Vi­o­lent Soho’s third al­bum Hun­gry Ghost went gold last month and won two AIR Awards, just as the Bris­bane-based rock­ers were pre­par­ing to kick off their na­tional tour com­pris­ing 23 per­for­mances

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - LIVE & LOUD PLAY - KANE YOUNG

Mu­sic from the 1960s was big in the ’80s, the ’90s were all about the ’70s, and what­ever we call the decade from 2000-10 en­dured an in­ex­pli­ca­ble ’80s re­vival.

So by that logic, this decade will even­tu­ally be re­mem­bered for the re­turn of ’90sin­flu­enced mu­sic – and Bris­bane band Vi­o­lent Soho are happy to be at the fore­front.

Just don’t make the mis­take of la­belling them “grunge re­vival­ists”. And def­i­nitely don’t men­tion Nick­el­back.

“In 2010 ev­ery­one was call­ing it a ‘grunge re­vival’, and we felt like peo­ple didn’t un­der­stand what we were do­ing if they thought we were try­ing to re­vive a genre from when we were chil­dren,” Vi­o­lent Soho gui­tarist James Tidswell ex­plains.

“The word ‘grunge’ was not re­ally ac­cu­rate for us, be­cause we thought we had punk rock and pop-punk in­flu­ences as well. When I was a kid, grunge was Bush and Live and Days of the New. I was 10 or 11 when grunge (was re­placed by) Green Day and The Off­spring and Sil­ver­chair, so that’s what we’re in­flu­enced by and what we’re al­ways go­ing to play.

“When peo­ple were say­ing we’re part of a grunge re­vival, we thought grunge was still around and had mor­phed into Nick­el­back.

“So it was pretty hard for us – we were like ‘ What? You think that’s what we sound like?’

“It seemed a lit­tle bit un­fair. But the first re­view we ever got called us Brit­pop, so we didn’t re­ally care what peo­ple la­belled it. Ev­ery­one’s got their own take on it, so you can call us what­ever you want. So if ’90s mu­sic comes back into vogue then, hey, it’s good tim­ing for us.”

You could ar­gue that Vi­o­lent Soho – Tidswell, Luke Bo­er­dam (gui­tar, vo­cals), Luke Hen­ery (bass) and Michael Richards (drums) – are al­ready in vogue, hav­ing won a le­gion of fans across the coun­try with their hard-hit­ting per­for­mances at fes­ti­vals such as Falls, Big Day Out and Splen­dour in the Grass.

They have also re­leased a string of popular sin­gles such as Je­sus Stole My Girl­friend, Sara­mona Said, Neigh­bour Neigh­bour and Cov­ered in Chrome, which came in at No.14 on Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2013.

Vi­o­lent Soho’s pop­u­lar­ity went to a new level last Septem­ber with the re­lease of their third al­bum Hun­gry Ghost – the follow-up to 2010’s self-ti­tled record – which de­buted at No.6 on the ARIA al­bum charts and spent more than a year in the top 50.

Hun­gry Ghost of­fi­cially reached gold sta­tus last month, and won Vi­o­lent Soho the Best In­de­pen­dent Al­bum and Best In­de­pen­dent Hard Rock, Heavy or Punk Al­bum cat­e­gories at last month’s AIR Awards.

The band is also nom­i­nated for Best Group, Best In­de­pen­dent Re­lease and Best Aus­tralian Live Act at this month’s ARIA Awards.

All those ac­co­lades are nice, but don’t mean as much to Tidswell as some­thing else that hap­pened re­cently. Last month, one of his mu­si­cal he­roes, Blink 182 bassist Mark Hop­pus, tweeted “hi @vi­o­lentsoho, I like your band”.

“That was prob­a­bly the rad­dest thing to ever hap­pen,” Tidswell says.

“I never would have seen it com­ing. The fact that he even lis­tened to it, let alone took the time to tweet about it, was pretty cool.

“As a kid, (Blink 182’s) Dude Ranch was the al­bum that kicked ev­ery­thing off for me, as far as want­ing to play mu­sic.

“I grew up lis­ten­ing to mu­sic like Sonic Youth, and we’re lucky enough to be signed to Thurston Moore’s la­bel (Ec­static Peace! Records), so he’s heard us. Now Blink has heard us too so it’s pretty cool man, I’m stoked.”

“It’s been an awe­some year, a very new ex­pe­ri­ence for us. In 10 years we’ve prob­a­bly been popular for about four months. They say you should high-five ev­ery­one on the way up, and high-five ev­ery­one on the way back down.”

Vi­o­lent Soho are em­bark­ing on their No Sleep Til Mans­field 23-date na­tional tour, hit­ting ev­ery cap­i­tal city and a num­ber of re­gional towns across Aus­tralia.


Rock band Vi­o­lent Soho are happy to be la­belled just about any­thing ex­cept “grunge re­vival­ists”.

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