Over two massive guitar riffs on "Conquest" by Bored!, bassist Tim Hemensly growls “working late on a factory floor”, belting out the working class rock of Rose Tattoo and the Coloured Balls, Detroit punk and pure volume. It’s one of the best Australian punk rock songs ever.
Around the time, the Geelong long hair rockers had been looking for a bassist after the departure of Graham Gardner and were lucky enough to enlist a young Hemesnly who had made his name with teenage punk bands Royal Flush and GOD. What he lacked in physical stature Tim made up in raw unadulterated talent, musical knowledge, and a truckload of smart ass-ness and wit. Pure balls.
Originally released on the Dogmeat label and the only Bored! recording from their amazing but brief Hemensley-era line-up from 1989-'91, Take It Out On You has long been out of print but was recently been reissued on vinyl by Desperate records with new mastering from Mikey Young and liner notes from guitarist/vocalist Dave Thomas and guitarist John Nolan.
Dave Thomas chats about the album and working with Hemensly who sadly passed away in 2003.
Noisey: Negative Waves was an amazing album but the addition of Tim on Take It Out on You took the band to another level. In the liner notes you say that he was the best musician you played with.
Dave Thomas: Tim was an amazing human being to be around. He was always interesting and intelligent and had a bullshit detector a mile wide. He was also incredibly funny. Playing with him was a blast, I think he could play the songs better than us. He had a great ear and it seemed that whatever riff he came up with just sounded great.
The start to “Conquest” is phenomenal. Not that he ever worked there, but when he growls “Working on a factory floor” you can feel the assembly line at the Geelong Ford plant.
Yeah I love it. All I can remember I think we had our first rehearsal and he played it and we just sort of played along and what can I say? Tim wrote great lyrics and most were about his experiences, no matter how dramatic they sounded.
“Motherfuckin Motherfucker” is a song for GG Allin, it’s fun. When the album came out GG was a joke and doing prison time for cutting and burning a woman then drinking her blood.
It’s really a bit of a joke song. I figured having two “motherfuckers” in the title would give that away. It’s a stupid song, with stupid lyrics and a dumb riff. Around that time there were a lot of bands trying to look tough but they all looked and sounded like dicks. I was also interested in things like performance art and people like Lydia Lunch and Throbbing Gristle kind of stuff that was confronting to the audience. I’d heard about GG Allin and I quite liked his early records and how he would shit on stage and throw it at people and I thought, “This cunt doesn’t give a fuck”. It’s a shame the motherfucker turned out to be a mother fuckhead.
Looking at old photos and videos I love how much “don’t give a fuck” you guys exuded. Nolan’s got the arse of his jeans ripped to shit, and you are a bunch of long hairs hunched over your guitars just going bat shit. “Mr Ten Percent” seems to sum up your attitude to the music business and scene at the time.
We always liked to do our own gigs or choose our own supports so they were our shows and we didn’t take every show that was given to us. We wanted to do our own thing and if a pub or promoter had a complaint about our volume or friends or us we’d look for somewhere else to play. They were probably glad too. I don’t think I was an easy person to deal with at all.
That 1990 European tour must have been pretty wild. You played with Mudhoney and Negazione. The tour took its toll too, Tim and John effectively left the band after.
It was hard but only in the sense of playing six nights a week and that it was our first time overseas. We were novices. I mean we were playing on average one night a week in Australia. We got really well looked after; hotels and beds every night, booze, drugs etc. Tim was always going to leave after the tour and I think I’d had enough playing with John and him with me too! So that was that. Though I will always regret that we didn’t do another album. We were playing great at the end.
I love the title of the album. A great fit for the band and the ferocious music you were playing at the time.
At the time we were all into so many different things, music, film, art, whatever. I think on the back of the previous album there’s a photo of us sitting around with stuff we were into at the time. One of the crazes we got into was all the Scorsese movies, we all watched Taxi Driver a million times like everybody. I asked a friend Ron McPherson to take a photo of that scene where Travis holds his fingers to his head and I then photo copied it and it looked ok so we went with it. It was a rough and fast job but it came out great. Wish I still had the T-shirt.
Tim Scott is a writer, editor and a nicer booker than anyone Dave Thomas had to deal with.