer Link announces he is not interested in playing again. "It's not that we weren't getting along," explains Meanie Wally Kempton moonths later. "It just wasn't fun any more." So that could have well been the end of The Meanies.
Thankfully, when the band returned home they received a phone call from former guitarist Tas. His band Seaweed Gorillas had pulled the pin and Tas wanted back in with The Meanies.
"We said yes right away," Kempton said. "And Link had said that if Tas rejoined he would stay with the band."
So The Meanies are back on the road as a five-piece with plenty of shows planned, including this weekend's visit to Perth. Kempton says Tas' return has revitalised the band with the extra guitar.
"We are going full-steam ahead now an it's been great. We have been playing the songs Link writes but have had to consider we were a one guitar band. For the past 18 months we have been playingg a simple set and getting a bit stale. The first few gigs with Tas were great and we have been playing four new songs a night. That made the old songs a real pleasure to play because for the first time since the early days we have been rehearsing to get the new songs working properly. To be able to play them is very exciting and it's been satisfying to go through them without stuffin up."
Ton of Bricks is the third single to be released from the group's 10% Weird album and features four bonus tracks - One Right To Grieve, Rhyming Logic, Homonculous and Monopoly Money. Kempton says the band are not thinking about recording a new album just yet but have decided on Wayne Connolly as the producer when they do.
"I have been wanting to have him work with us for three years but it never worked out," Kempton says. "He likes the new stuff and he's up for it. Now we just have to wait until we are ready to commit the material - and God knows when that's going to happen."
The Meanies join Magic Dirt, Even, Valvolux and Jebediah at the UWA Refectory tomorrow from 6pm for a licensed show. On Saturday the same line-up plays an all-ages show between 5-10pm.
- Ara Jansen