Don’t be­come too ex­cited

Af­ter two decades, Fren­zal Rhomb are now role mod­els, writes

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE ’N’ LOUD -

TO cel­e­brate 20 years of Fren­zal Rhomb run­ning their own pro­gram, front­man Jay Whal­ley urges fans to come to their shows wear­ing clothes.

‘‘Peo­ple get over-en­thused. They have been known to take their clothes off on stage,’’ he says.

Found­ing mem­ber Whal­ley says af­ter two decades in the busi­ness, Fren­zal Rhomb are role mod­els. ‘‘We are men­tors,’’ he says. ‘‘The other day, a home­less win­dow washer, who maybe had ad­dic­tion is­sues, came to wash my wind­screen.

‘‘I said ‘no thanks, mate’, but he started to do it any­way. I of­fered him two dol­lars and he said ‘no worries Jay – Fren­zal Rhomb changed my life for the bet­ter’. I don’t know what his life was like be­fore. But he shouted me my win­dow wash.’’

The punk-rock four-piece last year re­leased its eighth al­bum, Smoko at the Pet Food Fac­tory .

‘‘A lot of our jobs we have had doubts about, like, ‘I’m just ped­dling some­thing else’s s - - -, sell­ing some­one else’s prod­uct’,’’ he says.

‘‘I like the idea of bands like us be­ing down­time, like a knock-off pe­riod. You see a band, for­get about your s - - - job. It’s like smoko.’’

Whal­ley says his favourite track on the al­bum is Mummy Doesn’t Know You’re a Nazi.

‘‘There was this Neo-nazi fas­cist guy threat­en­ing a band over the net, say­ing he was go­ing to glass them. The police were mon­i­tor­ing the band, and ended up find­ing the Nazi. They went to his house and re­alised he was 16. His mum had no idea.’’

Fren­zal Rhomb trav­elled to Colorado in the US to record Smoko at the Pet Food Fac­tory, en­list­ing help from Amer­i­can pro­ducer Bill Steven­son.

‘‘We have been pretty hands-on with pro­duc­tion but it turned out we should never have been,’’ says Whal­ley.

‘‘(Steven­son) knew what we wanted to do. I didn’t want to use auto tune so I had to sing ev­ery­thing a thou­sand times to get it right.

‘‘The cool thing about our band is that we are all ac­tu­ally good at what we do. I can sing in tune 80 per cent of the time.’’

Whal­ley says he takes in­spi­ra­tion for songs from ‘‘stuff and things’’. ‘‘I write about what­ever re­ally. It’s not like we’re go­ing for the shock fac­tor, peo­ple are eas­ily scan­dalised and ou­traged.

‘‘Peo­ple will watch grotesque acts of hu­man hor­ror on TV and are de­sen­si­tised, but then are shocked and ap­palled when peo­ple say such things in a pop song.’’

Fren­zal Rhomb play Park­wood Tav­ern on Satur­day.

Fren­zal Rhomb

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