Interview: West Thebarton Brothel Party

ET editor, Lauren, caught up with local faves West Thebarton Brothel Party ahead of their Semester 2 O’Week gig at FUSA’s Halfway There band night.

Photo by David Court, via West Thebarton Brothel Party Facebook


How and when did the band form?

It was a very different version of the band then, but it was really formed by a few of the guys pulling some songs out of nowhere a couple of years ago and then throwing a drunken show together at the front bar at the Exeter Hotel in summer in 2013.


Who makes up the band and what roles do you all have (including off-stage stuff that needs to be done to keep things moving along)?

We’ve got seven of us that make up the band, but we’ve got a bunch of other mates who are like, honorary members who jump in when we need them. So there’s Ray our front man, Batters, TG and Heals our guitarists, Brian our percussionist/guitarist/manager/spiritual leader, Hugh on drums and myself Nick on bass.

All decisions are made by the group, which is handy with seven people because the vote is never a tie, so everyone has an even input into what we need to do to keep things going. Brian is the key man behind a lot of the organisational stuff, when he’s not doing things off his own bat he’s like a brilliant conductor directing the rest of us to get things rolling.

Aside from that, we all band together to get what we need to get done finished as quickly as possible. Like I’m doing this interview right now while one of the other guys is searching best flight prices for the tour we’ve got coming up, while someone is organising transport for getting out to Flinders tonight pretty simultaneously. Most of what we do is definitely a team effort.

More specifically, Hugh is a photographer and his collaboration with Lewis Brideson (Yewth Magazine) were the driving forces behind our latest music video for our song Red or White, and Henry Stentiford has been doing an amazing job on our artwork for Red or White and another upcoming release that is just around the corner (stay tuned). So we involve our friends who might have skills that they want to share and it lets us collaborate a fair bit.


How would you describe your sound to the musically-challenged amongst us?

We use a lot of guitars, we’ve got a few scratchy voices, and the rhythm section of drums and bass drives a few songs, so I guess we think we sound like we play garage rock. We’ve also been called a pub-rock band and a pub-punk band before too (the latter term I’d never heard before), so I guess it’s best to just leave it up to people to hear us first hand and decide for themselves.


What have been some of your highlights so far?

This year’s highlights have been coming thick and fast for a band that sort of started as a bit of fun. Playing Groovin the Moo earlier this year was a big deal for us, it’s an excellent festival and we actually got to fit on a stage for once, we were also triple j unearthed’s feature artist for a week which was a huge honour.

We were invited up to Big Sound to showcase up in Brisbane in September which will be such a massive highlight for us as a band. And then I guess we get a huge kick our of just touring and playing together, and it’s nice when interstate venues and booking agents want you on a show in Sydney or Melbourne out of the blue – it’s like a bit of a constant highlight whenever we book a show that might be bigger than the last, or a tour that might not have been expected to happen.


Why did you say yes to performing at Flinders?

Batters, our guitarist, told us that the Tavern goes off at O’Week events, so we said yes straight away.


What’s next for you guys? And what goals do you hope to tick off in the next little while?

We have a bit of a tour coming up, and we’ll be releasing something you can hold in your little hands very very soon, so I guess other than that we’re just planning on getting through the tour in one piece and trying to write some more good tunes.


Artwork by Henry Stentiford, via West Thebarton Brothel Party Facebook