Party In The Paddock. Ricky Ponting. Cascade beers. The humble Apple Isle has gifted us …
To watch the video to Maverick’s new single Longevity, you’d have an easy time believing the fivesome are the Rembrandts of rebellion as they run around the streets of Sydney’s southeast, mischievous and care-free–but to speak to vocalist Marty Rowney, surprisingly, you discover an initially reserved and humble frontman.
The general vibe of Maverick’s new six-track EP State Of Mind is that of cheeky chaps with a devil-may-care attitude–these boys aren’t answerable to anyone but themselves. This is not, however, the whole story. “I kind of lean toward the cheeky arrogant vibe in a way,” says Rowney, softly, “But if you listen to the EP, there’s a lot more behind the surface–we explore bigger issues after you break that first layer.”
With a colourful punk-rock style coursing through the EP, it’s initially difficult to overcome that power to read between the lines. But like the film of milk that forms on a coffee left too long, penetrate Maverick’s unique style and you reveal something richer. “The EP definitely explores a lot of different issues,” Rowney begins. “Sure, you can gather the more cheeky side but there are a lot of brash things that are said, a lot of empowering hues.
“I guess I wanted to write music that either myself or the band would hope would radicalise other people that they might wanna do good things as well. In saying that, I’m in two minds about the content of the EP—there’s much bravado, but self-deprecation and questioning as well. If you read a bit further you’ll pick up on those other issues, but overall, it’s a pretty positive experience, I think.”
In pulling back the film on Rowney, though his conversation is penetrated with um’s and ah’s, he’s revealing more about himself and how he views his music. Rowney speaks animatedly of empowerment but who is he trying to empower with State Of Mind? Himself? The band? The listeners? Maverick have that renegade vibe for sure, and they’re definitely painted as misfits about town, but it feels almost like Rowney is aching for someone to understand the real him. “I think it’s quite raw,” he says, “Like I’m trying to understand the real me, whether people will get that or not… In terms of empowering other people, it’s not like a self-righteous thing where I feel I am that person that can do it but it’s more that experience of being through certain things.
I wanna be able to show up to a show and see other people wearing the red hoodie or something in red, and show that solidarity and positive feeling–that would be an absolute experience, for everybody to feel a part of something.
[ Marty Rowney ]
“There is a lot of content out there that is quite dreary. There’s all those things people are listening to right now that aren’t getting them excited, songs about being sad, which we do explore but I think it’s nice to go above that and say ‘Hey, sometimes it’s okay to be confident in yourself,’ and actually, essentially one of the big things is having a go and that’s what we explore.”
The conceptual premise of the new EP is one of confidence. The red hoodie that is regularly donned by Rowney, seen on the EP cover, represents the Maverick state of mind–throw on the hoodie and you instantly adopt it. “It’s about having a positive train of thought,” Rowney says. “I wanna be able to show up to a show and see other people wearing the red hoodie or something in red, and show that solidarity and positive feeling–that would be an absolute experience, for everybody to feel a part of something.”
His confidence mustered, Rowney is now a different person, and once he gets talking about his band’s music, that edgy rebellious nature surfaces, articulate and strong. There’s definitely something about Maverick’s punk sound that fits Rowney and the band well, and indeed, ties in well with their outgoing encouragements to the world. “It’s funny, I guess our sound was something we never strove to achieve. It’s hard for us to pinpoint a band that we felt we’ve emulated to get the sound we have–it’s been this real weird amalgamation of us just practicing together and eventually, get a sound we think is powerful. And yet, it is punky but it does feel different to what other people are doing right now.”
Going with the flow works well for Maverick–they just played a support slot in Melbourne with Unwritten Law, as the punk rock royals toured the country. They’re a pretty huge band in their own right and sharing a stage with a group who were in some way an influence on Maverick’s dynamic, being in front of Unwritten Law fans and trying to sway them to Maverick’s sound, is massive game-changer for the Aussie locals. “At the moment I’m really fascinated with that early 90s San Diego punk vibe,” says Rowney, “It was really exciting, we were sharing the stage with a band who were big in that era.
“It would be amazing to bring that vibe back to shows. In my mind, that’s how I feel our shows would end up being, very sweaty, very fast-paced shows. I was stopped a few times after the show and these guys were saying they loved it, that the energy we bring is crazy and that’s the best sort of feedback we could have because that’s exactly what we are–when we play live, we’re a high energy band.”