When you’ve been a band for as long as Frenzal Rhomb, it would be a fair assumption to say that your bond with your band mates would resemble the bond between brothers, but like any brotherly relationship that also leads to frequent bickering and friction.
“We are constantly coming off stage and having fisty cuffs, pushing each other in the back, tripping each other over sand saying like ‘fuck you c*nt how dare you say I have low self-esteem’ and stuff like that,” laughs lead singer Jason Whalley. “Generally we are good with each other, apart from the on-going hatred of one another…
“There’s a reason you can get away with that with your mates,” Whalley continues, “It’s an underlying appreciation that has to lead to tearing them apart in front of 900 people. You’ll be on stage thinking ‘he’ll be fine about this one’.”
However, over the last 25 years the lads have done more than solidify their relationship with their band mates, they’ve also done it with their fans.
“People tend to see me as a bit of a psychologist; they tend to confide strange things in me very quickly,” Whalley explains. “It seems like a lot of our fans believe they are on a journey with us and that they have been on a journey with us for a long time so we won’t be judgemental about their lifestyle choices, which is true, who am I to tell someone what to do and what not to do?”
Expanding on fan interactions Whalley elaborates: “We have definitely been asked on numerous occasions to come over to people’s properties in the middle of nowhere and you really have to be in the right frame of mind to take people up on those opportunities, and so far I have luckily avoided it,” he says.
“I think I used to go, when I was in my early 20’s and someone would say ‘lets go to Wozza’s place, it’s just around the corner’ but its actually 50 km away, I’d still be up for it. Eventually in a couple of days or so you’d find people you knew. These days I can see through the lies, I can see that the amazing party they are hyping is actually three dudes and a dog smoking bongs and watching Rage, so you know, you have to pick your moments.”
To deliver some of Whalley’s unqualified brand of therapy, Frenzal Rhomb will be delivering a packed regional tour over summer to play for “real people.”
“In the regional towns there is just as much likelihood that you will get invited over for a family dinner, as there is that you’ll get punched in the back of the head, and I like that,” he laughs. “You never know how it’s going to turn out.”
With Geelong being lucky enough to score a slot on the tour, Whalley went into detail of his fondest Geelong memory, a specific memory that sets the bar very high for their next visit.
“One of my favourite Geelong memoires is when we launched The Frenzal Rhomb Beer at The Barwon Club and because the beer was 7.8 per cent, there was a lot of poor decisions being made. It ended up with a lot of nude stage diving and our very masculine tough guitar tech ended up getting landed on and copped balls in his face, it was amusing to say the least. But, that’s Geelong for you, there’s a certain lack of inhibitions that I’ve always respected.”
When & Where: The Barwon Club Hotel, Geelong – February 2 & Karova Lounge, Ballarat – February 3. Tickets via Oztix.
Written by Alex Callan