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members present:
Scott Owen
conducted on:
July 2001

by: Kristin d'Arminio

official website
shout-out to PZO


PZO: Ok, to start off, how would you describe the band's sound?
Scott: Um, I dunno. There's not one simple way to describe it. 'Cause we have a fairly, fairly versatile kind of sound. Cuz we like so many different kinds of, so many different styles of music. So, it's really hard to just explain it in a simple word. I mean, we're, I guess essentially we're just a rock and roll band. Ya know? But we like to try and mix up as many different styles as we can.

PZO: How do you feel your new album "Roll On" varies from your last?
Scott: I think that the biggest difference is we just, I think we've just become a little smarter about the way we arrange our songs, ya know. They're not so pieced just, like kind of pieced together like they are in the first album. I think they are just a little bit arranged a little more wisely and a little more interestingly as well. Without, ya know, sounding like a fusion band or anything. I just think there are a lot more kind of tricky arrangement.

PZO: Do you feel there is any pressure to sell a certain amount of albums?
Scott: Well, no. I mean, we've got a pretty down to earth attitude about, ya know, whether we're to become successful or not. Ya know, we wanna be able to sell enough records to be able to pay our rent. But, ya know, there's no pressure on selling tons of records and becoming a huge, big famous band. We're in this for the long haul 'cause it's a good thing, ya know, so there's really no pressure on us. I'm sure the record company would like us to sell a ton of records, but it's not up to them. Fortunately, it's up to us.

PZO: What's your view on pop music? And do you feel there is any competition between rock and pop music?
Scott: I don't think there's really competition, ya know. I think it's healthy to have all kinds of music out there. There's different strokes for different folks. So it's not really matter of competition. It's just variety. And variety is the spice of life.

PZO: Do you ever get tired of playing your old songs? And if so, what do you do to make them sound fresh?
Scott: The way we've written our songs and the way we've put our songs together there's plenty of room for us to just kind of not have to play it the same all the time, if you know what I mean. Ya know we can always change little bits just individually and sometimes as a band we can kinda take our old songs off on to a bit of a tangent and just kind of jam out a little bit. And that's definitely a way of keeping it interesting. But I don't really get sick of playing the old songs. Sometimes, I guess ya know, sometimes we do. There might be one or two song that you're just like 'We've been playing this song a lot lately. Let's just give it a miss for a little while.' But there's always people that will yell out and request those songs then. And that's when you're like 'If someone wants to hear it... Ya know, I want to play it.'

PZO: Where do you find inspiration for your songs?
Scott: Musically, ya know, I generally find myself being mostly inspired when I just hear something new ya know. And there's something that I like. And when that catches you off guard, ya know, there's a band that you've never heard before, and you get the, first of all, get to hear it. That's generally, musically, what inspires me to just pick up the guitar and just wanna play. But lyrically inspirations come from anywhere. It can come from reading the newspaper or watching the news or something somebody says. Anything. You just gotta keep your eyes open.

PZO: Are there any certain bands that have influenced you? Are there any bands or artists that you look up to?
Scott: Oh yeah, there's tons. I mean, there's too many to mention. I wouldn't even know where to start.

PZO: What exactly is a double bass? And what is your style of double bass slapping?
Scott: A double bass is a very large bass. It's like the biggest member of the violin family, don't you think? I picked up double bass because I was into rockabilly music. That's what made, that's what all those bands used to have, double basses. It came from jazz and bluesy kind of roots, uh, rockabilly playing. That's where the slap thing came from. It's just kind of like a country and western thing, too. A hillbilly, swing, slap style of playing.

PZO: How did you learn to play double bass? Was it through videos, watching people, taking lessons, or did you teach yourself?
Scott: I taught myself. But yeah, watching videos basically. And going out and seeing other rockabilly bands and stuff that had double bass players. And just listening to records, watching videos.

PZO: What do you enjoy most about touring?
Scott: I think the travel thing is probably the best side, the biggest upside of touring. We get to see, we're only 26 years old and we've seen most of the world now. We've been all over Europe, Japan, New Zealand, America, Canada, and all over Australia as well. So, yeah, just that you know. Not every 26 year old gets to see that much of the world. And to go back to all those places all of the time.

PZO: Where is your favorite place to play?
Scott: I think at home. I think back in Australia is probably where I feel like playing the most, especially in Melbourne. Just 'cause that's where we're from. That's where all our friends are from. We feel a real kind of sense of community there. And I think that should be where people understand us the best. We write about the way we live and what we see around us. I feel like people in Melbourne can completely relate to that because they're under the same circumstances. And also just because the band has so much history there. The band has been together for so many years. And some of the people we play for in Melbourne have been coming to see us for years and years and years. So there's just something about being at home that I feel I like the most.

PZO: Who do enjoy playing with the most? Do you enjoy headlining a tour more than being a supporting act?
Scott: Well for both there are pros and cons. There's really no one in particular. We've been lucky to get on tons of good tours. We've had good tours whether we've been support or headliners. We've done some more headlining tours back home and even in Japan as well. And some of the supports we've done over in Europe and here have all just been incredible opportunities for us. But they've been good bands to stand and watch every night after we play. I like touring with bands that are friends. There's another band from Melbourne called Bodyjar who we've been friends with for years and years and years. And we've been out on tour with them a few times. And that's always fun to get to hang out with your mates and well as go out and tour at the same time.

PZO: What do you do to prepare yourself before you go on stage?
Scott: Try and warm up my voice so I don't sing out of tune.

PZO: Is it intimidating opening up for big acts such as Green Day and The Offspring?
Scott: Not necessarily intimidating. I mean we don't go out there with a defeated kind of attitude. We go out there with the attitude that we've got something to offer to the audience that is there. Ya know, we've got a half an hour to put our point across. If they like us, they like us. If they don't they're gonna get to see Green Day or The Offspring, who they pay their money for. So it's no great loss for them. It's a really good situation to be in. There's not really that much anxiety. It's more just an opportunity for us.

PZO: If you could plan your dream tour who would you play with?
Scott: Wow. It's hard to answer this question because I'd have to bring people back from the dead. Like John Lennon to put The Beatles back together.
PZO: Definitely!
Scott: Yeah.

PZO: What are some differences of playing home in Australia and playing in the United States - like positive and negative aspects?
Scott: Well there's not really that much difference apart from the kinds of shows we do. 'Cause obviously at home we've got more of a fan base and just kind of long history as well. But I think audiences are pretty much the same in most places. They don't really differ that much. The same things push the same buttons in people all over the world. So its not really that much different. The only difference is when we're here we're not in our own country. <laughs> The accent! That's what's different.

PZO: How do you like playing in the States?
Scott: Oh, it's cool, ya know. Like I said, it's just like playing everywhere else. The thing about the States is that it's a really really big challenge for a small band from Melbourne, Australia. America, from where we live, from where we come from, America seems like a really big and kind of overwhelming place. It's just 20 times the amount of people in America than there are in Australia. It's, like, yeah. It's a really big challenge. It's kind of like throwing yourself in the deep end to kind of come over here and give it our best shot. But that's the thing. That's why we do it. We like the challenge. Ya know, it keeps you on your toes.

PZO: Do you feel the United States is receptive to you guys and your music?
Scott: Yeah. I think so. When we came over in March and we did our own run of our own shows, our own headline shows, we'd get crowds every night. And we were filling rooms that would hold up to 500-600 people or something, I guess. And that's only after... Like, the first time we came here was only three years ago. So the way I look at it is, it took us years and years and years to play in rooms that big in Australia, and it's kind of happened over a few years which it seems like the ball is rolling.

PZO: Are you happy with your US success so far?
Scott: Yeah, absolutely!

PZO: What CD is your CD player right now?
Scott: A CD called "Everything Sucks" by The Descendants.

PZO: How do you give back to your fans?
Scott: Well we try and play as often as we can wherever we can all the time. We do a hell of a lot of touring. I think we probably tour a lot more than most bands, of that stature or whatever. We spend a lot of time on the road. And, ya know, we just try to make it fair. We try and keep our ticket prices down. We don't try to pull any rock star kind of bullshit. We meet people after the gigs. We always kind of just hang around after the shows and talk to the people that wanna wait around to meet us and stuff. And always, always, always respond to fan mail that gets emailed to me. Ya know, I've got my email address posted up on the website that fans always write, just write to. I like to read their comments, and if they've got questions I'll to write back and stuff like that. Just try and do as much as we can, ya know?

PZO: What keeps you grounded and optimistic?
Scott: Ah... God. What keeps me grounded? Um, making music. I think just concentrating on music, that keeps me grounded. There are so many lessons to be learned and so many songs and bands. I guess that's where I learned most of my philosophies from, keeping my eyes open, doing the right thing.

PZO: As you grow older, what lost quality of your youthful life do you miss the most?
Scott: Um, probably my fitness. <laughs>
PZO: <laughs>
Scott: I can't run as fast as I used to be able to.

PZO: And one more, a silly question: Do you have a celebrity crush?
Scott: <pause> No. No.
PZO: <laughs> That was a joke.
Scott: I have a crush on my girlfriend.
PZO: Aww, that's cool. That's cute. Can we print that?
Scott: Of course you can!

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