Eddy Current Suppression Ring
Eddy Current Suppression Ring are the shit. Like a roadside IED just waiting to blow the paint off the hype-Humvee, their brand of proto-punk doesn’t pretend to be anything that it ain’t. Just good old-time Aussie rock, sans the gimmicks. Well, maybe the gloves that singer Brendan wears could be considered a little ‘gimmicky’, but the point being is that their sound is like the Saints or Wire in their prime coupled with the melody of the Easybeats. It ain’t pretty, but you can dance and drink to it, and, when walking out of the pub later, you can slap your buddies on the back and slur, “Man that was fucking awesome, can you spot me five bucks for their picture disc?” These kids don’t muck around. Here’s what your man Eddy (the bloke on g’tar and keys) has to say.
For some reason, when I think of the name ‘Eddy Current Suppression Ring’ I think of ‘Dean’, the mustache from The Curiosity Show. Who, in turn, makes me think of the mustache that works at Eagle Leather who sells Current Suppression Rings out back. Any connection?
No connection, but, funnily enough, last time we drove to Sydney there was a big billboard of Dr Karl, the scientist, and Brendan looked at it and flipped because for the last few years, every time he heard Dr Karl, he thought it was the mustachioed dude from The Curiosity Show. I like Dean.
So you’re down with the hipsters at Shake Some Action. Is that place always full of hot chicks?
I’m not sure if we are down with the hipsters. We have brought our own friends when we have played. I liked playing there because it’s a good room and I can walk home, but last time we played there, all our friends were told it was a uni night and they were deemed not young, rich or hot enough to come in by the charming bouncers. Danny got stopped and hassled and he was carrying a freakin’ snare drum. To answer the question though, yes all the chicks are hot.
So my good friend Dave Lang over there at Lexicon Devil blog and who is quite possibly the most crotchety, “if it wasn’t released on SST pre-1986 or isn’t some head warping free jazz please spare me the bullshit” music fan I know, raves about you. How do you explain your music appealing to BOTH hot young girls at Shake Some Action and a dude who, in the past, has considered fire bombing that place?
Maybe the hot young girls that like us are also crotchety free jazz fans.
On the You Tube video of you guys playing at Revolver, I noticed that you have a nice pair of milk crates sitting on stage. How important are milk crates to a rock and roll band?
I’m not a fan of keyboard stands, so I find using milk crates diverts attention away from my rather un-rock and roll looking synthesizer. On the weekend, I couldn’t find a crate for my amp so I had to tilt it to hear it, and it started smoking and sounding funny. So, no milk crates = amp death.
And your favourite onstage dance move?
Brendan doesn’t have favourites, he just likes to move, on time, all the time. Well, out of time a bit. He sure has his own rhythm.
I like how the spoken-word type vocals on ‘Precious Rose’ sound like the Cosmic Psycho’s Knighty on ‘Custom Credit’. People speak of your very Australian delivery both vocally and musically. Was this a conscious decision when you first started?
Surely not sounding Australian would be more of a conscious decision. Vocally, I can hear the Aussieness; musically, I have no idea what sounds Australian. Our amps were made in Melbourne, that’s gotta be it.
Even though there is a definite punk edge to the band, you don’t sit in any one of the Melbourne punk scenes; you are able to play with a band such as Straightjacket Nation as well as support Radio Birdman. How do you explain that?
I don’t think the gap between Radio Birdman and Straightjacket Nation is really that big. I think at first we were wondering why these hardcore dudes liked us, but you soon realise just because they are in that sort of band doesn’t mean they don’t go home and listen to Saints or AC/DC records. Dan from Straightjacket Nation and I only ever talk about Rod Stewart and ‘Total Control’ by The Motels these days.
You have released three seven inches. Obviously working at Corduroy helps in that department. Are they all still available?
Corduroy (now Zenith) has definitely been a huge bonus. Not only because I got to make our own records, but also it was a place to practice, record, hang out with ace people and listen to awesome records. All the 7”s are still available but I am coming to the tail end of the covers for all three.
How did the split with Straightjacket Nation come about? I heard they went down to one of your gigs one night to give you a good beating for some reason. Was there a beat down?
True. Corduroy owed them some records/money when the whole ship went down. Hearing that some of us in the band worked down there, they came down to our show to do some damage. Maybe because they liked us or maybe because we are obviously mega tough, they behaved nicely. I got them their money back and their records pressed, we ended playing shows together, doing the record and driving to Sydney. The fight has now been rescheduled as an ECSR vs SJN tennis tournament.
Is violence at a rock & roll show ever justifiable?
At only one of our shows has a fight broken out, and it happened to be between Brendan’s friends and some of my friends that didn’t know each other. One dude was being an obnoxious jerk and things got a bit crazy. It’s sort of funny in hindsight as no-one got hurt, but, at the time, it made me feel pretty weird. On the plus side, our friend Benno won some cash at a photography comp with a photo of the rumble, so at least something good came from it. As for any rock & roll show? I’m sure there are times when violence is justified, but it ain’t my cup of tea. Oh, Brendan slapped me once during a show and also hit my keyboard repeatedly with his mic and broke both. That was pretty violent.