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Blueline Medic - A Typical Observation Fansite
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Here's a few articles and interviews I've managed to find on both Blueline Medic and Caustic Soda.

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Blueline Medic- A Working Title in Green
 
Beat Magazine - 2000

Masters of the turbulent and edgy form of punk rock, Caustic Sodas demise was a tragic one. But rising from the ashes of that band, MYC and the Bradshaw Figure comes Blueline Medic. This long-awaited four track features every drop of emotion, driving passion and fascinatingly complex musicianship, leading not to the obtuse ramblings that come from most bands who have too much talent and =intelligence but to a completely assured and captivating debut. Having dropped some of the speed that typified most of their previous bands work, Blueline come out as an indie/emo hybrid along the lines of Something For Kate, capable of both stunning and energetic crescendos and mesmerizing set pieces.

This EP, even in four songs, is a lesson in emotional manipulation through music. Basically, its a touch draining. But to all of those who love focusing on their music and giving yourself up to it, this will be a welcome escape from the raw energy of most of the music you probably listen to. Like other bands deigned as emo, itll be much appreciated but sparingly played in my collection, simply due to the fact that I wont want the devalue the message. A CD to cherish (an, incidentally, a total catharsis to see live).

Andrew Tijis


Redmond Hamlett interviews Donnie Dureau from Blueline Medic

Crossfire Magazine Issue 3, published by Deakin University, 2001


After Blueline Medic played a super ten song set, Donnie Dureau agreed to having an interview.

RH: So, what was the deal with sony?

D.D: Ah sony, well, its a funny story this one. We were with them for a little bit, and it turned out we signed up with them at a bad time, because sony was investing more time and money into playstation rather than music, so we were dropped from sony because we were a smaller band etc etc, . .they were trimming their leaves so to speak.
RH: gee, thats a bit rough. . . I bought your cd the other day and I noticed it had Fueled by Ramen on it rather than sony. .

D.D: Well, their the label were with right now . . US based, were produced in Australia through Red Line Records . .

RH: Yeah, thats the one that Jebediah run yeah?

D.D: I only found that out about 3 weeks ago (laughing)

RH: Hah!

RH: Well, how was the tour in the States?

D.D: That went really well . .we played with "The Impossibles" and "River City High" all over the place, and apparently we were well received.

RH: Are the crowds any different?

D.D: Well, theres more of them . .if thats what you mean.

RH: Righto.

D.D: The one good thing was, seeing as it was a promo tour, we sold on average ten cds a night . .which was pretty good. Were gona end up going back to the states soon.

RH: Because thats where the money is? . .

D.D: No, its not about that. Its about putting your music to other people, to see if they wanna be part of it, and if they dont, thats fine. But we are pretty much obliged to go back, seeing were with a US label.

RH: Oh ok. . . .Look, I know most bands dont exactly make the best money.

D.D: Well, look, youve got cover bands, and they get paid about a grand or two a gig . .

RH: And thats good yeah?

D.D: Well (laughing), were getting a couple of hundred bucks, and we have to pay for expenses etc etc . . I doesnt always work out.

RH: So you dont like cover bands?

D.D: Na, ive never been a big fan of them.

RH: Why do you think people turn to the easy option of being a musician in a cover band?

D.D: Well, it might be their good, but they dont want to, or cant write their own songs . . .i find writing hard sometimes.

RH: I would've thought that youd get more for playing originals.

D.D: What do cover bands do, play songs people like . .

RH: True true.

RH: I was really surprised by your sound, I was expecting more punk stuff from BLM, but I was happily surprised. I personally think you guys sound a little Get Up Kids-esque. . .a bit emo-ish

D.D: The Get Up Kids, you reckon we sound a little bit like them

RH: Well, yeah, some of you bridge riffs are remiscent of them . .

D.D: But dont you think Something For Kate are the most emo band around. . .

RH: What?, emo is another way of saying punk . .SFK are certainly angst, but ..

D.D: Na Na na, emo is emotional . .. I personally dont like the usage of the genre term. I think the word your looking for is Rock

RH: But then you have all these sub-genres and . . .

D.D: Ahh, its either rock or pop.

RH: Ok . . .i'll leave it at that . . I sound like a real idiot . . . .a bit of a stupid question . .

D.D: No, dont worry about it ..hey, that a line from an SFK song "Theres no such thing as a stupid question."

RH: (quoting Mr. Garrison from South Park) . ."Only stupid people".

D.D: (Laughs!)

RH: This question might seem a bit . .oldish . ..(D.D: No, not at all), but how did you find the transition from Caustic Soda to Blueline Medic . . .

D.D: Um . ..the reason why I formed BLM was because I wanted to do more with what I was playing . .i wanted the space of playing something other than punk for a change, because we were playing to people who liked punk. Of course, it was a gradual change, so people got the idea. I really wanted to expand, because I have other tastes in music as well. And with these other really talented musicians, Chirpy (drums) was in Pollyana, Adrian (guitar) played in Caustic for a bit, but was from Mid Youth Crisis and David (bass) played in The Bradshaw Figure. So we all have different tastes.

R.H: How about song writing, who does the majority of that.

D.D: Well, its pretty much a joint effort to say the least. . .we might all have songs we wanna try out .. so we might do that, but we all have a say .. which is good.

RH: So, you wanted to make BLM better, and more diverse musically . ..

D.D: To get something more, . .yeah, to do it better.

RH: Cool! But, do you usually get people who say something like, "Man, Caustic will live on forever man . .."

D.D: Yeah, all the time.

R.H: Why do you think Caustic was known . .or at least respected, not the BLM isnt or anything like that . ..

D.D: Well, it was a very rough band .. and the lyrics were like . . every little thing hurts me, thus its due cause to write a song about it. . . .i think thats why people could relate to it and still, like you do (points to all the BLM/Caustic Soda stuff in my bag) like it.

RH: So, in that case, are the lyrics still about things like that. . .

D.D: Well not so much, there more fiction based, like writing a story . .i used to dislike fiction in songs, but now I appreciate it. Caustic was very Here I stand, proud and loud and ignorant of everyone else .. bla bla bla. . . . With fiction on the other hand, its like making a story, and whatever the characters say or whatever, it doesnt necessarily have to come from me, as in my mown life experiences and things like that.

RH: Oh ok . . .because to me caustic was very against
everything, dont like this, that, the other. . etc. .

D.D: Yeah exactly.

R.H: Well, thanks for your time Donnie, it was really cool to meet you.

D.D: Yeah, thats cool.

- Redmond Hamlett


Beat Magazine, July 4th, 2001

Blueline Medic launch their debut album, "The Apolody Wars", at the Punters CLub on Firday July 13, with supports Nation Blue and End Transmission. After their American tour and their supports of At the Drive in, Something For Kate and Jimmy Eat World here, you can get the album on July 16. Listen out for the first single Making the Noveau Riche and look out for the video.

-Andrew Tijis


"Medic in the house"

Beat Magazine, July 4th, 2001

Blueline Medic launch their debut album "The Apology Wars" at the Punters Club, Fitzroy, Friday, July 13th, with supports Nation Blue and End Transmission. The launch comes in the wake of their first American tour and support slots in Australia with At the Drive In, Something for Kate and Jimmy Eat World. The album is available in Australia on July 16 through licencee Redline Records, and in America from July 10 through the band's label Fueled by Ramen


www.splendidezine.com, date unknown

Review on A working title in green

Blueline Medic is the sort of band that wins you over on their convictions alone. They rock out with a manic fury, as if holding back Armageddon itself. Every member of the band seems to be bleeding his soul into his instrument. With a singer who sounds a tiny bit like Richard Butler of The Psychedelic Furs, the band maneuvers in the same slipstream as Jets to Brazil, with more subtle vocal phrasings and less obvious hooks. "Swan Song Swan Dive" has a commendable driving force. Eschewing mere power-pop, the band layers on a dubby fuzziness, forcing the listener to find the song underneath the raw energy of the guitars. It's a rewarding song for zipping around in morning traffic. "Where You Are" lays on some quasi-Killing Joke guitar washes, which become overshadowed by more energetic band interplay. The chief impression given is that Blueline Medic have a destination, and that getting there means translating all of their emotions into their songs. The name of the band couldn't be more appropriate. Songs like "Shopping with a Cartesian" seem to exist to convey rock energy. It's an accomplished energy that's consistent throughout the entire disc. Instruments weave into and around each other, with no annoying noise factor to distract you. If the band was playing at your local pub, even at full volume, you'd never be insulted or annoyed -- the buzz of their play is that infectious. This is not the sound of the Next Big Thing. Blueline Medic is simply a quality band making music that they obviously give a damn about. They might not even be as accessible as Jets to Brazil, but for getting your blood pumping, Working Title in Green is a safe and reliable bet. If the band can focus more on hooks and melodies next time out, their quality playing and complete conviction will sell the songs more fully.
-- Tim DiGravina


www.melbourne.citysearch.com, date unknown

Yet standard rites-of-passage US road marathon has resulted in the debut LP by local lads Blueline Medic. Untitled as yet, it was laid down at Washington's Inner Ear Studios between live dates with Samiam and Burning Airlines.

BLM rose from the combined ashes of Caustic Soda, Mid Youth Crisis and The Bradshaw Figure in late 1999 to sign to prestigious Sony subsidiary, murmur (think silverchair, Jebediah and Something For Kate). The relationship lasted for just one EP, Working Title In Green, but established an audible buzz when Plight 217 notched up some Triple J airplay.

Core trio Donnie Dureau, Adrian Lombardi and Dave Snow inducted a new member to the ranks for their recent OS jaunt. Perth drummer Chirpy previously bashed the skins for Rail, The Favourite Game and The Mars Bastards.

Expect a fair swag of newly committed tunes when the grungy and slightly bookish rockers zip up the east coast to launch their new disc in July.

Michael Dwyer, CitySearch


Blueline Medic (David Snow)
By Amanda Heath - www.punkhardcore.com

Punkhardcore.com: Hey man. Hows it going?
David: Great. It's 10 am and a clear day. The city looks a treat and I'm not working today
Punkhardcore.com: Nice. Gotta love those days.
David: They sure are something.
Punkhardcore.com: Well. Lets start off by introducing yourself and who the other band members of Blueline Medic are?
David: My name is David. Donnie, Adrian and Shaun are the other valued members of Blueline Medic.
Punkhardcore.com: Alright. Cool. Now I know you can't really speak for everyone else, but what are some of the bands major influences and musical backgrounds?
David: I've always enjoyed listening to a variety of music. I don't know that everything you listen to has a direct impact on the way you play or the type of music you can wind up writing, but I think it all helps frame what it is you do. This means that there's a bit of a lot of different things in there: at least I feel I can find them in there. I think the dominant influences are the ones we do share as a band. We all enjoyed 80s rock and I'm sure there's some of that in there. The Smiths, Psycadellic Furs...
Punkhardcore.com: How did Blueline Medic come together as a band, and what is the significance of the name behind it?
David: The name is just that. Naming for namings sake.
Punkhardcore.com: What other bands have Blueline Medic's members been in?
David: We met through other bands. I guess one band called Caustic Soda provided the catalyst for us all getting together. Shaun used to play in Polyana, I played in The Bradshaw Figure, Donnie was in Caustic Soda and Adrian was in One Inch Punch.
Punkhardcore.com: So how did the band come about being on Fueled By Ramen Records?
David: They wound up hearing us after a friend of ours who knew someone (I think John or Vinnie) at FBR and gave them a copy of a demo . . . I'm a little hazy on it all.
Punkhardcore.com: So why did you decide to go with an American label, and not one in Australia?
David: There aren't many labels in Australia. This country really is a small place. There are only 16 million people in the entire country, which is less than many of your American cities. Music just isn't something you can do and devote your time to in Australia without surrendering to a Major label for support. Once you do that it's hard not to let it all be reduced to a matter of 'moving units'. We flirted with Sony and had our EP released and distributed by them.
Punkhardcore.com: Wow. Thats great. So what has been the taking of Blueline Medic over in Australia? Do you have a large fan base? I know that here in North American your name is definitely on the rise.
David: We haven't washed our hands of Australia. We have awesome shows in Melbourne. Adelaide, Sydney and Brisbane are usually good to us. Last time we were interstate was right before we left for America. Those shows were huge and a load of fun. Market analyses suggest ... We're happy with the way things are going out here. We get to play a lot of great shows and get some time on the reputable radio stations. We start a tour with Jimmy Eat World out here in Australia tomorrow.
Punkhardcore.com: So tell everyone a little bit about your upcoming album.
David: We recorded the album during February in Washington DC with J. Robins at Inner Ear. That man is the definitive humble genius. It was a rewarding experience to record with him.
Punkhardcore.com: Who else recorded there? Was it Fugazi? I can't remember.
David: Yeah Fugazi were recording at Inner ear right before we started. Fugazi used John Z (another awesome man and linch-pin of the DC music world). J. (Robins) has recorded The Promise Ring, Hey Mercedes, Jets To Brazil, The Dismemberment Plan (desoto's finest) and his own band, Burning Airlines. J. (Robins) is an absolute gentleman.
Punkhardcore.com: Rad, that's quite a list of great bands. What is Blueline Medic's touring plan's after the Australian one with Jimmy Eat World?
David: We're doing some more Australian shows in Sydney and Melbourne. Then we're heading out to the big cities to launch the Album. I'll send you all the dates if you give me the email address. (See the dates below). We'll return to America in mid August and hope to spend a month or so touring before the weather turns sour. Things aren't nailed down just yet, but everything is moving along. I can't wait to get back out there and in that van. I honestly do enjoy it.
Punkhardcore.com: That's awesome. Im definitely looking forward to seeing you guys. Just a few more questions . . . What are some little known facts about Blueline Medic?
David: We all work crappy jobs so we can tour.
Punkhardcore.com: Closing remarks?
David: I'd like to thank you for your time. I'd also like to thank everyone and anyone who has come along to one of our shows or bought our EP for their support. I really do hope you enjoyed it.


Voyeur Medic

By MICHEAL DWYER
The Age, Friday 16 June 2000

Whether the words were Sun, Blue Note, 4AD, Flying Nun or Luaka Bop, the label on the product used to tell a good part of the story when it came to new music.
Sydneybased Murmur records is one of few that still puts its logo where its musical prejudices lie: consider the raw, barely postgrunge ground shared by Ammonia, silverchair, Jebediah and Something For Kate.
Melbourne's Blueline Medic is the latest addition to a roster that practically worships the frillfree mix of electric guitar, distortion pedal and big, barking melody.
"I really love Something For Kate," says singer and lyricist Donnie Dureau. "I find a lot of their stuff really reflective. There's so much gravity behind Paul Dempsey's lyrics. It makes for great listening and it can become very emotive."
The power of the raw-throated roar and grunting overdrive aside, the value of emotion is the theme to which Dureau repeatedly returns when discussing his band's debut EP, A Working Title in Green. Musically it's a full-frontal electric assault, but Dureau's lyrics bear all the marks of the gravity to which he aspires. "I do take the words very seriously," he says almost apologetically.
"Probably a little bit too seriously, I think. I don't like listening to music that has no lyrical substance. I only ever listen to music to get emotional satisfaction from it.
"A lot of the artists I listen to, like Billy Bragg and the Smiths and Bad Religion, there's a huge emphasis on the lyrics conveying something of a story or an atmosphere. It's a pretty hard thing to do, and I guess that's why I work extra hard at it."
Dureau lists NOFX and Jets to Brazil, fronted by ex-Jawbreaker frontman Blake Schwarzenbach, among his heroes at the more literary end of the punk spectrum. "A lot of my songs come from observing people," he says, of which the EP's voyeuristic opener, Plight 217, is an example.
"It's an actual event that happened on a plane. This girl sat next to me and I just found her interesting. She was visibly upset but also trying to conceal it from everyone, and I'm sitting there making up all these scenarios, wondering what might have put her there. Was she flying away from something? Was she heading into something? I just wrote pretty much what I saw and set it against the backdrop of a first flight, that huge feeling of excitement, but with that element of worry and danger there."
Blueline Medic's first album is halfwritten. Along with guitarist Adrian Lombardi and bassist Dave Snow (drummer Lachlan Hodgson recently left), the band plan to record it in August, hopefully with Burning Airlines main man J.Robbins producing.
Blueline Medic launch A Working Title in Green tonight at the Evelyn Hotel, Fitzroy.


Impress Magazine 15/8/01

Nurse!

Blueline Medic have had a busy year and a half, signing to Redline Records locally, the prestigious Fueled By Ramen label in the States and releasing their debut LP, The Apology Wars. Donnie tell Harry Stone all about it.

H.S: Tell us about the album
D.D: Its a bit of a mix of old and new. Shuffle and Scrapes actually an old Caustic Soda song that was released on a seven inch. And the band decided to do that and play it live simply because they enjoyed playing it and they wanted to record it. I was kind of against it because the song had already been done, but at the same time it wasnt released on CD. Welcome Paradox used to be an old Caustic song too, which had this big fiery ending it was like two songs mashed together but I wanted to strip it back and make something a little more I guess conventional, something more laid back and cruisey and that drifted into the Blueline sets as well. But then youve got about six or seven songs we demoed that came through the Caustic/Blueline bleed and we made the songs ours and reinvented them a little bit. And youve got Dave Snow on the bass who wrote two songs on the record. The songs origins came from somewhere. But the rest of the record might have more of an album-esque feel to it.

H.S: So youre thinking about that already? Written any?
D.D: We have actually. The bands working on three songs at the moment. Ive been working on a few here and there, a few acoustic, almost solo-esque type stuff, but I dont know if theyll ever hit the band. And Daves got oodles of ideas, hes got riffs coming out his ear holes, so I dont think were going to have any shortage of material. I think just getting the lyrics together might be the thing. Be weve got plenty of time.

H.S: You recorded the album in the States, didnt you?
D.D: February in Washington, DC. Ten days, it might have been 11 actually. We did it pretty quickly. We might have fallen behind once, but with (producer) J. (Robbins), steering the helm he herded us into being productive again, only because we started getting fussy at one point. It was generally a painless experience.

H.S: What did J. bring to the record?
D.D: Definitely a personal milestone for me, and I think the guys were a little overawed walking into the studio and seeing all the album covers over the walls. It was definitely an amazing experience. Very humbling. He brought clarity. Ambience. Depth. Some of his other records have a real upfront sound about them, and they definitely have room, but on this record Mark, who mastered it, said Jays going a lot more organic sound these days and I think our recording might be and indicator of that. When I first started playing music and Im sure goes the same for Adrian, I was anti effects. We wanted it all dry, straight up and no bullshit. But when we got into the studio this time round it was like why dont we try this? and why dont we try that?. So we experimented a little bit and I think J. enjoyed that. In fact, most of them were his ideas.

H.S: Recording in the States must put a bit more pressure on?
D.D: It felt a little bit claustrophobic at times because it was winter and winter in such a place that were not used to. So youre tucked up in this little box; it puts the pressure on. Especially when youre working towards a deadline, and weve got this amazing producer whod doing us a favour, you want to be on your best behaviour. Tacked on the end of that is youre not on your home soil, you cant exactly go home at night.

H.S: Did you play any shows while you were over there?
D.D: We did roughly 30 or 40 shows in a two and a half month space. Those shows were amazing. Some of them were awful. And we had four weeks there where nothing was happening, sweet bugger all, and we nearly tore each others throats out but we got through it. I think were a lot closer for sure.

H.S: Being on Fueled By Ramen must make it easier for you guys to go over and spend longer periods in the States in the future . . .
D.D: Oh god, dont mention longer periods. Were not doing longer periods of time. No, no, no. Weve set a ceiling on it. The maximum is six weeks. Its almost Big Brother, but the trouble is you cant evict anybody. I think when we go over there next time were going to be looking for short, sharp quality tours. And well be doing our best to organise them to the full before we go so theres no winging it like we did last time.

Blueline Medic play two shows at the Punters Club this Saturday 18th under 18s in the arvo with H Block 101 and Seconds away, and over 18s that night with Seconds away and Heartfelt Self. The Apology Wars is out now through Redline Records.

-Harry Stone


Impress Magazine 15/8/01

Someone get a medic!

Prior to joining Spiderbait on their national tour, Malbourne quartet Blueline Medic hit the streets to talk up their debut album, The Apology Wars. Recorded at the famed Inner Ear Studios, Washington D.C (Fugazi), the group have successfully translated their intricate lyrics & and impact-heavy tunes with the right mix of melody and intensity to form an amazing cohesive record. Catch the band for two shows at the Punters Club this Saturday August 18; Unfer 18s with H-Block 101, Identity Theft, Seconds Away and Heartfelt Self, doors 12:30 pm and later with Seconds Aways and Heartfelt Self. Doors 8:30 pm Both shows $8. Blueline Medics Making the Nouveau Riche recently climbe to no. 9 on JJJs Net 50.
Author Unknown

Blueline Medic - The Apology Wars
Redline Records
 
Impress Magazine 29th August 2001

It's been hectic times for this Melbourne quartet's hectic sound.

You just might remember them from such high profile support slots for At The Drive In, Something For Kate, NOFX, The Living End, or Jimmy Eat World. You know, amongst others. Or perhaps from their song 'Making The Noveau Riche; cracking the top 10 on the Triple J's Net 50. Then, there's always the fact that they were the first Australian act to be signed to noted American indie label Fueled By Ramen. or simply, just word-on-the-grapevine about their dynamic live shows.

Bass player Dave Snow describes this here debut album as a summary of what Blueline Medic have been thinking about and doing over the past year. That shouble be reason enough to check 'The Apology Wars' out.

Recorded, in a rather hective two weeks, at famed Inner Ear Studios in Washington DC with noted American producer J. Robbins (Jets to Brazil and The Promise Ring), this album follows on the heels of last years EP 'Working Title In Green'.

Marrying melody with intensity, these 11 tracks incorporated Donnie Dureau's emotion-laden and moving vocals in and around the biting guitars and powerful drumming. The songs range from the blazing to the melancholy, and the challending to the cathartic. Somehow, Blueline Medic manage to sound intricate and incisive whilst still delivering impact heavy tunes.

In the end, it's all good, it's all jumpable and it's about time Blueline Medic started pulling the big-gun headlines.d

-Dinah Arndt


Interview with Dave Snow from Blueline Medic on the Mondo Bizarro Radio show on 3RRR FM.
 
About 10:30 pm-ish on Sunday 16/9/01. Interviewed By Stu Mondo and Mandy Keating.

S.M: Joining us on the line is Dave from Blueline Medic. Dave how are ya?
D.S: Ah, not too bad, yourself?
S.M: Ahh, yeah, so whats going on?
D.S: Just mucking about and watching a bit of telly.
S.M: What are you getting into this evening?
D.S: Um, its the Russian wife, bride (sorry)
S.M: Really?
D.S: It looks like a story of a mail order bride from Russia
S.M: You telling me the truth, or are you watching the 60 minutes coverage of the war . .
D.S: No, weve done that, I can watch too much of that. . Ill get panicky and wont sleep.
S.M: Yeah, I can completely understand that angle.
M.K: Yeah, it seems to be a pretty common thing at the moment.
S.M: Hmm, anyway, we wont talk about it, . . well get onto distracting ourselves. Whats been going Dave? It seems your on a pretty big tour at the moment.
D.S: Yeah, weve been playing some shows with Spiderbait and Rocket Science. . Theyve been heaps of fun. One in Sydney last night and Canberra the night before.
S.M: hmm, hows that going down? How are you ahh, hows the Spiderbait audience taking to Blueline?
D.S: Hard to tell, were first on so . . .
M.K: That would have to be pretty difficult. .
D.S: Yeah its more an audient than audience. Yeah, one or two, not that many, but theyve seem to be having fun.
S.M: Do they kinda know, well, I dont mean this in a bad way but it is kinda a Triple J audience, do you see reaction when they hear the songs that have been played?
D.S: Ahh, yeah some of them will maybe take a step forward, but then you its hard to see what people are doing out there.
M.K: And how do you manage when youre used to playing shows at the Arthouse when everyone there is very into your music and know what you guys are about and all of a sudden youre on tour with Spiderbait and playing to people who perhaps dont know you as well. How do you inspire yourselves?
D.S: Dunno, we just feel that each time we play the music, its a real privilege in itself. And we try and enjoy it for ourselves. Thats the good thing about lights; you cant see that far anyway. So just pretend theres a bunch of people anyway, just behind that light having a ball.
S.M: The old band caught in headlights?
D.S: yeah (laughing) But yeah, we just take from whatever we put into it, so if we put into it that well have a good time, we get a good time. An audience does help, but thats not the most important thing.
S.M: Absolutely, so it would have been similar to a lot of the shows you did in the U.S a while ago, coming on proving your stuff.
D.S: Yeah, .. . .The one difference I think in America, everyone rocked up to the show at the start. Whereas here if youre coming to see Spiderbait, you know that there not going to be on till a certain time so most people dont turn up, or go to the bar or whatever.
S.M: Fashionably late.
D.S: Over there everyone is there to see all the bands.
S.M: What was the experience like? How was the whole big trip, working with J. Robbins, working at Inner Ear, all that stuff?
D.S: Great, really cool. In the recording stuff, with Jay we were a little bit intimidated yet excited. You know, Hey, were doing something with J.Robbins. Wow, whats he going to be like? Then to get there and meet him, at the outset he was one of the nicest people that Ive ever come across. Really helpful and great ideas, he has a really great ear. He was a great person to have recording our first album. He made it really easy for us.
S.M: How did you get in contact with him to start with? Were you hooked up, or was it through Fueled by Ramen?
D.S: it was more through Fueled by Ramen, they asked us who wed like to deal with and we listed him at the top. They got in contact with him. It was a long process. It was just an email and a few calls. He heard the demos and agreed to do it.
S.M: Fantastic, I believe the plans for Blueline is to go back to the U.S sometime in the future?
D.S: Not sure when, we just have to wait for some responses. Were looking forward to it, but maybe not for quite as long, but well definitely go back there for a little bit.
S.M: Hows the record being going on Fueled by Ramen over there, have you been getting email from the U.S?
D.S: Yeah, theyve been really happy with the way that people have responded to it. Its a little different to here, as theres no national radio, so you gotta go out and tour. To get the same affect that maybe triple j would have. You gotta be in the van for six weeks.
S.M: Sure, what about college radio.
D.S: Hmm, the only thing with that is that its so fractured, its really small. Tiny scale. It often doesnt broadcast outside of campus. That is one of the things that bands seem to do, go to all the different ones and say hello.
S.M: Do the hard slog . . Did you do much press while you were there. How were you treated, were you a novelty being an Australian band.
D.S: Yeah, it was . .Say this, what does that taste like, what language do you speak . .
M.K: hah (laughing), Did you get asked about vegemite, did you have to say GDay mate?
D.S: We actually took some vegemite with us.
M.K: they hate it dont they.
D.S: They wanted to try it, but we knew that they hated it. But we couldnt find anywhere to get some more. Well we could give you some, and youre gona hate it, but then we have none for ourself.
S.M: Just say, Look, we know the crocodile hunter, so its all good. That started on T.V tonight didnt it?
D.S: Not sure, we watched it while we were over there. There fanatics over him.
S.M: That bizarre. Well thanks for giving us a buzz Dave, how much longer do you have on the Spiderbait tour?
D.S: Well next weekend were playing two shows in Brisbane, one in Byron Bay. Then we go over to Perth for a few shows the following weekend.
S.M: Thats excellent Dave. So who you flying with?
D.S: Were with Qantas (jokingly). I dont know how we managed to afford that, but I think were getting a bus.
S.M: Dave, im going to play a track of The Apology Wars. Whats youre favourite track?
D.S: ooh, . .. .number 4.
S.M: Hmm, good radio . . (laughing)
D.S: I didnt know the track listing (jokingly), but I was born in April, so its all good.
S.M: At least we had the war is the track youve picked. Thank you very much; well talk to you very soon.
D.S: Cheers.

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett


Donnie Dureau and Dave Snow interview with Richard Kingsmill on the Oz Music Show, Triple J Radio. 10/7/01

R.K: "Making the noveau riche" from Blueline Medic's new album "The apology wars", and Donnie and Dave with from the band on Triple J. Tell us about the writing of that track then, the inspiration for it. What were you thinking about, what was going through your mind when you came up with the lyrics for that track?

D.D: The song lyrically, well I didn't agonize over the words on this as much as I have over other songs. So I decided just to write how I felt at the time. Dont worry about trying to come up with something over the top, or anything to poetic, just sort of write it how it is, how I feel at the time. Thats what I came up with. The part with the guys at rehearsal and played it to them they said "Yep, ok." We played it after one take, (laughing) I reckon.

D.S: Yeah, it was the quickest track.

R.K: Is that right?

D.D: Yeah, that was the quickest song weve ever come up with. It was 20 minutes in the rehearsal room. It was like afterwards ". . hmm there's one song sorted."

R.K: Did that not feel strange?

D.S: It did feel really strange, is there something we forgot. . or. . ???

R.K: Yeah

D.S: Or is there a bridge. .

R.K: Or actually are you doing a cover version someone else's song . (laughing with guys)

D.S: Well it was on my mind . .(laughing) ahh no no.

R.K: In the track, on reaching the end of the song, its kinda a realization that your life might change, you might actually go down that path, but you give it a shot, but gonna strive for a better life, but you think more likely than not you'll end up just. . suburban, paying taxes, same old, same old . . doing that each year, style of thing.

D.D: Yeah, pretty much. I mean being in a band and making it work is really a hard task. All the people we've met in playing with bands struggle to make a living from it. It's not an easy road at all.

R.K: Why do you do it then?

D.S: If I wasn't doing music then I'd be doing something else that is creative; To think and come up with solutions for different problems to different ways of doing things. And doing as part of a group is better than doing it alone, because youve got other people trying to work out how everything can work and different peoples ideas.

R.K: And also I imagine that a band like Blueline Medic makes you think. Because of the lyrical side of things and what your talking about.

D.S: Yeah, Donnie's got a great writing style, lyrically and musically . . ..

D.D: So far . . .

R.K: But he hates the chorus (laughing with everyone).

D.D: What do you mean? I love choruses.

R.K: Well, where are they, did you put them on the edit room floor?

D.D: I dunno, well, we make a few variations on songs, haven't we? So far, I think?

D.S: We have a chorus that isn't repeated but suggested again latter.

D.D: I like to tantalize, rather than throw in the face.

R.K: Is there a reason why you come up with choruses where the lyric's change, even though structurally the same. . You wont sort of repeat the same chorus again through the track . . Is there a reason why you dont do that?

D.D: I think its mainly to keep up interested as well as the listener. I just want the songs to have a bit more staying power. I like songs that you can listen to a couple years down the track and not get bored of them.

R.K: A lot of bands dont do it these days do they? Except for maybe tool, they're an exception

D.D: Yeah. . Well. . It depends on what kind of area of music you are looking at. You would know that it's vast. . The Britney Spears of the world, which have there songs written for them to a formula by great songwriter's, completely different to other people like Fugazi who are going out of their way to do something completely different. I dont know where we fit in. . Somewhere round the middle. . (laughing)

R.K: Or maybe a little bit more on the Fugazi side.

D.D: Maybe.

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett
 

Blueline Medic

Forte Magazine - 21/3/02

Last July witnessed the release of this Melbourne based group's highly acclaimed album, The Apology Wars. The debut offering formed a fiercely audible climax to the promise contained within the four-piece's 2000 debut EP, A Working Title In Green. At the time, they found themselves getting down to business, with large caliber support slots in the vein of The Living End, At The Drive In, NOFX and Jimmy Eat World. And all this after only roughly two years as a fully calibrated unit.

Prior to the group's formation in early 2000, its members had hailed from an assorted pedigree of Australian rock acts. Vocalist/guitarist Donnie Dureau and guitarist Adrian Lombardi emerged from Caustic Soda, whilst bassist Dave Snow, was once a member of The Bradshaw Figure. Percussionist Shaun Lohoar, who's past included stints with Pollyanna and Rail, because the missing component in an outfit, that in the same year bore the distinction of becoming the first Australian band signed to American indie label, Fueled By Ramen.

Drawn to the US (in early 2000) by their mutual admiration for the work of producer Jay Robbins, (The Promise Ring, Jets To Brazil) the four-piece set up camp at Washington DC's Inner Ear Studio's - the famed recording place of Fugazi. Midway through the recording of The Apology Wars, the became swarmed with offers for shows, and so, in virtually no time at all, the quartet found themselves swept up into the rollercoaster excitement of the wryly named, Poverty Breeds Purpose Tour, through North America.

Much to the band's surprise, the first gig in Houston, Texas, already had the kids, "huddling at the barriers", thanks to a healthy dose of college radio airplay, an eventual support slot for Hot Water Music, helped to crack what had been touted as, "a tough San Fransisco audience". Some forty gigs ensued over a two and a half-month period - an experience which, even many months later, still has the four-piece reeling.

Unlike Grinspoon, who vehemently loathe acknowledgment of the influence of the "Oz rock tag", (whilst in the US) members of Blueline Medic are inclined to admit that lately its seems to have helped - even if just a tiny bit. "With the Australian novelty factor we did have an advantage - for a second or two - then they would have found out that we could actually play," Lohoar recalls.

The dizzying success of the quartet's North American tour has endowed them with a greater clarity and energy than ever. For home audiences, it is a mood that is set to transpire further in the lead up to the Australian leg of the Vans Warped tour, and beyond.

Whilst much of the live material played in the near future will herald from the foursome's much lauded debut, audiences can expect the inclusion of a whole new series of creative stirrings. "Since the album, we have written about three or so new songs, with another three or four lined up," mentions the percussionist. Upcoming live shows are set to waft out the sweet aromas of a home-cooked release, which is steadily simmering in the wings.

"It was nice to record while we were there (US), but this time around we would like to keep it local and stick to what we know,"

Signs are encouraging that they will have the necessary ingredients of "between fifteen and sixteen songs," to choose from for the forthcoming album, which is tentatively slated for completion towards the end of this year. "Donnie (vocalist/guitarist) is writing a lot more these days, seeing that he isn't working as much." Lohoar says. "Our time management is much better - so we're getting to rehearse a lot more as well,"

Towards the end of the interview, Shaun mentioned that he had been busy trying to sell an old drum kit to pay his rent. "There should be a guy here any minute," he says hopefully.

You can't help wondering, if the lucky person who purchases the kit will realise, that not only has he helped keep a roof over a drummers head, but that he has also snagged himself an exciting piece of Australian rock history.

Blueline Medic will appear at Vans Warped, after which they will play Ballarat's Bridge Mall Inn, April 13th. Working Title In Green and The Apology Wars are now available courtesy of Redline/Shock Records Australia. For more info www.bluelinemedic.com.

Lee Neale

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett

 

Cornflake Boys

Impress Magazine 24th July 2002

 

Adrian Lombardi of Blueline Medic is far from precious with Michael Eva as he admits to a thing for Tori Amos.

 

Blueline Medic and Tori Amos may not be the most likely of combinations but as Blueline Medics latest offering the Tori Amos cover Precious Things proves, they may have more in common than youd think.  Bristling with the Medics trademark melancholic grunt, tinged with a touch of the apocalyptic, Precious Things could just as easily be a song written by the lads from Melbourne instead of being written by one angry American woman.

 

Precious Things is something that Donny (Dureau, Blueline guitarist and vocalist) and I have toyed around with for a long time cos we were really big Tori Amos fans, contests Bluelines sober and contemplative guitarist Adrian Lombardi.  Precious Things just seemed to translate well into what Blueline Medic are all about.  Her version is essentially just piano with voice and drums in there.  It is very different yet in many ways the same as ours.

Precious Things forms one-third of Blueline Medics contribution to a new EP set to be released by their Australian label Redline records.  It is actually a four way spilt with Second Best from Sydney and Midtown and Movieline from the States, says Lombardi.  Each band is going to have to three songs on the EP and I think it is going to be called New, Old, Rare.  We recorded Precious Things cos we were going with the rare vibe.  The live track is actually a new song called Theyll Let You Know.  That was a Triple J live recording.  I actually havent heard it yet but I hope it sounds bloody good! The old song is a song called Cathedral off our first album The Apology Wars.

 

With their debut album The Apology Wars released in 2001, Precious Things will be the first new release for the band in just over a year with plans for a new album set for the end of this year.  We have about nine or ten songs finished which we have been road testing and they have been awesome.  They are being more well received that some of the other stuff.  We want to have about fifteen or so songs so that the album can be as strong as we can possibly make it which is very important to us.

 

Before they head back into the studio though, Blueline has some touring they need, and want, to get out of their systems.  We are going to do another tour in September to aid the release of this EP and also to play with an American band called Pilot To Gunner from New Jersey.  All I know about them is that a guy that we know from Sydney who is releasing their next record was speaking to them about coming out here and they said they wanted to play with us.  I think they have either seen us over there or heard of us.  I am still waiting for my CD to have a listen to them though but the other guys have heard it and seem to really like it.

 

By the time the tour comes around Blueline Medic should be an even tighter and more cohesive live unit that ever before after spending all of July traversing our line land with punks energetic sidekicks Bodyjar.  We just spent the last two weeks up the East Coast with Bodyjar actually, says Lombardi.  It has gone done really well.  A lot of people that we play in front of with Bodyjar havent seen us before so some nights its hard to gauge what people are thinking because they are not making much noise but they seem to be listening attentively and sussing us out.

 

Its not just live practice that Bodyjars Plastic Skies tour is giving the Medics but its also giving them a bit more conditioning for the massive task that is touring Australia.  Its hard touring anywhere in Australia because the distances are the hardest thing, laughs Lombardi.  When we were in the States, in some cases we were only driving for a few hours to play our next show.  The good thing about the Bodyjar shows is that they have been doing a lot of smaller towns like Coffs Harbour, Maroochydore and Woodonga.  Some of them are great.  Woodonga was a weird one, it must have been school holidays because there were about 400 or 500 kids there.  I imagine that there is not much happening in places like Woodonga for kids to do so when there is something on, regardless of whether they are into it or not, they are just going to go along.  The kids that are watching the music are into it and the ones that are just there to kiss girls or boys, or whatever, they have a good time anyway.  It was very bluelight disco", he chuckles.

 

 While Blueline continue to build a following here in Australia, The Apology Wars, released in America on Fueled By Ramen records, is still doing the work of building them a solid following and fanbase over there.  We are selling more records in the States that we are here, enthuses the bemused Lombardi.  The hardest thing for us though is getting back there.  We actually got offered some Warped Tour dates over there but we couldnt afford to get there.  Having the money to get there is our biggest hurdle at the moment but once we get there, there will be plenty of good things happening for us.

 

Michael Eva

 

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett

 

 

Blueline Medic Sleepyhead (Redline/Shock)

 

Impress Magazine 26th Febuary 2003

 

The grunty guitar sounds lift this song to potent effect.  Donnie Dureau borrows an almost Smiths-like approach to song construction and melodic phrasing that suits him and this song as well, yet instead of exploring the misery of daily urban existence, Dureau sings a call for the suburban kisd to leap out of bed and be thankful for the have.  Its a convincing package.

 

Martin Jones

 

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett

 

 

Blue Healers

 

Impress Magazine March 5th 2003

 

Clem Baston finds Blueline Medics Donnie Dureua to be a serious young insect.  Most of the time.

 

I am sure theres been a few people whove loathed it.  If people absolutely detest it, then thats cool.  Blueline Medic front-man Donnie Dureau isnt talking about football, Brussels sprouts, or the latest Britney Spears single, hes talking about their last album, The Apology Wars.  I mean, I dont think a lot of bad press actually gets shown to me and I dont go out of my way to look for it either but Id rather people love it or loathe it than just go, oh yeah, thats all right; I dont want that.  Its a sentiment typical of the passion that Dureau has for his chosen art, rock and roll.

 

He has never allowed the sound to be pigeonholed, however, and relies on a more organic process of inspiration and creation:  Blueline Medic was all about. . . wel, if we wanted to do a softer ballad we could do that, or if we wanted to do something harder then wed do that.  See what happens; whatever you feel like writing at the time, you try to get off on what you like about music.  But what about the audience?  The danger with reflective songs is to drift into self-indulgence is it just a happy coincidence if the audience or the listener likes it too?  Oh yeah, says Dureau again, starting to sound like the lost member of Yello, I mean, youre not making music for you, if people are coming to see you play, or paying money to buy your records, then you want them to get something out of the experience as well.  Its something Im learning more and more as I get older; a few years ago I was very, I dont care what other people think, Ill just do what I want to do.  I mean thats cool, but if you dont realise that other people need to get something out of your music too, well. . . youll soon stop.

 

Continuing this them of audience inclusion comes Smith-tinged new single Sleepyhead.  It has been billed as inspirational and an anthem for surburbia.  Was that intentional, or just spin?  Arent the best anthems simply adopted rather than made?  Yeah, I guess youre right.  But I think the narrative of the lyric is anthemic theres very little of me in there, its less of a personal song and more general.  It addressed the listener as part of something bigger, local society, Melbourne, Australia whatever.  He finds the press clamouring for hidden meaning in songs rather amusing, though: That metaphor (six thirty comes / like a call to arms) is simply that, it doesnt refer to anything political.  It just symbolises that time when you have to get up for work and it literally feels like a battle, when its bitterly cold and still dark, and you have to drag yourself out of bed.

 

The band have stayed out of bed long enough to record a new album, Text_Bomb, which is scheduled for release in April.  What can fans and listeners expect from the new material?

 

You can expect the quiet songs to be quieter, and the loud songs to be louder, Dureau says somewhat cryptically, Its a little dark in places too. . . thats all I can say.  It sounds quite Zen, but if the songs are as strong as Sleepyhead then the band has smooth-sailing ahead.

 

They will also tour the new material around Australia, and in his excitement about the imminent gigs, Dureaus serious young insect fašade falls: I can tell you that people who come along to our gigs really like the songs and get into it.  Well rehearse like friends to get ready for the tour, and then well have fun.  Just get up on stage and have fun.

 

Blueline Medic launches Sleepyhead this Saturday 8th March at The Evelyn Hotel, with Edison and Days of Iris.

 

Clem Baston

 

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett

 

 

On the record - Blueline Medic Text Bomb (Redline Records)

 

Impress Magazine 7th May 2003

 

After their 2001 debut Apology Wars, Melbourne band Blueline medic are back with their follow up LP, Text Bomb.  Second albums are always a difficult delivery, often greeted by trepidation and hesitant ears.  Fortunately, Blueline Medic have created a musically strong album that will provide them with a solid launching pad from which to establish an American following.  This album is being released concurrently in the US.

 

Text Bomb opens convincingly with Sleepyhead, a rocking guitar tune familiar to many due to its already extensive radio airplay.  The pace is firmly kept up by Cotton Oriental Pants a track loaded with speedy drumbeat, snappy guitar chords and smooth vocals.  The tempo changes slightly with third track Upright as the guitars become more stabilised and lyrics including Youre taking water/Youre losing shape/Youve got to smile slow the album down.  However, its a welcome change in direction that is followed on by the ballads Theyll Let You Know, Loss and Scotch In The Clown.  Somewhere in the middle sits the title track Text Bomb.  Its a sound piece thanks to its fast guitars and Shaun Lohoars persistent drumbeat having been fittingly juxtaposed with Donnie Dureaus powerful vocals, its well placed to be a hit track.

 

Following on and Perfect Son is in your face, right where it should be.  This song is strongly supported by powerful guitar riffs, a thumping bassline and Dureaus melodic vocals.  From The Loft provides on final wave to Blueline Medics apparent force as a guitar rock band, whilst Exit Strength affirms their equally strong talent as tuneful yet understated musicians.

 

If there were any doubts about Blueline Medics ability to produce a solid second album, Text Bomb quashes these fears in their entirety.  The group has created a brilliant album that not only reaffirms their ability as a rock band; it showcases their strength as subtle and melodic musicians as well.

 

Nicola Taylor

 

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett

 

 

Rock Doctors

 

Impress Magazine Late May/Early June 2003

 

Blueline Medic are hitting the road to heal our rock n roll souls.  Bassist Dave Snow treats Michael Eva.

 

Had whoever is in charge of these sort of things, deemed fit for Blueline Medic to originate from somewhere in America or even Europe, they would no doubt by now have a large and avid following and normal, nine to five, day jobs would be nothing but a distant memory.  As it is Bluelines exceptional brand of intelligent rock has garnered them a relatively strong following by Australian standards, especially considering intelligent rock is a rare commodity in Australia at the moment.  Unfortunately though the day jobs are still a necessity.  It would be cool to earn money doing something that I love which is making music but I dont ever expect not to have to work, muses the ever modest and philosophical Blueline bassist Dave Snow.

 

While Snow might not expect it, there are many indications that one day the Blueline boys just may be able to cast off the shackles of the capitalist treadmill.  Their latest album Text_Bomb bristles with a unique blend of saccharine melodies, discordant guitars and stilted time signatures.  Its an extremely well crafted album right down to the lyrics, which exude the sort of considered intelligence that most other Australian bands can only dream of.  Text_Bomb is already one of the releases of the year.  In light of this its not surprising to learn that the songwriting process for Blueline is an involved one.

 

We are actually already working on the new album, says Snow.  It is a constant thing for us to keep writing songs.  We are not particularly quick with writing new songs but we are constant.  (For Text Bomb) it wasnt like we had one period where we wrote most of the songs, it was pretty much from the moment we stopped recording the last album that we all the songs for this one.  Writing like this gives the guys the chance to really explore every possible avenue with every song.  The songs end up getting a life of their own from exploring all the different ideas that we have got.  We end up spending a month on something then at the end of a month we end up going Nah, its not really happening.  But if we had have gone with the first idea then we probably would have really liked it.  I think that we do get too caught up in the ideas that we originally and judging the songs by that.  In the end though you have to look at a song and think that although it doesnt do what you wanted it to do, it is good anyway, says Snow.

 

Bluelines last release came in the form of a split EP with three American bands through their American label Fueled By Ramen called NEW.OLD.RARE (correction two Australian bands and two American bands).  NEW.OLD.RARE featured the amazing Blueline cover of the Tori Amos songs Precious Things and seemed to signal a more aggressive direction for the band.  Its up and down, says Snow of the type of songs the band write.  We seriously write some stuff, some of which may not have ended up on the album because it wasnt right, that isnt that melodic.  Its pretty much that whatever grabs our attention at the time that we go with, its not like we decide to write melodic songs or anything.  It is really sporadic and almost eclectic.  We are almost parasitic with what we are listening to and what we are playing in regards to what sort of ideas and stuff we are having.

 

While musically the songs on the album are all obviously tinged by the bands influences like Bad Relgion, The Smiths, Radiohead and Fugazi to name a very small few, so are the lyrics, which often seem to take on an almost socialist line.  A lot of that gets in there, agrees Snow, and a lot of it does have to do with what we grew up listening to.  We grew up listening to Bad Religion and those sorts of bands and the politics in those are definitely left bent towards socialism and some of the other stuff is almost anarchism.  That is the things that often draws you towards certain bands I think.

 

After being about a six months sabbatical from playing live, Blueline are ready and eager to showcase their new songs.  At least they must be considering the hectic schedule they have lined up for themselves for their upcoming national tour including a one-day break between a show in Adelaide and a show in Port Macquarie.  Its not that bad, laugh Snow a little nervously.  It is expensive to hire a van and that sort of thing.  That will be a long drive that one but it would be just silly for us to come back to Melbourne with all of our gear.  We do it quite often.  If there is, say, one gig in Adelaide or Sydney we will drive there and then after the gig pack that van up and drive home so we can be at work the next morning.  With such a hardcore work ethic towards touring its of little surprise that the rock and roll antics are kept to a bare minimum.  It comes down to economics and if you break something then you have to pay for it, comments Snow on the timeless rock and roll manoeuvre of encouraging your hotel television out of the hotel window.  We will go out, have a couple of drinks and have fun although if it is a longer tout Donnie has to sing and cant drink which is good because we always have a nominated driver.

 

With a manager who also looks after current UK darlings The Cassanovas and an obvious buzz and groundswell of support for Blueline, the future, both locally and even internationally is looking pretty dammed rosy for the band.  It looks like we will be going to the UK and the States in September, October.  We are signed to the American label Fuelled By Ramen so we have the responsibility to go back and tour and promote the album.  So far we have had some great reviews and stuff for the States and we are now just looking forward to getting over there.

 

Text_Bomb is available through Redline Records.  Blueline Medic are joined by Thinktank at the National Hotel, Geelong and on Thursday 5th June and the Corner Hotel on Friday 6th.

 

Michael Eva

 

Transcribed by Redmond Hamlett

 

 

Neo_Front Issue 3 - October 2004

 

Gig Review – Donnie Dureau (Blueline Medic) @ The Preston Hotel, Thursday 2nd September W/ Hamish and Luke Legs.

Review by Redmond Hamlett

 

These gigs at the Preston are becoming somewhat of a regular occurrence in the Geelong live music scene.  A good thing to, considering the talent and performances that have been seen here: tonight would be no exception.  The Preston was more crowded than usual to see first up, singer/songwriter Hamish play some very beautiful and poetic acoustic guitar tunes.  Although his set was brief, his performance was well received and left a sweet note in everyone’s ear, not to say his songs were cute ditties, but well crafted slow rock tunes sung with heartfelt emotion.

 

It seems emotions were running high tonight, as Luke Legs took to the stage clad in leather jackets and tuxedo t-shirts, the 5 piece including keyboard and violin were promoting their new EP “If it doesn’t rain … it pours”.  All five of the Legs took the mantle of the Preston.  It seems the crowd were really warming up to these guys – they played songs that sounded like a twist between the Art of Fighting and Dirty Three – spaced out tunes with a sombre note, music you can look up into the sky with their soothing sound and flowing but constructed arrangements.  It seems these guys had built a very loyal following, or that they rang up all their mates to come along because it seems most people really understood these guys, and also their laid-back nature on stage. These guys had some chemistry on stage and with the audience that is rarely seen from such a young band.  Kudos to Luke Legs.

 

After an intense performance, Donnie Dureau lightly took to the stage, without some of the grandeur of Luke Legs, I would say Donnie was quietly confident, but unfortunately most of the crowd left to go to the Luke Legs after party.  Nonetheless, Donnie Dureau (of Blueline Medic and Caustic Soda fame) was well received with those few lucky enough to see his solo material.  He opened with an old Caustic Soda tune, Three cheers for the f*^&head in the corner, which on acoustic guitar sounds something like a Billy Brag ballad, there were people singing along which was amazing.  Donnie played ‘ceramic’ – which featured as a B-side on BLM ‘Sleepyhead’ single.  Also some irish ballads about weird relationships and 1940s politicians who spoke about rights for the poor – Donnie, like in his Blueline Medic material, was looking to fiction for inspiration for his lyrics, even though he was sounding almost Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra-ish.  Donnie even had people clapping along to his songs, it seems he went down really well with the crowd, amongst hecklers telling him to play songs from his other bands, he finished his expertly crafted and performed with a Blueline Medic anthem, “Making the Nouveau  Riche”.  I think Donnie had everyone in arms, or at least me anyways.

 

Look out for gigs at the Preston, because like I always say: one good turn deserves another.


Beat Magazine, 1996.

Caustic Soda - Interview

Well respected punker, Cam Baines from Bodyjar appears on Triple J. After a series of inane fan questions sent by the mongoloids who actually write into to the J`s to ask fan questions, the cute generic presenter (who, earlier, has passed on an anecdote of talking to a Japanese fan about Bodyjar and quipping Yeah, I`m friends with them) asks Cam to choose a song.

This is Camerons time to expose a huge listening audience, Australia-wide, to a song and a band. I was expecting to hear a classic from the Descendents or All. I was expecting to hear something from Samiam (a band who shirked an Australian tour with them in order to go Japan with Green Day). What Cam chose out of all the songs in the world and what I subsequently heard blaring down my radio was Photocopied by Caustic Soda.

So Caustic is the choice of Cam. Its also been the choice of many local reviewers, their latest CD Music for the Motion Picture being described as crunchy and melodic, with a drum sound that other bands would kill for. It had great song after great song. It is damn impressive. Yet Lachlan had told Jeremy of their one bad review ...the recording was really bad and its Southern Californian stuff with no originality. That was our first bad one, almost a year after the CD had come out so its like, who cares

Donnie reiterates, All I`d like to do is, if we put heaps of effort into the songs, have enough money to record them well, be it from us or from some record company. After financing the first two full length albums themselves Caustic Soda are in the tenuous position of shopping for a record label for the newly recorded EP. And if labels arent chasing your band, its an unpleasant task, well be a word of mouth band!

The Vans Warped tour provided Caustic Soda with an ideal avenue to climb out of the sweaty little clubs and expand their sounds across the fields and the early morning crowd at the Melbourne showgrounds. Unfortunately Frontier fucked with all the bands on Warped and Caustic got the very rough end of a long stick. We had to pay to get on Warped, Jeremy half-jokes, They didnt give us laminated passes until the last day. Donnie interrupts in disgust We couldnt get in to the show. We got there fifteen minutes before the doors opened Jeremy joins in to explain the mismanagement of what could have been a groundbreaking gig for Caustic, it took us ages to get in, we had to struggle through two levels of security. Finally we got our stuff in there only to find out we were going to play in five minutes.

Yet some stroke of promotional genius at Warped head office planted their epic Photocopied on the Warped Tour CD to the joy of fans and the pleasant surprise of trendy punkers with freshly mown Mohawks. You seem to get one song which stands out from the rest. Upon my remark that I didnt necessarily think it did, Donnie mock scowls and spits back Whats wrong with ya?! It seems that Caustic was always going to get on the CD, it was just a matter of song choice. I dont why it was that one. We thought it was pretty strong and the recording quality really suited the song

The recording quality worked for some songs and for some it didnt. I guess thats what you get for having a cheap shit recording Donnie decides before following it up you hear that Cloudburst, hear that?! Not only does the recording affect the sound of Music for the Motion Picture but the fact that Jeremy and Donnie swap songwriting and vocal duties. In fact, whoever writes the song has to sing the lyrics, thats the rules. Are they not content to sing each others lyrics? I ask, fishing for an insightful look into the building of a Caustic Soda song, Yeah, back ups, choruses. Sorry, thats just the way it works. Damn.

I enjoy playing all of it, Donnie quips at my suggestion of the differences in their styles. I cant sit there and write a whole bands worth of songs so its fun doing something different. Jeremy agrees, I always thought it was healthy to have a bit more variation.

Most certainly its healthy to have variation. Caustic Soda not only having internal variation but by listening to the Warped CD, finding Photocopied even more attention-grabbing for its lack of trilling guitars or breezy horn sections. At the moment theyre in punks no-mans-land. Not as big as Bodyjar, Frenzal Rhomb or The Living End yet far too accomplished as a band to be sitting on the lower end of continuous pub gigging. All they need now is the insidious hit single to open up the country to their unique sound. Unfortunately, a band that has a unique sound will rarely have dalliances with the term hit single. Youve just got to cross your fingers and tell your friends.

-Andrew Tijis


Beat Magazine, 1998

Caustic Soda
Femalevolence
Crackle Records

Also on the local EP front, local gods Caustic Soda have =released four new songs on the real deal- vinyl. Now I wont shy away from prejudices or favoritism by saying this is the best fucking EP this year has given us. Caustic Soda are well versed in fucking around with the listeners emotions, breaking hearts one minute and jesting the next but what have here is pure urban poetry molded around inventive and emotive song writing.
Inspiration comes on with perfect timing in Same Ending, Different Story, that being an organ inserted in the final stages. Part & Parcel is as catchy as an English Football hooligan's anthem and equally as dedicated. Short Changed presents a perfect blend of melodic pop and buzzing punk but Shuffle & Scrape has to be one of the best songs of this year.
Shuffle & Scrape is breathtaking in its scope and construction, meticulously detailing despair in a perfect marriage between music and lyricism and when Donnie howls Oh my god/ I promise to do better I dare anyone to defy the chill in their spine. Perfect. Hole In One.

-Andrew Tijis


Beat Magazine, 1997

Caustic Soda Interview with Donnie Dureau

Melbournes previously best kept secret are becoming Melbourne best known emo-punkers, and for good reason. Caustic Soda are stepping up. Donnie Dureau speaks before his big name show with Blink, Unwritten Law and Bodyjar. . .

D.D: A lot of people in this country suffer from cultural cringe and as weve talked about before, Australian bands have to work harder than Internationals. I think Cam (Bodyjar) said of this Blink 182, Unwritten Law tour, You know its Aussies versus Americans, were going to blow them off stage, a bit of friendly competition. The Australians might think like that but I wonder if the Americans do. Especially in punk music you see a lot of Australian bands go down the American road because thats what they listen to and theres not a lot of references to Australia. How do you make something sound local without sounding tacky?

A.J:Its probably a humility thing weve had to deal with here.
D.D:Its funny to think that you can have a collective personality here, but by the same token you cant generalise and say, All Americans are loudmouths. Unless youre at a party and youre drunk but if you actually think about it its not like that.

A.J:Are you actually looking forward to this Blink gig?
D.D:Yeah, its going to be fun. Wide exposure, hanging out with Bodyjar, we all get along really well, itll be like a little holiday.

A.J:New 7 inch, I heard you mention something at your last show. Why not another album?
D.D:Yeah, exciting isnt it. We didnt do a record mainly because of money. Jez and me did the sums yesterday and in recording the total comes to about a thousand dollars worth. We only had access to about that much. To do an album, it would cost about five or six thousand. Thats the only reason we held back. I think the other reason is that we wanted to put out a split with Chopper (UK pop-punk band) on Crackle (UK label) and we were fine with that but Crackle wanted to put out a whole seven inch for us.

A.J:So its going to be a UK release. Thats incredibly impressive.
D.D:Its awesome. I think theyre going to print out a thousand and theyre going to send out 200 for us to sell.

A.J:Why vinyl, why not an EP?
D.D:You have to ask Crackle (Records). Were just doing the songs for it. Vinyls a novelty and I reckon it sounds better anyway.

A.J:And it would suit your style seeing the fuzzy, fucked up recording on Motion Picture worked well.
D.D:Any kind of harsh music deserves a kind of warmth in the recording. Most of the stuff Jez and I listen to, the punk stuff anyway, has a bad recording quality. You just get used to it. Sometimes if its too polished you cringe. Its can sound a bit to clean, too neat, a bit fake and plastic. By the same token it cant be too bad or you cant make out the details.

A.J:Can you give me a track listing?
D.D:First is Same ending, Different story and Short Changed on side A. Side B has Shuffle and Scrape and Part and Parcel. Jez has got the first side and Ive got the second side, songwriting-wise. That wasnt our decision either, Crackle wanted it that way. They just thought the songs flowed better that way.

A.J:When is it going to be released?
D.D:Hopefully mid-June. There will be a launch in mid-June. (Nope but soon).

A.J:Do you think your professional writing course its helping with your lyric writing?
D.D:Its beginning to, definitely, and it will as the course goes on. Just to develop a written voice. Jez is doing the same course in second year and with each passing song he writes I just see massive improvement. Im just hoping Ill go down the same road. The more you write the better you get at it. The more you read too, so its really interesting and its going to have a big influence on my songwriting I can tell you that now.

A.J:Well, your songwriting has always been really personal and thats the best thing about it.
D.D:It will continue to be personal, I cant escape that, but Ive been worried that it has been a bit too personal, maybe self-absorbed. In the past, on .bleak youngkid dis-knowledge (their first album) there was a few songs that might have tackled social politics, to deal with the relationships between people yet there were a few there which were aimed at society in general. I think I might head back that way too.

A.J:I had a friend buy Music for the Motion Picture last night and he gawked at the fact that it was from 1996, how have you seen the audiences evolve since then?
D.D:I find it real hard to read. I know theres people out there that like us. With our music, there are elements which take a while to appreciate. I find that the stuff that I listen to that takes a few listens to get into is the stuff that you like for the longest. The whole thing is to write songs with staying power and its so hard. Music is cyclic, almost dictated by fashion, but a good song, like stuff from the Descendents, transcends that. If its a truly good song it will withstand time. Its easy to write a song, hard to write a good song.

-Andrew Tijis

Unitedmag.com, 1998

Caustic Soda
Femalevolence
Crackle Records

Sure this isnt technically an album, being a four song, 7 inch EP. But what it is, is the BEST INDEPENDENT RELEASE OF 98. Caustic Soda have been touted for many years as the undiscovered talent of Melbourne but have been unable to find their niche. They have been slotted into a neo-punk pigeonhole for their speed and melody but it seems that they come into their own when tackling heart-breaking emotion as they have finally demonstrated on Shuffle & Scrape. Punchy and catchy melodies are hit on the head harder with pinpoint accuracy by including an organ on the irresistible Same Ending, Different Story.
A curt anthem comes in the form of Part & Parcel, the sort of simple hook that a football team could attach its own vocals to. And Short Changed brings back the melody to complete what could be a four-song lesson in passion, playfulness and perfect punk pop.
Caustic Soda tempted us with the experimentation on bleak youngkid.dis-knowledge, came up with heart stopping anthems and heart starting pop punk tunes on the essential Music From The Motion Picture and finally all their experience has lead to this. Femalevolence is the EP everyone with even the vaguest interest in pop, punk or emo music must, I repeat with the utmost urgency MUST, have.

-Andrew Tijs


Caustic Soda Interviiew
An extract from our interview with Jeremy, Lachlan and Donny from Caustic Soda at the Punters Club. Unfortunately the first part of the interview didn't tape due to technical difficulties. The interview starts with Anita asking the boys about the "punk" tag.
Anita: You don't submit to the punk lifestyle?
Lachlan: No, I live at home with my parents and work at a day job and, you know, I'm not really that punk.
Jeremy: No
Anita: We are punk cos we don't know what we are doing. We were told today that that is very punk.
Jeremy: That is punk, it will pass.
Anita: I need more questions.
Lachlan: One day you will find yourself on
Anita: Kerrie Ann?
Lachlan: some other channel, you never know.
Jeremy: Ray Martin!
Donnie: Do you get paid?
Lachlan: It's for the love of it, that's what I always say, cool, especially if you don't know how to use the camera.
Anita: We're learning
Lachlan: We are just blabbering
Anita: Blabbering's good, everyone just blabber
What's the most embarrassing thing you have ever done on stage?
Donnie: I can tell you about Lachlan.
Jeremy: (to Donny) You don't have any do you?
Donnie: I'm sure I do but I just can't think of any at this stage.
Jeremy: How convenient.
Lachlan: You talking about mine.
Donnie: Like in Adelaide recently when we were on top of the balcony looking at Blink 182.
Jeremy: It wasn't embarrassing so much as a glorious moment in rock.
Lachlan: It was kinda funny.
Donnie: It would be embarrassing if I did it.
Jeremy: We'll just leave it like that.
Anita: No, tell the story.
Lachlan: All the people in Adelaide know what we are talking about.
Anita: People in Adelaide won't see this interview.
Lachlan: Well they won't know what we are talking about. During one of the shows I vomited twice while playing.
Anita: And he says he is not punk.
Donnie: There's nothing punk about being sick.
Lachlan: It wasn't like I did it on the drum kit or anything. I had time to get off the riser and do it on the ground and play another song. Call me punk if you want.
Donnie: Soldier on.
Lachlan: I don't know about the other two, I don't know if it's embarrassing. Playing here one night all the lights went off and we were in the pitch black, that was pretty cool, it was pretty embarrassing.
Jeremy: We are hoping for a repeat performance tonight.
Anita: Do you think there's anything else the public needs to know about you.
Jeremy: Plugs?
Anita: Yeah, plug away.
Lachlan: You go (to Jeremy). Ok Donny, would you like to? What are we plugging?
Donnie: Our up and coming 7" release, 4 songs, grab it while you can, limited edition, all the way form the UK. Anita And it's called?
Donnie: Well there's two varying pronunciations. He (Jeremy) says it's fe-malevolence and I say it's fem-alevolence.
Lachlan: I'm with him, fem-alevolence.
Jeremy: Fe-malevolence. It's a melange, is that the word, of two words, one being female, one being malevolence, being whacked together, a play on words.
Anita: It would be femme, like femme fatale.
Jeremy: I can see that argument too.
Donnie: She's brought up one that I could never have.
Jeremy: It's a record and it comes out in a few weeks.
Lachlan: You should be able to it from Missing Link or Augogo or if you know our postal address,or come to the show
Anita: I'm taking it there's a bit of animosity about being labelled as a punk band here?
Donnie: Not at all.
Jeremy: Depends what mood you're in.
Donnie: If they want to sayit, if it's the easiest thing to say, then why not.
Anita: What would you label yourself as?
Lachlan: A rock band
Anita: A rock band?
Lachlan: Basically, yeah.
Jeremy: With strong punk influences.
Anita: How about laidback, casual, country, deformed.
Lachlan: dance music
Anita: dance musicyeah, create a new genre.
Lachlan: You guys are funny!


CAUSTIC SODA Caustic Soda is a great three piece band from Melbourne. While they can probably be described as punk-pop, their songwriting, emo influences, and personal lyrics make them stand out from all the other so-called 'punk' bands. Bass player Jeremy has described their sound in the past as "Jawbreaker in a bike crash with Snuff?" and that's pretty close if you can imagine it! Caustic Soda has played alongside many of Australia's best bands, as well as such international acts as Snuff, Propagandhi, All You Can Eat, and Millencolin among others. Their live show is always impressive and they managed to make thousands of new fans recently when nationally supporting Blink-182 for the "Dammnation '98" tourdespite mooning the crowd at one show! The band consists of Jeremy McMahon (bass, vocals), Donnie Dureau (guitar, vocals), Lachlan Hodgson (drums) and Adrian (ex MYC) (guitar) and has so far released two full length albums called "Bleak Youngkid Dis-Knowledge" and "Music From The Motion Picture". Caustic Soda can also be heard on numerous compilations including the high selling Vans Warped Tour CD and the MDS release "Chainspotting". Their new 7", "Femalevolence", is released on Crackle Records (UK) and may well be their best release yet. Caustic Soda is definitely a band to check out if you haven't already. (By Christina)Caustic Soda (possibly the best band in Australia) have disbanded but are now in the form of Blueline Medic...a new band that features all the same members bar the bass player. They play some Caustic tunes and are extrememly good. CRANK
Taken from the CENSORED THOUGHT band page


Caustic Soda are a 4 piece from Melbourne who specialised in emo/melodic punk. They formed in 1995 while members were still in their teens and then formed their own label, Gutrench, to release their debut Bleak Youngkid Dis-Knowledge. In 1996 played at both the Grunt and Summersault festivals and in November/December of the same year did a big interstate tour which included NSW, QLD and SA. They also played endlessly interstate and supported such acts as Bodyjar, All You Can Eat, Millencolin, Guttermouth, Satanic Surfers, Strung Out, Face To Face, Snuff, Unwritten Law, Blink 182 and Propagandhi. During 1997 they released their album Music From The Motion Picture which showed a progression in songwriting and overall sound. They toured around the eastern states (including the Indyfest Festival in Adelaide) in support of the album to rave reviews. In 1998 they played a few shows (Adelaide, Melbourne and Geelong) as part of The Vans Warped Tour and then went back into the studio to record a vinyl release for later in the year. The band then recruited ex Mid Youth Crisis guitarist Adrian as second guitarist in December 98 to add an even greater overall sound with one of his first gigs being the Falls Festival. Unfortunately in June/July 99 bassist Jeremy had a falling out with the other members and it was decided to finish it up as Caustic Soda. They still supported Snuff around the East Coast (with a fill in bassist) and then the remaining members formed another band called Blueline Medic.


CAUSTIC SODA - "Femalevolence" 7" EP. This is definitely on par with their great "Music From The Motion Picture" album from last year. Well, I'd even say they've changed a little bit too. They're less JAWBREAKER-esque now, especially on the classic anthem 'Same Ending, Different Story' (the keyboard sounds great), and seem to have 'upped' the pace a little too. So yeah, still a fine band and more Australian than a pissed up dingo in Ramsey Street - bonus! (MD) CRACKLE!