“We’re pretty adamant now that we don’t walk on unless they’ve got plenty of security down the front,” explains Luke Boerdam after telling me the things he’s seen happen from the stage, some of which involve broken arms, “And we make sure to brief them that people don’t get kicked out if they’re in trouble – you just help ‘em out.”
And while it may be natural – given the nature of a Violent Soho mosh – to assume it would be self-inflicted, it’s actually not the case. After recently performing at Laneway Festival where circle pits seemed to be all the rage, Luke mentions that as long as no one is getting violent, it’s actually a festival tradition he respects.
“It’s actually more gratifying and it feels kind of like a sign of respect from these guys that they’ll do that for music – they’ll literally throw their bodies in harms way and go for it. I think they want to do something and connect with something real and unleash their inner anger and it’s kind of cool to watch it happen,” he says.
Also ones to check fans are okay in the mosh while on stage and recently taking to social media to call out ticket scalpers of their WACO tour (“We just wanted to address this publicly as a band and tell those people to kindly Fuck Off”) it’s further assurance the band have a firm grip on their morals.
Lyrically in their newest release, WACO, (the band’s fourth studio album) it’s a step further into the nature in which Violent Soho have become known to “call-out” aspects of society that mightn’t gel with them as a unit. Touching on reality and how we avoid it, the release is named after the biker-gang shoot out that happened in the American town of Waco.
“It kind of felt to me like Hungry Ghost’s older sister, the kind of dark, mature sister lurking in the corner,” Luke says with a few nervous laughs, questioning his description.
“So these people in Waco created their own reality, and believed this guy was the second coming of Christ and what was interesting was it was more than just a cult – it was systemic and they armed themselves up and tried to create their own nation. Obviously that all ended in disaster.
“I think Waco is an interesting metaphor. It just alludes to the idea that we all create our own illusions to escape reality. It’s this thing we put up for ourselves that tells us everything is okay but the reality is much darker, and Waco does that. Hungry Ghost alluded to that but just skated over the surface and was more about escapism and getting high and forgetting about it. But this is pointing out this is the darker reality and it’s really fucked up.”
Heading out on tour with DZ Deathrays and Dune Rats as their supports, the only escaping Violent Soho will be doing is with the few spliffs that get thrown on stage: “I think there’ll be a lot of spliff throwing and I have a feeling Jimmy will be doing most of it. I’m all up for getting joints thrown up on stage don’t get me wrong, but it’s just got to the point where I can’t smoke that much. It’s too much.”
TOUR TALES WITH THE DUNIES
“I know our tour manager is scared, we were joking about buying him a tazer because of Dunies– and he’s qualified. Two tours ago on the hungry ghost tour, as a joke Henry turned during the set and said, ‘Brett can you get me a beer backstage for us?’ and he said, ‘Yeah sure man’. As a joke the Dune Rats dudes brought out everything on their rider; a jelly platter, tea cups – everything. But they also put the kettle there and Henry, for some stupid reason, when he wanted a water picked up the boiling kettle – thinking it was cold and wanting to pour water on his face – and poured boiling water on his face. He had to go to hospital after the set. So you can imagine our tour manager who had to go sit in a hospital waiting room for three hours is not pumped on this tour, so we said it’s okay we’ll get you a tazer. So he can basically tell the Dunies to fuck off and tazer them.”
Written by Amanda Sherring
When & Where: The Forum, Melbourne – May 14, 15 & 16
Release: WACO is out now