2019 has brought many anniversaries but for us 90’s Australian kids this anniversary is like stepping back into a time machine all the way back to your youth where you would dance in ugly pants in the comfort of your living room in suburbia to ‘! (Song Formerly Known As)’, and do the robot to the ‘Polyester Girl’ video clip rolling on Video Hits every Saturday morning. 1993 spawned the career of Brisbane punk band, Regurgitator. 25 years later the band are still thriving and about to play a round of gigs across Melbourne for their Quarter Pounder Tour.
From an unforgettable set at the 1996 Big Day Out to fulfilling their career-defining goal of playing Fuji Rock back in 2001, Regurgitator have has a colourful career. Starting at a full-blown punk band, introducing pop elements to become more female-friendly, stemming from their “as a joke” love of 80’s music at the time, and even dabbling into kid’s entertainment, the boys have served a cocktail of sound throughout the 25 years.
Bassist, Ben Ely looks back at three of their biggest songs.
“‘Polyester Girl’ was a real throw away and it was kind of just mucking around on the new technology that we had and it was kind of just a joke and thrown on there as an album track. It wasn’t intended as a single or anything but that song – I mean that’s what’s so amazing about music, you don’t know where it’s going to go or how it’s going to be taken. So with that song, it was kind of random how people took to that.”
! (Formerly Known As)
“With ‘! (Song Formerly Known As)’, we were a bit more serious with a song like that but you never know where they’re going to turn up or what’s going to happen.” Ely says, “It’s really weird because some of those songs really do put you in a place at time and how you felt and it’s weird because I kind of got over an ex-girlfriend long ago but sometimes – and I think when we did Unit I had broken up with this girl that I had really liked but when we played Unit and those songs I have this recall of the feeling of heartbreak, it’s so weird!”
I Sucked A Lot Of Cock To Get Where I Am
“We were umming and ahhing about it and we wanted to get off the dole at the time but wanted to take music a bit more seriously and that song really grew from the grounds of ‘I don’t know if I really want to be here, but I’m here’ and that song appears,” he laughs. “It was banned from Kmart and then Alan Jones got onto it and said we were going to corrupt the kids of Australia’s future and we’re a sign of moral decay and you say that in the news and teenagers are like a red cape to a bull- they want to get out there and find it and buy it. So thanks Alan! Thanks so much for promoting our records for us!”
From Tu-Plang to HEADROXX, ‘Polyester Girl’ to ‘Party Looks’, there is no envelope the band won’t push and perhaps that’s why they have lasted so long. Ely tends to agree.
“I think if we were just a folk-rock band we probably would have broken up 15 years ago of off just one style but I think because we have such short attention spans and perhaps we’re ADHD or whatever I don’t know but because we are who we are.”
So is there another 25 years left in the boys? “Depends if we live that long,” laughs Ely.
When & Where: Prince Bandroom, Melbourne – November 1, Corner Hotel, Melbourne – November 2, The Lost Lands, Werribee – November 3 & Howler, Melbourne – November 4.
Written by Tammy Walters