The pop punk resurgence in Australia is on fire right now and the next band we’re keen to showcase is Fake News from South East QLD who this week are celebrating the release of their album Everyday Warrior. From first being introduced to the boys with their lead single ‘Checking In‘ through to release day, we’ve seen the lads pour their hearts into their music and the end result is certainly going to send those old school punk fans into a frenzy!
We grabbed guitarist Darren Crowe for a chat about the band’s origins, the state of the scene in SEQ and what it takes to be a certified Everyday Warrior in his eyes…
Fake News! A pleasure to meet you guys – You’re breathing life back into the punk scene and (as a former Gold Coast resident) it’s bloody beautiful to see! Tell us how you came to be and if your name was inspired by that orange faced wanker who destroyed!?
Our Name came about way back in 2017 when Fake News was a bit of Jazz word at the time. Mick and myself have always thought that the News is lying to us and taking us for idiots. The one thing we can all agree on is The Media are full of shit. We didn’t really read into the meaning behind it or its origin at the time. We wanted a name that had a little bit of meaning and story behind it, that was two syllables and rolled off the tongue nicely.
So FAKE NEWS ticked all 3 boxes!
Your new album is out now – congratulations! If you grew up listening to bands like Bodyjar, blink-182, 28 Days and the likes, then that’ll fit right amongst those guys. Is that a sound Fake News have honed in on since the start or did you focus on that for Everyday Warrior?
We didn’t really need to focus or hone in on a sound. This album just became an amalgamation of these bands because of the years of influence and song writing capabilities we all have in this band. There are no passengers in Fake News and we have a combined experience of almost 100 years between us. Mick is the main man in the engine room constantly punching out a solid foundation song structure for the rest of us to write our own parts. But yes I would say staying true to the 90s & 00s punk sound is something that we went out of our way to achieve.
Mick & Nick (bass) and myself knew that these songs that we were sitting on just needed the right vocalist with a good clean punk voice. We had a few guys that wanted to take the sound into a hardcore screaming sound in the early days, but it was just a discredit to the music and not what the songs needed. Ever since Tim Russ stepped in last November we haven’t looked back. Tim’s vocal ability and vocal melody writing skills are perfect for our songs. He’s the one we had always been waiting for. Tim wrote vocals to these songs pretty much on the spot he just sang what felt natural to him at the time then we tweaked them at vocal tracking stage as recorded the vocals.
You’re touching on topics that are relevant to the growing… errrm, aging punk fan across the country. While older bands tend to focus on the ‘good old days’ – you’re covering subjects that are relevant to the older demographic today – what took you away from the nostalgia themes to touch on everyday issues we’re facing today?
When Tim was writing vocals/words to these songs he didn’t really set out or pick a topic then start writing. He started listening to the music and he thought about how these songs made him feel inside, where the notes were leading his mind to and then Tim went from there. The song topics came about in a somewhat spiritual way where Tim was able to open his mind and connect with the music and that’s it. Who knows? Maybe the old punks are singing about the good old days because that’s their experience as they know it, whereas we come into this with fresh legs and an open new age mind.
In saying that, it’s not all serious subjects though, you’re believers in aliens too! So technically does that mean Tom DeLonge is a god to you all as well?
Haha! Well the big 3 have to be Green Day, Blink & Bad Religion, so in a sense, yes. Tom is a little bit of a god for what he has done for punk. In relation to Aliens, well you’d be foolish to think that we are the only life forms sharing this universe/galaxy/Milky Way.
When Tim wrote the lyrics to ‘Numbered Areas’ I remember he told me that he thought certain guitar sounds made him see a rocket ship or UFO and with the minor and offset chord progression it makes sense.
With the lack of live music venues on the Gold Coast (an issue that’s been prevalent for the better past of the past ten years) how are you guys getting out and about post-2020 to play gigs?
We just adapt and overcome. Tim and Nat (our drummer) are based on the Sunny Coast which has a great little scene and awesome venues with enthusiastic punters that like to dance and groove along. The way I see it is you can’t really call the Gold Coast one area to gig in. You need to look at it from Lismore all the way up to Sunny Coast as one area to gig in and you have to be willing to travel. This pocket of Australia has been the life blood of Australian music for a long time now. This region is responsible for some of the greatest Aussie bands over the years and there’s only about 3.5 hours travel time from top to bottom. Mick and myself have a large contingency in Melbourne/country Vic as well because we are originally from there and we have taken Fake News there twice. One day when we get out of this current mess, we will be heading down again on top of looking into an Aussie tour + overseas travel but there’s no point even thinking about that at this stage.
Agreed. Best to stay home and play around the big area you mentioned a few times. With the new album out – what’s your motivation for the rest of the year?
Well, we are actually neck deep in writing more songs. With the album out we are all in high spirits and the riffs and good times are just pouring out of us. When a purple patch like this comes, you really just gotta jump all over it and capitalise because writer’s block can be a thing, but between us we always find a way to come up with a song. It’s just a case of tweaking our formula now.
So we are aiming to punch out a 5 track EP before this year is out, ready for release in 2021 and then I think we will chill for a bit. Hopefully things are opening back up by then.
Time for a fun one – over the past year we all became warriors when leaving our home and fighting for toilet paper rolls when we hit lockdown – in your observation, what makes someone an everyday warrior in this day and age with that in mind?
Great Question. The term “Everyday Warrior” is something that has built up over the years. It’s for the everyday person that is the real warrior in modern day society. The real Aussie battlers out there in the trenches doing the hard work that noone knows or hears about. In the case of music you can be a Weekend Warrior and music can be a cool hobby for you but when you start doing it everyday then you really start covering some ground and getting results. An Everyday Warrior might be a homeless guy at the supermarket playing guitar, it might be some guy in hospital fighting cancer, it might be his wife, it might be some kid at school getting bullied and sticking up for himself and in this current character building climate we have all learnt how to become an Everyday Warrior.
We are all Everyday Warriors, just regular people fighting the good fight.
I like that mentality mate! Any final thoughts for those reading this?
Good things come to those who work hard and never give up…. This is just the tip of the iceberg for Fake News.
Looking forward to what’s next Darren!
Interview by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul
Fake News’ new album Everyday Warrior is out now
Spotify stream here
Fake News – Everyday Warrior tracklisting
1. Checking In
2. The Road
5. No Innocense
6. Broken Bones
7. A Dying World
8. Numbered Areas
10. Fake Reality
12. Life Of The Party