It’s been a massive couple of months for Brisbane’s Monsters Up North. MORE: BULLET FOR MY …
The Shakeys are back, baby! Almost seven years after the release of their debut EP, White Lightning, the Borloo/Perth dynamos have dropped their debut full-length, Mob Mentality.
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It’s a high energy, blistering punk number, and we wanted to know all about it. Following its release, we caught up with lead vocalist Claire Hodgson to chat about how it all came together.
Hysteria: Let’s get the band introduced.
Claire: We’ve got Jess on bass. She’s also a beekeeper, a mother of goats and a graphic designer. She and I started the band. We used to go to punk shows all the time, and I used to manage those kinds of bands too. Whenever we’d catch up for a few drinks, we’d always say we should start a band.
One day, she just said, let’s do it, so we did. We then came across our drummer, Lauren. She’s amazing and actually teaches kids how to play the drums. We had a few different guitarists over the years, but now we have Lauren’s partner, Jason. He plays in another garage-punk band from Perth called The Cavaliers.
As for me, I work in music. I DJ, used to be a broadcaster, and I do a lot of the band’s behind-the-scenes stuff.
Congratulations on the release of your debut LP, Mob Mentality. You must be so excited to have it out in the world.
Definitely, there’s been a few setbacks, pre-COVID and then because of COVID. We actually recorded it back in 2018, so it’s amazing to have it out finally. For it to be our debut album, after ten years, and have it out on hot pink vinyl. And then to be getting these amazing reviews, it’s a dream come true. It’s more than we ever could’ve hoped for.
Politicians in power are getting away with environmental destruction and lying to the public. People seem to be so caught up in their online arguments, and they’re missing the opportunity to take these politicians to task.
Think back to your debut EP and then the recording process of this LP. How’d the two compare?
Each time we record, we get more confident and can identify what’s working for us and what isn’t. This time, we really knew what we wanted. We wanted a sound that felt live, rich and full with a bit of distortion. We recorded it all on analog, which was really good, and it added to that sound. We recorded it in five days too to keep that energy in it.
Being a huge fan of punk in my teen years and then starting a band much later, the main aspect I love is the sense of rawness, energy, intensity and sassiness. It’s a bit of fun and not super serious, and that’s what we wanted to capture in this recording. I’m really inspired by so many aspects of the punk genre – from garage, hardcore, killed by death, crossover metal, rock and roll, and indie. There’s so much to draw from and be inspired by.
Are there any key themes tying Mob Mentality together?
We drew from true stories and personal experiences. That’s usually a pretty good starting point, in my opinion. We were talking about the worries of the world, our present time, and providing social commentary. We also have a song about cane toads coming to WA (both laugh) on Desolation Road. Mob Mentality, the record title, is based on the Jon Ronson book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed. It’s about lynch mobs and the witch hunts of old being transported to the online world, and how that’s polarising society. It’s not something that’s gone away since we wrote the song or since that book came out. There’s a lot of social commentary and life lived stories on the record.
Yeah, it’s definitely not gone away. If anything, it might be the inspiration for record number two!
Yeah definitely. It’s on both sides, the right and the left. It’s everywhere, no matter your political leanings. I don’t think it’s helping anyone get their message across or encouraging serious arguments about these much larger issues. If anything, they’re getting ignored. Politicians in power are getting away with environmental destruction and lying to the public. People seem to be so caught up in their online arguments, and they’re missing the opportunity to take these politicians to task.
Describe your sound to your nan.
Loud, fast and fun.
We’re working hard on distributing this record and getting the word out there. Once we finish that, we will look at our touring opportunities next year – whether it be in regional WA or through the East Coast. We’d love to play some overseas festivals and engage with our friends, both nationally and internationally, to see what opportunities we have out there.