The Next On Tour

West Thebarton Brothel Party is the Australian Dream

Like all good band names, theirs began in a Facebook group chat.

by Mariam Koslay
08 March 2016, 3:23am

JD Future Legends & Noisey present THE NEXT ON TOUR series of summer gigs. Hitting six metro and regional cities around the nation, THE NEXT ON TOUR will showcase some of Australia’s rising musical talent.

West Thebarton Brothel Party is playing Adelaide’s Rocket Bar this Thursday March 10 with SKIES and Hummingbird.

Every show is free but you need to RSVP now!

There must be something about Australian suburbia—the vague shittiness, the washed out rows of light brick houses, tinder dry nature strips—that brings to life great garage rock. West Thebarton Brothel Party may sound like a themed uni club night, but the band from Adelaide’s burbs actually pays homage to garage greats like Eddy Current Suppression Ring and Thee Oh Sees.

This seven-piece (that’s four guitars and a three-piece rhythm section) has come a long way from their local hometown gigs, recently releasing their first self-titled EP. West Thebarton Brothel Party is an impressive debut, managing to retain the genuine spontaneity of a live gig, while dabbling in creative beats and some pretty poignant imagery.

Ahead of the band’s gig for NEXT ON TOUR, Noisey sat down for a chat with lead singer Ray Dalfsen to find out how they came up with their name, and what they plan on doing next.

Noisey: Let’s start with how you guys came together...
Ray Dalfsen: We all originally started off in different bands but hung out together. Right at the beginning it was kind of like a garage band, and after a few years people who wanted to be in it joined. Obviously now it’s different and we’re a bit more serious, but we still have that same energy and fun at our live shows.

I’m not going to lie; the band name is a little out of the ordinary. How did you come up with it?
The name of the place we used to jam. There’s a brothel at the end of the road, so it was geographical, but it really came together in a Facebook group chat. You know how you’re just an idiot and name it something weird? That’s what we did. So when we had our first gig and we were trying to be serious it actually just stuck.

So everyone’s been cool with the title?
Well, just recently we were laid off by this corporate gig—we had the press shots and everything until they just didn’t like the band name, which is pretty funny. But I shouldn’t think we have to hide what we do, we’re not endorsing a brothel or anything.

What is it like touring with so many people in the band?
One word: fucked. To be honest it’s like when you go on a trip with your mates. There’s people who go look for records, there’s those who get really tired, and you have different mini groups who do different stuff which is cool. But at the end of the day we enjoy each other’s company and hang out even when we’re not making music—we’re a family.

The NEXT ON TOUR is going to be pretty insane, what are you looking forward to the most?
We haven’t played that many gigs in the last few months so we’re super pent up and have all this energy for the NEXT ON TOUR. We’ll just be doing what we love doing but I don’t want to say we’re going to do all this crazy stuff before or it’ll probably fail, so we’re just going to go along with whatever happens.

What’s the most exciting thing that has come out of this EP?
We’re stoked we get to have a vinyl produced; something of us you can own. After you write songs, especially if you’ve been writing for years, the EP becomes a breath of fresh air. We’re also really happy with the way it sounds. When I write songs, I play it live because I want to feel it. This EP has that energy of our live gigs, which is great.

I really like the EP cover, was this an impromptu shot or did you always plan something like this?
This is a funny story because it was taken by our drummer, who wasn’t our drummer back then. I think we gave him $50 or a case of beer for it but we just asked him to walk around the inner west suburbs of Adelaide and take photos. It’s actually a Chechen club, something so mundane, but it came out really well and voiced what we are about.

The intro to “Billions”, the first track of the EP is pretty damn cool, talk to me about the inclusion of electronic beats.
It’s really a throwback to our favourite bands. We wanted to include electronic stuff on the EP but we didn’t know where, and "Billions" was perfect. Actually, I accidentally unplugged the drums when we were playing music and it sounded really cool and contemporary so we added it in.

Can you tell us something about you guys that people might not know?
I think what a lot of people don’t realise, and this is especially over the last few months, is that we’re not just a fun loving band. Our music explores equal rights, growing up, and even has themes of anxiety. I remember my early 20s when I was down on myself and when I write now those memories come back and they can be dark.

Totally, like in the song “Two-Bit Loser”?
Exactly, and even throughout the EP. “Two-Bit Loser” is a song I’ve had for so long, around six years, and it explores this idea of perception, something the next single will also go into. Like I said, we’re more than just a party band; we’re passionate about what we write and the music we produce.

This article is presented in partnership with JD Future Legends.

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