Nevermind The Warp’d Tour Festival 2016 Interview Series – Pete Howlett, The Pro- Tools


 

Ragged Press editor, Matt Gleeson caught up with Pete Howlett from South Australian punk outfit, The Pro-Tools to talk about the state of punk music and… Devonshire teas.

MG: Thanks a lot for giving us a bit of your time.  My first question is: you guys were only in Melbourne in September, what brings you back?

Pete: Pretty much, well… we were a shit band until now (laughing).  Toby from The FckUps, he was friends with the people who run the Nevermind The Warp’d Festival and he said “Pete, there’s this awesome festival, like it’s you know heaps punk rock, it’s not the normal shit that goes on, it’s got all these awesome bands”, and then he got us in contact with Kacey and then they asked us along. So yeah, looking forward to it.

MG: So this is your first Nevermind The Warp’d?

Pete: Yeah, I know all the bands around it, like Tom Wolfpack and all those guys, but no actually never got to play one yet.

MG:  Cool, I think you’ll really enjoy it.  So what can we expect from a Pro Tool’s set?

Pete:  (Laughing) Tunelessness!  No. mostly like a ‘77 rock band. I notice a lot of bands have to be hardcore or namby-pamby sort of punk.  We’re pretty much like a walking 70’s record collection really.   Especially, I guess coming from Adelaide, we’re a bit backwards and behind the times here (laughing).  It’s obvious we’d be playing retro punk.

MG: And you guys do describe yourselves on your Bandcamp page as, “… arrogant, elitist 70’s style, retro, three piece punk rock, record collector scum”.  So does this mean you guys have some pretty old school influences?

Pete: Absolutely, yes. I just seem to see all these different genres, but when I was younger I just wanted to have a band that played AC/DC like the Sex Pistols, and yeah there seems to be an actual lack of traditional punk rock bands, I guess. So pretty much we’re just going to do that sort of stuff, like Dead Boys, New York Dolls, you know, that thing that most people grew up listening to in the first place, but somehow got into the different scenes and different costumes and sort of lost their way, and into one genre of punk rock I guess, rather than a whole bunch.

MG: I’m of the opinion that we don’t see enough decent split releases coming out. If you had your choice of bands to do a split release with, who would it be?

Pete: Oh geez, actually we’d have to say The Poppin Mommas, I guess from Geelong would be one of them. With every band I’ve ever played in, they have been the most hospitable.  I think meeting people and the community is a big part of punk rock, especially when you make friends with interstate bands.  I guess it’s about being a good host, I think a lot of bands forget that sort of stuff. There’s no money to be made, making this kind of music, but there is good times to be had, and I guess doing a split with them because of those reasons.  They were heroes of mine and now we’re all good buddies and stuff.

MG: You’ve mentioned the punk rock community and the scene.  What’s the Adelaide scene like?

Pete: Well it’s getting good again.  It goes in waves.  Maybe Melbourne is the same.  We have a whole bunch of hard working bands and then you get whole lot of more sort of commercial shit sort of bands that are just trying to ride the wave, and then the music suffers and it’s crap, and it costs heaps, they play hoity-toity places, and then it all falls to shit, and then out of that a whole bunch of new bands.  Adelaide is going really, really well again. People are coming out to shows more than ever.  It’s getting really healthy here actually.  A good crowd response.  They go off.

MG: I noticed on your Facebook group, in reference to the Nevermind The Warp’d Tour Festival, you guys stated: “If we come back alive from this, it’ll be a god damn fucking miracle”. Do we need to be concerned for you guys, or will it be that kind of good time kind of dead that you’re talking about?

Pete: We’re not coming over to have Devonshire fucking teas that’s for sure, with other bands (laughing).  No, no, we’re coming over to party.

MG: Okay, for my final question, and I’m asking all the bands this: What’s the nicest thing that the Nevermind The Warp’d audience can do for The Pro-Tools?  Devonshire tea by any chance?

Pete: (laughing) Don’t judge us by the Mark of Cain or The Superjesus!

MG: Alright, we can manage that.

Pete: Cheers.

MG: I did notice actually, you guys played with the Mark of Cain pretty early on.

Pete:  Funnily enough, John from the Mark of Cain was in the band at the start.  It was kind of weird.  Justin who used to play in a Geelong band called The Convulsions, said, “Oh Pete, you know, I like some of your other bands.  If I come over, can I be in a band with you”.  He was thinking of moving to Adelaide anyhow and John from Mark of Cain and Andy from The Mice were heroes of min, and they were like, let’s do a cover band together, and then I thought why can’t the whole lot be the same band.  Then John left after about a year.  I think his professionality was making us look bad (laughing). He fucking brought the whole band down! No he gave it a shot and it was really cool, but I think he thought the hell with this, this is too much fun (laughing).

MG: Well it sounds like you guys are going to be a hell of a lot of fun and I look forward to seeing you in Melbourne soon!

The Pro-Tools are playing three shows in Victoria between Decmber 1st and December 3rd as part of the Nevermind The Warp’d Tour Festival.  Check them out!

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Header picture by Peter Pfeiffer.

 

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