Local/national/international punk outfit HELTA SKELTA hit Perth’s newest live venue The Sewing Room this Saturday, October 14 to launch their new 7″ record Nightclubbin’. It will be a rare local show for the group as their members reconvene from the east coast and Europe to give the three tracker a worthy send-off. They will be joined on the night by Melbourne act Product, with local support from Nerve Quakes and Debbie Downers. BRAYDEN EDWARDS caught up with vocalist Jon Worpole and bassist Kyle Gleadell on songs inspired by Brexit, food and The Velvet Underground, and how they captured the urgency of their sound with their members spread across the globe.
You’ve previously put out two albums and even toured the US last year but you’ve been a bit quieter of late with some band members moving interstate or overseas. How then did you go about making this record?
Kyle: We actually recorded these tracks half-way through last year, just before Ash our guitarist left for Copenhagen. Then we had Jon record vocals separately in Melbourne. Same as the album before this.
The vocal style, especially on the single Nightclubbin’ reminds me of some of the late 70s acts like the Modern Lovers or an accelerated take on the Velvet Underground. Is that from deliberately emulating these acts that you like or was it just the way that felt most natural for the band?
Jon: Both really. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with drawing a bit of influence from your heroes. Also, after a few years listening to records it’s less of a conscious decision to slip into a particular style than to just do what you think sounds good. If that happens to sound a bit like The Velvets I’m okay with that.
And what are the lyrics behind this all about? It can be hard to keep up.
Jon: It’s just more songs about Brexit and food really, a bit of verbal diarrhea over a tune.
The other tracks are quite a bit shorter with B88 clocking in at under 90 seconds. Were the songs written deliberately to be long enough to fit on the other side of the record?
Kyle: No we didn’t have any set idea on the length of the songs when we were writing them. They just up ended up like that. Nightclubbin’ is a long one for us though.
You’re bringing over Melbourne band Product for this launch, how and why did you get an interstate act on board?
Kyle: Jon, our singer, and Emily, from Product are together and were actually already coming over to Perth for a trip anyway. So while they were over we decided to put on some shows with Helta Skelta, as it’d basically be our only chance to play for a while and it just worked out that Product wanted to jump on too, which is great because there an amazing band. Really looking forward to playing with them.
You’ll be one of the first bands to play at new Perth venue the Sewing Room. How did that come about?
Kyle: We actually had no idea about the Sewing Room opening up. We tried a bunch of venues in Perth trying to get this launch together then just heard about the place and hit them up. They’ve been great with the whole thing. We’re really look forward to playing there!
Are there any plans for more gigs coming up? I saw you were planning some interstate shows too?
Kyle: Yeah we’ve got three shows coming up for the last weekend of October in Melbourne. Including Maggotfest at the Tote, a couple at the Curtain and Last Chance Rock & Roll Bar. Looks to be some great shows with killer line ups.