The pop punk scene in Australia is thriving and two bands have come together to celebrate their genre with a joint venture to coincide with the release of their two new singles! Drastic Park (who delivered their new song ‘Meltdown‘) will team up with comeback kings Wishful Thinking for a limited edition split vinyl produced by the lords at AVVC!
In celebration of the news, we caught up with frontman/guitarist Carl Jackson to discuss the band’s new track ‘You Can‘, the overwhelming surprise reactions to their comeback and the state of pop punk down under!
Carl, welcome back to Wall of Sound, how’s life been since your comeback lads?
Pretty good thanks. Living in QLD I can’t really complain about COVID and lockdowns and stuff as I’ve had it pretty good. Not being able to tour has really allowed us to focus on songwriting and getting new music out there and frankly, I’m pretty stoked on our new songs. I do miss seeing the boys and jamming but I’m glad that we’re gonna get to do that real soon.
Despite COVID, you managed to relaunch the band and even scored the #13 spot in our Top 25 Aussie Pop Punks – What’s the response been like from your side? Wishing you came back earlier?
Ha maybe! Yeah, the response has been out of this world. I’ve said this a heap of times, but Wishful Thinking’s reformation has been a real gift and the response from fans old and new has been amazing and unexpected. I glad we came back when we did and not sooner as there seems to be a real buzz at the moment for ’90-’00s skate punk.
As you mentioned you guys were kind enough to offer us the #13 spot on your list of Aussie Punk Bands and I’m not sure things like that would have happened if we had come back at any other time. With the exception of a global pandemic, the time seems just right.
You’re back with ‘You Can’ which isn’t exactly a supportive song, but more so the other side of the coin, comparing one’s self to someone else. Poor guys, what brought this feeling up that you had to turn it into a song?
On the contrary, I actually think that the song is very supportive. As you mentioned the song is about comparing yourself to others and not being able to live up to your own expectations and when I’ve played the song to people they seem to relate. While I’m aware that the lyrics are fairly negative, I know from past experience that songs about hard life experiences can help people through those hard times when they’re experiencing things that are similar.
This song is very true of my own experience and my hope in writing the song was not so much to bum people out, but to let them know that they’re not alone in experiencing these things.
Well, that changed my perspective completely! Side note, what’re two things readers can do to make themselves feel better about themselves so they don’t write their own version of ‘You Can’?
I would actually encourage anyone experiencing these things to write a song like You Can. For me, writing is cathartic and helps me express what I’m feeling. Journaling, poetry, art and songwriting are all amazing tools of expression and can help anyone through a hard time. One of our biggest songs (Victoria) was written about one of the darkest periods of my life, and I still remember being on stage and having the crowd sing that song back to me for the first time. It was one of the most validating experiences of my life because I knew that those people in the crowd knew what I felt and resonated with it so much that they all knew the words. So get writing people!! And meditate too, it’s awesome.
We’re getting a double dose of quality Aussie pop punk with Drastic Park and you lads releasing an exclusive vinyl split for your new singles via AVVC next week. How’d this hookup come about?
It really is a match made in heaven. A few months ago we were looking at touring and we had several people (friends and people in the industry) suggest that we look into Drastic Park. As it turns out Drastic Park were experiencing the same thing, with people telling them that they should check us out and get in touch. It all came together nicely. The Split EP was completely their idea and we jumped at the chance having never released a vinyl before and never having released a split EP of any kind. It’s a cool, throwback kind of idea and I reckon fans are gonna love it.
To add more fun to the announcement, you guys are heading out on tour together as well [Postponed due to COVID restrictions – new dates TBA]. Who do you think will play up the most – the new breed or you old school punks?
Haha, I have no idea. I have a strong feeling that DP will be out tearing up the town while I go to bed at a reasonable hour! That being said, us Wishful boys live all around the country and don’t get to see each other much so it’s always an occasion for a party when we meet up. I would expect the unexpected on this tour.
Pop Punk Fans are gonna be fulfilled to the brim at these shows and the genre has been on the rise in Australia over the past couple of years. Who are some of your favs in the scene you’d love to join forces with in future? (outside of Melb)
I’ve been loving watching how many bands are doing the 00’s punk thing at the moment. It’s really been cool and there’s so many bands I could list. I love what The Chats are doing and I’m loving the Dune Rats as well. I have a real soft spot for messy punk bands and simple songs with catchy choruses and great riffs. I’d love to do something with either of those bands. But the list goes on and on, SoSo, Paperweight, Cambridge, WaxFlower, etc, etc…
Any final thoughts?
We’d love to see Wishful fans out in force at these shows as this is our first headlining show in over a decade! They’re going to be really special shows with us playing new material for the first time in 15 years. It’s exciting for us so come along and let’s have a party. Thanks so much for having me!
Interview by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown
Wishful Thinking/Drastic Park Vinyl Split is out June 11 here
Stream ‘You Can‘ here