When God Was Great – the 11th studio album by ska-punk pioneers The Mighty Mighty …
Corruption, abuse of power and political turmoil—it may feel like the world’s going to shit but we’ve always got punk rock, right?
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Charlie Rebel is our light in the dark and has taken a stand against all the bullshit with their new record The People’s Republic of Earth. Ahead of its release Hysteria caught up with the band to chat about the album, their touring plans and the existence of aliens.
Hysteria: Tell us a bit about what it was like to craft The People’s Republic of Earth?
Charlie Rebel: This album was a bit of a long time coming because we took a lot of songs that we did in the past and some new ones and collaborated them all. There’s a lot of songs that we had in the vault and we’ve sort of just been rewriting. We’ve always talked about what the music is and how we’re writing it and how we’re going to get our brand out there. The last two tours of Japan were a chance to play those songs live and tour it around, we have our third trip to Japan this year. We’ve been trying to hone those songs on stage.
The record’s obviously come from a bit of a turbulent political climate. It’s got to have been therapeutic to get your thoughts out in the music, right?
It’s great to be in a punk band, a lot of people expect us to stand up and say what we want to say but it’s been a great vessel to speak up about everything that’s going on today, particularly in the Australian government. It’s a bit fucked up to put it lightly [laughs]. It’s great for punk bands to have a voice and use the music to stand up and shout out about the injustices going on in the world.
It’s not just to shit stir either, all these kids that come to our tours are the future of this planet. We have to try to tidy up the bits that we’ve done, more so the older generation, and help them out with our voice and assert what’s going on.
What are some of your favourite tracks from that record?
Chutzo Creature. There’s another one which could potentially be a single and that’s called Uncommon Law, it has that heavier punk vibe. It’s pretty political but it also sort of gets into the extra-terrestrial side of things. Nick’s a big alien believer, he believes we’re not alone and like 10% of the human race has come from aliens. Chutzo Creature is definitely a standout though, it’s fun on stage and there’s power and intensity behind the lyrics.
Considering the line-up of the band and the fact that it features two siblings, what do you think have been some challenges or positives that have come from being in a group that has that close family bond?
It’s been a really frigging long time since we first started jamming together in a shed. We started writing music around a year after we learnt our instruments. Through the years we’ve evolved together and creating that telepathy has been something that really brought out a lot of our stage presence and helped influence how we deliver our music. We try to tune into each other’s energies, we know what’s going on with each other at all times, that’s the alien gene [laughs].
We try to tune into each other’s energies, we know what’s going on with each other at all times, that’s the alien gene [laughs].
There are not really any bad things about it. There’s definitely been a couple of shitfights when you’re on tour but when you’re doing nine shows in 12 days, you’re kind of in each other’s pockets all the time. You definitely get a little niggle when it’s like 8am and you only got home from a show at 3am, but it’s nothing serious. We’re a pretty happy camp.
You’ll be following this release with a Japan tour, and you’ve done some other ones there in the past. What are some of your favourite things about touring that country?
The people are amazing, their kindness and generosity is the first thing you really notice. When they go to shows they go to see music, they’re not going to drink or socialise, they’re going for the band. When the band comes on and the lights go off, the entire crowd comes to the front of the stage and are ready to clap, cheer and sing along—even if they don’t know the lyrics. That camaraderie is amazing, that kindness and connection you find with the people is fantastic—that, and the food [laughs].
The ciggies and drinks are cheap too [laughs]. You get a bottle of whiskey for eight bucks and a pack of ciggies for three dollars. Japan’s a huge country, there’s like 4,000 venues in Tokyo alone and they have music on every night of the week. People go to those Tuesday night shows and are ready to rock out and have a good time. It’s really refreshing and encouraging to see people come to the shows and buy merch and sing along. We make friends every night and every time we go back, we’re adding more friends to the list. Japan is really appreciative of Australian bands; I think that the connection between our countries is really strong.
When can Aussie punters expect some live shows?
We haven’t really got anything concrete yet, when we get back from Japan we’re going to go hard. We’re at a level now where we need and want to try and do interstate. We’ve tried the van [laughs], we toured around Australia for the last four years and lived out of it for a while, but we realised it’s way easier to just play your local and then fly interstate every month or so. We’re going to try branch out and get to every city we can and go Australia wide. We do have a Gold Coast launch at Vinnies Dive before we head off to Japan. We’ll be playing that show on May 4th, it’ll be a bit of a hometown launch.
THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF EARTH is out 1st of May.