Posted On 25 Sep 2014
Little Bastard is a mighty 7 piece punk-string band incorporating guitars, bass, fiddle, banjo, harmonica, mandolin, beats, a load of voices and memorable tunes.
The Aussies made a deliberate effort to bring something different to the band’s first LP and says the influence of everyone from Earl Scruggs, Old Crow Medicine Show and Doc Watson to Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Fleetwood Mac has shaped the band.
‘‘Little Bastard was fundamentally always going to be a live thing … we started off playing house parties and when we were doing the album we wanted to keep that live energy, but we didn’t want to steer it totally that way,’’ Band member, Johnny Took says.
Do you remember the moment you decided to start a band?
Vividly. It was when I got 43% in my year 10 school certificate and I thought, fuck this, I’m gonna play guitar instead.
Where does the band name come from?
Little Bastard was the name of James Dean’s Porsche Spider car that he raced around in and ultimately, died in. He was a real cool guy, I’d imagine. It also fits our band really well as we are little shits and people call us bastards quite often, anyway.
We’d love to get some pedal steel on the next record, that’d be pretty cool. Maybe some more crazy percussion stuff too, you can never have enough weird shit with percussion.
You guys have been touring non-stop for the past two years. What was that experience like? How have you kept up that momentum?
It’s the best fun. None of us really have jobs, some of us do, but we hate them. So getting out on the road with all the crew and just going for a month playing shows and drinking beer and hanging out is the best fuckin’ time I’ve ever had. Sometimes it gets a bit hard to keep the party going, but we are all the best of friends and I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing, ever.
Can you describe your live show? What can audiences expect from them?
Our live show is really, really fun. It’s fast, real sweaty, and a little bit sexy, so the ladies say. You’ll also probably get spat on (unintentionally) and have beer poured over you (intentionally).
You guys just released your self-titled debut album. How did that feel? Why did it take so long to release an album?
It feels great to have that out, finally. Well we probably could’ve recorded it a lot earlier, but it just didn’t really come together with the label we were looking at being on. It was a blessing in disguise though, as we probably needed that extra time of touring to really flesh out the tracks and come out with a solid collection of really great songs. It’s a much better album for the time we waited to record it.
Living or dead, who would you guys like to work with and why?
I’d love to work with Wilco. It’s an absolute life goal of mine to one day do some recording in their Loft studio in Chicago.
What music are you listening to now? Any new artists out there that you are loving currently?
Haha I’m actually listening to the Wilco/Billy Brag album RIGHT now as I’m typing this. Collectively though we have been listening to heaps of War On Drugs in the van, that new album is real good. Also Phosphorescent, CCR and Drive-By Truckers are always a staple in the tour van.
We post stuff on those things. People see them. Sometimes they ‘like’ them. Sometimes they act on it and come to shows or buy our record, which is cool. It’s important to keep on top of that stuff these days, but it’s not something we try to rely on religiously.
Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with you guys (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
To be honest most of the awesome stuff that happens to us when we tour can’t really be talked about in a public forum. But just know that we’ve had some really, really wild times.
When you aren’t performing or writing new material, what do you all like to do for fun?
We play music for fun! As soon as we get back from touring, we are all straight into the bars around where we love playing gigs in our various other bands. That and drinking beers. So I guess it’s kind of like being on the road anyway, except we get to sleep in our beds and not on floors.
Whatever they want or need, I guess. There’s some great lyrical moments on the album, some really nice imagery of not only emotional settings, but geographical things about Australia and stuff like that that some people probably wouldn’t know about if they’re not from here. Mostly I think we just want people to come away feeling positive about things, which is what we feel, and ultimately that things are awesome, and if they’re not awesome, then you’ve got mates around to make it awesome again for you.