The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
Brenton Page Osaka Punch - Interview
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Osaka Punch

After returning from a 2 year stint in the UK, Brisbane based multi-progressive rockers Osaka Punch have come out with a new EP titled "Death Monster Super Squad" which quickly follows the full length "Voodoo Love Machine" album. The band recently toured W.A. and are now embarking on an East coast run of Australia, we spoke to bass player Brenton about the band, the new EP and touring.



Andrew: The band name has been popping around everywhere lately, things seem to be going really well for you guys at the moment.

Brenton: Yeah we've been pretty busy as of late which is good obviously! We just released the new EP that came out on the 16th of September (Death Monster Super Squad) and prior to that we just done a Western Australia run with aother Brisbane band called Dead Letter Circus and a Melbourne band called Rival Fire. SO we did the Western Australia leg of the tour with those guys which was really good and just been back for about 2 weeks and now we start our EP tour, first show is Wednesday.

Andrew: Had you been to W.A. before?

Brenton: No that was our first time in W.A. so that was a good opportunity for us. We got hit up by Dead Letter Circus because they had a free slot there for us so we just took the opportunity to get over there, so it was good to get over there for the first time and will be awesome to get back over there.

Andrew: The music scene in Perth is maybe a little different to the east coast so what did you think when you were over here?

Brenton: Yeah it was good man! We did 5 shows, Perth and Fremantle which I guess is pretty close to each other. We did Margaret River, Mandurah and we did another show in Hillary's which I wasn't really familiar as I had only been to Perth once before and that was when I was 15 years old but that's Perth anyway?

Andrew: Yeah it's in the northern suburbs but it's part of Perth yeah.

Brenton: Yeah so we played mainly around the Perth area and headed to Mandurah and Margaret River as well. But yeah it was good, so many good bands come out of Perth, that I like anyway so I was pretty keen to play there. Were all were actually, we had a good time.

Andrew: OK cool! We had a reviewer look at your album earlier this year for "Voodoo Love Machine" and they hadn't heard much of your stuff before so I was looking at the review and it's very eclectic I guess. I wanted to give you a line from the review and wanted to know what you think about it - "There is something in the water in Brisbane. Do not drink it, let it in through the ears instead". Is that a good representation of what Osaka Punch represents?

Brenton: [laughs] Yeah for sure! I'm the latest member of Osaka Punch so briefly the back story of Osaka Punch is they were over in the UK for 2 years and they were rocking around Brisbane for about 6 or 7 years originally as The Kidney Thieves. They had a name change just before they went to the UK because there is an American band called Kidney Thieves and they weren't happy that a Brisbane had the name The Kidney Thieves and so they sent some legal stuff. So anyway in the end The Kidney Thieves here decided to just change the name and it came just before the release of "Voodoo Love Machine" and just before the relocation to the UK so I guess if there was a time to change the name, that was the best time. SO they were over there and the bass player at the time got married over there so when they were coming back, he obviously stayed in the UK with his wife and then I joined the band when they got back. So "Voodoo Love Machine" was out and around a fair while before I joined the band but this new EP "Death Monster Super Squad" was actually recorded in the UK as well, in Liverpool but going back to your question, yeah I take that review as something good! I think it's pretty different, I mean there's bands out there that have done similar things before. We're not reinventing the wheel or anything like that but we like different styles of music so we just kind of throw it in the pot and whatever comes out, some people aren't going to like it but we have a good time and that's kind of what matters.

Andrew: Yeah exactly. It's kind of hard to pinpoint where your music belongs, I hear references to Twelve Foot Ninja as they kinda do that crazy kind of stuff as well which I guess is a good comparison to have given the success they have had so far.

Brenton: Yeah because Osaka Punch has been around for something like 8 or 9 years now and Twelve Foot Ninja have come through and they have been around for ages as well and their success has shot through to the roof and they're doing great. So yeah a lot of people kind of put us in a similar area I think because it's like a multi-genre, Twelve Foot Ninja are probably a bit heavier than we are in parts with that kind of djenty side to them I guess you would say. But yeah we have had that reference a few times, I think it's purely because it's got that real mixture of genres which we all enjoy which is great.

Andrew: So with this new EP that's come out, how did you approach the writing and recording of it compared to what you had done on previous releases? Obviously as you mentioned, you had joined the band after all the other stuff had been released but as a band collectively, how did you approach it this time?

Brenton: Yeah all the recording and stuff was done in the UK at the time they were over there in Liverpool so I wasn't involved in this EP because it was all done when they got back and it's only gotten released now. But I know the boys took an approach of, if you haven't heard "Voodoo Love Machine", each song is really different and a real mix of songs. And I think with "Death Monster Super Squad" it kind of had an attempt of trying to hone the sound a little better but not taking away from the fact that we do like multi-genre style of stuff, so I think that was the approach for this particular EP and hopefully it comes across alright. It's still very much has elements of, one section metal, one section funk so still with that multi-genre feel but I don't think it's as extreme as the Voodoo Love Machine album. There's some pretty big swings of genres in that album so I think the kind of intent on this one was to kind of hone the sound a little bit and see what came out I guess.

Andrew: And you have some shows lined up as well around Melbourne and Sydney and all that. There's a place called the Ding Dong lounge in Melbourne, I've never been there myself but I always wondered where the name came from [laughs].

Brenton: I actually don't know either, this is our first time playing Ding Dong Lounge as well. I've heard of it, I think it's a pretty popular Melbourne venue and a few bands definitely go through there but we've never actually played it either. [laughs] I don't know where the name comes from either.

Andrew: It kinda fits with your band though, it fits with where Osaka Punch would definitely play I think!

Brenton: [laughs] Yeah hopefully it's going to be a cool little vibe there. I mean we did one Melbourne show already this year with an American band called The Fall Of Troy and another band from Melbourne called Closure In Moscow. When we did that we played at Max Watt's which I think used to be called the Hi-Fi but we never played the Ding Dong Lounge so will be interested to check it out and see what's going on.

Andrew: So are you still based in the UK or are you now based in Brisbane?

Brenton: No based in Brisbane now. So the guys came back July last year so I joined the band when they got back with our first show October last year in Brisbane. We re-released "Voodoo Love Machine" through the Bird Robe records and we toured that for a while and we had a few support tours pop up for us which was good like The Fall Of Troy, Closure Of Moscow and Dead Letter Circus and it came time now to release "Death Monster Super Squad" and the tour for that starts Wednesday.

Andrew: I've been to Melbourne and Sydney multiple times over the years, seen many shows over there but with Brisbane I've never had too much exposure with them. What's the music scene in general like over there at the moment?

Brenton: The Valley has always been the kind of hub for live music - Fortitude Valley, I think for as long as I've been here anyway. There's always live music around, I think live music in Australia is pretty tough sometimes but I think that's kind of everywhere. I don't think anywhere is really pumping, I think everywhere you have your good nights and your bad nights but I mean obviously there's certain lockout laws coming in over here which may affect live music but it really shouldn't. The live music scene is still happening here I think, there is a lot of competition now with nightclubs and DJ's and all that kind of stuff but that's kind of the flavor of the year. That's just what's coming through at the moment, people are digging that dance kind of stuff which isn't my personal taste but that's just how it is. But we always have great shows here in Brisbane, it's our hometown so we have a bunch of fans here. Every time we play in Brisbane we have an amazing time so there's always shows, if bands are touring from overseas, they always come to Brisbane. It's there but I think in previous years it's probably been a lot busier but I think that's just music in Australia in general, it's a hard gig man and you're definitely not in it for the money or anything like that so you just gotta keep plugging along and hope that it doesn't die.

Andrew: Yeah exactly! So what has been your favorite show with Osaka Punch so far?

Brenton: Oh that's a good one! Probably the first show back we did at a venue in Brisbane called The Zoo which has been around forever, it's an awesome venue. So I think because it was the first show back and people hadn't seen Osaka Punch in 2 years in Australia, it was just a fun show. A bunch of people came out and it was great so probably The Zoo show is one of my favorite shows to date.

Andrew: What about bands you would love to tour with, this probably goes back to some of your influences a little but is there a particular band you would love to support or tour with in general?

Brenton: Like an Australian band?

Andrew: Yeah and also go for an overseas band as well.

Brenton: If I could pick any Australian band to tour with, personally for me I would probably have to say Karnivool. They are probably one of my all time favorite bands.

Andrew: And they are from W.A. as well!

Brenton: Yeah they are and that's what I mean, so many good bands come out of Perth and that's one of them! So I think for me touring with Karnivool would be unreal, I just think they are a great band and by the looks of it they work super hard and they've earned what they got so I really like Karnivool. So for an international band, I don't know if you have heard much of early Incubus like the early S.C.I.E.N.C.E. era Incubus?

Andrew: I know who they are but are not familiar with their stuff though.

Brenton: They're earlier albums I think was a huge influence on early Kidney Thieves days because when Incubus started out, they had that kind of multi-genre...if you ever get a chance to listen to early Incubus and that album S.C.I.E.N.C.E., it's like chalk and cheese compared to what they are kind of doing now. They are a bit mainstream now but they also exploded and became a massive band but if I could pick a band - they still play some of those old tracks live, so probably Incubus would be my kind of pick. I've always been a fan of Incubus, especially early Incubus.

Andrew: So I'm guessing a lot of your style and influences lean more towards the proggy side of things?

Brenton: Yeah pretty much, there's definitely that element where we like to do a bit of progressive stuff and just challenge ourselves musically as much as we can while keeping it so that anyone can just listen to it and enjoy it. You can totally just prog out and just write the hardest shit but if someone doesn't understand the music, [they] would be like, 'What the hell is actually going on here'. You gotta find that balance of where you're feeling challenged and enjoying yourself but at the same time, the majority at least can enjoy your music and get what you are doing. So we definitely do have that prog element in there.

Andrew: Yeah the fact that you blend so many different genres is progressive in itself, it's the definition of what progressive music is in some ways.

Brenton: Totally, yeah that's it.

Andrew: Well congratulations on everything you have had so far, as I said I have seen your name pop up all over the place so obviously the press has been promoting you guys pretty heavily in the Australian music scene which is good to see. It's good to see a band like Osaka Punch getting out there and doing something different as well which is key to maybe getting a band successful these days, to do something different and not just what other bands have done.

Brenton: Yeah that's it, times are kinda changing so I think do what you enjoy and if it's something different, that's even better. I guess just kinda be aware of what's actually going on in the music scene. For example it's not just writing good songs and releasing music anymore,there's all these other media ways like a good video and just hit Youtube and keep people engaged and stuff like that because with the internet now there's just so much out there that people can access that you just gotta keep that content going and keep it present out there. If you're enjoying yourself and working hard, then that's all you can really do.

Andrew: Yeah exactly! Well thanks for your time today, really appreciated.

Brenton: No thank you very much dude, I appreciate it!


Wednesday 28th September - Sydney: FRANKIE'S PIZZA
Friday 30th September - Melbourne: DING DONG LOUNGE
Saturday 1st October - Sydney: THE TOWNIE
Friday 7th October - Brisbane: THE BRIGHTSIDE
Saturday 15th October - Byron Bay: THE NORTHERN

Tickets and tour info HERE.

Interview by Andrew "Schizodeluxe" Massie on September 23rd 2016