Sure we’ve heard about you before, but we think it’s time for Tone Deaf to get to know you a little better. Slip in to something comfortable while we put on some music, pour us a couple of drinks and turn the lights down low. So, tell us about yourselves…Who are you – who who? We really wanna know….
Who are you and what do you do in your act?
We are Ross de Chene Hurricanes, a lo-fi garage band based in the punk-ass northern burbs of Melbourne. Mark plays the guitar and vocals, while I (Justin) hit the drums, and that’s all there is to it. We are a two-piece because a) we can’t afford any more instruments, b) having a bass guitar would mean that it would have to be in tune with the guitar, and we don’t really know how to tune the guitar, and c) because we don’t really have any other friends. So yes, we are technically the smallest band possible, but we are still a band. The same laws apply to gangs, and nobody questions a two-man gang.
‘Fess up. What records have you stolen from your parents’ record collection and why?
Mark stole his mums Jo Jo Zepp and the Falcons record because it has a picture of Wilbur Wilde from ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’ on the inside cover. It complements his Darryl Summers ‘After Midnight’ cabaret LP splendidly. My mum is obviously far less cool than Marks, the only records I stole from her were the Costa Brothers Christmas albums to throw in the bin so that we didn’t have to listen to them on repeat every Christmas.
What’s on heavy rotation on your iPod right now?
Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Thee Oh Sees, Ty Segall
‘Home taping is killing the music business’ was the catch-cry of the record industry in the 1970s and 1980s, but it managed to survive until now. What do you think is the difference between mates taping copies of friend’s records back in the 80s and 90s and file sharing now?
Illegal file sharing is definitely more accessible now than ever before, no doubt. But that’s for the suits to get all sensitive about. When you’re in our position, as thousands of other bands are, you just want people to hear and enjoy your music, who cares how they got it?
You must answer this question honestly or we steal your rider. What was the first gig you went to? Where was it and what was the venue?
Ahh… We both grew up in Mt Gambier, so probably one of those bands that pass through town on a Tuesday night during their regional tour and play at the famous Shadows Nightclub with a bunch of local metal supports. I’m thinking 28 Days was probably my first. Yep, Mt Gambier definitely attracts the highest quality touring artists.
What’s your favourite site to download music from and do you ever pay for it? Can we find any of your releases there?
I’m often snooping around Triple J Unearthed downloading a whole stack of tunes, which of course is totally free, and legal at the same time! Win/ win. And we have a few tracks up there, which can be downloaded also.
What artist made you want to pick up an instrument and/or sing?
Peter Andre. But when you grow older and wiser you come to realise that his singing and song writing abilities are questionable at best. Maybe it was just his abs that I admired? Still, what a dreamboat.
Have you ever been arrested?
No. But my brother has, and often when chatting to girls I tell them all the radical stories of him outrunning cops in high-speed chases, attempting to lock officers out of his car and doing time in the slammer as if it were me. I was watching ‘The Morning Show’ with Larry Emdur and apparently babes can’t resist a total badass.
As for Mark, he has not been arrested either, but he got someone arrested a few months back. He was sleeping when he heard a junkie trashing my room next door to his. The junkie cleaned out all 2 valuable items in my room, then moved on to Marks room, only to notice Mark was in there. Mark was not convinced that this dude was his long lost cousin as he claimed, so he chased him out armed with a skateboard. Mark then bailed this dude up, and after being threatened with a knife several times, the cops finally showed up to send this jerk-off to the big house. Since then, we have started our own vigilante group, and we keep the streets of Coburg safe by fighting minor crime… like picking up rubbish.
Do you have any particular ritual before you go on stage, or even a lucky charm you take with you?
Being the particularly unorganised band that we are, we consider ourselves to be winning if we merely have our instruments with us. There was a gig that we played not so long ago where for some reason it was my responsibility to load Mark’s guitar. We were incredibly hung over from our E-grade social basketball team’s MVP awards night the night before, and when we got to the venue we realised that I had selected a guitar that was missing strings, the strap, and picks. I also recall a separate occasion where Mark realised once we had arrived at the gig venue that he had left his guitar leaning up against a tree on the side-walk of a busy Coburg street.
Supposing you were to be playing sold out stadiums on your next tour, what outrageous rider requests would you submit?
Definitely a tandem bike. Not sure what we would do with it at a gig though, it’s more of an outdoor activity. We are probably going to save up and blow all of our band money on one, even though my drum kit is falling apart because I bought it from a garage sale when I was 14.
Because it’s more fun to do things together, which living Australian artist would you most like to collaborate with? Tell us why?
Tony Modra. His work on the football field can only be described as art.
Right, let’s get really intimate. Tell us what releases you have that we can listen to with the lights down low, or even better, where we can see you play in person next. Naturally, don’t forget to give us the link to your Facebook fan page too.
We released an EP on cassette last summer titled ‘Kicking The Jams’. There are a handful of copies remaining, and the lead single ‘Sugar, Honey’ has recently been released through Major Label and can be found on their website http://www.generalpants.com.au/Major-Label/Music.html?Page=1
Our next release is in the making and should be ready in a month or so. You can keep up to date by following us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ross-de-Chene-Hurricanes/118339054857
If live music is more your style, we are doing a mini tour to launch our forthcoming cassette and you can catch us on the following dates:
Friday 9th September
Sydney, Wolfden @Spectrum
w/ Betty Airs, The Villainares, The Faults
Saturday, 10th Sept
Adelaide, Plus One, Ed Castle
w/ Dune Rats, The Daisy Chains
Friday 16 Sept
w/ Cannon, Cobwebbs, The Chokes
Friday 23 Sept
w/ Chook Race, Bad Aches