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“We made an album that we’re really proud of, and we’re just thankful for all of the people that trusted us and backed us.”

Chainsaw Hookers launch their new album, We Want Your Blood, at Amplifier this Friday, April 10, with help from Claim The Throne, The Bob Gordons, Emu Xperts and Bounty Hunter. MATTHEW TOMICH reports.

The balls-to-the-wall, three-chord, horror-loving, hard-partying punk rock is still dominant on Chainsaw Hookers’ second album but it’s grown up.

Everything on We Want Your Blood just sounds better – the riffs are bigger, the lyrics are shouted (or screamed) with greater conviction, the rhythms are tighter than a PVC crotch-bulge and every song sounds so much more immense than anything the foursome put out before.

Bassist, Jon Russo, explains that this record marks Chainsaw Hookers coming into their own, marrying that raw punk rock essence with an array of stoner/doom/thrash influences – Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin and Motörhead , alongside the usual suspects – and the explosiveness of their live show.

“I guess we just tried to write better songs and tried to capture as much of the live energy as we could,” he says. “And I think we’ve done that. I think our songwriting’s developed and evolved. We’re writing better songs and we’ve found our sound a bit better so it’s all come together really good.”

Like many other Perth bands in recent memory, Chainsaw Hookers turned to crowd-funding to finance the making of We Want Your Blood. They launched a Pozible campaign in April of 2014 with a fundraising goal of $10,000, which would cover a little less than half the cost of making the record. They succeeded – backers pledged over $11,000 in less than a month (including one particularly generous fan who threw $1,000 behind the band in exchange for a personal performance and a role in the group’s film clip). Though it’s little surprise so many people came together in support of the band – they’ve got a solid following not just in Perth but on the East Coast, too – Russo says this record would live or die by the success of that crowd-funding campaign.

“It costs a lot of money to make an album and if we didn’t reach our goal I’m not sure what we would have done. We’ve all got families and children and stuff like that… it takes a bit of a toll financially, but we got there and made an album that we’re really proud of, and we’re just thankful for all of the people that trusted us and backed us.”

There’s a refreshing honesty and directness to the way Russo speaks, and those qualities are reflected in his and Hookers’ no-bullshit approach to every part of their craft. On the music video for We Want Your Blood’s first single, Make Them Die Slowly, Russo and company saunter down an alleyway armed with chains and baseball bats on their way to a fight before meeting a mob of khaki-shirted adversaries in a disused warehouse. The ensuing brawl is chaotic, brutal and bloody, leaving its stars with more than their fare share of bruises.

“It was a 40 degree day in Perth and we were all pretty hungover from the night before,” says Russo of the shoot. “We had to ask the film crew whether you need to get hit or not and the film crew said it actually looks better if you do get hit so go for it… so a few bats to the head.”

Like the horror films referenced in the band’s songs, the video is schlocky, light on narrative and big on gusto, but stupidly fun all the same. You can be serious about your art without taking yourself too seriously, and Chainsaw Hookers do that better than just about anyone in this town. They’re ready to take over the world, and they want your blood.



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