Ragged Press’ newest contributor, Devon debuts with a rad interview with Julian from I am Duckeye and Pegbucket. Devon is kind of our answer to the Stig (only better), an international music fan of mystery. Check out his rad debut interview…
I am Duckeye recently became a three piece, having lost guitarist, vocalist and chef Classic Matt, but they have somehow emerged as an even heavier band. No matter what this new line up goes on to achieve, though, the Matt line up will always be the Classic line up because Matt had the foresight to put “classic” in his name. That hardly seems fair. To not discuss this at all I caught up with Julian from I am Duckeye and Pegbucket.
Me: Duckeye are touring to promote a live album recorded in Frankston. Why did you not initially include a stop in Frankston on the tour?
JM: Glen Wheatly was preoccupied changing John Farnham’s colostomy bag and it got missed. Luckily we were contacted directly from a venue in Frankston and it was added.
Me: All’s well that ends well. Whenever my colleagues make a cup of tea at work now, I think of them as the Tea Bag Ladies. What are some of the inappropriate times you think about Duckeye songs?
Me: You never think of Duckeye songs or they’re never inappropriate?
JM: Never inappropriate. I’m not even sure what appropriate is anymore…
Me: I sometimes find your artwork slightly unsettling, but I think that’s a big part of what draws me to it, because I also find it highly compelling. What sort of vibe are you usually striving for when you create a piece?
JM: First of all, thank you for the way you described my paintings and illustrations. Your depiction is exactly what I’ve strived for ever since I was about 10 years old!
Me: I relate well to 10 year olds.
JM: I’ve always been drawn towards the more subversive and seedy side of the human condition. Vibe wise I’m very driven by my suburban surroundings and finding inspiration from the banal and mundane day to day happenings of everyday life. Sometimes a specific personal experience can resonate with others on a universal level. A lot of the time I try to paint and draw with a similar intensity to how I perform when playing music. Australian art has always leant more towards a brash and unhinged form of raw aesthetic visually and conceptually. I hope I do it justice in my own way too.
Me: That makes sense. I think of your stage performance, more with Pegbucket than Duckeye, as an attack, and the painting of yours I got through the last pledge drive to me looks like you attacked portions of the canvas. I can have an actual physical response to looking at your art, like I feel my body respond to it in an unnerved way, so I think you’re definitely doing justice to Australian artistry.
Me: In Duckeye you were a pirate, then a luchador, then John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever. Why not combine all three costumes? You could be a disco dancin’ pirate luchador!!!
JM: I was also a convicted criminal in an orange overall with handcuffs and fake neck and face tattoos for while. I used to make fake shanks and sell them as merch on tour. One time we sold a few in Adelaide and a drunk guy came stumbling out of the venue waving one around. He got destroyed, apprehended by the police and arrested. Pretty great, but that was the last time we had them on sale unfortunately. One time for a Halloween show, I dressed up as a priest in corpse paint and pissed in a vile and blessed the front row with it. Costume wise, I’m at a point where it’s pretty nonchalant.
Me: That’s why I’m saying combine ALL your costumes! The main thing is for you to have to wear fake hair.
JM: No hair. Right now I’m just wearing a crappy brown shirt my girlfriend doesn’t like and a pair of dirty white jeans and black boots. White jeans are renowned for being a creepy thing for guys to wear and skanky for women. It’ll do for the meantime.
Me: Each copy of Pegbucket’s Lurk is unique. I bought one for a friend and the labels on the back hadn’t even been printed in batches ‘cause they were different between the two copies I had. How much labour is required to make one of these discs up?
JM: The Lurk EPs have been made in different settings each time. They’ve been made on my dining table, in Dave’s girlfriends dad’s four wheel drive on the way to Sydney for a run of shows, at the recording studio that Paul and Dave run called Sound Machine Studios and on the coffee table of a group of friends that let us stay with them when we play in NSW. Sometimes they’re haphazardly put together and can take more time than you’d like. We also bought a bunch of wooden pegs and put our down load code for the EP on them as another way to distribute the record but it has confused most people at shows.
Me: Ah, one copy I bought had a peg, but no code, so I thought it was just a funny little peg ’cause you were Pegbucket.
JM: Yep, that was the first run of EPs that had that novelty size peg clipped on.
Me: On the instructional DVD that comes with Commando, Too, the Haycrofts mention that while they’re noodling away on one song, you’re expected to play one note over and over. How Haycroft tolerant does one have to be to be in Duckeye?
JM: Considering the amount of walking, breathing advertisements for prophylactics and shells of human beings we have to navigate our own lives past with the least amount of annoyance possible, the Haycrofts really don’t require any tolerance. They’re very giving, understanding and enjoyable people to include in your life. There’s never a dull moment with them and I have spent many moments in rehearsal studios, long car rides, stages and dusty dirty couches and floors with them where they’ve had me in tears of hysteric laughter. They also taught me that frying pan toasties are the only toasties worth making.
Me: They describe you as patient or tolerant when talking about the one note thing, that’s where I got that from. If someone’s never heard Pegbucket or I am Duckeye, which side of Hot Nuts By the Side of the Road would you tell them to play first?
JM: Haha! I’d tell them to listen to the Pegbucket side first because they most likely bought the EP at a Duckeye show.
Me: Hang on, that couldn’t happen because I said they’d never heard either band. Are you suggesting they walked into the show late and decided to grab that EP based on the artwork?
Me: Duckeye’s second LP was called Commando, Too, after the classic Schwarzenegger movie. I watched Iron Eagle a week ago and it no longer seemed quaintly nostalgic, but rather strangely current. What’s your take on jingoistic 80s actioners these days? Of course Commando transcends any possible criticism as it is one of humanity’s greatest achievements, but what about the others?
Me: There’s too many to name, both blockbusters and B graders. It was an era that hopefully will always be looked at whole heartedly as ridiculously entertaining and one of the best ways to piss your girlfriend off. That’s the great part about those movies, big muscly oiled up bleeding dudes that us dudes thought were awesome and women thought were the pits. That makes the women gay… right? So much homoerotic innuendo, but as a kid, you don’t think about it or care because of the spectacle of the movie itself. As an adult you appreciate that underlining vibe of the film and because you grew up with it the nostalgia of how you enjoyed it can be thrown about through hilarious conversation. When others gasp at the particular movie all the memories of late night sleepovers come flooding back and you remember a time when figuring out what adventures you were gonna have the next day on your BMXs had you falling asleep with a smile.
Me: You know what makes me smile? Sean. He’s pretty dreamy. Have you guys considered printing posters of him so your fans can have him on their walls? You may need to provide Duckeye tissues as well.
JM: He is a fan favourite. Recently he pulled off one of his classic brutal drum solos while watching the soccer on an LED screen across the other side of the room for the whole time. That’s enough cred from me to last another seven years I reckon.
Me: You’re not gentle with your equipment on stage. Is that ‘cause you can rebuild anything you break at Medor Amps and Repairs ( http://julianmedor.com )?
JM: The guitars I play in Pegbucket get pretty punished. The ones that don’t make it out alive from the show usually stay at the venue. Cheap copy guitars are very easy to come by and very easy to turn into BBQ kindling. I mainly focus on repairing, building and modding amplifiers and pedals.
Me: You can have dinner with one wrestler, alive or dead. Who do you choose? Is it Andre the Giant? Is that just so you can call it My Dinner with Andre?
JM: Haha!!! I’d probably pick Sandman. Look him up. He’s one of the founding fathers of extreme wrestling. He was already bleeding and drunk before entering any ring he wrestled in.
Me: He’d probably beat himself bloody with beer cans before you dinner even started. One of his colleagues, Tommy Dreamer, is coming to Australia soon.
JM: Yes! I saw Tommy Dreamer last time he came out. These people are incredible entertainers and really put their bodies through hell and back.
Me: Chris Hemsworth lived on Phillip Island and went on to play the hero Thor, the God of Thunder. Sam from Duckeye lives on Phillip Island and went on to become a hero (http://musicfeeds.com.au/news/local-guitarist-hailed-a-hero-after-saving-a-blind-man-from-drowning/) and be nicknamed Thunderbolt. What’s with the thunder related heroes coming from Phillip Island?
JM: No idea. Maybe it’s all the meth labs and penguin fishing.
Me: Duckeye have some…okay, a lot…of playfully juvenile lyrical content and imagery. After what’s happened to Keggin, do you guys have any concerns about potential future employers being put off by your band?
JM: Our dreams were thrown at the bin and bounced off into the gutter a long time ago. Frankston council years ago threatened to take us to court for putting up posters of some Jesus looking dude with just a leaf over his grundle, hanging out with kids on Christmas. No one really cares in the end. If your dream job is playing with Lego and writing songs purely about a silver bag full of cheap wine then good luck to you. Oh hang on, you fucked it. I’m sure you’ll write a song about it.
Me: Anything else you’d like to add?
JM: Is Ferrero Rocher is like bogan Truffles?
Me: I keep getting told I’m still using the word bogan wrong, so I probably shouldn’t weigh in on that one.
JM: Ha ha!!!
Thanks to Jules for putting up with my nonsense. You can catch both Pegbucket and I am Duckeye at the now added Frankston leg of their “Livin’ in Franger” tour.
Images by Matt Gleeson.