Rascals of Society - Episode 9
'I'd want Russell Coight on one side, Dame Edna on the other and Shane Warne across the street.'
As we welcome summer, bugs are generally the unwelcome little creatures renowned for pissing Australians off. However! Wipe that insect repellent off and leave the doors wide open, because Bugs is something you need buzzing around your ears this summer, preferably with a XXXX tinny in your hand...or in both. Coming from all directions of Australia to finally culminate in Brisbane, the Bugs fellas know how to make a solid tune. Just recently wrapping up their 'Neighbourhood' tour with a wild free show on the Sunshine Coast, BUGS have earned themselves a well deserved Chrissy break before taking on Falls Festival Byron Bay.
Hear what lead singer and song writer Connor Brooker had to say about his neighbourhood shenanigans to us!
As standard protocol goes please let us know your name plus nickname (s), as well as your positions in the band:
Connor, I play guitar and sing but don’t have a nickname - Jordan is our bassist and Brock (or as we affectionately know him, Broz) is tub thumper.
I wasn’t going to ask this originally because I’m sure many people do but it’s bugging me (pun intended)…but where does the name BUGS come from?
We didn’t have fly screens on the windows in the share house QLDer I lived in after moving to Brisbane. One hot summer night when I was recording, I couldn’t stop getting distracted by all different types of insects flying into my computer screen. I liked it and it stuck I guess.
When it comes to writing a successful indy punk song what’s BUGS approach to it? Many of your lyrics are very relatable and infused with Australian culture.
We just try not to take ourselves too seriously, I’m a pretty big over thinker so I guess a lot of our lyrics come from just being observant more than anything. We just want the music to come across as honestly as possible.
You boys are all originally from little old Sunshine Coast I believe? How has the transition between beach to city lifestyle affected you music writing?
Jordan actually grew up in Bris and Brock is from Cairns, so we are a wide spread, but I loved growing up on the coast. The laid back lifestyle and beach were hard to leave, adjusting took a long time but you don’t know if you’ll like something until you try it and eventually Brisbane grew on me. It’s still only an hour to the water and a great community of people making music so it made the transition a little easier.
There’s more and more sick young talent oozing out of the Sunshine Coast every year when it comes to musicians and bands. What is your advice on taking things to the next level and trying to tackle the daunting big smoke.
Just literally do it - play whatever venues will have you, take opening supports and weird shows if it might help you meet a venue booker or event promoter. Their are plenty of venues in Brisbane who will take a punt on you if you’re prepared to show good intent.
Tell us a little bit about your latest single ‘Neighbourhood’.
It’s just a fun guitar pop tune about all the different types of places I have lived. I think everyone can relate to having a nightmare neighbour. Mine just woke me up with a hedge trimmer, it feels like groundhog day because it has happened 50 times this year.
What’s the difference between a Sunny Coast neighbourhood and a Brisbane one?
Sunshine Coast is a lot more community based, you know the people in your suburb and street - up here it is still QLD so you get that laid back attitude and approach to stranger danger, but it is certainly more independent living down here. I swear they use a smoother type of bitumen to surface the roads up there too, these suburban ones shred my feet. Maybe it’s just my feet have gotten soft since I can’t nip down to the shops barefoot.
Whats the strangest shit you’ve seen go down in your neighbourhood?
We let off a couple of fireworks when we were younger one night down a street in Peregian, that was a bit of a sight.
If you had the power to choose any one as your surround neighbours, who would you want living to the left and right of you? As well as across the road.
I’d want Russell Coight on one side, Dame Edna on the other and Shane Warne across the street.
Despite leaving my lens hood on my camera causing an influx of Black Plague spots on most of my shots... I blame Bugs. They were just too fukin' good to even care or realise (as well as just being a kook). Playing to home a crowd always seems to get a little bit more loose and enjoyable than usual. The smiles on Connor, Jordan and Brock's faces and energy certainly was the proof in the pudding. With such fun and hard work reaps rewards, Bugs this week is in fact Triple J's Unearthed feature artist's, so roll them car windows down and let Bugs fly freely.
Words/photos by Dougal Gorman