Dec McKinnon and the Knockabouts

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Dec McKinnon and the Knockabouts

Dec McKinnon is a funny lad. Quite possibly the funniest interview I have ever done. There wasn’t any really funny jokes or punchlines, however it is the personable and genuine nature that he takes to his music that is so appealing as an interviewee. Standing on a busy Melbourne city street as we begin to talk about the first EP for the band (which is to be launched on October 10 at Workers Club), it’s easy to hear the relief in his voice.
“Oh absolutely mate! This is a massive weight off my shoulders, and the EP has been in the works for a while, so to finally be at a point to be able to launch it and have people come along and have a good damn boogie, I am excited my man!” he beams.
From just a quick search of the internet, it’s easy to navigate to Dec McKinnon and the Knockabouts’ triple j Unearthed page. There you are able to find the first single off the EP ‘Under the Mat’. Talking about the origins of the song with Dec, it’s soon revealed the track was the first one he ever wrote.
“I would have been about 15 when I wrote that song. When I write music, I use it holistically to vent my feelings at that point in time,” McKinnon says.
“I write a whole stack of lyrics and then pull them apart into a song and to a chord progression. Life is a bit weird and people dodge topics and we carry on with a bit of a façade and people put up silly little barriers and, without sounding punny, they sweep everything under the mat.”
The track is a glorious effort from the band and showcases where they were at in the start of 2015. In the past nine months, the band has been undergoing some massive changes in the line-up and dynamics. When they hit the studio to record I’m A Knockabout EP, the band was a three piece comprising Ryan Trickey on drums and the legendary Tom Stevenson on bass guitar duties. Since then the band has developed into a five piece with additional guitar and Stevenson jumping on keyboards.
“Tom Stevenson is the Dave Grohl of Geelong – that is your headline right there mate,” he says.
“He can play literally every instrument and, to be honest, it annoys the shit out of me because he is a better musician than me. It’s great to have him as part of the band though, because it allows for so much more exploration in writing new songs and exploring sounds. Having a lead guitar also means we can do some really groovy things with the live set and recording, so I’m really looking forward to where this is developing as a band.”
Talking about McKinnon’s open and genuine nature, he is also quick to tell me that he suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD. The majority of the time, having the condition can be quite a burden on your life, however in talking about performing it is an extreme positive for the band.
“It allows me to unleash all of that extra energy that I have on stage. Come down to the Workers and shake your asses, it’s gonna be a great night of local music with a whole heap of good times. Because I have ADD I am already working on the album, but more about that later…”
Written by Tex Miller
When & Where: Workers Club, Geelong – October 10