It’s been a long time between drinks for 28 Days. The boys from Bacchus Marsh exploded onto the scene with the release of 2000’s hugely successful Upstyledown, which reached number one on the ARIA charts, followed up by 2002’s Stealing Chairs. After touring the U.S and playing headline shows all over Australia, culminating in Big Day Out main stage set in 2003. After a reasonable hiatus since 2007, 28 Days are back and pumped to be playing a run of shows with U.S punk legends and old friends, Guttermouth.
“We did the Warped tour with them in the U.S years and years ago and we got to know them quite well. They’re like the American 28 Days I suppose, they like to speak a lot of crap between songs. They don’t take themselves too seriously and they like to put on good shows so it was an obvious mix for us,” explains bass player Damian Gardiner during a late afternoon chat.
“The last time we played the Corner Hotel was our last show back when Bodyjar did their last run of shows, so a couple of years ago now. It’s always good to play there, its an awesome place.” In a refreshing move, rather then playing a set of entirely new songs, the group are sticking with old favourites. “A lot of crowd were like 15 when Upstyledown came out. They’re all 25 odd now, they don’t want any new stuff, they just want to hear the stuff from their school days when they were getting drunk in the park. You can play new songs at rehearsal!” laughs Gardiner.
Having all but disappeared over the last few years after a run of fairly terrible luck (their drummer Scott Murray passed away in 2001, they left their record label and some overzealous fans destroyed equipment belonging to flash in the pan Sydney band The Drugs) the band took some time out to decompress and reflect on the last few years before being bitten by the recording bug again in 2010. “We had a bit of a break there for a while a couple of years ago and then got bored of not playing music so for the last year and a bit we have just been writing songs and recording for a release. God knows when it is going to come out, but it will come out one day. We’re just doing it very, very slowly.”
When pressed for more specifics, he hints “definitely this year but we have missed the boat for this summer… probably in spring, I don’t want to do anything in winter, it’s a bit depressing releasing albums in winter, maybe September or October.”
In addition to working on a new album, they have also enlisted a new drummer, Dan Kerby formerly of Behind Crimson Eyes fame,to replace Adrian Griffin.”We were very lucky because Adrian who is our drummer, and still in the band in a way but lives in Singapore, whenever he is in Australia he gets up and plays a song or two. We kind of have two drummers I suppose,” says Damo. So how did they settle on Dan? “We played heaps of shows over the last few years with Behind Crimson Eyes and got to know Dan really well. He actually filled in a couple of times a few years ago so when Adrian moved to Singapore it was just a logical choice to get Dan.
“He was already a good friend of ours and a rad drummer. He can play punk well which is really hard to do these days because not many drummers can play fast anymore. He just jumped at it the opportunity because Behind Crimson Eyes aren’t doing very much these days, they’re kind of having a bit of a break too. He is one of those guys that just loves to play drums so it’s all good.”
The casual approach to writing and recording new material and playing shows has paid off. 28 Days are as popular as ever and without the huge pressure from a record label to appeal to their new mainstream fans, the relief is tangible when Damo says, “I prefer it how it is now, we still get good crowds at our shows which is the main thing and it weeds out all the idiots when you’re not getting played on the radio.” Having come full circle and 12 years on from the roller coaster ride that comes with mainstream fame in the Video Hits crowd, they are happy with where they are now, playing for the love of it- “it’s pure escape now, like going on holiday every time we play. We just get out there and have a lot of fun. We haven’t changed, we still like that 90s punk stuff. It’s what we play and its our attitude still.”