Me First And The Gimme Gimmes

me-first-and-the-gimme-gimmesMe First And The Gimme Gimmes, the punk rock supergroup who’ve been delivering tongue-in-cheek makeovers of far more serious tunes for 18 years now, will be partying on at Amplifier Bar on Friday, October 11, and Saturday, October 12, at the Prince Of Wales, Bunbury. SHANE PINNEGAR chats with singer, Spike Slawson.

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes frontman, Spike Slawson, can’t wait for the band’s first Australian tour since 2010.

But Slawson, also of Swingin’ Utters and Re-Volts, says the band – also featuring Fat Mike (NOFX), Chris Shiflett (Foo Fighters, No Use For A Name) and Joey Cape and Dave Raun (Lagwagon) – aren’t quite so excited about the long flight from the US.

“Well, I’m not looking forward to the trip,” he laughs.”I’m looking forward to being at my destination. The trip is crazy!”

All of MFATGG’s albums have followed a theme, be it ‘60s and ‘70s pop songs, Broadway show tunes, karaoke favourites or country and western songs. Their current LP is Me First And The Gimme Gimmes Sing In Japanese!

What could possibly be next – disco, thrash, hair metal?

“Black metal!” Slawson laughs. “I’d say more of the same, just different. People keep writing music – as long as they write it, we’ll cover it. We do have an LP in the works presently, and while I can’t give too much away about it, it does follow a particular theme.

“I can tell you that Cher is one of the artists that we will be covering on this record. Gloria Gaynor is another. I can’t give away any other names ‘cause I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

“It’s actually easier than it would be to do a rock or punk song,” Slawson says of the process of transforming a pop tune into a Gimmes number. “Because you have to make it different. When it turns into something else that’s when you know that you’ve succeeded in finding a good, fun, song to cover.”

After almost 20 years on the road, Slawson says it’s more fun than ever touring with the band “because there’s better chemistry live and when we’re travelling. When you’re stuck on planes and buses and so on, it’s good to have travel companions that you know and trust.

“In that regard I think it’s gotten somewhat better and funner – and definitely the live set has got more fun ‘cause everybody knows where everybody else is going. Once you’ve been doing something for so long, if you repeat it, you can’t help but get better at it.”

He also expresses surprise that the joke is still continuing successfully after so many years.

“They keep writing music, so there’s always new content for us,” he says. “It’s the same sort of treatment, but if the songs are different, and there’s a few layers of irony to peel back, then I think that helps too.”

Me First And The Gimme Gimmes are also well known as connoisseurs of a fine Hawaiian shirt, wearing them on all of their record covers and often in concert.

“I look for a nice design,” Slawson says. “There’s one company in Hawaii that does these silk Hawaiian shirts – Avanti, look ‘em up man. They have some beautiful old designs, but they’re new shirts. They have great shirts.”