Sydney punk rock outfit Molly & the Krells are dropping their anticipated follow-up to their single ‘What Went Wrong’ and this time, they’re livening up everyone’s expectations of what dingy punk rock dive bar shows should be.
Titled ‘Expectations’, the song features a catchy as fuck melody, teamed up with feelgood, tongue-in-cheek lyrics that inspire what good ol’ rock’n’roll should be. In fact, this may take you back to “sticky dive bar shows” that were so prevalent in our early 20s (Hot Damn! goers in Sydney, I’m looking at you)!
We caught up with vocalist Blake Cateris on the band’s latest efforts, how they’ve navigated the effects of COVID-19 and the real story behind the band name… no, it’s not inspired by the dance party drug.
Hey legends! First up – introduce yourselves and who is Molly?
Hey guys! Blake Cateris here – so we have myself on bass and vocals, Ian Knighton & Dan Taylor on Guitars and Christian Scanu on Drums.
We get asked about Molly a lot! I can easily dispel this by saying that ‘Molly’ is no-one! Way back in the band’s infancy we were struggling to come up with a band name and one of the dudes spoke up and said “What about Molly And The Krells?” it actually sounded like a band name so we went with it!
Well, that was a little anti-climactic. So your new single, ‘Expectations’ is a solid track of pop punk that you’ve going on here. Tell us a little more behind the track?
Expectations is a song of growth and being able to overcome the adversities that we all harbour within ourselves. The complexes we develop by comparing ourselves to others and the deflating clout that, like clockwork, hits at 3am making us question all the choices we’ve made in life up to this point and how, perhaps, we haven’t lived up to the expectations of the people that mean the most to us.
Did you have many expectations in yourself when coming up with this track?
I find it difficult to pinpoint the exact moment I started writing the lyrics to this song. I’ve been starting to research mental illness and what we know about it in the 21st century. I spent a long time believing that I didn’t have anxiety or depression but the more I research, the more I see specific behavioural traits in myself that are outlined by professionals as symptoms of these illnesses.
I wanted to get out onto the page – and eventually onto the stage – how I was feeling as I was having recurring ‘episodes’ (if you can call them that) of waking up in the middle of the night and starting to question whether the things I’ve done in the past leading up to this point in time have actually been worth it. I explained my experiences to friends and took great solace in finding out that I wasn’t the only one to endure these 3am thoughts and wanted to delve deeper into myself and pull a song out. The expectation for myself, and challenge, was fitting everything I wanted to say into a short, sharp punk track!
What else are you inspired by when creating music?
The situation has to be real. I’m not into any of this sci-fi, fantasy kind of writing. It has its place in the world and there are many songwriters that do it extremely well – but it’s not my style. I want to write about the things happening in my day to day life, the normal problems that everyone experiences. A lot of those things, especially in the 21st century tie back to the psychological. If I can bring people together by showing them that they’re not alone in their darknesses, that other people experience these hardships too and hopefully alleviate some pressure off of their shoulders in doing so, I can die a happy man. They say a problem shared is a problem halved.
With already two singles under your belt this year, what else can we expect? Is there an EP on the way?
Well, this song has been a long time coming and we’re quite relieved to (touch wood) be past the worst of this pandemic. We’re aiming to get the wheels moving on this machine again. We’re actually going back into the studio next week to work on more songs with Stevie Knight (Stand Atlantic, Between You & Me, Yours Truly). Stevie’s very hands on and wants to get the best out of his artists – it’s been a pleasure and privilege to be working with him.
Your music reminds me across between The Offspring and Bowling For Soup! Are you as upset as we were when COVID took away The Offspring’s headline tour earlier this year?
*laughs* Yes, that Sydney show at The Hordern would have been EPIC! Sum 41 is one of Dan’s top bands too so it definitely would have been a band night out on the beers. BFS are one of my top picks so I’m glad they came to mind! I think Jaret has a real knack for straight-to-the-point lyrics and has a great sense of humour that he applies to his songwriting too – plus they’ve worked with one of my favourite songwriters Butch Walker!
Bowling For Soup are a topnotch band, and great entertainers too! How has this year been for you? What life lesson have you picked up in 2020 and remind yourself of in future years?
That it’s ok to take a break and recharge! I used to be so hellbent on working hard instead of working smart. This time off from regular programming has given a lot people necessary time to reflect, myself included. We’re back now with a new sense of purpose and a stronger sense of direction in where we’re aiming our music.
I 100% agree with this! I think we all needed this year to reflect and recharge. So the Sydney punk music scene has always had its treasures popping up throughout the years, and that’s probably why so many bands are killing it right now. But what, in your opinion, makes the local Sydney scene standout?
Over the past few years especially I’ve noticed a stronger sense of community and camaraderie develop that can only happen when there’s a collective mentality to push in the same direction for a ‘greater good’. Bands are playing, people are coming to the shows, buying merch and making memories!
The atmosphere at a live show is unique – it can’t be experienced in any other setting and, for me personally, is an amazing anti-depressant – see: chorus of ‘Expectations’.
Being in that pit fighting for your four-square feet of land, knocking back a beer at the bar with your mates, making friends, finding someone to take home, grabbing the mic for some guesties or even just having a chill night out at the back of the room absorbing the raw emotion in a singer’s voice is something that simply can’t be replicated from the comfort of your bedroom watching a livestream or a DVD. The world needs live music.
In the new COVID age, can we expect any live shows to emerge from you soon?
Yes! We actually had a show earlier this month at Frankie’s Pizza. We’re working on more things at the moment but November has been quite hectic and once we’re out of the studio we’ll be able to start looking into that a bit more. 2021 is looking pretty damn good though!!
Any other band secrets you’d like to share with us?
When we played at Tomcat in Brisbane earlier this year, a girl asked Ian to suck her forehead (you read that correctly) and we’re still thoroughly confused about this to this very day.
The story behind the colour themes to our single releases is that Christian experiences synaesthesia which is where he associates certain numbers with specific colours. ‘What Went Wrong’ was the sixth song that he recorded with us and 6 is Orange, ‘Expectations’ was the 7th song and 7 is purple. We’re pretty keen to find out what ‘8’ is.
Likewise! Keen to see what else you guys get up to down the track. Thanks so much for the chat Blake!
Interview By Tamara May (@citylightsTAM)