TEX PERKINS’ MONKEY BUSINESS
TEX Perkins is at the peak of his powers as he and his new ‘‘primitive, filthy, fun rock ’n’ roll’’ outfit, The Ape, take the wraps off their selftitled debut album today.
‘‘It was an enjoyable record to make,’’ Perkins says of the no-frills collection of rocking original songs.
‘‘It’s like a harder, heavier Cruel Sea or a lighter, friendlier Beasts of Bourbon record. It sits somewhere inbetween those two things.
‘‘All these songs, when I wrote them, when they literally popped out of me, they had no place anywhere else.
‘‘They couldn’t fit in The Dark Horses or The Cruel Sea. I tried to put them in The Cruel Sea but they were a little bit too simple.
‘‘The whole concept is the simplicity of it – that’s why it’s called The Ape. I’ve been called the ape by my friends for years. When I did something quintessentially me, it was always a given it would go under the name Ape.’’
The Ape also features Perkins’ long-time musical mates Raul Sanchez (Magic Dirt) on guitar, Gus Agars (The Dark Horses) on drums and vocals and Pat Bourke on bass and piano.
‘‘This music is what comes when I am alone with an electric guitar,’’ Perkins says.
‘‘Don’t bother digging around for personal reference points or anything like that. The lyrics all over this record are meant to be taken fairly light-heartedly.’’
While Perkins penned the songs, he says The Ape is a band project.
‘‘I wrote all these songs but from that point on the band has been democratic. It’s not only a welcome contribution – it’s needed. I need input from people.’’
Recorded by Roger Bergodaz at Tender Trap Studios and produced by The Ape, Perkins is overjoyed with the results, describing The Ape as ‘‘the album I was born to make’’.
‘‘It is an album bursting with swing and grunt and is easily the best thing I have ever done, or ever will do’’
The Ape are road-testing the album, with shows at Coolangatta and in Byron Bay this long weekend.
Perkins, who became a dad again recently with the birth of a son, can’t afford the luxury of too many hangovers these days. He says balance is key.
He recently had what he describes as the perfect evening. He bought dinner from his daughter who works at a St Kilda burger joint, performed a heavy rock gig with Beasts of Bourbon, then picked up his daughter and walked home around midnight.
‘‘It just seemed like a perfect rock and roll, working dad kind of situation. I can’t afford the luxury of hangovers these days really, when you’ve got kids that are going to wake up pretty early anyway so you better be ready for it,’’ he says.
‘‘There is nothing I enjoy more than waking up to my little boy. There is no greater joy that I’ve ever known.’’
Perkins is working on the soundtrack for a film being made by The Sapphires’ director Wayne Blair and House Husbands’ Rhys Muldoon.
He has recently been gigging with the Beasts of Bourbon in celebration of the group’s 30th anniversary and writing more material to flesh out The Ape set.
The Ape is released today. The Ape play the Coolangatta Hotel tonight, Brisbane’s Transcontinental Hotel tomorrow and the Great Northern Hotel, Byron Bay, on Sunday.
Raul Sanchez, Pat Bourke, Tex Perkins and Gus Agars of The Ape.