In­ter­view by Vaughan Blakey

Surfing World - - Introduction -

Andy Walker is the ge­nius be­hind Bunny Racket, a rock and roll an­ti­dote to the ex­cru­ci­at­ing soda-pop jin­gle fluff that passes as mod­ern mu­sic for kids. Over a decade in the mak­ing Bunny Racket has been a labour of love for the By­ron based mu­si­cian who roped in hard rock­ing roy­alty for the first al­bum in­clud­ing Brant Bjork from Kyuss and Rob­bie Krieger from The Doors. The first sin­gle A Chicken is not a Fruit might just be the fun­ni­est kids song ever and, with the band al­ready booked to play Wem­b­ley Sta­dium’s crèche, we thought we’d have a chat with Andy to find out how this denim wear­ing cot­ton­tail came into ex­is­tence. SW: So you’ve been play­ing gigs, how are the kids re­spond­ing to gi­ant black rab­bits wear­ing denim jack­ets and rock­ing the hell out?! AW: The kids have been go­ing crazy. It’s all I have hoped for on that front, it’s un­real. And there’s no bounc­ers at kids gigs, so no­body’s get­ting bashed or thrown out. They can go as nuts as they want, it’s fan­tas­tic. Where’d this idea come from be­cause it seems re­ally ob­vi­ous to have a great rock and roll kids band and yet no­body has re­ally nailed it? It started a long time be­fore I had kids. I’ve al­ways been into rock and roll, mainly be­cause of my older cousins and sib­lings. When I moved up to By­ron in ’99 I was liv­ing in a house up in the hin­ter­land and me and my mates set up a makeshift record­ing stu­dio and we al­ways had friends with kids around mak­ing mu­sic. I had no money and if it was a friend’s kid’s birth­day they would in­vite me around but I wouldn’t know what present to get, so I’d just write them a song. I’d make a song about them or their pet dog and that usu­ally kicked way more goals that a lit­tle foot­ball or some­thing. What did you lis­ten to grow­ing up? Patsy Bis­coe, Don Spencer, Peter Coombes? My first record my neigh­bour gave me and it was a Cree­dence al­bum. I was liv­ing up at Kar­ratha in West Aus­tralia so there was no tele and all the older kids had BMXS and ghet­to­blasters and they were all into AC/DC and Cree­dence. When I moved to Perth I got in­tro­duced to the Ra­mones, The Mis­fits and Sex Pis­tols and that set me on that path… I still love my punk stuff. I think I was 15 when I first heard Mon­ster Mag­net and Kyuss and that just blew my mind. I was lis­ten­ing to a lot of Zep­pelin and Sab­bath be­fore that so by that age I was just think­ing “WOW! You can take this stoner rock sound in so many di­rec­tions,” and that’s what I’ve al­ways tried to do. The roll call on this record is in­cred­i­ble. Rob­bie Krieger (The Doors) and Brant Bjork (Kyuss) be­ing a cou­ple of no­ta­bles. Did th­ese guys want to get in­volved cause they just couldn’t han­dle the Wig­gles any­more? My as­pi­ra­tion for do­ing this had noth­ing to do with what’s out there. It wasn’t a back­lash be­cause I’ve never re­ally lis­tened to a lot of kids mu­sic. It’s tor­ture mate. I’m telling you. There hasn’t been a de­cent kids song since

Bob the Kelpie.

I lis­ten to so much great rock and roll and I want to share that ex­pe­ri­ence of mu­si­cal ap­pre­ci­a­tion with my kid and other kids. I’m hop­ing Bunny Racket can be an in­tro­duc­tion or a first step into that uni­verse. I re­mem­ber driv­ing up the coast with my kids when they were 5 and three and all of a sud­den I hear them start singing a Katy Perry song, and I just ripped into the near­est servo and bought Elvis, The Bea­tles and The Stones best ofs’ said “It’s time you two got schooled.” Haha! That’s great. It’s a real priv­i­lege to be able to get into chil­dren’s heads and hearts. They’re sponges and they tend to find some­thing cool in just about any­thing they lis­ten to. There’s a choice to bring some­thing with a bit of sub­stance and pos­i­tiv­ity into their ex­pe­ri­ence of mu­si­cal dis­cov­ery. You’ve been in bands your whole life, what’s the pre and post gig party scene like for a rock band Bunny Racket? I still get to write and play mu­sic with my mates so not much has changed in that sense. We played a gig on the week­end and I had a bunch of friends who hadn’t seen me play for years came along and they said it was just like the old days ex­cept that we were dressed as bun­nies. It all comes down to what the kids think. When I played A Chicken is not a Fruit to my niece and nephew who are two and four they gave you the per­fect one word re­view “AGAIN!” That’s as good as it gets. Well you’ve nailed it mate, and I reckon par­ents should give Bunny Racket a go be­cause it’s a lot of fun and the mu­sic is ab­so­lutely sick. Just one fi­nal ques­tion… any kids been shit scared of your suits? I think ev­ery­thing comes back to the main idea of what Bunny Racket is about, good mu­sic and hav­ing fun. If it’s a lit­tle bit scary or heavy here or there that’s fine. I grew up with the Mup­pets and they used to scare the shit out of me but I still loved them more than any­thing. That fear made me want to find out more about them. So it’s ok to push the bound­aries a lit­tle bit.

King Bunny presents the next gen­er­a­tion with the gift of rock.

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