ON TOUR OF DUTY
The members of Shag Rock weren’t going to let their uni studies get in the way of a truly golden opportunity to hit the road with The Rubens
What do you do when you’re coming up to the crux of university semester and you’re asked to go on tour with The Rubens? You say ‘yes’, obviously. “Three of us are at uni,” Shag Rock lead singer and guitarist Alex Wilson says.
“It’s a bit of a struggle. With this Rubens tour, this is something we couldn’t turn down. We said ‘we’re just going to have to cope’.”
Tonight, Brisbane indiepop band Shag Rock will open for The Rubens at Beergarden, Surfers Paradise as part of their huge regional Australia tour.
It will be the second Gold Coast gig in a month for the band, playing to a 3000- strong crowd at Surfers Paradise Live on May 5.
While their band name is slightly cringey – does anyone really say “shag” apart from Austin Powers? – the lads have developed a strong presence and a tight sound.
With Alex’s velvety voice, accompanied by Jacob Reed’s delicate riffs, Nick Cav’s smooth bass and Max Beech’s slinking drum beats, the easy-listening band has talent for days.
With two albums released in their eight-year history, it was the success of single Sunbleached Girl that saw the boys head to the US to perform at the Mondo Music Conference and spend most of last year touring.
Despite this success, Alex says the band almost called it quits a couple of years ago.
“We decided to take a year off, we were a bit hesitant,” he says. “It was a bit up in the air whether we were going to pursue the band or not.
“Then we sold out the Brightside (Brisbane music venue) after a big Australian tour and it was just like, we realised we could keep doing this for a while.
“Everyone was really stoked, it was such a great feeling.”
Looking forward, Shag Rock have a pretty packed schedule after helping out The Rubens with their Queensland shows.
The lads will head to the studio to record, have a short two-week break and then kick off their own tour in June called Double Life, the namesake of their next single.
“I think Double Life is sort of a dig at pop songs,” Alex says.
“Everything has to be digestible these days, songs have to be three minutes short, internet videos have to be 30 seconds.
“And Double Life’s a succinct representation of that.”
If only a university degree were as digestible and feelgood as their songs.
Oh well – hopefully they’ll find time to squeeze in some study in between life on the road as emerging indierock stars.
The Rubens with Cloves and Shag Rock at Beergarden, Surfers Paradise tonight. From 8pm. Tickets $50. 18+ event.
Shag Rock will open for The Rubens tonight at Beergarden, Surfers Paradise.