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The Meanies - article from Forte

The Meanies play punk rock the way the Banana Splits intended. Setting buzzsaw guitar riffs to choruses that sound like the old "Na, na, na, na, na-na, na" Link, Wally, Ringo, Tas aand that other guy provide the greatest rock music since that guy fromm the Great Space Coaster first strapped on the pointy guitar.

10% Weird is a fantastic album. US hardcore legends Bad Brains honoured The Meanies last year by ccalling their joint tour (and that's not referring to what was consumed backstage) the Rise For The 10% Weird Tour. The Meanies' latest release is a single called Ton Of Bricks which follows up the recently much-played AC/DC tribute 'It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)'.

But covering seventies hard rock songs is not what the Meanies is really known for in the wider community. These gusy're known better for the beer- down- the- front- of- the- flannelette shirt- thrash they've been giving up to audiences in Australia, Europe and Japan for years now. I called Meanies' superbassist Wally Meanie to ask his opinion on a number of things:

On Ton Of Bricks: The single was actually done in a few different places. Although it said something different on the credits because I had f--cked up, it was recorded in Melbourne last July at Birdland Studios. 'The Rhyming Logic' was recorded live in the Triple J studios in Melbourne, 'Homonculus' waas recorded at the same time as 'Ton Of Bricks', 'Monopoly Money' was the same and 'One Right To Groove' was actually recorded at Sing Sing studios in Richmond in January 1993. 'Ton Of Bricks' is track 3 off the 10% Weird album. Basically we like to put songs that you can't get anywhere else as the bonus tracks, but we've run out so we chose songs that are hard to get anywhere else.

On line-up changess within the Meanies: With the 10% Weird album I think four or five of the tracks were recorded last July and by that time Tas (Bilzzard, of the now-defunct Seaweed Gorillas) had left the band so he played on nine of those songs on the 10% Weird album and, you know, two of which..., hang on, f--k me drunk! He didn't play on any of them but he's back in the band now - which is great. It's been a bit of a shot in the arm, it's made playing more enjoyable. We were a four-piece up until Tas joined about two years ago and Tas stayed in the band for a year and he's had a bit of time off and how he's back in the band so now we're back to being a five piece, which is really what we should be.

On the new band chemistry: It get better. If Tas was an arsehole we wouldn't have asked him to join. It might have made the chemistry worse than it alreadyis. Because the man is a living legend it makes it better.

On Geelong bands: There are now and there always have been many great Geelong bands. I don't think there's one that I haven't like (Oh yeah, Wally? What about the People's Poets?) but then I'm pretty easily pleased (laughs).

On the Poppin' Mommas: Well, they're an institution - one of the greatest bands ever to walk the face of the earth. There's no disputin' that one.

On the Bad Brains tour: The reason we did that tour, purely and simply, was because Link worships the ground they walk on, otherwise we probably wouldn't have bothered. That was my attitude at the start and that was the only reason we were playing but then, after the tour started, it ended up being really fun. They were really good people and fun to hang out with. The drummer was the quietest man I've ever come across but the other guys were really good fun and it was enjoyable.

- David Trethewie