Following their last chuckle-a-thon here two years ago, the Australian rock-spoof trio will be making another pit-stop in Singapore in between headlining comedy festivals Down Under.
Which part of the tour are you guys at now?
We’ve been kind of all over, but we’ve mostly been doing Australia for the last six months, just settling back in at home after a big year or touring last year. We’ve just been in Sydney doing three nights for the Sydney Comedy Festival.
How does it feel returning to your Singapore fans after the last gig a few years ago?
It feels great! We had a really great time the last time a few years ago for the Flipside festival. It was a lot of fun. We had great crowds and were looked after a lot. Hopefully Keith [Tan, TAB’s programming director] can do the same for us when we get over there. We were really surprised by the reaction we got from fans – there were a lot of them and they knew a lot of our material. It’s nice – we get to travel the world with the power of the internet!
Your latest album Animal Vehicle bats around a lot of different topics, like KFC and Harry Potter. Where do you guys get inspiration for material?
Ideas come from all sorts of places. ‘KFC’ came from Jordan [Raskopoulos, lead singer] late at night when he had a few too many drinks, and he was just singing along about wanting to go to KFC and making up the lyrics to it. Obviously when he sobered up, we put them down to music.
A lot of the time one of us will say something, or something will trigger an idea – maybe a song on the radio. We’ll notify the other guys – hopefully they’ll like it – then we’ll write it and hopefully the audience likes it too. We try to do stuff that the audience will get into rather than something too specific. If we think something is too funny, chances are it might only hit 10 per cent of the audience.
Are there topics you particularly like to poke fun at?
I think our success has particularly come from making fun of music. ‘4 Chords’ and ‘How to Write a Love Song’, for example, make fun of specific genres or styles of music. I think that’s something we’ll always do, but we like to make sure that we do other stuff as well. The topic of food is one that we talk about all the time. For no particular reason, we just think food’s funny.
You guys have made a name for yourselves for being funny. Were any of you the class clown in school?
A little bit. Benny [Davis, keyboards] is kind of the musician of the group, so I think he was the funny guy in the orchestra. Jordan and I have done our share of class clowning. We did a lot of improv and theatre in university, and I think that’s where we cut our teeth doing comedy. To be honest I’ve never thought about the others at school! But I’m sure Jordan was funny at school, even just [the way he] looks – he was a funny-looking guy.
What are your favourite songs to sing along to?
Anything that plays loud. Journey have a lot of great songs. Obviously ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ is good, but ‘Any Way You Want It’ is a classic that, drunk or sober, is great to sing along to. This might be an unpopular idea but I’ve got to say Hanson. You know ‘MMMBop’? It’s a good song.
Do you guys have any favourite comedians of all time?
Yeah, an Aussie comedian called Shaun Micallef. We also really like Louis CK, he’s doing a lot of great stuff at the moment. We all have slightly different comedic styles. I like a lot of British comedy sketches – I mean, we all loved Monty Python back in the day – and classic Simpsons episodes. Benny and I can quote Simpsons lines for hours and hours.
Are you fans of Weird Al?
Yeah, Benny was a big fan of his when he was younger. I never really got much into him. I didn’t really dislike him, I just didn’t listen to a lot of his stuff growing up. But I think there’s definitely a great lesson to be learnt from the way Weird Al has one thing he does very well, and he’s basically made a career being the guy who makes pop parodies. And he’s certainly paved the way for a lot of copyright issues, you know, that acts like us run into from time to time [laughs].
What have you got planned for your set in Singapore?
There’ll be a lot of new songs we’ve never done in Singapore before. We haven’t been there for two years and we’ve had a couple of new shows since. We also want to make sure we cover the classics as well – stuff you’d be familiar with from YouTube and the internet such as ‘The 4 Chord Song’. We’ll include a lot of stuff that fans have seen online and might want to see in person. I think you’re going to see a mix of old and new.
Will there be any new songs squeezed into ‘4 Chords’?
Yeah, we just did an update in New Zealand actually. We took out some of The Offspring stuff, and we took out one Rihanna song and replaced it with another Rihanna song, since she’s got a few four-chord songs [laughs]. We’re also looking at the new Flo Rida song, ‘Whistle’. It’s just been released in Australia and it’s just Flo Rida singing along to the four chords. Really lazy [laughs].
We’ve got to kind of wait for a song to get big enough before putting it in. That song might be forgotten in three months’ time, and we don’t want to put it in and have no one know what it is.
Have you guys been working on new material since the last album?
Absolutely. We’re writing a brand new show for the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, which we do in August every year. We’re going back for our fifth time so we’re just writing a brand new hour, which is really scary and really exciting. We’ll be trying stuff we’ve never tried before at Sydney Comedy Festival, so we’ll see how it goes. Hopefully, fingers crossed, it’ll do well.
We’ll be covering new genres, too. We’ll be doing a bit of dubstep, indie rock, some more heavy metal – we all like heavy metal, so we try to include one every couple of shows – a bit more rap that we enjoy. It’s very early days yet, as it’s a couple of months before we get to Edinburgh, but I’m sure it’ll all fall into place.