Dear Chester, I only realised a few days ago that it’s nearly been a year …
Dear Seattle clearly haven’t been briefed on how to PR as we all bunch into a booth above Yah Yah’s in Fitzroy. Translation: Dear Seattle know how to make a conversation actually worth paying attention to, especially when Hysteria are no more than ten centimetres away.
Picking up our iPhone and holding it so close to their mouths fog is breathed onto its screen, the band tell us how they’re feeling today.
“I’m Lochlan and I’m feeling randy.”
“I’m Jeremy. I’m feeling great.”
“I’m Josh. I’m feeling, like, excited.”
“I’m Brae, and I’m feeling Josh.”
That last one? Brae, the band’s singer, has his hands tightly situated in between drummer Josh’s legs, creating a picturesque couple. Like you’d see in a holiday photo on the mantelpiece. “Actually,” Josh says after pretending not to notice Brae’s fingers he’s locked down, “I’m feeling cantankerous. Like on Facebook? Put that down.” The boys light up at that suggestion. “Quizzical,” suggests bassist Jeremy. “Saucy,” fires back Josh. The boys are on.
They’ve just come off a sold out show in Sydney and driven like madmen to make it to the next show. Sleep deprivation is probably a contributing factor in why they’re so loopy today. Brae begins, “Sydney was nuts. It was like, completely, completely mental. But, yeah, so we did the central coast day before that. Which was supporting the Murlocs and that was a really cool show. It had two stages; an indoor/outdoor kind of thing. Yeah, it’s a really cool set up …” He trails off and stares downward, having clearly forgotten that his mitts are still jammed in between Josh’s legs. “This is feeling very awkward now with my hands slid between your legs. I’m just gonna stop. They’re like … they’re forced together, there’s no way I’m getting them out!” Josh pretends to grimace: “I’m super uncomfortable.”
So if they’re the odd couple out tonight and they’re sober, then who’s the worst at holding their liquor? No one’s game enough to throw someone else under the bus. “We’re all pretty solid actually,” says lead guitarist Lochlan. What’s that about thieves and loyalty? They may not be stealing much apart from a few sneaky beers from the venue (we assume), but the smugglers code is thrown out the window in a second when Lochlan follows up “Jeremy gets pretty naughty.” Brae chimes in, “He flips a switch. He kind of gets like a point, like 12 beers in is okay and then you push on past that and it’s like, okay, where the fuck is Jeremy?”
The band begin to snicker and sound like they’re talking about a night out. Did they hit some place up recently? No, that’s not it. When asked to clarify, they’re not discussing a pub they recently got smashed in. No it’s a bar (that’s where we got confused) of soap that they’re all laughing about. It turns out that Jeremy is the unlucky gourmet that’s chowed down on one. Why the hell would he do that? “The odds game? Have you heard of the odds game?” he responds.
For those uninitiated, it’s quite simple. One person picks a number (the lower, the riskier) for a range. Between 0-10 for example. The other person then counts down—ala paper scissors rock—and if both say the same number at the same time, then they’re in for the nightmare their mates have concocted. Jeremy chose 20 for his soapy bargain, and Lochlan whoops with laughter as he confirms that they both yelled 17. What we’re concerned about though is how much he had to consume. “It was very small. It was like a hotel bar, it wasn’t a whole bar or so, just like a little tiny hotel one,” says Jeremy nonchalantly. “How was it?” we ask. “Fucking awful. Yeah. I don’t know that I can top a bar of soap. That’s pretty shit.” he grins as the band erupt in laughter again.
Loose units is probably how best to describe them. Well that’s if you discount their current choice of roadside tunes. Most would think that riffs and echoes of bong rattles reverberate around their tour van as they hoon into the night. Again, the boys of Dear Seattle aren’t ones to give a fuck about your preconceptions. “So we drove overnight from Sydney to get here today,” says Josh. “Within half an hour we had found a playlist which was on Spotify which was like children’s songs. I didn’t realise they knew all the words …”
Suddenly the boys yell varying degrees of “THE HOKEY POKEY YESSSSS!”
Josh pulls out his phone. “Actually I have to show you this video, it’s fucking hilarious.” With a dimly lit flash on Jeremy’s exhausted face and scanning across the van, the entire band are locked in an adorable rendition of the hokey pokey complete with outstretched hands and rising crescendos. This is the real deal on hectic tour life. God, after a long show and a few hours driving they all look like they’ve gone mad.
Josh: “This is like 20 minutes into the drive.”
Hysteria: “And how long’s the drive?”
All: “10 hours!”
Hysteria: “So how long did the hokey pokey go on for?”
Brae: “Way too long.”
Josh: “Wayyyy too long, yeah.”
Lochlan: “Longer than it should’ve…”
Jeremy: “We fell asleep to Twinkle Twinkle Little Star though. That was nice.”
Lochlan: “It was kind of cute. We played Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I was in the front seat with our driver. I looked back and the boys were all just tuckered out. It was like a little lullaby.”
From there the conversation is tinged with madness throughout its entire 20 minute runtime. We jump from:
Their worst tour experience so far
Jeremy: “We nearly lost our van in flooding. That was hectic. We had water like shooting through the air conditioning and stuff.”
Lochlan: “The water’s up to the bloody windows…”
Brae: “Yeah and this dickhead,” gestures to Jeremy, “put on the Pirates of The Caribbean theme song during it!”
To their dedicated fans
Josh: “So there were these two dudes that came from like three hours away in Brisbane, and they drove through … They came in and they were so pissed by the time they got there. I don’t know how they were driving, but they came in and were just like, ‘boys! Yeah we drove three fucking hours. It was so crazy, so good to see you. We drove through a whirly wind.’ And we were like, what the hell are you talking about? So they’re yelling, ‘a fucking hurricane! We drove through it to get to your show!’ I was just like, ‘I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about but sick dudes! Thank you so much.’”
The Legend of Wayne
Actually, dedicated fans sees us thrown into another madcap evening in the lives of Dear Seattle. Edited for clarity and length, Hysteria bear witness to the first official retelling of the legend of Wayne from a night out during their tour in Tasmania with Kingswood.
Lochlan: “Wayne was a trainee. We met his boss that night and tried to get him a promotion. His boss’s name was Wayne, so we started calling him Wayne all night. He followed us around and he loved us and we got in trouble. We almost got in trouble.”
Brae: “All night, he was just loose. He was like, lets go fucking HAM! (editor’s note: hard as a motherfucker for all those not versed in the fine lyrics of Kanye and Jay Z) He just kept saying that. Lets go fucking HAM. So one thing led to another, and soon enough he’s taping a fucking saltshaker onto my head. Like as a unicorn. I don’t know how that happened. We got out of the green room and started walking down. We were heading to a place called Boardwalk. He was walking us down. He was a local, so he was like, ‘hey I know where it is’. We were just kind of jumping in hedges and things, as we do.”
Jeremy: “But that’s normal so you don’t need to say that?”
Brae: “Yeah that’s called our Thursday. We ended up getting to the main strip, which was kind of like an outdoor mall. There was a General Pants right there, and we were picking up street cones and things, and putting them on our heads. We do a bunch of dumb stuff. But eventually he just picks one up and decides he just wanted to go HAM.”
Lochlan (staring straight into Hysteria’s eyes): “He went fucking HAM.”
Brae: “So he picks up this street cone and just chucks it as hard as he can against the glass freaking wall of General Pants. Instantly, I’m so surprised that it didn’t smash the glass, and alarms have started blaring off, everything like that. So we almost get in trouble.”
Lochlan: “We just hit the legs.”
Brae: “Me, Lochlan and Jeremy all run the same way, and we look around and run towards our hostel. And Jonno, who was filling in for Josh at the time, cause he was in Japan… He ran the same way as Wayne, so he was still with him! So they started running and he gives us a call like, ‘oh where are you guys?’ We yell back “We’re at the hotel!’
Lochlan (pretending to be on the phone): ‘Ditch him, Wayne’s a nightmare. We can’t have him back at the hotel, we’ll get kicked out. *laughs at the ridiculousness of the situation and doubles down* We can’t be associated with people like this!’
Brae: “Apparently Jonno just told him ‘oh the boys are back at the hotel and they’re pretty keen on winding down.’ And apparently he just said ‘yeah I probably overstepped the mark, haven’t I? I’ll just go home.’ So he was fine. There was like no shame in it. He was like, yep fair enough. I’ll get a handle on it.’”
Phew. So we’re lucky the band didn’t get arrested a few months ago. Their fans have clearly shown they’re in it until the bitter end, alarms and all.
Apart from successfully downing shoeys every night (their rabid audience are more than willing to take a tin bullet on stage if need be), Dear Seattle seem to steer more towards the good natured self-deprecation that’s shot bands like DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats into the stratosphere. As the doors open and the sold out crowd begin to emerge into the pits of the venue, Hysteria ask if there’s any real goals that the band have stretched out in front of them. They eventually say international touring is the next aim, but it wouldn’t fit in with their initial attitude if they didn’t have one last dig at themselves right?
Brae: “We don’t have any goals really, any aspirations.”
Lochlan: “Try and play good.”
Josh: “We’re not really an ambitious bunch.”
Lochlan: “That’s our goal.”
Josh: “Only not to fuck up.”
Jeremy: “Yeah. Do our best.”
Lochlan: “It hasn’t worked yet…”
Catch Dear Seattle at the following dates, tickets available here.
Thursday August 17, Moonshine Bar, Manly NSW (Free Show)
Friday August 18, Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane QLD (Free with RSVP)
Saturday August 19, Shaka Fest, Gold Coast QLD (Sold Out)
Sunday August 20, Rad Bar, Woolongong NSW (Selling Fast)