Boronia is the brilliant debut LP from Wollongong surf rock champions Hockey Dad.
Recorded with Tom Iansek of Big Scary and #1 Dads, the album is named after the street where Billy and Zach grew up a few doors apart, and Zach has run us through a few more of the childhood influences that went into each track. “Short little fuzz nugget” is definitely one of the best track descriptions we’ve hear for a while.
Hockey Dad are about to head off on a debut US headline tour this August, followed by an Australian tour this September/October, including a slot at Yours & Owls Festival (dates below).
Boronia is out this Friday August 12 on Farmer and the Owl via Inertia, and their new label in the US, Kanine Records. It’s available for preorder now, and can also be streamed below.
Can’t Have Them
Can’t Have Them wasn’t written at the same time as the rest of the songs on this thing so I guess you could say it’s a good starting point for the album. We thought it was an easy way to get into the swing of things before the songs start to change as the way were writing started to change.
Saying that, no one will be able to tell the difference except us. It’s not as if we completely changed our style at all but I think for us it was a nice way to pinpoint where we were coming from first of all before you explore the rest. Chicks dig this song too so we had to put in on.
A Night Out With
Probably one of, if not the first song written in the album batch. It’s basically your standard ‘night on the town with an unpredictable girl/boy commentary’ song. Recording this was really fun because we got to add some stuff that we’ve never done before such as female backing vocals.
Yuko Nishiyama’s voice fit so well into the song straight away and she did like 2 takes and was finished. She did about 5 songs worth of backing vocals in about an hour and made me look super amateur.
I wrote this song only about 3 weeks before we went into the studio so it was still really fresh for us recording it. We hadn’t figured out exactly what we wanted for it yet so it was good to explore around and find something cool that fit the vibe.
The lyrics are about being away from home whilst playing shows or traveling around. You get a weird feeling of missing somebody (my gf) or missing home but it’s not a regular missing feeling. Missing people makes me tired and run down.
The chorus says ‘I’ve got sleeping on my mind’ so sleeping is pretty much a metaphor for my gf or home. It’s pretty lame I know but hey you can’t always write songs about how sick the beach is. Someone’s gotta write the deep cuts.
Jump The Gun
This one was actually a pretty old one we wrote when we first started playing around. I think we were watching Endless Summer 2 and the concept of travelling the world following the summer looked pretty appealing to us so the lyrics are loosely (and I really do mean loosely) based around that idea.
Billy actually came up with the opening riff which isn’t usually what happens. Then I got the put everything else around that and we made it a central part of the song. We recoded it in Billy’s room and actually released it as a demo in the early days so I thought it might be tough re-recording.
Usually because you become pretty attached to demos and can’t see them being done in any different way. Surprisingly this one came together pretty easily and sounded good for us. This is also the only one that Steve (Stephen Bourke) didn’t play the bass track for.
This song is ridiculous. Its so simple and dumb that it’s kinda cool. Classic lover boy lyrics over the easiest hook in the book. Whenever we played it live it seemed to always get a pretty good reaction so we kept going with it and it turned out alright. Also has my most cringeworthy line I’ve ever put to paper in it. “You’ve got a nice cutback”, what the fuck was I thinking.
I Need A Woman
There’s not much I can say about this one. She’s an old workhorse who has done most of the heavy lifting for this band. People still like it so I can’t complain and its a nice way to end side A. By the way, these lyrics never actually helped me get anywhere with chicks as much as I hoped it would.
I can’t remember how this song came about but it always had a nice groove going for it. Helped mostly by Billy’s drumming. I think the rest of the song sort of formed itself around that drum riff which is always a nice way for them to come together.
The song is actually about a character from the Simpsons. Laura Powers, what a dreamboat. I guess it’s written from Bart’s perspective about how he fell in love with this sophisticated older woman who played him for a fool and broke him down. Classic Jimbo Jones moves in for the kill as always.
Raygun is definitely one of my favourites on the record. We wrote it a while ago because I actually remember playing it at the first show of the Dreamin’ EP tour. It got shelved for a while and as we started writing for the album it slowly made its way back into our minds.
I wrote it about a girl I was involved with at the time. She wasn’t in love with me I don’t think but she definitely had a spell on me. Recording this one was so much fun. We just went crazy with echo and fuzz and these weird synths that sort of sounded like real ray guns (are there real ray guns?).
The song was longer than it is now but Tom (Iansek) got us to trim the fat and make it a short little fuzz nugget that we’re super keen to play live.
Tom said this one was his favourite song on the record. It’s definitely a shift, I’ll give you that. I remember being a little nervous recording it thinking it was too different to our normal sound but in the end it turned out to be not that much of a stretch.
Plus it’s nice to try some different chords now and again. Lyrically it’s about being at home after touring and realising actually how beautiful the place we live in is. You can travel all around the world and see crazy sights but you can’t beat a Windang sunset. Oh and it’s about drugs too, obviously.
My favourite song on the record. This is my love song for Billy. No joke, I wrote my best mate a better love song than the one for my girlfriend. It was much more raw in the demo stage and had much more grit to it. I’m glad now we polished this turd and put some bells and whistles on it.
The slide guitar always breaks my heart and I was always so excited to show it to people. Tom came up with the idea to put slide in and double it up to make it sound that much juicier. I’m stealing that idea for sure. I haven’t worked out a way to make it sound right live yet but I’d love to play it someday. Maybe with a few special guests or something. I’ll get back to you on that.
Ahhhh Grange, what a place to be. Grange is actually a suburb in Adelaide. The first time we played in Adelaide was with Bad//Dreems and they hooked us up with their guitar slayer Ali who took us in with open arms.
His house is right on the beach with one of the best views in the world. He has a little studio at the house which we did the demos for the album in. We took a break from recording, went into the lounge room and smoked a funny tasting cigarette then we all stumbled back in and just started fucking around. Steve (Stephen Bourke) was with us playing bass and the song just came out of nowhere. Luckily Ali was recording.
I always liked the pace of it and it was forever in my head as the album closer. This song sucked to record in the studio though. The reason we liked it in the first place was because it was so raw and impulsive but trying to recapture the magic of the demo was ridiculous.
In the end we got close enough to what we wanted but I still think the demo has a more natural feel. Props to Ali Wells the biggest legend in SA for putting up with us every time we are in Adelaide and giving us some of the best times of our life. See you soon.
Hockey Dad – Boronia Tour
Thursday 29th September @ The Foundry, Brisbane
Friday 30th September @ The Howler, Melbourne
Saturday 1st October @ Yours & Owls Festival, Wollongong
Thursday 6th October @ Oxford Arts Factory, Sydney
Friday 7th October @ Jive, Adelaide
Saturday 8th October @ Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth