June 2018

Music Lessons

Text: Emma Ramsay Images: Rene Vaile
Bed Wetting Bad Boys

The Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are making quite the rumble. El Nino, flash floods and wild islands made of plastic bottles appearing in the ocean at the drop of a novelty beer drinking cap, it’s nice to know that there is a Sydney band who prove that, no matter who you are or how terrible you think world is the turning out, there has always been – well, I guess there hasn’t always been, but there definitely will be from here on in – and will always be ROCK‘N’ROLL MUSIC to soothe our growing pains.

From the first shows of complete mayhem, instrument swapping and piggy backs to a slightly more refined approach to guitar slaying (enter permanent drummer DLG), the Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys are proving, show after show, that at their molten core is a spirited take on DIY rock ‘n’ roll.


Emma Ramsay: When did you guys first become mates back in Cairns?

NW: Well, I don’t think I really liked BW [N's brother] when I lived with him…

JS: B used to tell me that you got on with everybody in the house, but B would start the most shit. N was the mediator …he’d say something funny and everyone would get over it and drink orange juice.

NW: Or Dad would get angry: “N, why are you saying such silly stuff, you’re always talking so much crap…” and then we’d forget what the family was arguing about. And then I’d be good. “Glad I settled that one down now we can sit down and eat our Osso Bucco…”

BW: That still happens when we go back to Cairns. I start shit and you sort of mediate.

JS: N and I were in the same class, and then in Grade Ten I was like, “Hey N, punk rock’s cool…” and he was like, “Nah, punk rock sucks.” He was real into The Doors.

NW: I WAS NOT INTO THE DOORS!

BW: Yeah, you were.

DLG: Hahahaaaa

NW: I had a Queens of the Stone Age CD and you were playing The Strokes and we did a swap. But before that, all I liked was rap music. I thought punk music was Blink 182 and NOFX at best. I didn’t know the Sex Pistols existed, but then when I found them, you better believe I got a mohawk.

JS: You actually did get a mohawk and dyed it black as well.

ER: What kind of music were you playing before you became the BWBBs?

BW: I was playin’…talkin’ the best music, man. Red Red Krovvy. The best band Cairns has ever seen or ever will see.

NW: They were a good band. I played in a noise band with Daryl Prondoso, who was my first friend at university, when I moved down to Sydney and went to UWS. It wasn’t very good, but it was exciting at the time.

JS: You missed the start though: N and I had a band in high school, we used to play the Stooges and Ramones.

NW: I didn’t know how to play anything so I was the default singer.

ER: D, have you been in bands before??

DLG: Yeah, when I was at college. Dom Broadhurst and I, we used to jam in the music room. We started off comin’ home drunk and I’d play piano and he’d play drums with his thongs.

JS: Was it funk?

DLG: I don’t think you can play funk with drum thongs and piano.

JS: Was it donk?

DLG: It was more donk than funk. Then [Dom Broadhurst] was like, “I want to do guitar,” cause he played guitar, and I said I’ll try the drums. We had maybe eight really rudimentary songs. We were called Talking like Suicidal Sports Symbols. We had a really good logo, which was a skull with a racing car helmet and goggles, crudely drawn. It was fantastic.

JS: That’s awesome!

BW: Lets adopt that for the Bad Boys…

NW: Who here has had music lessons?

DLG: I played piano in Grade Four.

JS: I played in the stage band, I played saxophone.

DLG: Oh yeah, I learnt some saxophone.

NW: I’ve never fucken’ learnt shit.

Bed Wetting Bad Boys

ER: B, I remember you playing a show with Red Red Krovvy and Circle Pit at Hibernian House years ago. You were a total shredder! We know where you ended up but where are the other Red Red Krovvy members now?

BW: So that RRK show was Jack Mannix’s 19th birthday, with Circle Pit, Holy Balm, Axel Rosie O’Donnell and one another band.

JS: Axel Rosie O’Donnell was me and N.

BW: So my schoolies was a couple of days on the Gold Coast, and then coming to Sydney and playing those shows, and Naked On The Vague and Pee Wee…a pretty full week.

NW: The very first rock show at the now-Goodgod space.

DLG: Club Consolodor?

NW: In the old Spanish Restaurant.

BW: We were 17, and snuck in the back and it was all pretty mind-blowing to be in Sydney. Ashley, who sang, is in Melbourne, playing drums in a band called Pop Singles. Adam, who played drums, is still in Cairns, but he always talks about moving.

NW: He probably has green hair, still a punk.

ER: You really had fun with the title of that first 7 inch, Best Band in Sydney/Worst Band in Sydney. What’s this I hear of a new one? How did this one come about?

NW: It’s the last 7 inch that we did as a three piece and we did it just before we started jamming with Doug. David Akerman recorded it and I think it sounds pretty darned good and it’s gonna come out in June and we’re gonna do some rock shows to support it. Get those big dollars selling 7 inch singles. That’s where the money is in rock‘n’roll.

DLG: In an outdated format.

BW: A historical format.

NW: The picture on the sleeve is a photo in full colour.

DLG: Offset printed?

NW: No. Digital. The 7 inch was also recorded digitally. Who cares, garage sucks.

ER: Is there an LP release planned? And what label are you going to do it with?

NW: No one has ever offered to release anything by us…ever. Oh yeah, nah, we’re gonna do it on the greatest record label in the world, Rest In Peace Society Records. The CEO Nic Warbucks approached us and said, “I’m gonna make you stars,” and I was like, “Yeah sure,” and he was like, “I’m gonna press this massive number of 300 copies, they’re gonna sell like hot cakes.”

JS: “They’re gonna sell more than the first Thin Lizzy 7 inch.”

BW: Didn’t we have more people come to our first show at the Annandale than Midnight Juggernauts the night before?

JS: We had more people at our first show than the Sex Pistols…

NW: And we have as many guitars as Television. It’s a selling point.

DLG: So that’s basically yes, we have an LP coming out.

Bed Wetting Bad Boys

ER: You have injected a lot of fun and ol’ fashioned song writing values into a larger Sydney music scene that can sometimes, let’s face it, struggle to uphold the DIY ethos you guys live by. Who inspires you to fight the good fight and be involved in the music biz on your own terms?

BW: Doc Ellis. Doc Ellis inspires me everyday.

NW: Hang on guys, I want to answer this one a little seriously. Matt and Lucy (NOTV), Holy Balm, the whole Chooch-a-bahn thing was really important for me when I moved to Sydney. I was inspired to do things on my own. Same goes for The Castings guys and the Yvonne Ruve space and the Spanish Magic label. Punk dudes from Melbourne, DX and the UV Race…

DLG: Jimmy and Hana as well…

NW: Yeah, people who just grab things by the balls.

DLG: They’re prepared to take risks on behalf of other people.

BW: They have faith in other people to get behind it as well.

NW: Sometimes the punk community are sceptical towards things that are popular, or have a somewhat monetary focus but I think it’s important to do that; because what’s the point of having self-righteous DIY squat shows to eight people and to never ever reach people beyond that. If you are doing something that you feel is worthwhile, you should promote it, and try to get as many people into it as possible.

ER: If the BWBB made a collection of self-help tapes, what would be the ultimate BWBB music making mantra?

NW: I’ve got the title. ‘Be Yourself’. It wouldn’t have any musical tips.

JS: And then ‘Boys Will Be Boys’ is the tape that comes second, once you’ve finished ‘being yourself.’

BW: If I made a self-help tape it wouldn’t have anything to do with music, because I think good music comes from a good life.

JS: No, this is a help tape for the worst bands in the world I think…

BW: There are too many bands as it is. Give up and get a nine-to-five job. Throw in some batting practice. That will help.

NW: No, it would actually be ‘Be Yourself’ – because I think that’s a problem with most modern music: people are so concerned about their positioning in the blogosphere, or their legacy, or they’re reacting to this or that, and they’re not actually sitting there in room with the other people in their band, thinking about both their own personalities and their musical personalities, and making something that is informed by that. They’re thinking more about what people in the blogosphere say. If you’ve got good intentions and work hard you’ll probably come good.

Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys will tour Australia with Melbourne three-piece Woollen Kits. The new 7 inch Nobody Else is available through NW’s label, Rest In Peace Society Records. The Bed Wettin’ Bad Boys will be sharing a tour van with Sydney’s Royal Headache when they visit the USA later this year.

Bed Wetting Bad Boys

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