By Kieran Webber
We feel that Clunk has much in common with the awesome dudes in Hockey Dad, even though they hail from Australia. After all, we are based in what is considered the surf capital of the UK. The boys make chilled-back surf rock that takes influence from the likes of The Beach Boys but with a spikier edge. Much like us, they love surfing, the beach, and general relaxation (oh and, of course, babes).
Their energetic mix of surf rock, lo-fi and garage music is to be adored, especially by those who can relate to the lifestyle. With their debut album ‘Boronia’ penned for release August 12th we thought what better time to have a chat with the lads.
CLUNK: Okay to start – let’s hear the story behind the band name, how did it come about and why was it chosen?
HD: After recording some demos in my room, we were having a few beers and watching The Simpsons. This episode came on where the intro is Bart and Milhouse playing a game called “Hockey Dad”, which starts out as a regular hockey match until these drunken dads start punching on. There really wasn’t much thought to it, we just thought it was hell funny.
CLUNK: Why was it that you decided to sign with a Brooklyn based record label as
opposed to a homegrown one and what is the story behind signing with Kanine?
HD: Well back in ‘straya we’ve got our homegrown label Farmer & The Owl, which started out as close mates from our hometown Wollongong giving us a helping hand, but have now built themselves into one of the most solid label/management/festival throwers back home. Signing up with Kanine started off with sinking a few too many beers and going skating with Lio up at Bigsound in Brisbane, Australia. As we were saying our goodbyes, Lio gave us a big hug and said “You’re coming to New York”, so we packed up and flew over for CMJ the following month. We’re heaps stoked to be signed with Kanine, as we appreciate the humble beginnings of Lio and Kay as the husband-and-wife duo starting from scratch and flourishing into what they are now. It’s sick to see.
CLUNK: I have read in interviews that you find Alex Turner of The Arctic Monkeys
a huge influence in your songwriting, what is it specifically that
influences you and why?
HD: “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” is pretty much the whole reason we started playing music like we do, as we copped that album when we were like 10 and 12 years old, and only started a band a year or two after that. In the early days, we were just grommies thrashing out covers in Zach’s shed, not really thinking about songwriting… although as we grew older, and Turner kept pumping out albums, we started to really appreciate each album as a work of art and just how diverse Turner’s writing abilities are, between Arctic Monkeys and The Last Shadow Puppets too.
“Me and Stevo listen to a ridiculous amount of music, and have always had such different tastes in music over the years, which is sick because we’re always throwing separate influences into our songwriting and how we play shows”
CLUNK: Are there any other artists or people that infuence you and your music ?
HD: Me and Stevo listen to a ridiculous amount of music, and have always had such different tastes in music over the years, which is sick because we’re always throwing separate influences into our songwriting and how we play shows. There’s too many names to mention, but I guess growing up with my brothers stash of 90s punk and Stevo growing up with his Dad’s stash of Aussie pub rock would have influenced us the most.
CLUNK: So being Australian it is kind of a given that you surf or dabble in some
water sport, but the end of the video for ‘Seaweed’ sees you two taking on a
pretty heavy slab, where is this wave? Do you normally take on heavier waves
or do prefer beachies?
HD: Can’t tell ya too much, but it’s our home-away-from-home down the coast, where we always sneak down for waves and piss ups with mates. We’ve been real lucky to grow up surrounded by solid reef breaks and a couple punchy beachies, so we tend to dabble in both. We’re obviously not hell chargers, but we’ll have a fair crack when it’s pumping.
“I think it would have to be Red Bluff over in Western Australia, you’ve gotta put in the hard yakka to get out there and it’s such a unique stretch of coast to be in, plus I’m goofy so it’s always sick to score a solid left. Then again, we’ve had some ripper surfs all around home, so it’s hell hard to pick a favourite”
CLUNK: What can we expect from your debut release ‘Boronia’ ?
HD: You can expect plenty of songs you haven’t heard before, that we’ve been stinging to release for ages now. The production might be a little cleaner than what we’ve done before, but it’s still rough on the edges. If you get ahold of a record, listen to it in full and give it a good run for us.
CLUNK: Does the Australian lifestyle influence your music ?
HD: In our circumstance, growing up in a small coastal town, only a few doors down from each other and having the beach right next to us, it’s definitely had some impact on the way we look at life. In regards to influencing music, I guess thrashing around in Zach’s shed in between surfs may have inspired us to write songs about waves and babes in the beginning… but when you compare us to other bands who grew up heaps similar (like Parkway Drive coming out of Byron Bay) I think songwriting all comes down to what you listen to and what you’re stoked on.
CLUNK: Have you surfed anywhere else in the world apart from Aus?
We’ve surfed in Indo a fair bit, and Zach’s done a trip over to New Zealand before, but we haven’t done a surf trip overseas together yet. Ever since we were grommies, Stevo’s old man has always gone on boat trips with all his mates, so that’s been a dream of ours for ages now… hopefully we can afford one soon.
CLUNK: What has been your favourite wave so far?
HD: I think it would have to be Red Bluff over in Western Australia, you’ve gotta put in the hard yakka to get out there and it’s such a unique stretch of coast to be in, plus I’m goofy so it’s always sick to score a solid left. Then again, we’ve had some ripper surfs all around home, so it’s hell hard to pick a favourite.
CLUNK: Lastly, apart from the album release, what can the world expect from
HD: Plenty of touring, hell keen to be going overseas as much as we can and playing all the new songs from the album! Plus we’ve been writing heaps at home, so who knows, might even start ripping into the second album already.
We would like to extend a massive thank you to the band for taking the time to answer our questions and for making amazing music.
You can preorder ‘Boronia’ here: