The riffs are taut, the fuzz is well and truly brought, and it’s a hell …
Fake News may be a phrase associated with a certain former US President, but for those in the know it’s also the name of one of the Gold Coast’s most exciting emerging punk acts.
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Turning heads and snapping necks since 2017, Fake News swiftly went from amalgamating band members from various parts of Queensland to releasing their debut EP and sharing stages with Good Riddance, No Fun At All, Bodjar, 28 Days and more – and all within their first year of existence.
With a game-changing debut album dropping in 2021, courtesy of Everyday Warrior, 2023 now finds Fake News not only in command of a brand new EP, Take Me Away; it also finds them entirely in command of their creative core, as vocalist Nick Vanderkley recently told Hysteriamag.com.
“We’re stoked to finally have the EP out and it’s great to see the response it’s getting,” says Vanderkley. “This EP has been coming for a while now, pretty much since Everyday Warrior came out. We’re always working on the next release by the time the new one comes out.
“We had the songs there that we wanted to use for Take Me Away, it was just a matter of fine tuning them ready to record,” Vanderkley says. “The hard part was stopping at only four songs! There were others popping up along the way and we asked ourselves: ‘do we add these onto the EP as well?’, but we ultimately decided against it. Four songs made it a lot more manageable to record and produce to get ready for release. We knew we had four great songs to make up the EP, so we were happy enough to leave it at that.”
While their latest EP can trace its origins back to the pandemic years, Fake News have once again continued to adhere to a tried-and-true method when it comes to crafting their infectious sonic wares.
“The songs normally seem to come together pretty quickly,” says Vanderkley. “If they are not working out in the first jam or two, it’s probably not the right song and we normally move on. We let the natural flow of the song take its course and not fuss over the perfect intro or ending. We did record all guitars and vocals in our own studio for this EP which made it a lot less stressful.
“We didn’t feel like we were on the clock & had to get it all done in one day which allowed us the time to spend on each song to get the recording just right.”
Hailing from various parts of Queensland and now based on the Gold Coast, Fake News have ticked off an enviable amount of live shows with some of the true icons of their genre. But, as Vanderkley says, they strategically aren’t ones to stylistically pigeon-hole themselves, despite their clear influences that pierce through their sharp rock‘n’roll.
“It is very tough to really grow and thrive in the small punk scene we have here,” Vanderkley says of the Gold Coast’s local punk scene. “Trying to get people to go out to shows is getting harder and harder. Most people would rather watch a live stream on their phone at home than actually go to a show; I couldn’t think of anything worse. It does feel like it may be starting to turn around a little with more shows being put on and touring bands coming back to Oz, hopefully we’ll see a change in turnouts at shows.”
“We don’t want to limit ourselves to just playing with punk bands though, that’s why we branch out and are happy to play on a bill with rock or metal bands. Our music can walk the line between these different genres just enough to make it possible. This greatly increases the potential to have our music be heard.
“I have been told we sound like The Bouncing Souls quite a few times as well and I don’t have any problem with that,” Vanderkley says. “It’s undeniable that there is a Pennywise edge to our music too. Mick is a riff-writing machine in that way – it’s like he’s Fletcher’s twin. Some other bands that are certainly worth a mention would be No Use For A Name, Pulley, Rise Against, and Strung Out, that covers most of the bases.
Trying to get people to go out to shows is getting harder and harder. Most people would rather watch a live stream on their phone at home than actually go to a show; I couldn’t think of anything worse.
[ Nick Vanderkley ]
“But I think we have such a varied range in our style because we draw our influences from a wide range of bands from metal to rock. Which is a great thing because it helps our songs to not all sound the same.”
Set to showcase their colourful new EP with an official release launch show slated for Friday 5 May at Mo’s Desert Clubhouse on the Gold Coast, Fake News will be bringing the goods alongside melodic skate punks Friends with the Enemy and Brisbane trio The Square Tugs. And for anyone who has listened to the recently released Take Me Away, the undeniable appeal for these four new Fake News tracks will prove to be a riotous highlight when the band take the stage armed with their new sonic babies – and it’s set to be as much fun for the fans as it will be for the Fake Names crew.
“They are in for a treat,” says Vanderkley of the upcoming Gold Coast EP launch. “’It’ hard to describe, it is something that you have to experience for yourself. We genuinely love playing, and the type of music we play is already very driven and upbeat. We mix this in with huge amounts of live energy whilst we are on stage and it makes a great recipe for a show.
“Basically it’s all about having fun, that’s what we’re there to do. And believe me, we have a hell of a lot of fun doing it – but it’s also about the crowd having fun. We feed a lot off the energy and response we get from the crowd, and this all multiplies into the whole live show experience.”
Recently performing alongside his favourite band in the world, A Wilhelm Scream, Vanderkley and his Fake News bandmates are set to make even more incredible musical memories as they continue their adventures into 2023. And it won’t be long before even more Fake News musical treats may very well make their way into the world, as Vanderkley says: “First on the list is to get back in the studio and record our next single, which we aim to release mid year. We are aiming to snag a few more international supports as there a few good bands coming this way. Beyond that, we would love to get back down to Sydney and Melbourne for a tour later this year.
“Otherwise, in typical Fake News style, we are looking ahead to most likely a full length album for release in 2024.”
For now, let Take Me Away take you away with its 90s melodic punk might, and get yourself along to Mo’s Desert Clubhouse this May if you’re in the Goldy way.