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FRENZAL RHOMB Throwing shade

Frenzal Rhomb are heading back to Perth for the City Limits Festival. Last here last year as part of their Hi-Vis High Tea album tour, SIAN CHOYCE spoke to Jay Whalley about what the guys have been up to since last time and what fans can expect from them at the festival.

I don’t know if you remember, we spoke last year just before your last album Hi-Vis High Tea came out. 

Oh my god, I’m hoping that I’m not just going to say all the same things.

I’m hoping I’ll ask different enough questions.

Or we could just copy paste the last one?

That sounds amazing actually, I think we just aced homework. I do want to ask you a bit about the upcoming City Limits Festival though.

Yeah, cool. Let’s do it.

So, obviously, the last time Perth saw you guys was the Hi-Vis Hi Tea tour…

Yeah, I’m pretty sure Perth was the first stop on that tour. So yeah, that was terrifying.

Returning to the scene of snapped arms is always gonna feel a little bit weird…

That is also slightly unnerving. But, I feel like now we get to come back and play the songs properly, as they were intended. The lyrics, you know, a bit more fluid. This time they’ll probably be more correct and the chords and stuff will generally be in the right order. We had a practice before that Perth show and that was the first time we’d practiced since Big Day Out 2012. True story.

Wow, that’s amazing. I don’t think anyone in Perth would’ve picked that had you not just revealed that to everybody…

(Laughs) Yeah, I like to think it’s because we play a lot that we never rehearse. But, I think it’s more to do with abject laziness.

Or, you know, you’re just at that skill level now where you don’t need to practice. Music is just in the veins…

Yeah, that sounds way better. Let’s definitely go with that.

Since your last trip to Perth, you guys had the rest of the national album tour, you popped up as part of Thrashville and Hotter Than Hell festivals, you did a huge NYE party show… have you guys slept?

(Laughs) Not really, we’ve just done heaps of shows and it’s been a lot of fun. It feels like it’s still going. We just keep adding shows. It’s been unreal. We got to go to Woolgoolga, Laurieton, Ulladulla (on the North Coast of NSW). We’ve been a band for 25 years and we’re still going to places we’ve never been before (or knew existed) and people turn up! It’s mad.

Well, thats always nice. You don’t want to be travelling to remote places and playing to a bunch of empty chairs…

Yeah, you don’t want to do that. And, even if we did do that, I wouldn’t tell you…So, yeah, all the shows we’re totally full. Who would ever know, except the good people of Woolgoolga.

I’m sure they’d back you up…

They probably would actually. That show was a legitimately mental show. Having said that, I feel like this Perth show is gonna be not only the pinnacle of our career, but also the best day anyone has ever had in their whole life.

Wow, big words! It is an amazing lineup for City Limits. You guys, of course, then there’s British India, The Bennies… you did your NYE show with The Bennies, right?

We did, that was good. It’s not great for us to go on after a band like that, to be honest. At least, like three quarters of our band feel like we’re about 75 years old most of the time. The Bennies, they’re full of enthusiasm, positivity…

Haven’t been jaded by the music industry yet?

(Laughs) Yeah, they’re getting there though. You can see it in their eyes, they look different. That little knowing glance.

There’s some great local acts on the lineup as well. I don’t know if you’re familiar with any of them. There’s Dan Cribb and Friends who are doing a Simpsons tribute set…

Oh, yes. I’m very excited to see them. I’ve been a fan of Dan Cribb for a long time, since his work with The Decline. I’m excited to see how many guest appearances he’s gonna be providing. Cause, he’s been getting all sorts of different people to sing on his songs, the Simpsons covers. I mean, my phone’s been oddly quiet in the Dan Cribb department. But, you know..whatever.

Oooo, a little Dan Cribb shade there! He’s gonna read this and be devastated…

Hmm, I think maybe there’s something up with my phone or I’ve probably changed numbers. You know, it’s probably that.

(Laughs) That’s very kind of you to give him that out there. As we said before, you guys have barely stopped since the last album, but is there any hints of new stuff around the way? Any inspiration hitting on tour?

Oh look, theres always a hints all over the place. I’ve been trying to write some new songs. Always a big of a slow process in the Frenzy Rhomb world.

The last album did take 5 years (with a few curve balls thrown in there of course)….

Yeah, couple of curve balls. Couple of life event and experiences.

A little brain worm, no big deal…

Yeah, I actually got a funny email the other week from an aid organisation. They want me to go back to Laos, with a film crew because they’re trying to eradicate the exact same parasite I had in my brain from an area over there. So, they want to fly me to Laos to some kind of story on it and raise awareness, I guess. My instant reaction was “Awesome, I love Laos!” And then, my second reaction was “I’m just gonna get another fucking one!”

(Laughs) That was exactly what I was thinking. Thats a double edged sword of an offer, right there…

Yeah, maybe I’ll go and just bring my own food. But, you know, people live with this stuff all the time. People had it a lot worse than me. I don’t know, we’ll see if anything comes of that.

We’ll definitely keep an eye out for anything on that front. Just finally, is there anything more in particular that you want to say to the Perth fans ahead of City Limits?

Look, apart from the fact that it is gonna be the best day of anyone’s life, I don’t think there’s much more I can say, in terms of encouragement. If you don’t want to have the best day of your entire life, don’t come. But, if you do, then that’s exactly where you should be. Without a doubt (laughs).

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