Amyl and The Sniffers: ‘It’s just charmingly violent powerful fun’ | CTlive.info - South Africa News

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Amyl and the SniffersImage copyright Jamie Wdziekonski

This week’s Newbie Tuesday band from Australia, Amyl and the Sniffers, prepare to “get real rowdy” on record and in a UK field.

Somewhere in the “chilled” Australian town of Mullumbimby, not far from Byron Bay, Amy Taylor is reflecting on her move to the more hip and happening city of Melbourne.

She’s back in her home town, which she says is made up of “half farmers, half hippies, half bogans” (and which also gave us Iggy Azalea) visiting family, but you get the sense she’s keen to get back to where the action is sooner rather than later.

“I’m kind of like a bull in a china store in a small town,” she says down the phone, “so I was like ‘I’m gonna go to the city and see what happens.'”

Well, what did happen was she formed a garage rock band – Amyl and the Sniffers – there in 2016 and began channelling all that pent up energy into recording and releasing some pretty ferocious and “spontaneous” DIY EPs online.

Now, a few years on, they’re preparing to release their debut album, Monsoon Rock – recorded in Sheffield with producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, MIA, Roots Manuva) – later this month on Rough Trade, just a day before playing alongside US indie rock giants The Strokes and fellow Melbourne-based rocker Courtney Barnett.

Fair to say, things are moving a lot faster than they were back in what’s known as the “The Biggest Little Town in Australia”, but Amy is enjoying the ride.

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“It’s pretty crazy,” she admits, “I don’t know a lot of that music but the I know boys really love that band [The Stokes].

“Everyone says they’re iconic. They did that one song, you know the dancing one [Last Night] – yeah that’s good for a dance!

“I think it’s pretty big, hey? To be honest, a lot of those bands I know they’re big but they don’t hold a huge special place in my heart but I know this is huge for a lot of people, so that’s cool.”

By ‘the boys’, Amy means Gus Romer (bass) Bryce Wilson (drums) and Declan Martens (guitar) who she leads, quite literally, in the above video for the raucous, Got You.

“They’re always under my control!” she laughs.

The frontwoman herself prefers the hard-rocking Iggy Pop and The Stooges, Minor Threat, Ceremony and AC/DC, but also has a penchant for “a lot of different stuff”, including Sleaford Mods, the “awesome” Dolly Parton and “badass” Cardi B too, as well as a lot of Brisbane touring bands that would head down to Byron Bay to play gigs when she was young.

Consensual violence

When UK audiences see them perform live for perhaps the first time at All Points East Festival in east London – in support of New York’s finest – they’ll have had barely a day to learn all their new tunes.

Not that that matters much in the mosh pit, mind.

“I guess I really like it when shows have lots of energy,” states Amy, “I’m a really energetic person.

“Every time i go see a band I love it when everyone is shoving each other and getting all sweaty – to me that’s just really fun.

“I like that everyone gets their violence out in a consensual place where you can shove everyone but it’s friendly, whereas any other place if you just shove somebody that would be like ‘what the hell are you doing?’

“It’s fun to have a bit of power and get real rowdy.”

The band take their name from a mix of her own first name and the liquid chemical drug amyl nitrite, which won a late exclusion from the UK ban on legal highs back in 2016.

The Government had planned to prohibit the substance – commonly known in the UK as “poppers” – leading to Tory MP Crispin Blunt “outing” himself as a recreational user and declaring the proposed ban on its supply as “fantastically stupid”.

“In Australia we call poppers Amyl,” she explains, “So you sniff it, it lasts for 30 seconds and then you have a headache – and that’s what we’re like!

“[Our music] It’s just fast, pretty violent but charmingly violent, powerful fun.

“Hopefully it’s something you walk down the street to and it makes you want to air punch.

“But I don’t know, whatever you get from it, I don’t really care as long as it’s something.”

There are no plans to outlaw kicking out the jams, just yet.

Monsoon Rock is out on 24 May and Amyl and the Sniffers play All Points East on 25 May, followed by gigs in Sheffield and Halifax in June

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