With credentials going back to the early 1970s, Michael Schenker is one of the finest …
Last in Australia for Good Things Festival 2018, La Dispute is just about ready to hit the road again, this time in support of their latest album Panorama.
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Ahead of the headline tour (and its 15 dates) hitting our shores, we caught up with drummer Brad Vander Lugt.
Hysteria: We love that this tour has so many dates on it, tell us about the decision to make this run so big.
Brad: Most people know this but our humble roots started in Australia pretty early on as a band. It was actually the first international tour that we did, a band from Brisbane called To The North brought us over. The way we toured back then, especially in Australia, was we played a lot of smaller towns. Our tours were a bit longer, usually about two weeks, and we haven’t done that in a while so we all got together and said, hey we’ve got this new record out, let’s do this nice throwback to the days of a younger LD. We thought it’d be fun, and I’m also a resident of Australia now so I was gunning for it.
So many Australian tours only hit the East Coast, it’s super exciting that you’re giving fans everywhere a chance to see your live show.
I hope so, that’s kind of the point. We want to give something back and we also realise that not everyone can get to Sydney or Melbourne or whatever, so we tried to do a few more shows to make it available for everyone.
Has the band had much of a chance to tour the new album?
We have, we’ve done two pretty lengthy tours on Panorama now, it’s starting to feel broken in and comfortable which is nice. Usually, for most bands and especially for us, it takes a little while to get into the groove of things with new material but it’s definitely there now and we’re super excited to bring these songs to Australia for the first time.
What’s the crowd reaction been like?
It’s been surprisingly great. Every time we do a record we’re a little bit nervous about how it’s going to be received but honestly, we’ve been floored by the positive feedback we’ve got for this.
We all grew up in different backgrounds, some of us had really conservative, religious upbringings so our space to escape was punk shows.
With La Dispute changing their sound so much over the records, those nerves have got to carry over every time.
Yeah, we try not to make the same record twice and that’s more of a selfish thing for us to stay creative and do something different. It’s been really nice though, that over our pretty long career, fans have come along for the ride. We appreciate that so much, it’s really cool to see.
Is there anywhere else you’re really itching to tour?
Australia’s the big one, but the big thing we want to do next year is a Japan tour. I’m hoping that happens, it’s been tough. We just did Europe and The UK on the new songs… I’d really like to go back to South America at some point too. It’s strange, you kind of get burnt out when you tour the same record for a while, and you long to do something a bit different. When you have a new record it does breathe a bit of life back into the live show, even the old songs. It’s cool.
You last visited Australia off the back of Good Things Festival, what were some standout moments from those shows?
That was different because we hadn’t really done any festivals in Australia, it was a new thing for us. One of the reasons we decided to do this longer tour was because of the fun we had on that run, we got to play for some new people as well. Festivals can pigeonhole though, some people don’t have the means to go to one or they might not want to pay to see a bunch of bands if they only want to see a couple… because of that when we finished we said, let’s do a proper tour next time and make sure everyone can come.
You also toured with Sports Bra on your last run, tell us about your love for them.
We do love that band a lot, that’s why we asked them to come again. We met them at the Sydney show we played last year, it was a really cool experience and they’re great people and an awesome band. They’re doing something really important for Australia and the punk scene. One of my really good friends suggested to check them out last year and we all really liked them.
What we’ve done on past tours is have different bands for different regions but we wanted to do something a bit different and bring a band we feel passionate about along for the whole run so people can see them.
La Dispute shows have always been such a safe space to the alternative community. Why is it so important for the band to provide that?
When we were younger, that’s where we all felt safe. We all grew up in different backgrounds, some of us had really conservative, religious upbringings so our space to escape was punk shows. We want to make sure our shows a safe space for people who need that, when you come to one of our shows you’ll be accepted- no questions asked. It’s so important now too, there’s so much garbage going on and there is a lot of hate in the world and for some reason, it’s really come to light over the last four years. We as a band really want to stand up and tell people that they can escape, it’s important to remember that for any arts… in some ways it’s entertainment but in others, it’s a community. We have to use our platform for something and that’s something that’s tangible that we can do or at least try to do.
Catch La Dispute at the following dates:
PERTH // Thursday 5 September // Amplifier Bar (18+)
FREMANTLE // Friday 6 September // Newport Hotel (18+)
ADELAIDE // Sunday 8 September // Lion Arts Factory (Lic/AA)
GEELONG // Tuesday 10 September // Barwon Club (18+)
BELGRAVE // Wednesday 11 September // Sooki Lounge (18+)
MELBOURNE // Thursday 12 September // 170 Russell (18+)
FRANSTON // Friday 13 September // Pelly Bar, (18+)
MELBOURNE // Saturday 14 September // Wrangler Studios (AA)
SYDNEY // Sunday 15 September // Metro Theatre (Lic/AA)
CANBERRA // Tuesday 17 September // The Basement (18+)
WOLLONGONG // Wednesday 18 September // Dicey Riley’s (18+)
NEWCASTLE // Thursday 19 September // Cambridge Hotel (Lic/AA)
BRISBANE // Friday 20 September // The Triffid (Lic/AA)
GOLD COAST // Saturday 21 September // Coolangatta Hotel (18+)
SUNSHINE COAST // Sunday 22 September // Sol Bar (18+)