For the longest time, if you were to ask anyone what their favourite band from South Australia is, the chances were pretty good they’d stop after mentioning the Hilltop Hoods and Cold Chisel. However, with groups like Bad//Dreems bursting onto the scene in recent years, Adelaide is no longer the overlooked city that it once was when it comes to music.
With their second album Gutful released last Friday, we sat down with the group’s drummer, Miles Wilson, to have a chat about some of the best talent ever to come from Adelaide, whether it be recent groups, or some of the bands that are important to any budding music historian’s education when it comes to The City Of Churches.
Bad//Dreems’ Gutful is out now through Ivy League Records, and you can catch them touring the record across Australia this June, dates below.
I’ve been always been quite a hip-hop fan, especially ‘90s hip-hop, like Biggie Smalls, West Coast, stuff as well as similar era punk music of the time, but there’s this Adelaide collective called Playback 808. They’re super exciting, specifically these three guys called NeSs, Eman, and DyspOra, and they all just started releasing music off their own back, and that kind of thing.
They’re from the northern reaches, the outer suburbs of Adelaide, and they rose to fame through this place called Northern Sound System, which is actually where Tkay Maidza cut her teeth. I’m always keeping an eye out for them and everything they’ve released so far is so awesome. They seem to have this really unique thing going on in terms of Australian hip-hop, they got a real ‘90s West Coast hip-hop vibe to them, and it’s great.
West Thebarton Brothel Party
Obviously West Thebarton Brothel Party are good friends of ours, I absolutely love their music. Their new single ‘Moving Out’ is going off, and I love seeing these guys at the pubs and being like “Your band’s fucking killing it!” We’ve toured with them plenty of times, and yeah, I couldn’t talk highly enough of them as people and as musicians. I think Ray [Dalfsen], the lead singer, his voice is just stupendous and probably one of the few voices in that genre that rivals Ben’s, which I think probably makes Ben a bit intimidated.
He’s just a fantastic frontman and a fucking awesome dude, and their tunes are just really honest. They’re really honest, with a partially spoken, partially sung style, and they talk about things that are real and that we can really relate to, y’know, coming from Adelaide. In a similar vein to Bad//Dreems, just talking about different locations, like landmarks around SA, and different things that happen. For example, their new track ‘Moving Out’ is all about house sharing in places like Prospect, and I have a number of friends who have lived in sharehouses in the suburb of Prospect. So when I hear that song, I’m just like, y’know, it’s so close to home, it’s awesome.
I really like Battlehounds, they’re also really good friends of mine. The lead singer of Battlehounds [Alex Rajkowski] used to play in an old band of mine, and they’re awesome. They’re just really modest dudes, they really stick to their guns, and they’ve got a cool fuzz, psych-rock thing going. They’re really good musicians, really good blokes, and their new tune ‘Night Crawl’ is great.
It’s nice to see them finally getting noticed, seeing them spun on triple j, and getting a bit of national reach, because again, it brings the limelight back to Adelaide, and how much it’s bursting with talent. We’ve got all this music that remains overlooked or undiscovered, like with Tkay Maidza coming out, y’know, Luke Million, us, West Thebarton Brothel Party, and all of a sudden the magnifying glass has shifted a bit and they’re starting to take notice of all these really cool bands that are out there. It’s good to see that Battlehounds are getting a look in, and they just played with Hunters & Collectors at the Clipsal in Adelaide recently, which was super cool.
Exploding White Mice
I’m a big fan of Exploding White Mice, and other groups of that era like Mark Of Cain. I always wanted to open our set with the track ‘Born Loser’, by Exploding White Mice; it’s got no lyrics, but it’s just the most dirty riff. I actually got to play in the Reclink Community Cup with the bass player, so I was heaps star struck.
I just love all those bands on the legendary Greasy Pop Records label out of Adelaide, we’ve always thought they were all just so cool, and it would be awesome to do something like they did back in the ‘90s, which must have been so hard coming from Adelaide without the Internet. It would just be like, “Hey, can you guys have a listen?”. I’ve always been really into Exploding White Mice, especially their self-titled one from 1990, its just bangin’.
Another great one is The Dagoes [featuring guitarist Doug Thomas, founder of Greasy Pop Records], we’re huge fans of them. Alex, our guitarist got me into them actually. I’d heard about them loosely, but I hadn’t got into them. I actually heard them on the radio over in Melbourne, in the car, and I thought “Who’s this band, they’re amazing!”, and it was The Dagoes, this awesome band that Alex has been on about.
More recently, I was just listening to Lonelyspeck before, it this solo project of a guy from Adelaide, and it’s really cool, really different. It’s got a really disjointed, ethereal, electronic music sound, with really soulful singing. It kind of sounds a lot like James Blake meets Boards Of Canada. I’d heard about him on the grapevine, checked out, and it was really cool.
Horror My Friend
Another awesome band from Adelaide is Horror My Friend. They recently were signed to Melbourne’s Poison City Records and their debut record is out and it’s just awesome. They’re good friends of ours, and a couple of the band’s members also play in West Thebarton Brothel Party. We’re just massive fans, we love what they’re doing, they’re always just balls-out live, and I just love that.
Bad//Dreems Gutful Tour
Supported by The Creases
Thursday, 8th June
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane, QLD
Friday, 9th June
The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Tickets: The Metro
Saturday, 10th June
Corner Hotel, Melbourne, VIC
Friday, 16th June
Badlands, Perth, WA
Saturday, 17th June
The Gov, Adelaide, SA