Q: Tell me, Sister Morphine, when are you coming round again? A: Thirty years later.

sister morphine logoHello all my brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution, I-94 Barflies, and incorrigible sleazepunks of all ages , it's your ole pal JD here.

Ya know, I don't do a lotta interviews no more mostly cause I'm a lazy sod and probably still salty about takin' all that time to pen questions for little known artists who couldn't be bothered to reply after agreeing to do the interview-rock 'n' roll is full of flakes and fakes, as you know, and that shit gets old quick.

But one new band that ain't fakin' it is from South Wales of all places and they're making a real gorgeous fuckin' wild and untamed rocknroll racket you're gonna love, called SISTER MORPHINE, who my dear comrade Laur from Vague Scare turned me onto.

Wow! What a fuckin' GREAT band! They reminded me of the Diamond Dogs and Rock City Angels, the Quireboys and Rose Tattoo! I already said somewhere else those guitarists remind me of Thunders, Jeff Drake's Joneses, and Greg and Brent or whatever studio dudes played on that first Pussycat record.

Sister Morphine’s Gaz has an awesome and exemplary rock ‘n’ roll voice somewhere between Angry Anderson and Zodiac Mindwarp. These guys write glamtastic songs, part grebo, part sleaze, with power pop hooks, and vintage lads at the pub Hoople/Faces heartfelt sentimental alcoholic feeling. Fuckin' A righteous! Only thing I've liked this much in modern years is Richard Duguay's stuff! What a beautiful, romantic myth they've carved!

Where's Wally? Everywhere, now that you ask

 Meanies right wally A tense moment at a Meanies band meeting: Wally Kempton-Meanie (right) comes to the realisation that it's his shout and he left his wallet in Spain.

Wally Kempton is a busy man. Fresh from a Meanies tour of Spain (more on that later) last month, Kempton hopped off the plane in Melbourne and into the van for various tour managing duties.

In the coming days he’ll be rehearsing with Ash Naylor and Matt Cotter in preparation for next week’s annual Even Christmas shows, then regrouping with The Meanies for a gig at Hotel Westwood with Super American Eagle and Rocket Science. Then there’s the raft of current, imminent and potential signings to his Cheersquad Records label and associated promotional and general label managerial activities. “I just can’t stop!” Wally laughs.

Stretching their legs

daddy long legs band 

Blues-punk rockers Daddy Long Legs are embarking on their first tour of Australia this month.

Starting out on Norton Records, home of legends such as Andre Williams, the Sonics and Link Wray, the New York City-based group recently dropped their new single, "Nightmare", a cracking and frighteniing tune that sums up what we’ve all gone through the past few years. They even got their mate Wreckless Eric to do backing vocals.

Singer/guitarist Brian Hurd spoke to me on the zoom machine while the band was mid tour in Europe.

I-94 Bar: Dave Laing, who teed up this interview up, told me he can’t stop listening to the new Daddy Long Legs single, "Nightmare". Once I heard it I kept pushing repeat as well.

Brian: Right on, thank-you!.

It’s certainly a song of the times, did you write it about all the stuff that happened in the last few years?

Brian: Yeah it’s absolutely of the times, and inspired by everything that’s happened all around us. The story behind it is, in January 2021 I got sick, I had the COVID bug, and I had these crazy dreams that were super vivid, and every night I would dream a different song.

One of the nights that I was under the weather, I had a dream that I was hanging with all these leather clad, denim clad rockers, long hair dudes, and they were telling me how much they dig Daddy Long Legs and they were telling me their favourite song was called "Nightmare".

Well pre-COVID, before all this happened you made a LP called "Lockdown Ways" (2019), so you really have nailed the current times before it happened, AS WELL!

Brian: (Laughs) Yeah.

Dead Poets Society

The Baudelaires portrait

Melbourne band The Baudelaires take their name from Charles Baudelaire, a talented, troubled, decadent and ultimately doomed 19th century French poet and essayist whose writing is said to be the vanguard of the Modernist Movement.

The Baudelaires, in contrast, evoke the spirit of psychedelic exploration, a trippy triangulation of bent Texas psychedelia, Krautrock discipline and the dearly departed elastic brilliance of Yura Yura Teikoku. Six years after releasing their debut album, “Musk Hill”, The Baudelaires have returned with a new album, “TiLT” on Wally Kempton’s effervescent Cheersquad Records.

Patrick Emery spoke to drummer Blair Wittstadt.

John Foy's art of looking back

john foy landscape

In the early 1990s John Foy found himself in the eye of the storm enveloping the music industry.

Foy’s independent record label, Red Eye, had done a deal with Polydor, the Australian arm of multinational company Phonogram. A sold-out at show at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion in 1991, headlined by Ratcat and featuring English band Ride and Red Eye bands The Clouds and Falling Joys, had awakened major labels to the commercial potential of the independent music scene. Other Red Eye bands like The Cruel Sea would surf the independent wave into the late 1990s, even after Foy withdrew from industry machinations.

Thirty years later, Foy looks back on those heady days with fondness. But even as he trawled through his archive of posters, ticket stubs and memories for his “Snaps Crack Pop!” visual collection cum autobiography, he’s not dwelling on what he should have done back in the day. Foy has always lived in the moment, for better and for worse.

Who'll Stop The Rain?

HowlinRain Kristy Walker

As Comets on Fire burnt out – inevitably perhaps, given the band’s incendiary exploration of psychedelic expression – guitarist Ethan Miller looked to the warm and free spirited grooves of ‘70s rock when forming his new band, Howlin Rain.  

For lyrical inspiration, Miller cast his eye over the complex cultural melting pot that is the United States. Howlin Rain’s fifth album, “The Alligator Bride”, was released mid-way through the Trump era; the band’s latest album, “Dharma Wheel”, was conceived just as Trump’s tumultuous presidency ran head long into the descending clouds of global pandemic.

A prolific touring act, Howlin Rain had been scheduled to tour Australia in April 2020, only to find itself marooned at home as international borders banged closed. Now heading back to Australia for the first time since Comets on Fire toured here 15 years ago, and with “Dharma Wheel” finally released after 18 months’ abeyance, Ethan Miller talks about Howlin Rains’ symbiotic relationship with America, American culture and Americana.

They Will Persuade You: Huxton Creepers return to home town

creepers 80sHuxton Creepers in their '80s heyday.

Combining elements of powerpop, grunge, and the sort of hard-edged rock ‘n’ roll that only comes out of Melbourne, the Huxton Creepers were one of the of the best bands in Australia in the ‘80s. With three well received LPs and non-stop touring, the Creepers, while only round for five years, certainly made their mark on the scene in Melbourne but also all over the country, playing anywhere and everywhere.

The Creepers are back playing a rare show at the Corner Hotel on Saturday, 27 August, along with other ‘80s legends the Gas Babies and Intoxica.

Huxton Creepers lead singer Rob Craw was happy to reminisce on the bands original run, and also what keeps them coming back for more.

The Boogie never ends

endlessboogie wide

About 15 years ago, a burn of a CD turned up unsolicited in my mailbox, courtesy of the inimitable Dave Laing, then working at Shock Records. The band was Endless Boogie (named after the John Lee Hooker album) and the album was “Focus Level”.

It was eight songs, about 80 minutes, a heavy psychedelic smorgasbord of riffage, punctuate with Paul Major’s growling vocals. If ever there was a band that could take you to another dimension, it was Endless Boogie.

Having had to abort their most recent planned Australian tour in 2020 due to the plague, Endless Boogie is preparing to hit Australian shores again with Howlin Rain. I spoke to Paul Major from his home town of New York City.

Lord of the L.A. Wasteland Evad Fromme on The Factory Superstars

evad fromme moonchasers liveOur common friend and fellow traveller, the outrageously talented Tom Sanford of Winter Kills and Beachwood Sparks, introduced me to Evad Fromme in some secret rebel rocker social media group online about a decade ago.

We became fast friends and kindred brethren.

Evad is one of the best frontmen and underground rock ‘n’ roll performers and songwriters in the Divided States Of Fear And Slavery we've seen since probably the long gone heyday of Raji's and English Acid, when bands like Celebrity Skin and Stars From Mars and Raw Flower and the purple-haired Zeros ruled the dive bars.

Of course ever since the mid-‘90s, the Wall Street land barons have been tearing down all of rock ‘n’ roll's most venerated landmarks, from CBGB to Tower on Sunset, to build always more unattainable, prohibitively expensive condos and hotels for lawless hedge fund managers and big pharma and private prison shareholding rich people. In the war crazed USA! USA! mockingbird Big 5 corporate mainstream, the entire media has been disgracefully hijacked and weaponized to promote forever war and a fascist police state for the past 25 years. So no high quality rock’n’ roll gets heard on our public airwaves. They can't ever really kill it, but it's all back underground, now.

I-94 Bar