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BOOTLEG RASCAL As loose as it gets


From a hot melting pot of hip hop, reggae and psych-pop sonics arise the genre defying Sydney group Bootleg Rascal. The band arrive in WA this Thursday, August 17 at Badlands Bar, Perth to tear up the final leg of their Australian tour, which goes on to Rollercoaster, Mandurah on Friday, August 18, Clancy’s Dunsborough on Saturday, August 19 and Mojos, North Fremantle on Sunday August 20. Bouncing from state to state and sweeping through a storm of sell-out shows, the band’s quick-witted guitarist Jimmy Young is all about taking the days on the road as they come. Speaking to SARAH DAY he reveals the heated, crazy, and unforgettable moments of being a rascal.

So you’re back on the road – you’ve sold out all your shows on the east coast and now WA is your last stop before you head over to the UK; what are you looking forward to most about touring internationally?

Yeah, it’s always a good feeling to know people still want to turn up! Well we generally go over to the UK about once a year, we’ve been trying to get over to the States once a year as well — so it’s kind of a fairly regular thing for us. It’s always good though you know, it’s good to go over there just to see the crowds sort of building from the last time you were there and different people there singing the words to your songs. I don’t know if that ever gets old but it’s pretty cool for us.

How do overseas audiences react to your music compared to us Aussies?

Well no crowd’s really as amazing as a hometown Aussie crowd, that’s generally about as loose as it gets — in a good way. So I guess they’ve got a bit to live up to in that department but you know, it’s so cool that everywhere you go has their own sort of vibe for how they react to the music. You go to California for instance and everybody’s just this real chilled sort of stoner vibe – they kind of just want to sway along with the crowd. Everywhere has their own sort of version of that I guess. Maybe we just get too much sun here (laughs), everyone just wants to start circle pits and stuff you know but it’s kind of cool too.

You’re working on your second studio album at the moment; will your live shows feature much of the new music?

Yeah we’re playing quite a few of the new songs actually. We were just in the studio last night trying to lay down some more vocals and a bit of guitar stuff for a couple of newies. It’s just one of those things, we’ve been touring a lot so we just try to chip away, get into the studio as often as we can and just try to knock over a few songs here and there. We’re hoping to do a bit of recording when we’re overseas, just in the back of the RV. We tend to try and do a bit of writing anywhere we can really, it’s kind of like that these days, in between playing shows it’s hard to find the time. Also you know, we’re all together spending a lot of time in pretty close quarters I suppose so it’s good to make the time as best you can when you can.

You must have to have a lot of mutual respect between band members in order to explore each of your ideas…

Oh yeah, it’s hard and things get heated sometimes too, in the best possible way. Everybody is passionate about what we do and we all want to try to inject what we think is the best version of ourselves into each song. Sometimes depending on where the song’s originated from or how long we’ve been in the studio together or how grumpy someone is at the time it can definitely get heated sometimes. I think that it’s really good though, I think it comes from a good place and it’s always trying to push sometimes what feels like walls to get really good results.

Have you had any crazy moments or stories from your time touring with Sticky Fingers in the US?

Oh man, there’s almost too many crazy stories it’s hard to pin point. One that stands out is when we were on the road with Sticky and we had one of these really big tour bus coaches that had a massive trailer, pretty much the size of a van itself that held all the gear in it. Our bus driver just cleared out on us in the middle of the night and I found out at about 3am that I was becoming the bus driver for the next day — the bus was about sixty ft. long and the trailers about 13 ft. long so that was a fairly large undertaking.

What was the significance of filming the clip for With You in Sydney? What were you aiming to achieve with the visuals?

Yeah it was all around different places in Sydney, just pretty much everywhere that would let us in at the time actually. We knew a girl who had this cool spot with a really cool rooftop — we kind of semi without permission went up and filmed some of Jack playing drums from the rooftop and then other scenes we just filmed from Carlos’ house. A mate of ours Jimmy the Hand who does a lot of dancing in that clip, we were randomly at the pub and he showed up. I think he’d been on about a three-day bender and he rocked up in a red tracksuit and this plastic pig mask and we went upstairs to the function room at the pub we were at. They must have had a hen’s party or something the night before because there were all these balloons absolutely everywhere. We literally just got the balloons and plonked them all onstage, turned some lights on and just said film whatever you film man. That ended up being one of the major elements of the whole clip and one of my favourite parts. It was very much by the seat of our pants.

What’s the go with the taco references?

Well we like to joke that Carlos is Mexican… his parent are both Chilean, but more so we just love Mexican food and love tequila. I just went on a trip to Mexico a couple of months ago and loved it. I think it’s just something that’s kind of infused on all our brains really. You know, just burritos and tequila and guacamole; it is the best shit really, there’s nothing much better.

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