It’s raucous, it’s raunchy, it’s a Tropical Fuck Storm… literally. This week, we caught up with this extraordinary foursome to talk influences, wacky stories and their not-to-be-missed upcoming TGE performance.
Ascending through the ranks of the Australian psychedelic punk wave, Tropical Fuck Storm is a fusion of Gareth Liddiard and Fiona Kitschin of The Drones (now defunct) combined with the bona fide talents of Lauren Hammel and Erica Dunn. The foundations of this band are laced with tameless eccentricity, outlandish sounds and a well-documented fuck it attitude – even down to their name – “When we needed a name for the new band we thought fuck it, just use that”. Despite flourishing from the scene in our lead country partner Australia, the Tropical Fuck Storm guys have always been a sovereign machine doing their “own thing” and doing it pretty damn well, even influencing other groups in the scene.
The group have already received both critical and public acclaim from our friends at Noisey and many more for ‘A Laughing Death in Meatspace’ which has been recognised as one of the best albums of 2018. But, for those who haven’t witnessed the sounds of Tropical Fuck Storm before, they define it as “feral and fucked up weird junkyard disco skuzz”. We quizzed them on why they believe they’ve been so successful with a seemingly ageless punk resistance: “We’re congenital musicians. There is something wrong with us. We’re not doing it to get laid or to win a popularity contest and you can hear that, for better or worse.”
Sugary and full of surprises, the foursome’s ‘A Laughing Death in Meatspace’ exploits berserk rhythms, sickly synths and overall insanity to embody the angsty state of worldly affairs, with footnotes of disintegrating humanity in a perfectly designed catchy composition. Gareth elected his favourite tune on the album ‘Rubber Bullies’ which reflects occurrences in both Richmond, in Melbourne and Rio De Janeiro. On a trip to see where Gareth’s Dad grew up, the guys “got to hang out with local people and see alligators in the creeks in the suburbs and went to the beaches and saw a bit of what it’s like to live in the favelas. We saw capybaras in the park and you’d hear machine guns going off. It was nuts!”
The fan-favourite “You Let My Tyres Down” also find its origins from ‘A Laughing Death in Meatspace’. We asked the guys about the narrative behind this anarchic hymn. Revealing the inspiration, Gareth told us “I remember this mad guy who was in the Air Force with my brother having his car stolen. When he got it back the cops had dusted it for fingerprints and just left the dust there. He thought he knew who it was who had stolen his car, and we were at this bar drinking, and he saw this guy, so he just walked up and knocked him out cold then dragged him into the carpark and checked his prints against the dusted prints on his car. I can’t remember the outcome, but life is full of that kinda wild shit.”
With another record on the way and their first UK tour fast approaching, we have been warned that their TGE performance will be just as maniacal as they are. “We’re just gonna fuck shit up. We play like there’s rockets up our bums so if you’re into that kinda thing you might just dig us.”
Catch them at The Great Escape Festival 2019 on Friday 10th May, tickets available here
Words by Elizabeth Pike