As Melbourne’s own mid-fi quartet RAT!hammock are bringing back the ’90s with their new tune ‘Word Of The Day’, we thought it was time you got to know them.
RAT!hammock need no introduction, as they’re becoming massive in the music scene. From being a featured artist via triple j Unearthed, to having an absolutely rocking discography spanning across three years, the indie mid-fi collective has been turning heads in the world of music.
Today, they’re back at it again with their latest tune ‘Word Of The Day’ – a standing ode to the pressure us adults face while navigating life.
As frontman Jackson Phelan explains, the new tune “was written for all the people who are reevaluating your expectations in your mid-20s.”
“I catch up with my friends in bars and we’re all trying to smoke less, trying to do meaningful work (whatever that means), trying to find real love/companionship. Comparing ourselves to everyone else. And it’s cool knowing we’re all in the thick of it or working through it.
“When we got in the studio we wanted to make this track as joyous and celebratory as possible. We were thinking of the happy Christmas carols (winter wonderland) and mariachi music. It’s a big party and everyone’s there, arm in arm together.”
With this in mind, we chatted with member Jack Nicholson about everything there is to know about the quartet that’s making waves, RAT!hammock.
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Check out ‘Word Of The Day’ by RAT!hammock:
How did your artist name come about?
Some of the band will say it’s about the duality of life, the yin and yang. The eternal hustle of the rat meeting the everlasting relaxation of the hammock.
Others will say that it symbolises the image etched into their mind of a man and woman in the centre of a dark room, surrounded by a cascading waterfall of never-ending rat hammocks.
The only thing I can say for certain is that when submitting the business name to ASIC, and making a band page on Facebook, I realised how truly awful a decision it was to have punctuation in the title.
How would you describe your music to your grandma?
My grandma really, and I mean really, loves Leigh Kernaghan and line dancing. So, I’d have to describe the music using some kind of footwork sequence or else she would lose interest
Tell us about a few of your tracks; their titles and what they’re about?
My favourite song of ours would have to be ‘Mud’ from our first EP. The outro riff legit makes my hair stand up when we play it live, even after four years of playing it at every show. I didn’t write the lyrics but it goes out to all the bin men/women out there in the world.
When I’m waiting to come in during the first verse, this scene from the Mighty Boosh is always playing in my head, making me feel some serious pride in all the refuse warriors out there.
Check out this scene from Mighty Boosh:
What do you love about your hometown?
I’m from the outer north eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I grew up next to a cemetery and as weird as this sounds it’s one of the most idyllic and peaceful places I know to walk through.
It also meant that over half my neighbours were dead people which made playing the drums loudly come with significantly less complaints.
Career highlight so far?
Career highlight would be when we played a gig and the amount of shampoo I took home from the green room lasted me an entire year.
Or when we sold out every show on our east coast tour last June, that was pretty cool too.
Fave non-music hobby?
My favourite non music hobby is spending inordinate amounts of time reading Wikipedia pages about the geography/climate/general information of mountains around the world.
Did you know that Mount Thor in the Canadian province of Nunavut has the tallest naturally occurring vertical drop on Earth of 1.25 kilometres? That’s a 300 story building.
What’s on your dream rider?
Dream rider would definitely include some more shampoo as I’ve run out.
Check out RAT!hammock’s ‘Pick Up’:
Dream music collaboration?
There’s some big, big respect for Randy Newman amongst all of us, so if he ever needs some help on the next Pixar soundtrack then we’ve got him covered.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
So I just finished watching Mad Men after starting the first season almost 4 years ago. Fantastic show, would recommend.
Considering this kind of year:season ratio, and the fact I just started watching Better Call Saul, and The Wire, if I’m done with both those series by 2030 then I’ll call it a good decade.
What’s your go-to karaoke song?
In line with every other middle class kid from the suburbs that grew up in the late ’90s/early ’00s, I spent most of that time playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on my brothers PS1. Due to this, I’d probably struggle to find any song more etched into my memory than ‘Superman’ by Goldfinger.